For the past three years, FRONTLINE and Emblematic Group have been exploring immersive, virtual reality storytelling to see how it can be used by journalists and news organizations, as another way to bring important stories to life. This collaborative, exploratory work was generously supported by the Knight Foundation.
While working together to produce a number of walk-around VR experiences, the team grappled with potential ethical issues, and how best to apply FRONTLINE’s rigorous journalistic standards to this new form of storytelling. The rapidly advancing state of the technology and nascent distribution ecosystem also presented numerous challenges and opportunities.
In this best practices guide, FRONTLINE and Emblematic Group report on the state of VR technology, and lay out some of the challenges they faced working to create informative and fair – yet compelling and immersive – walk-around VR journalism experiences. The lessons gleaned throughout the collaboration are shared in effort to be transparent, advance VR journalism, and help establish standards to guide other journalists and media organizations exploring storytelling in this developing field.