Can Immersive Journalism Enhance Empathy?

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Digital Journalism Vol. 0 , Iss. 0,0
Major news outlets such as the New York Times and the Guardian have recently launched ambitious immersive journalism projects. Adopting the technologies and rhetoric of immersive journalism first presented by Nonny de la Peña in 2010, these news outlets seek to use virtual reality and 360 video to create deeper engagement and empathy with their audiences. Yet can immersive journalism enhance empathy? The conclusion is twofold: On the one hand, I will argue that some immersive journalism projects are approaching a format that may enhance empathy, and on the other hand, I will propose that the project of immersive journalism needs to go beyond this goal and into adopting a more forceful role in shaping the future of virtual reality.

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