What is Spatial Journalism?

 In CraneMorley

What is Spatial Journalism?

Spatial Journalism is “an emergent kind of journalism that incorporates space, place and/or location (physical, augmented and virtual) into the process and practice of journalism”. Spatial Journalism brings viewers to the news. Viewers can be at the scene of the report and see what the reporters sees as if they are there. Spatial Journalism provides an immersive experience with user-directed spatial dynamics. This enables user to control the camera and focus on what they want to see instead of the reporter’s point of view.

 

Time Magazine AR Spatial Journalism Mobile Screenshots on Amazon Forest Fire

Here is a AR version of Spatial Journalism via mobile device. This is interactive on journalism where the user decides what they want to see.

What are the benefits of Spatial Journalism?

The benefit of Spatial Journalism is the viewers gets to be at the scene of the report. Viewers get perspective on what happened and a spatial experience. Instead of the reporter’s point of view, viewers have access to the entire scene. This eliminates bias and fake news and allows viewers to make their own conclusion as if they were at the scene. Imagine a couple videos and descriptions of a wildfire. To show the entire fire creates a spatial experience unlike a video or words could.

What are the challenges of Spatial Journalism?

As of now the biggest challenge in Spatial Journalism is the availability of virtual or mixed reality devices. Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality devices are not as common as smart phones are. Until they are Spatial Journalism will not take off and have the impact once everyone does. For now, the solution to this limitation is the use of smart phones and AR in 2D. While this is not as effective as 3D model viewers can still scroll through a scene and see what they want to see.

360 view of the aftermath of sank banks homes destroyed after Hurricane Dorian

As MR headset become readily available users will be able to view the scene as if they are there in person.

What is the future of Spatial Journalism?

As cheesy as it sounds the future of Spatial Journalism is as far as the human imagination. Fake news will not exist as viewers can access first-hand the events taking place. As Augmented, Virtual, and Mixed Reality devices become as accessible as smart phone. Live Spatial Journalism will be taking over.

Imagine if everyone experienced George Floyd protest firsthand. Viewers would be able to experience everything that a camera hide. Viewers will be able to see and experience everything as if they were there. Nothing replicates being there in person. But to be able to feel the tension between protestors and the police. The passion behind hundreds and thousands frustrated protestors. That is the impact Spatial Journalism has compared to traditional forms of journalism.

The way we report and teach history will never the same. We currently rely on video, images, and reporting. But over the course of time history alters. As time changes so do people, they evolve like how we write history. In a hundred’s year research will be not reading articles or watching how the news reported. Research will be witnessing events like you were there. With Spatial Journalism they will be to go back in time and be at the event like they were there that day.

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