Journalism has always adapted to new technologies, from the printing press to the shift to online newspapers. Now, journalism is taking steps into Virtual Reality (VR) creating immersive ways to consume content and tell stories, ultimately resulting in better-performing articles.
At the frontline of VR in Journalism are Euronews, European news network and online source of reporting. Euronews use Insta360 Pro as a key part of their kit to shoot 360 videos for their articles. In this piece, we interview immersive journalism editor Ole Krogsgaard, who leads the production of award-winning digital experiences and also supervises strategy for immersive journalism at Euronews.
Could you please introduce yourself and how you use VR at Euronews?
My name is Ole Krogsgaard, the immersive journalism editor at Euronews. Doing 360° reports is part of the journalistic toolkit at Euronews. Early on, we chose to integrate 360° filming across the newsroom, meaning that a significant proportion of our journalists and video editors have the skills necessary to translate a good idea to a great 360° story.
Why did you choose Insta360 Pro for your shoot?
We use different cameras depending on the circumstances of the shoot. If a reporter is covering an unfolding event, s/he must have gear that is as light-weight and flexible as possible. But when the scene is more controlled and great image quality is the highest priority we opt for the Insta360 Pro as it gives us excellent quality while still being relatively easy to use.
How many 360 videos do Euronews release roughly in a month?
We release around five videos a month. We generally have positive feedback from our users in social media comments, but to really know whether our audience connects with what we do, we analyse performance metrics. The good news is that they do!
When and why did you start working with 360? What do you think of the future of 360 in journalism holds?
I started working on 360° videos in early 2017 when I first became part of Euronews’ immersive journalism team. I was immediately hooked on two things:
First, the emotional and cognitive impact of watching a video in a virtual reality-headset. Second, how 360° cameras offer viewers a more honest, more complete look into the world we are reporting about.
In the near future, I expect to see more and more three-dimensional journalism, that works from the premise that a browser is a three-dimensional tool. This opens up great new and interesting ways to perform our essential task: enlightening our readers. Euronews is increasingly building interactive 360° experiences. We have noticed that when we put users in charge not only of where to look but also of where to go, then, users are likely to spend much more time in our experiences.
Could you tell us more about the projects you shot with Insta360 Pro?
An example of how we use 360 cameras can be seen in our interactive tourism story “Explore Lyon”:
Here we wanted to use the power of 360 to develop a tourism format. Most of the scenes are shot with the Insta360 Pro, as we wanted to have a high uniform video quality. The only exceptions being for the scenes with a city bike, where we used a smaller prosumer camera that was easy to attach.
Euronews use VR to great effect in their Journalism, and the opportunities for 360 can be seen in a ton of industries. Be sure to keep an eye on our blog for regular case studies, interviews and interesting reads.