The Future of Journalism? The New York Times Embraces VR

May 5th, 2015

Virtual reality technology is advancing at a blinding pace, embraced for its promise to improve such unsatisfying experiences as communicating remotely, and interacting with digital environments and objects. Recognizing VR as the medium of the future, Times Magazine editor Jake Silverstein said the Times has “big plans” for integrating the technology that gives viewers more lifelike first-person experiences.

In How The NY Times Is Sparking the VR Journalism Revolution, Wired’s Angela Watercutter discusses how The New York Times is adding virtual reality to its growing pool of video content. She explains how environments modeled in virtual reality can allow people to explore places and events lost in time – such as reconstructions of the Millions March or Trayvon Martin shooting – and develop a new level of empathy for news reports.

Just as young people in journalism school five years ago learned that Twitter was important to reporting, soon enough they might be learning how to film with a 360-degree camera. The same goes for documentary filmmakers. “As these younger journalists are coming out of J-school they’re all learning how to use every single way of telling and reporting stories,” says Rebecca Howard, the Times’ head of video. “They are coming out excited to get their hands on any way they can to tell stories and technologies to do it.” (Wired)

In the video below, Chris Milk, whose company, VRSE, helped The New York Times Magazine film the cover for last Sunday’s edition, explains more about the empathy-building potential of VR.