Five Ethical Challenges of Immersive Journalism: A Proposal of Good Practices’ Indicators

  • Sara Pérez-SeijoEmail author
  • Xosé López-García
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 918)


Immersive Journalism brings new ethical challenges because some practices and procedures go against conventional journalistic standards. Therefore, the aim of this study was precisely to question decisions and choices taken by professional journalists when they produce and edit immersive content like 360º video reports or virtual reality reconstructions of news. As a result, five main ethical challenges of Immersive Journalism have been identified: image integrity; reconstruction of news; sources and staging; role of the journalist and/or recording team; and sensitive content. Each of these is accompanied by a proposal of good practices to deal with these challenges and to promote reflection among professionals.


Immersive Journalism Ethics 360-degree video VR journalism Journalism 360 Virtual reality 



This research has been developed within the project Uses and informative preferences in the new media map in Spain: journalism models for mobile devices (Reference: CS02015-64662-C4-4-R) funded by Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (Government of Spain) and co-funded by the ERDF structura1 fund. The results of this work correspond also to the project Indicators related to broadcasters’ governance, funding, accountability, innovation, quality and public service applicable to Spain in the digital context (Reference CS02015-66543-P), belonging to the National Spanish Programme for Encouraging Excellent Scientific and Technical Research of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Furthermore, it is part of the activities promoted through the International Research Network of Communication Management- XESCOM (Reference: ED341D R2016/019), supported by Consellería de Cultura, Educación e Ordenación Universitaria of Xunta de Galicia.

Sara Pérez-Seijo is a beneficiary of the Formación del Profesorado Universitario program (FPU16/06156) funded by Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport.


  1. 1.
    Bilbeny, N.: Ética del periodismo: la defensa del interés público por medio de una información libre, veraz y justa. UAB, Barcelona (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics (2014).
  3. 3.
    Mcbride, K., Rosenstiel, T.: New guiding principles for a new era of journalism. In: McBride, K., Rosenstiel, T. (eds.) The New Ethics of Journalism: Principles for the 21st Century, pp. 1–6. SAGE Publications, California (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Society for News Design: Code of Ethics (2006).
  5. 5.
    Radio Television Digital News Association: Code of Ethics (2015).
  6. 6.
    National Press Photographers Association: Code of Ethics (2011).
  7. 7.
    Filak, V.: Dynamics of News Reporting and Writing: Foundational Skills for a Digital Age. CQ Press, Washington (2019)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    De la Peña, N., et al.: Immersive journalism: immersive virtual reality for the first-person experience of news. Presence Teleoperators Virtual Environ. 19(4), 291–301 (2010)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hardee, G.M., McMahan, R.: FIJI: a framework for the immersion-journalism intersection. Front. ICT 4, 21 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Tse, A., Jennett, C., Moore, J., Watson, Z., Rigby, J., Cox, A.L.: Was i there? Impact of platform and headphones on 360 video immersion. In: CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (2017)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dooley, K.: Storytelling with virtual reality in 360-degrees: a new screen grammar. Stud. Australas. Cine. 11(3), 161–171 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pérez-Seijo, S., López-García, X.: Las dos caras del Periodismo Inmersivo: el desafío de la participación y los problemas éticos. In: Nuevos escenarios en la comunicación: retos y convergencias. PUCE, Quito (2018)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sánchez Laws, A.L.: Can immersive journalism enhance empathy? In: Digital Journalism, pp. 1–26 (2017)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Constine, J.: Virtual reality, the empathy machine. TechCrunch (2015).
  15. 15.
    Kool, H.: The etichs of immersive journalism: a rethorical analysis of news storytelling with virtual reality technology. Intersect 9(3), 1–11 (2016)MathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Bartzen, K.: Virtual Journalism: immersive approaches pose new questions. Center for Journalism Ethics (2015).
  17. 17.
    Kent, T.: An ethical reality check for virtual reality journalism. Medium (2015).
  18. 18.
    Lester, P.M.: A Guide for Photographers, Journalists, and Filmmakers. Routledge, New York (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Marconi, F., Nakagawa, T.: The age of dynamic storytelling. A guide for journalists in a world of immersive 3-D content. Associated Press (2017)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Pérez-Seijo, S., Campos Freire, F.: La ética de la realidad virtual en los medios decomunicación. In: XIII Congreso Latinoamericano de Investigadores de la Comunicación, pp. 167–172 (2016)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pérez-Seijo, S., López-García, X.: La ética del Periodismo Inmersivo a debate. In: X Congreso Internacional de Ciberperiodismo: Profesionales y audiencias en el ecosistema móvil, Bilbao, Spain (2018)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Society of Professional Journalists: Code of Ethics (1996).
  23. 23.
    Radio Television Digital News Association: Code of ethics and professional conduct (2000)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    News Values and Principles. Associated Press (2016).
  25. 25.
    Pérez-Seijo, S.: Ilusión de presencia en vídeos 360º: Estudio de caso de las estrategias del Lab Doxa Comunicación, vol. 26, pp. 237–246 (2018)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Paura, A.: Virtual reality creates ethical challenges for journalists. International Journalists’ Network (2018).
  27. 27.
    British Broadcasting Corporation: Editorial Guidelines (2010).
  28. 28.
    Genette, G.: Nuevo discurso del relato. Cátedra, Madrid (1998)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Watson, Z.: Factual storytelling in 360 video. British Broadcasting Corporation (2016).
  30. 30.
    Marthoz, J.-P.: The terrorism story: media learn the hard way from their own mistakes. In: White, A., Elliot, C. (eds.) Trust in Ethical Journalism: The Key to Media Future, pp. 43–45. Ethical Journalism Network, London (2018)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Adornato, A.: Mobile and Social Media Journalism: A Practical Guide. CQ Press, California (2018)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Sidorenko, P., Cantero de Julián, J.I., Herranz De La Casa, J.M.: Periodismo y realidad virtual: la tecnología al servicio de la información. In: González-Esteban, J.L., García-Avilés. J.A. (eds.) Mediamorfosis: Radiografía de la innovación en el periodismo. Sociedad Española de Periodística, Madrid, pp. 137–150 (2018)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Communication SciencesUniversidade de Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

Personalised recommendations