2018 Journalism 360 Challenge Winners

Eleven projects led by creators from around the world that seek to help develop and expand best practices in immersive journalism, including virtual, augmented and mixed reality, will receive a share of $195,000 as winners of the 2018 Journalism 360 Challenge. The challenge is a joint initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Google News Initiative and Online News Association. Read more in the winners announcement.

The 11 winners of the 2018 Journalism 360 Challenge include:

Alone: No Badge, No Backup

Anchorage Daily News ($4,600)

Project lead: Kyle Hopkins | Anchorage, Alaska | @adndotcom

This project will create a 360-video and audio package covering life in an Alaska village without police, where help is a plane ride away.

AR for Field Production Journalists

PBS NewsHour ($20,000)

Project lead: Travis Daub | Shirlington, Virginia | @newshour

Through this project, PBS NewsHour will train their traditional field production journalists to collect and create 3D assets and other media to support and enhance their reporting through augmented reality.

Changing Same: The Untitled Racial Justice Project

Changing Same Collaborative LLC ($20,000)

Project lead: Michèle Stephenson | New York City | @radafilmgroup, @scatterco

Through this project, participants will travel through time and space to witness the connected historical experiences of racial terror in America in a room-scale, virtual reality experience.

Home With Our Stories

Lauren McCarthy ($20,000)

Project lead: Lauren McCarthy | Los Angeles | @laurenleemack

The project explores the potential of using a system of smart home devices as a remote reporting tool, offering an alternative, immersive relationship between journalist and interviewee based on intimacy and care, while questioning the implications of bringing monitoring and automation technologies into the home.

Interdimensional Audio Editor

Datavized Technologies ($20,000)

Project lead: Hugh McGrory | New York City | @datavized

The Interdimensional Audio Editor is an intuitive tool that allows journalists to quickly and easily assemble and share sound to export as stereo (2D) for traditional use, such as in video storytelling, or as spatialized (3D) for virtual, augmented and mixed reality.

Immersive Visualizations: A User’s Point of View

Nathan Griffiths ($20,000)

Project lead: Nathan Griffiths | Vancouver, Canada | @njgriffiths

This project aims to study the effectiveness of immersive visualizations that target the general public and use formats more commonly found in newsrooms by conducting user tests on completed visualizations.

The Next Louisville: Youth Voices

Louisville Public Media ($10,000)

Project lead: Erica Peterson | Louisville, Kentucky | @WFPLNews

Using VR, audio diaries and immersive storytelling for radio and the web, this project will give a voice to youth in the community — unearthing the myriad of challenges they’ve inherited and their own solutions for the future.

Site-Specific Immersive Audio Stories

Future Projects Media ($20,000)

Project lead: Josephine Holtzman | New York City

The project will develop immersive, site-specific audio stories using binaural recording, a 3D sound technique that provides audiences with the feeling of being in a space and prompts deeper listener engagement.

Spot the Surveillance

Electronic Frontier Foundation ($20,000)

Project lead: Laura Schatzkin | San Francisco | @EFF

The project provides an immersive virtual reality experience that gives participants unique insight into the privacy-invasive technologies creeping into public spaces around the world.

Visualizing Health and Science News with Augmented Reality

NYC Media Lab and The Associated Press ($20,000)

Project leads: Erica Matsumoto and Darrell Allen | New York City | @nycmedialab, @APHealthScience

The project will explore the visualization of health and science news in augmented reality by creating and testing prototypes with users; it will convene a team of graduate student designers and AR developers from across NYC Media Lab’s university consortium to develop prototypes on topics such as space and the cosmos, climate change and medicine.

Volum: A Volumetric Video Field Kit

Gisa ($20,000)

Project lead: Trevor Snapp | Nairobi, Kenya | @_Volum_

Volum is a modular tool kit designed to make volumetric video accessible and affordable for creators and technologists around the world. This project will develop an open source kit of best practices by building and deploying a prototype in collaboration with immersive storytellers in East Africa.