Immersive Journalism at Global Fusion 2018

Saturday, 20th of October, ViSmedia researchers Deborah G. Johnson and Joakim Vindenes held a panel at the Global Fusion 2018 conference at the University of Virginia, USA.

 Deborah G. Johnson presenting her paper at Global Fusion 2018. When does empathic media cross the line? Image by Joakim Vindenes.

Deborah G. Johnson presenting her paper at Global Fusion 2018. When does empathic media cross the line? Image by Joakim Vindenes.

The panel discussed the use of immersive technologies, such as VR, in the news media — with a special focus on the alleged empathetic qualities of these technologies. Deborah’s paper in particular discussed to which extent aiming intentionally at achieving a certain emotion in its audience can be called manipulation. Is this emotive focus something new in journalism, and does it break with the traditional reporting of facts? Joakim Vindenes presented a philosophical paper that discusses a metaphysical stand towards the authenticity of virtual experiences, based on the writings of existentialist and technology critic Martin Heidegger. The paper is available in blog edition at his blog Matrise.

Mario Verdicchio presented results from a pilot study aiming to compare affective responses to news stories based on different media, while Jennifer Petersen ‘interrogated’ the use of the word “empathy” in the research literature, highlighting that the meaning of the word is often not clear or even defined at all, and that many mean sympathy or other affective states while referring to empathy.


Presentations at Global Fusion 2018:

  • When does empathic media cross the line? by Deborah G Johnson

  • Authenticity in Immersive Virtual Reality by Joakim Vindenes

  • Experiencing the Pain of Others?: Interrogating empathy in immersive storytelling by Jennifer Petersen

  • When immersive technology becomes emotive technology by Mario Verdicchio


Using virtual reality to tell the story

Nonny de la Peña on "Immersive journalism: using virtual reality to tell the story" at TEDxBerlin 2016. Nonny de la Peña was selected by Wired Magazine as a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change and has been called "The Godmother of Virtual Reality" by Engadget and The Guardian.