To Be there when it Happened: Immersive Journalism, Empathy, and Opinion on Sexual Harassment

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24 Scopus citations

Abstract

The study examines the use of immersive journalism, journalistic storytelling using Virtual Reality, as a tool to promote knowledge, empathy, and change in views and opinions on the phenomenon of sexual harassment among men and women. Testimonies of employees reporting workplace harassment were adapted into a screenplay. The screenplay presented ongoing verbal sexual harassment of an employee by her manager, filmed from the victim’s point of view by the use of a 360-degree camera. In a controlled experiment, change in attitudes on sexual harassment and empathy toward the victim were compared between participants consuming the content as either a written script, 2-dimensional screened video or 360-degree, 3-dimensional immersive virtual reality experience. The results point to an interaction effect, where a decrease in stereotypical views of sexual harassment was predicted by gender (men), method of consumption (immersive), and assessment of the effectiveness and emotionality of the content. Implications and directions for future research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)240-258
Number of pages19
JournalJournalism Practice
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Immersive journalism
  • empathy
  • experiment
  • media effect
  • storytelling
  • virtual reality
  • workplace sexual harassment

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