#augmentedreality #virtualreality #tech
A growing number of studies in journalism research are concerned with the effects of immersive journalism (IJ) on audience perceptions and behaviors. This interest in IJ is logical, because IJ has the potential to become an impactful innovation for the industry. However, we have largely neglected the question of whether audiences want this form of emotional journalism. This study fills this gap and investigates whether people consider IJ worth their while. Using a factorial survey design, we presented a sample of 2000 German citizens with descriptions of an immersive production about protests in Belarus, in which we manipulate the use of inclusive technology (VR vs. AR vs. video), immersive narratives (first person vs. third person), agency (choice of perspective vs. no choice of perspective and control of location vs. no control), and emotionality (positive vs. negative vs. neutral tone). The analyzes reveal that an immersive narrative perspective, control and emotionality do not predict worthwhileness perceptions. However, productions that present people with inclusion and technological agency render this production more worthwhile in the eye of the individual user.