IV. The New York Times is trying to make VR films that aren’t one-offs, and that keep readers coming back

Published by Ricardo Bilton on 0n May 6th, 2016

This article discusses The New York Times and their new Virtual Reality section. One film in particular is “Seeking Pluto’s Frigid Heart” which will take viewers on a virtual tour of the planet’s surface.

This marks a big step for the newspapers company as this is the first VR experience created entirely by The Times’ science department and Graphic desk.

“There are a lot of new questions about the technology, about the storytelling, about the editing. Part of what’s exciting is that everyone is figuring it out. Even the experts have only been doing it a year, so it feels very wide open,” he said.

Article discusses how VR is at its best when they are able to transport the viewer somewhere they can never access, making this Pluto experience one of the most powerful applications of the technology.

Technology is now able to transport you places and make you feel as if you were there. The audience is more than ever immersed in the story and the news. Like they mention it in the article, it makes it easier and way more fun to process news and information, which kids love too.

In the second part of the article, Bilton interviews Dolnick from The Times as they discuss the evolving ethics of virtual reality journalism, and the potential future in “meditative VR”. 

Meditative VR definition: “We’re looking at an experience that we jokingly call “meditative VR.” These are single-shot, no-cuts videos of some beautiful place. You’re at a Jamaican beach at sunset, a Canadian waterfall, and you’re just there. And you look around. There’s no story, there’s nothing happening. I don’t even think it’s necessarily journalism. It’s just transportive and something that can be really powerful in VR.” – Sam Dolnick

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