Table of Contents:

Concluding thoughts

The genre of immersive journalism is very much still emerging. Studios and news organizations have been identifying ways of working and discussing how stories are best told and the editorial guidelines that should be followed (all discussed throughout this book). It is clear that there are no set rules yet and so immersive journalism is very much in a period of experimentation. The New York Times supported Daily 360 stories for a one-year period (2017-2018), and The Guardian developed a VR lab, before resting it whilst the industry finds its place. The implication of this is that journalists from all over the world can be experimenting to find the voice of immersive journalism, without being dominated by the narrative of Silicon Valley (Kopp 2019).

As has been evidenced through movements in video and mobile journalism, opening access to technology is diversifying narratives and including more perspectives into the journalistic voice. Through specific organizations operating in the Global South, training is being offered to diverse communities to enable an authenticity to storytelling that is not being delivered through a foreign lens. This is allowing journalism to expand on the mixed narratives that have emerged from digital journalism practices. Immersive journalism now sits alongside these with calls for access to technology to enable a narrative and experimentation with story forms that breaks the digital divide. It is clear in the case studies presented that this work is being done by Contrast VR and Electric South offering examples of where there is talent emerging within this technology. It is important for this work to be continued as digital technology' breaks down barriers in making and consuming news, as indicated in Elite Truong’s Nieman Lab Report (2016): “to ensure that news reports have impact, we’ll need to connect with readers because we reflect the readers”.

Immersive journalism is not just about taking audiences to places that they haven’t been or to afford them the opportunity to “walk in someone else’s shoes”. It is about opening up technological barriers so there is diversity and inclusivity in the voices telling sto for a true immersive experience.

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