Zillah Watson

360 Video & Virtual Reality: the Future of News?

Virtual reality could one day transform the way news is reported by allowing people to experience events as if they were there themselves. And it’s happening now – with 360 films recently released showing conditions in war torn Syria and the Calais migrant camp. But what are the technical and editorial challenges and what social and ethical issues might VR raise? We’ll look at recent examples, including 360 degree experimental films produced by BBC R&D/BBC New Labs to explore the possibilities of immersive news and current affairs.

Zillah Watson, a former current affairs producer, leads future content and storytelling projects for the BBC Research and Development. Current projects include developing VR and immersive journalism for news/current affairs; curation of web content; and developing web-native ways to navigate dramas and soaps. She recently produced and curated Alistair Cooke’s Letter from America archive for BBC Radio 4, which was nominated for a Sony Award. She was head of editorial standards for Radio 4 for five years.

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