If you’re a part of the 360 video industry, you may have noticed virtual reality has been in the news a lot lately. Literally, in the news.

RYOT News and the Associated Press shooting VR with 360Heros gear.
RYOT News and the Associated Press shooting VR with the 360Heros Pro6

News organizations from ABC News to the Wall Street Journal and practically everyone in between have launched VR content, pushing the bounds of storytelling to draw in and engage news consumers like never before.

Our friends at RYOT have been leading the charge into delivering immersive content and recently partnered with the Associated Press to present an in-depth look at the refugee camp in Calais, France, known as The Jungle.

Footage captured with 360Heros Pro6 video gear.

If you just watched that video and felt moved to help, you’re not alone. Studies have shown experiencing a story in VR is more likely to inspire action. Using virtual reality to help implement change could bring about a renaissance of education and collaboration across the globe.

On the lighter side, it can also be used to transport us to new venues we may never experience otherwise. For instance, are you a ballet enthusiast? Judging from our web site analytics, probably not. But, given the chance to go backstage with an elite ballerina before a performance at the famous Metropolitan Opera House, you can appreciate the hard work that goes in to preparing for a show thanks to the Wall Street Journal.

Footage captured with 360Heros Pro7 video gear.

VR as a new medium

If you still need convincing that virtual reality storytelling is about to take off, look to the fact The New York Times recently sent out more than a million Google Cardboards to subscribers for viewing VR content. The Times has partnered with Google to launch NYT VR with plans to release several videos before 2016.

Other news services joining the VR revolution include CNN, Frontline and Gannett, to name a few.

And with the availability and affordability of cardboard viewers like Google’s, Facebook’s move to support 360 videos, as well as the recent release of the consumer-ready Samsung Gear VR at just $100, we predict 360 journalism is the next news medium.

What are your thoughts? Comment below!