Virtual Reality and News….why do we care? – 40 Days of Blog #6

Virtual Reality and News….why do we care? – 40 Days of Blog #6

What’s up guys it’s Dallas and I’m back with your blog post for today! (And this time it’s not in a poem.)

We’ve all heard of the virtual reality thing. You know, with the goggles? You put them on and are transported to a different world or whatever people are saying about it. I tried out the cardboard set of this new technology that everyone is obsessing about and I won’t lie, it wasn’t anything special. Maybe because I can’t wear my glasses under it and therefore my head started to hurt two seconds after I started whatever video I was watching. Or maybe I just chose a boring video to watch. Whatever the reason, I didn’t find it to be anything special and honestly I would rather just watch a YouTube video.

We tested out these cardboard goggle things in my Digital Journalism class and the whole point of me getting a headache that lasted the rest of the night was to talk about how VR can affect how news is produced. So here we are. Let’s talk about Virtual Reality technology and news. Where to start where to start?

So I can see how this technology can positively affect the way news is consumed. I think it’d be really cool to see articles written about certain things from that perspective. For example, say there’s a rally in Washington D.C. that I really want to go to but I live in Michigan and can’t attend. How sick would it be to be able to put on that headset and be able to feel like you’re at the rally? Need another example? Okay, what if I become a world famous music journalist (it could happen) and I’m on the red carpet but people at home can’t fly themselves to Los Angeles or wherever I am. Never fear because with Virtual Reality, news consumers will be able to experience the red carpet with me!

In addition, speaking of the music world, a lot of big performances (such as Bruno Mars’ 2017 Grammy Performance) are put right onto YouTube. With Virtual Reality becoming more and more popular, we will soon be able to experience these performances as if we are attending the event in person. In an article on Tech News World it is mentioned that even though YouTube currently provides support for these devices, technology is still being pushed to the next level to “bring fans into live events when they cannot be there themselves”. Which is great for concert junkies like me.

So, like, what if you don’t care about the music scene (are you human…?) (just kidding) well don’t worry, Virtual Reality offers videos not just relating to music and entertainment. I read a pretty interesting article regarding VR and journalism from The Knight Foundation which gave me some new information that I will now share with my lovely readers. News outlets such as the L.A. Times, The New York Times, and ABC News have all given different videos and therefore different experiences for their audiences. From being sent to Mars to riding in the car from “Back to the Future”, virtual reality offers a variety of different experiences.

With virtual reality technology, journalists will be able to create a sort of deeper connection between readers and content. VR will also enhance the story telling aspect that comes with journalism. Obviously, these headsets and programs give readers a chance to feel as if they are living the story instead just reading about it. Let’s be honest here, how many more people would give a crap about important issues in the world if they are able to somehow experience it? I’m guessing quite a few.

Unfortunately, there are still obstacles that we must face when dealing with virtual reality technology. I mean for one, as a consumer, it’s definitely more expensive to buy a headset than it is to just read an article in print or online. So, money is always an issue. But beyond the price, there are some problems that you might not realize if not looking at the situation from a journalistic point of view. Ethics is a problem. With a 360 degree view, it’s difficult for journalists to block out scenes that might be graphic for their audience. It’s also hard for journalists to protect the privacy of people who are part of those stories, but don’t want to be shown. In addition, these videos could possible be misleading or frightening and some news consumers might find it better for them to just read news how they normally would.

It’s obvious that there are some issues with VR, but it also can be a really great thing. In the eyes of journalist, virtual reality provides a whole new means of connecting with their audience. In the eyes of a concert junkie like me, it means being able to see my favorite performers without even having to worry about buying a plane ticket to go see them. Even though using the cardboard headset hurt my eyes and gave me a headache, I did get to experience outer space which is something that I will probably never actually get to do. So, that was cool.

 

Anyways, that’s all I have for you guys today! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and found it enlightening as well as entertaining. As always make sure to follow all of my social media accounts which will be linked below and stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog! Adios amigos!

-xox, dalg98

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