Every newsroom is facing the ever-increasing challenge of engaging readers within a digital format. Though great journalism will always be vital, how it is presented as technology progresses has already begun to evolve.
As newsrooms experiment we’re seeing everything from amazing testimonial video projects to interactive presentations that include photo, video, games and the written story — all in one online package.
In the next few years we’ll see stories created completely in virtual reality and augumented reality letting readers interact with news content through their mobile devices or glassware. We may see holograms, wearables and bots becoming regularly integrated into journalism packages. The possibilities will be endless as technology becomes cheaper, more accessible and integral in our daily lives.
Through every position I’ve held in a newsroom — whether it’s leading a visuals department, working as a staff photographer or producing videos in the field — it never feels like enough: not enough time, not enough resources and not enough staff to produce the work we dream of. Whether I’ve been the sole photographer at a paper or one of 10, we’ve felt stretched thin to meet the demands of our newsroom and community. This is partially because we as journalists set such high standards for ourselves and partially because the transition to digital has been hard on newsrooms worldwide.
So I’ve set out to create a video series that will help any journalist incorporating emerging technology into our storytelling to strengthen and diversify our journalism.
This series, called “Innovation in Focus,” is targeted at all journalists: journalism student, professional freelancer, broadcast journalist, reporter or photojournalist at a major metro. I’m setting out to help you do your job in new and exciting ways, whatever your budget or resources.
With our first piece I tackled 360 video. Plenty of newsrooms have the ability to do 360, from creating a basic 360 panoramic on Facebook to using a Ricoh Theta S. A lucky few have more advanced rigs.
I wanted to answer one question: Can journalists use 360 video to actually tell a story?
I’m not talking about a one-shot gimmick from the top of a building at sunset, a tour of a backstage area or a goat yoga session. Can we tell a narrative, a full story, in 360 from beginning to end? What are the limitations? What are the benefits? What is the cost? The time investment? The tools needed?
Our first segment will be released on Jan. 15. The complete story was produced in 360. Tune in to see what we learned.