When I think about my future career and how it might mesh with emerging technologies, I am often draw back to the past. Specifically, my academic background in forensic science. I see emerging technologies breaking into not just journalism but all aspects of society – including science, an area that is very close to my heart. When crime scenes are being reconstructed via hologram or photogrammetry and archaeological ruins are being documented with drones and 360 video, this will not only benefit the scientific fields that are working on these things, but also the science journalists who cover these stories and present them to the public.
Emerging technologies are new ways of looking at old things. A lot of them (drones, 360 video, photogrammetry, virtual reality) place you right in the center of the action, transporting you to a place that you might not otherwise be able to go, due to time, money, or the fact that they simply don’t exist any more. And, after all, isn’t that what good journalism is supposed to do on some level? Transport you right into the middle of a story, making you feel as if you were there and fully understood the topic?
Let’s dig a little deeper, into the field I am currently working in (content marketing). I see emerging technologies having a place here, too, particularly things like 360 videos, which can enhance the experiential marketing that I write about. On our corporate blog, we recently covered virtual reality and events, talking about everything from how Microsoft is already exploring VR as part of video conferencing, to how it might be used to enhance conferences, keynotes, demonstrations, trainings, and more.
The bottom line for me with all of this technology is that it’s a step forward in advancing journalism. If the ultimate purpose of journalism is to situate/transport you to another locale; make you understand and care deeply for the plight of others; and immerse you in the material you’re learning about, then emerging platforms like 360 video, VR, photogrammetry and even drones can only help. Obviously, it will take mass adoption and laws and regulations will need to be worked out first, but the future looks bright when it comes to combining traditional written content with creative content shaped by technology.