Various publications, print or non-print, have learned that 360-degree video is a beneficial platform that brings a new flavor to reporting. Smartphones and the internet have forced journalism to evolve in various ways and VR is inspiring major players to innovate once again. This time around, The New York Times has jumped onto the VR hype train with their own 360-degree news production similar to USA Today’s VRtually There and the Huffington Post show on Hulu. With the tag line “To understand the world, see it from every angle” and a declaration to bring a new video every weekday, NYT presents The Daily 360.
The very first video, “Introducing The Daily 360”, shows a collection of visuals from cliff diving to both front-running candidates in the current American political race. The New York Times has equipped their journalists for 360-degree recording worldwide and the video strikes a balance between joyful events and harder hitting journalism as they show us a few things that are in store. The video that starts off Daily 360 coverage officially is of the latter persuasion, taking place in the aftermath of an area where people were killed. During a funeral at a reception hall in Sana, Yemen, a Saudi-led strike brutally killed over 100 people and Saudi representatives say that the tragedy was due to “false information”.
More often than not, those viewing the news see things while remaining fairly detached from what’s happening. Watching 360-degree videos in VR takes a couple steps toward making events hit home, especially scenes like the aftermath of the airstrike in Yemen. It’s not known just yet if all the videos will be shorter features like this (comes in at one minute and 10 seconds), but it’s going to be interesting to see where Daily 360 goes from here. You can view the videos on the NYTimes website or on YouTube.