Club eyes 'All Souls,' border 360-degree immersive projects

Professor Michael McKisson is asking journalists and alums for help in making immersive journalism a reality for students at the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

McKisson and the new Online News Association Local club have launched a Kickstarter campaign to purchase the necessary equipment for creating 360-degree immersive stories. ( Rather than passively watching a story on a phone screen, viewers can explore the video in 360 degrees and feel as if they are present in the story. 

Experts predict virtual reality technology will take off starting in early 2016 and some experts believe the adoption rate will outpace smartphones. The modern smartphone launched eight years ago! 

McKisson said the club has identified two initial projects:

"The first is the All Souls Procession downtown," he said. "We have secured press passes for the event and will be able to place the video equipment in the middle of the parade. Viewers will be able to explore the costumes and floats as if they were standing in the middle of it. We will interview procession leaders who will narrate the video and tell viewers about the origins and its significance to the community. We will also have access to the stage at the procession finale. Users will be able to stand below the urn as it burns and interact with the fire dancers as they swirl around them. 

"The second project is a collaboration with Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante’s border reporting class. We will take viewers to the border so they can feel what it is like to stand at the border fence and look up at the wall and see it stretch for miles in each direction, while explaining the cost of the structure and the challenges associated with border security. 

Here’s how journalists and alums can help, according to McKisson: 

1. Contribute

 Anything helps and puts us closer to our goal of $2,500. If 100 people contribute $25 we will have made it.

2. Share

Share the project with your friends and family and encourage then support innovative storytelling in Arizona.

3. Suggest

Know someone we should reach out to? Or an idea to help get the word out? Let us know. 

4. Attend

We will have two demo events to show off the technology for people who haven’t been able to experience it. You can find the events on Facebook. (Monday on campus) (Wednesday evening at Borderlands)

Questions? Send them to McKisson at


Published Date: 

10/12/2015 - 9:48am

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