I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never been at the forefront of technology trends, and I’ve often been reluctant to try new apps or products, simply because learning how to use all these new things can seem overwhelming. But reaching my mid-30s and going through the Master’s program with Newhouse has finally convinced me that not only am I capable of learning new technologies, it is also a necessity if I’m going to survive in the media industry.
I’ve always worked in the government, which is obviously very slow to adopt new technologies, but going forward I want to move into the “civilian” media world, and to do so, I have to be savvy in all things digital media. Thanks to my last storytelling course, I now feel comfortable reporting and producing audio and video stories, and I’m excited about the opportunities that exist in storytelling in the future.
As people get used to using virtual and augmented reality, they will start to demand more from their media experiences – more interaction and immersion – so I think the use of VR and 360 video and other technologies will become commonplace in journalistic storytelling. While this isn’t traditional journalism, the ability to put viewers in someone else’s footsteps and give them an immersive experience is intriguing. One of the roles of journalism has always been to inspire and enact social change by bringing to light injustices or deserving causes, and there’s no doubt that virtual and augmented reality have the potential to serve this purpose even more effectively. I mean, getting an “in-person” feeling of being with refugees is much more likely to inspire empathy than reading a short news article about a refugee crisis.
So, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit intimidated and even scared about keeping up with emerging media, but I’m also excited. I see the potential that lies in using these new technologies to tell stories and engage audiences. Let’s just hope this cavelady can keep up.