A first-person promise? A content-analysis of immersive journalistic productions

Kiki de Bruin*, Yael de Haan, Sanne Kruikemeier, Sophie Lecheler, Nele Goutier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Major news outlets increasingly use immersive techniques in their journalistic productions. The idea is that, through the application of immersive technologies, the news consumer can engage with and be part of the story. However, we do not know, to what extent this promise is actually fulfilled in productions currently accessible to news audiences. This study uses a multi-step approach to fill this knowledge gap. First, based on an interdisciplinary literature review, we propose a conceptual model of immersive journalism. We then use the elements of this model to content analyze 189 journalistic productions that are labeled as immersive by the producers, including 360 degree videos, computer-generated VR, and interactive, 360 web productions, stemming from a variety of outlets and countries. Results show that the level of user immersion in these productions is actually limited, with little interaction and technical inclusion possibilities. Our results contribute to an emerging field of journalism studies, in which the user plays a new role when interacting with advancing technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-498
Number of pages20
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Content analysis
  • immersive journalism
  • literature review
  • presence
  • virtual reality


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