Journalism 360 No. 30: Community Circles, Coronavirus Datavix, Living Flower Wall

By on April 3, 2020

The immersive storytelling community knows a thing or two about navigating constant change. ONA invites you to participate in Community Circles, our initiative to build virtual connections during these uncertain times. Small discussion groups will tackle themes like leading teams in a crisis, ethical implications of COVID-19 coverage and overcoming hurdles in building and launching projects. Sign ups open on April 7.

Also new: In May, look for the launch of Journalism 360’s guides to immersive storytelling. The guides will provide insights and tips delivered in three parts:

  • Photogrammetry, developed by Ben Kreimer
  • Ethics, developed by Jayson Chesler (The Sacramento Bee) and Theresa Poulson (McClatchy New Ventures Lab)
  • AR/XR in journalism, developed by Laura Hertzfeld (Yahoo! News)


AR dataviz. To demonstrate how pervasive the coronavirus outbreak has become, Yahoo! News is tracking active cases on a 3D map, viewable on both desktop and mobile.

Guidance for visual journalists. If you’re tackling coronavirus-related stories, make safety a priority and read through a physician-scientist’s guidelines for visual journalists. We also encourage you to explore NPPA’s COVID-19 resource guide.

River miles. NET Nebraska’s Head of Emerging Media Chad Davis and Emerging Media Producer Mary Anne Andrei talked to Immersive Shooter about how they created Watershed, the station’s first 360 video series.

Demand is up. As conferences are cancelled and countries around the world implement social-distancing requirements, companies are looking for AR and VR solutions for everything from training employees to moving lectures online.

A living flowerwall. Radio New Zealand and NZ on Air recently collaborated on a touching interactive experience that marks the anniversary of the Christchurch terror attacks. The digitally rendered flowerwall memorial allows users to add messages and virtual flower bouquets.

Zoom immersion. Lance Weiler recently detailed how the Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab (where he’s a director) is experimenting with immersion within Zoom — including its AR and VR capabilities.

A future with fewer screens. The California-based company Mojo Vision shared its plans for the world’s first smart contact lens. “We want to create a technology that lets you be you, lets you look like you,” said co-founder and CTO Mike Wiemer.

Still here. Zahra Rasool, head of Al Jazeera Contrast, recently spoke about the studio’s immersive experience Still Here, which explores issues of incarceration and gentrification. Read the interview.

Meetups in VR. Last year, Mozzila Hubs announced an integration with the chat service Discord — making it a valuable tool today for teams and communities to meet up in VR.

We always welcome your comments, links and other inputs to future issues. Send tips to Look for the next edition on May 1.

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