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The Ethics of Immersive Journalism: A rhetorical analysis of news storytelling with virtual reality technology

The Ethics of Immersive Journalism: A rhetorical analysis of news storytelling with
virtual reality technology
By
Hollis Kool
Stanford University
Abstract
This paper provides background on and raises ethical challenges in regard to virtual reality technology as a journalistic tool. The realistic and empathy – generating nature of 360-degree filmed news story experiences arguably changes the role and responsibilities of both the journalist and the viewer participating in the story. Using
Clouds Over Sidra, an award – winning long – form VR documentary as the model for analysis, this paper examines how VR may change cultural communication.
The influence and impact this new medium may have are important to examine for its impact on the way that subjects portray, journalists capture, and consumers learn
about news.
“The medium is the message” — Marshall McLuhan
The scene is eight minutes, 34 seconds long. The giggling laughter of kids playing punctuates the sounds of a quietly lethargic encampment surrounding me. Rows of ramshackle tents and sheds expand outward over a barren, windblown terrain
that stretches into an indiscernible horizon. For these eight minutes, 34 seconds, I am
immersed in an alternate world of 360 degrees in which I can swivel my head in any direction. I am no longer accompanied by….
For full paper, see:
Intersect, Vol 9, No 3 (2016)
or

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The Author

Chinenye Nwabueze

He is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Mass Communication, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, COOU, (formerly Anambra State University), Igbariam Campus.

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