The Newer York Times is a three part infrastructure consisting of a wide-lens camera, platform, and digital technology that serves the purpose of confronting issues of representation and ethics. The system combines state of the art camera development with the matching platform to bring the virtual reality experience to the user and by the user.

With a built-in editing software as well as the capability to upload quickly to the site itself or social media, this is the cutting-edge technology that we need to address consumer engagement and citizen journalism.

Through a virtual reality simulation, people can experience time and space from another person’s point of view. This person is a Newer York Times staff member, which can mean to include virtually any person with the accessible technology. This means that the videos are uploaded by people who naturally experienced that instant they are recording, as opposed to a professionally trained New York Times journalist who has an outsider perspective on the scene. Through documenting instances, cycles and structures of violence that normally affect people of color, we can create organic experiences to show the world.

By using virtual reality glasses that record what’s happening around the user, people can record time and space from their own point of view. The kit is really easy to use and includes the glasses that hook up to the app on the phone, and a small remote. The user will use the remote to start and stop recording the video, which then will be automatically uploaded into the app on the phone to edit and stream. The camera itself is unique in that it is small enough to fit on glasses yet super wide lens to mimic human eye site.

The platform is already built into the New York Times app, and is two fold: infrastructure to post straight to Facebook and a system to curate a “Newer York Times” feed, where these videos can be crowed-sourced and picked to be included onto the actual site. This infrastructure also includes a built-in payment system so that every time and individual’s video is chosen by a Newer York Times editor (through getting a lot of traffic on Facebook or simply by being found through searching the tags) the filmmaker will be compensated fairly for their video.

State of the art editing software allows you to edit, tag, caption, comment and post from your smartphone. The technology is used best when standing up and relatively still so that one can see the scene. It also allows to stream live.

Through the platform and accompanying technology, this camera confronts issues of voyeurism and white male news rooms through creating and centering critical resistance narratives. As the Black, Asian and Latinx population grows in this country and we reflect on the worst election cycle and distrust of the media that it brought, we can perhaps turn to the “by us for us” that has proven to be so successful in terms of sustainability. If we want people to pay attention, we have to get them involved.

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