Syracuse - MS in Communications

Week 4 – 360 Video

As a multimedia storyteller in the journalism innovation specialization at Syracuse University, emerging media technologies have been of interest to me for over a year. After writing countless blogs, and making short videos to post to Youtube, it keeps feeling like I’m ready to push to boundaries on how a journalist can use new age technology. Enter 360 video!

360 video and VR tech have been eye catching and appealing for over two years, but recently it seems that the technology is finally becoming somewhat mainstream enough to warrant the time and effort it can take to produce stories using this medium. This week we watched different 360 videos and tried to experience what it is that makes it especially engaging as a viewer, and consider the journalism ethics that go into making VR video. With a camera that doesn’t have a classic “front”, It would make sense that you would encounter situations where people filmed did not want to be on camera.

I initially got into the course because of my interest in sports reporting, and 360 video at sporting events is already in the work. Allowing people to better experience the feeling of being at the game, while being in the comfort of the home would be revolutionary for the live event industry. Imagine a 360 camera in the middle of the crowd at Lollapalooza. That would allow fans from across the world to experience some of what makes large music festivals so popular.

The NBA is doing a great job of beginning the process of testing this technology behind the scenes of games, and the hope is that it comes out as great during games, with a camera stationed courtside. But there are many more opportunities available to journalists in general.

Music review sites would certainly benefit from that 360 video i mentioned earlier. Even a 5 minute video showing different parts would be a great experience, and also work as a positive promotion for the music venue or festival. Hypothesis? By using 360 video from the crowd, music reporters would better be able to tell the full story of the music and concert he or she would be reviewing. The success of the field test could be determined by an increase in views to the website, reader sentiment from comments on the video or article as well as social media, and potentially an increase in ticket sales for the musicians or venue.

Additionally, living in New Orleans, it’s hard not to envision 360 video being used during Mardi Gras to film the festivities that occur during the parade route and into the night.

It’s great to see the view as shown above, but a camera being held by one of the revelers would show a more desired view, as only select individuals have the chance to march during the parades. But voila here it is.

Outside of large events, I think 360 video will have a good future in journalism and life. What if police had 360 cameras on them instead of body cameras? As great as body cameras are (when turned on) they don’t always tell the entire story. 360 video could also help during press conferences to get a better idea of the size of the room and the amount of reporters in the room. When trying to tell the entire story, 360 video seems to be as close as we can get.

 

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