Randal Kleiser lead a group viewing an episode of Kleiser's VR project called "Defrost" at SXSW in Austin. Credit Jesse J. Loesch.


What is the best way for journalists to immerse audiences in virtual reality? How do they preserve a narrative thread into the scenes they are creating? Can the use of virtual reality provide misleading experiences?

These were just a few of the questions explored during a convening of more than 50 journalists, technologists and filmmakers for a virtual reality and journalism meetup at SXSW Interactive on Sunday sponsored by Knight Foundation and StoryNEXT.

As immersive storytelling develops, Knight is gathering research and best practices from the field, while bringing leaders together to share their experiences and explore trends.

The latest findings show that journalism could be a key factor in the evolving medium’s success, according to a report from Knight and USA TODAY NETWORK, titled “Viewing the Future? Virtual Reality in Journalism” that was released during Sunday’s event. 

Companies have invested billions of dollars in the upcoming release of headsets and other ways that will make virtual reality experiences more widely accessible to consumers. News organizations in the vanguard of the trend realize that the development of high-quality journalism may be essential in determining the medium’s value to everyday users and its ultimate success.