Having worked with public-access video and then virtual worlds for more than 50 years, I have…
Bob Jacobson

Thanks, Bob, for taking time to reply. I appreciate your comments, however, I am not sure I agree with them. The piece is based on an ethnographic study, so I am not sure what you mean by “self-reporting by reporters of the efficacy of their VR-enhanced journalism.”

Nor do I agree with your — or your wife’s — notion that journalism does not involve storytelling. A powerful lead, a compelling broadcast piece, sequencing images for a photo gallery all involve storytelling. Radio’s “drive way” moments don’t happen without good storytelling.

Outside of that, there is no doubt that virtual reality has been hyped for decades and, while there is strong momentum at the moment, we don’t know if this is the time it will break through.

My thinking is that we need to experiment and try (and also fail) to unlock insights for this type of storytelling. My personal sense is that thinking this won’t disrupt storytelling, including journalism, seems naïve. We can’t ignore the impact generated by immersive stories… even with the present day, imperfect technology. There is no going back, so let’s move forward with realistic expectations.

Thanks again!

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