ONA Weekly #346: Sacramento Bee 3D Explainer And Ethics In Immersive Tech

By on February 10, 2021

Case study: Sacramento Bee 3D explainer and ethics in immersive tech

As new storytelling technology continues to emerge, producers and newsroom leaders have the obligation to expand their thinking on journalism ethics and how they apply to a changing digital landscape.

In 2019, The Sacramento Bee and McClatchy New Ventures Lab collaborated to produce a 3D animated explainer about the shooting death of Officer Tara O’Sullivan. “Only showing known truth”—that was one of the principles the team kept top of mind while producing a five-minute piece that aimed to answer why it took 47 minutes to rescue Officer O’Sullivan. For example, the visual style incorporated sketched blueprints of the surroundings—not detailed representation—to reflect some uncertainty about the breaking news story. Read the case study.

Dig deeper: A Guide to Immersive Ethics (2020) — four case studies, guiding questions and additional resources curated by the authors

  • Featured expertsTheresa PoulsonJayson Chesler
  • Takeaway: Don’t miss the 35 ethics questions to consider about production, designing and testing experiences, sensitive topics and distribution. Examples include: Is there an opportunity to show the audience how you created the experience? If a story is presented in AR, are you comfortable with viewers placing the story in any environment and taking photos? Does providing an immersive view of a space present a security risk?

ICYMI: The latest Journalism 360 News

The Journalism 360 newsletter curates resources and stories from the immersive storytelling community. The latest issue highlighted memorable experiences at the first virtual Sundance festival, a vaccine explainer in AR and insights from museum curators on immersive design. Subscribe to receive the next issue. 

Career opportunities

ONA’s Career Center is an excellent resource for jobs, fellowships and internships in digital journalism. Recent postings include:

On our radar

The radar is now open for suggestions. Have you written or read a piece lately that would benefit others in journalism? We’re interested in sharing insights on trends, how-to guides, lessons from a project and other inspiration for innovation in digital journalism.