Virtual reality (VR) and other immersive technologies introduce new opportunities for emotionally compelling narratives and user agency. Virtually mediated environments lie at the heart of immersive journalism (IJ) experiences, foregrounding a sense of presence and bridging the connection between the user and the character. Mediated environments in VR stories provide more than a setting since the user can interact with and respond to the surroundings. Drawing on the theory of spatial narrative, documentary and cinema literature and studies on media morality, this article examines the meaning of place in VR news stories and its ability to engage the user with the story. This study contributes to the discussion of creating and communicating places in journalism studies by examining spatial storytelling in immersive news stories, which are available in the NYT VR smartphone application. This paper argues that spatial storytelling eventually affects what is experienced and how it is experienced either by demonstrating the circumstances with aesthetical elements or via the selection of spaces.
- 518 Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap