Given the explosion of interest in virtual reality among media organizations, we sought in January to establish best practices and ideal scenarios for using the technology in storytelling through our inaugural immersive journalism class at Stanford University, in Winter 2016.
During the 10-week course, 12 undergraduate and graduate students evaluated a range of virtual reality experiences published by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC News and others. We compared commercially available virtual reality headsets (Google Cardboard, HTC Vive, Samsung Gear/VR and Oculus Rift) for ease and quality as well as virtual reality cameras — the (more expensive but expansive) GoPro and the (more affordable) Ricoh Theta S.
Stanford Journalism Program instructors Geri Migielicz and Janine Zacharia published findings from the initiative so far on Medium.
In 2016, students also published an initial series of 360-video stories on Peninsula Press.