A few days ago our group net with the staff of the Columbia Journalism Review. We sat in on one of their story meetings and spoke with some of the head staff.
I enjoyed meeting with these journalists and learned a lot about a unique organization that writes the news about news outlets. However, one of my favorite moments that came from the experience was when I took the opportunity to ask the staff about their thoughts on virtual reality.
I asked the head staff at CJR if they thought VR was something that they believed would stick around or if it was just some gimmicky fad that would die out in a couple of years.
They told me that VR was gimmicky, but that people were making lots of progress with it and finding new ways to tell those stories. They said that it was a growing technology that just hasn’t quite taken off yet. They said it will need someone to find the right kind of story to be told through VR before it can truly become popular
I decided that I want to be that person. I want to experiment with virtual reality and show people things they couldn’t otherwise experience. I see VR as giving people an immersion experience with the news in a way that allows them to empathize with those who are involved in the news. Whether it be riding on a tank with soldiers in Falluja, or sitting with desperate families in a refugee camp, when people are immersed into other worlds, they find empathy that can be lost when someone simply reads a news update on their phone.
Ultimately, I want to be involved in that next step of making news more immersion and marrying news with empathy.