My first taste of Virtual Reality

Blogger, Bristol, Journalism, Life, Media, Virtual Reality, Visual Journalism

One of my modules this year is Journalism Innovations, and it’s my favourite.

Before university, I had never heard about Virtual Reality, and so I think it’s very refreshing to have someone intelligent educate me on what it is, what it does, and what good it can do for journalism. In my opinion, there is nothing more appealing than to “learn something new everyday”, and I find so satisfying to learn new things in relation to journalistic practice and workflow. Even better if it’s in relation to technology.

Being so technology savvy, I immerse myself in all things technological on a regular basis. Disregarding the fact that I have grown up in a generation where people as young as four are addicted to iPads and able to use smart devices, I have always taken great satisfaction in learning about what’s going on in the technological world. I loved Tamagotchi’s when they were in, the gameboys then the Nintendo DS, grey play stations, my Xbox, and never forgetting the Nokia’s, Motorola’s and notorious iPhone 3.

Now I’m typing this blogpost on my Macbook Pro, my iPhone 6S is on charge and I’m speaking about how my university course involves the learning of topics such as Mobile Journalism, Robots, Drones and Virtual Reality. How technology has evolved.

MySpace, Bebo, and MSN have disappeared, leaving Facebook, YouTube and technological innovations to take the reigns.

“The definition of virtual reality comes, naturally, from the definitions for both ‘virtual’ and ‘reality’. The definition of ‘virtual’ is near and reality is what we experience as human beings. So the term ‘virtual reality’ basically means ‘near-reality’. In technical terms, virtual reality is used to describe a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which can be explored and interacted with by a person. That person becomes part of this virtual world or is immersed within this environment and whilst there, is able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions.” (Curzon, J. 2016)

It’s incredible to think that virtual reality creates another form of escapism. It’s the mere fact that we can virtual spaces, places and features with reality and have it all feel very real. I used Google Cardboard in my first Journalism Innovations workshop on VR, and found it very fascinating considering it’s only what, £3.26 or something? For what it’s worth, you should definitely experience it – but I would be lying if I was to say that you’ll be taken to another world. Nevertheless, it’s nice to have your senses claimed by something that’s attempting to take you to another world. Do it.

To say that I’m so excited to see what’s to come over the next few years for VR. Virtual Reality headsets probably won’t be what every kid is screaming to have for their main present for Christmas this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were nagging for it next year.

Next week I’m going to the innovations lab and we get to use the expensive stuff. I can’t contain my excitement.

Have you used any VR headsets? Tell me what you think of VR, augmented reality, anything! Thanks for reading.

Rebecca x

I’M GETTING BACK INTO WORDPRESS

Blogger, Bristol, Journalism, Life, Media

Hello there. It’s been a while. 

The whirlwind of being a twenty year old and a third year student of Media and Journalism is catching up with me! 

There’s so much to do in so little time, and only now I’m managing to learn how to prioritise. It’s going pretty well mind you, I feel like I actually know where I am going with my life for a change and as much as I act like I student, I feel much more mature now than I did compared to when I first started uni. 

I actually have 5 minutes to myself to sit and wonder, “when was the last time I wrote a blog post?” I couldn’t even answer my own question. After coming on to my blog and seeing the date of my last post, my mouth almost hit my wooden floor. I can’t believe how long it’s been! 

I can’t even think of anything interesting to write about right now, but it’s probably because I’ve had so much going on. Life can be sooooo crazy. 

Rather satisfied to return to the blogging world, although I do feel guilty when I think about the time I have spent not writing blog posts. I won’t blame university for that, because I do have to prioritise my degree 😉 7 months and I’ll be weeks away from graduating! How terrifying is that. 

I know that I really don’t have a following on here, but one day I’d love one, and I’m sure that if I try hard enough, I might get one! 

So expect a lot more from me on the blogging front, I’m going to try and make myself, my interests and most importantly, my writing seem interesting enough for other people to want to read it! 

Thanks for reading, I’m glad to be back. 

Rebecca x 

So you’re going to SWX for the first time

Bristol, Journalism, Media

So I was in my university house the other day thinking of somewhere I could write other than my blog. I also thought what on earth am I going to write about.

I came across The Tab, a place for university students to write whatever they choose, about almost anything.

Choosing a popular club in my university hometown, the controversial city of Bristol, I ended up with this.

My story on the tab – http://thetab.com/uk/uwe/2016/02/23/youre-going-swx-first-time-4629

 

I WANT DAVID ATTENBOROUGH’S VOICE

Journalism, Media, Visual Journalism

Africa, BBC 1, 6/2/2013(!), 2100hrs

  • Amazing birds-eye views of the African landscape
  • Authentic wildlife representation
  • David Attenborough’s script matching what is shown on screen, giving depth and quality 
  • Direct mode-of-address to the camera from David Attenborough, encouraging that sense of relationship
  • Nice NATSOT during ‘Afirca’
  • Natives/locals speaking, giving reality and sense of place to the programme

The structure of ‘Africa’
Different elements (e.g., talking heads, observational etc.) the programme contains. 

‘Africa’ is almost 100% observational. Birds-eye shots of the African landscape, extreme-long shots and wide-shots, long-shots of the animals whilst they are interacting with each other and moving across Africa. There are extreme close-ups of lions which seem like they’re in slow motion and very beautiful to watch, especially if you appreciate wildlife.

Similar to news package elements in the way that an audience can receive information from watching ‘Africa’. Not only is the programme aesthetically pleasing, the factual information about predators and their prey is interesting.

This documentary has less talking heads than a regular news package, since you see David Attenborough address the screen directly as if he is talking to you, and then an African native who is describing how fulfilling it feels to capture a lion. With the direct mode of address though, it seems as though you are having a conversation with them through the screen, something that is satisfying when you’re watching something on Television; especially for me, since it feels like you’re more involved in what you are viewing.

There appears to be a narrative, since the member of the African tribe who talks of hunting lions has a change of heart throughout the sequence. During this, we are shown lions messing around together, a pregnant lion and so on, and then the tribe member talks of how he began to feel guilty after hunting, and now instead of doing what used to fulfil him, he now admires the lions in their beauty. Along with other warriors, he becomes what is described as a “lion guardian.” Instead of hunting lions, they’re protecting them.

A nice aspect of ‘Africa’ is the inspirational music that is occasionally played behind the voice-over.

David Attenborough as a structuring device

David Attenborough has such a calming voice. I want it. He is a soul who explains interesting things with delicacy whilst at the same time achieving the objective of providing something that is stunning yet informative – in the sense that he doesn’t make an audience question what is on the screen.

You see Attenborough interacting with the African natives, a really nice touch to the programme, since this makes it easier to recognise his interest and curiosities towards their way of life. I think this gives flavour to ‘Africa’. It is nice to see a relationship between the two – especially when the conversation seems more like a relaxed conversation than an interview.

David Attenborough gives direction and sequence to ‘Africa’, as a structuring device. It seems as though he breaks the programme up and gives it more depth by what he says and the way he speaks. His tone of voice is easy to listen to and his hand gestures are the perfect tool to keep an audience captivated.

After watching this episode of ‘Africa’, I have learnt about the change in warrior’s behaviour towards the lions. Traditionally, the lion the warrior hunted took the name of the lion. Now, the lion takes the name of the warrior who protects it. David Attenborough describes this as “21st century conservation in action” and I found it lovely to watch.

This also reminds me of how much I really want to go to a wildlife conservation to see so many different animals. I have only ever been to Bristol zoo and Barcelona zoo and even though Barcelona zoo was utterly breathtaking, growing up I have gained more knowledge or could you say awareness as to what goes on in these particular environments and now I do not necessarily agree. I would much rather see animals in their natural habitats, where instead of being forced how to live and what to do, they are free to be free. 

Plus, cubs are so cute!!!! I want to hold one.

Thanks for reading!

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FROM GUTENBERG TO ZUCKERBERG

Journalism, Media

I had to do a blog post on this book. I recently purchased it due to it being on a recommended reading list for one of my university modules, and I had to read it right through.

I was just sitting at my dads house with my grandfather and whilst doing my work I had to just stop focusing on my essay, so that I could get to finishing this book.

I HAD TO JOT DOWN A FEW NOTES 🤓

These quotes basically made me wake up and smell the coffee (in terms of technology) –

The underlying idea was to use technology to connect people who share interests and activities across political, social, economic and geographical borders. A less lofty version was to create virtual spaces in which people could search for friends, relationships and business or employment opportunities.

Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a ‘neutral network’, a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform.

Unlike many other social-networking sites, Facebook started from a real space other than from a virtual one. In this case it was a well-delineated community consisting of people whose email addresses ended with @harvard.edu and who for the most part lived and worked in close proximity to one another. The site expanded by incorporating other elite communities – initially from Ivy League universities and then from other higher education institutions, but in each case it was building on the fact that the incoming members belong to real communities. In that sense, Facebook was building on the observation by Boyd and Ellison that ‘what makes social network sites unique is not that they allow individuals to meet strangers, but rather they enable users to articulate and make visible their social networks. This can result in connections between individuals that would not otherwise be made, but that is often not the goal, and these meetings are frequently between “latent ties” who share some offline connection.

Imagine the amount of businesses that wouldn’t have been set up if it wasn’t for the Internet’s capabilities allowing them to connect with each other? I love thinking about this.

Page 106 –

The Internet has been such an enabler of innovation.

There’s a talented individual with an idea that can be realised in software – which, after all, is pure ‘thought stuff’ – and the ability to write it.

Mark ZUCKERBERG. Thanks for Facebook. You genius.

There’s a distribution system – the Internet – to which anyone can have access without having to seek permission or pay an entry free.

Amazing. Blogs, YouTube, Twitter, the creation of a network than can make you the worlds youngest billionaire.

Very little money is required in order to realise the idea and launch it to the world – often just enough to pay for web-hosting in the first instance. The result is an environment where the barriers to entry are incredibly low.

Good stuff.

108

Once upon a time, to listen to a radio station you had to live within a certain distance of its transmitters or to have sophisticated receiving and aerial technology. Nowadays I can listen over the Net to thousands of foreign stations, including Raidio na Gaeltachta, the Irish-language station based in Connemara on the west coast of Ireland, near where my father was born and many members of my extended family live.

And on top of these first-order surprises we’ve seen a raft of others – like Wikipedia and Facebook – which are themselves the consequence of the open, permissive nature of the World Wide Web that Tim Berners-Lee built. In that way, the openness of the original architecture has effectively incubated other surprise-generating machines. And the chances are that it will go on like this for the foreseeable future.

112

The motto of YouTube is ‘broadcast yourself’; and people do, on a vast scale.

The emergence of ‘the networked information economy’.

Blogging – “the superiority of online discussion.”

Just as bloggers attend to traditional media, reporters read blogs, and it was the persistence of the story in the blogosphere that finally persuaded the big guys of US journalism – particularly newspapers like New York Times and the Washington Post – to reopen it.

News as an ongoing conversation page 134

A new species has arrived, and exciting species are having to accommodate themselves to the newcomer. And vice versa. 

135

Illustrates the dangers for traditional media of ignoring the online world – of underestimating the collective intelligence of its audiences.

As I read that last quote ^, (I’ve decided it might have to be the last one I jot down on here because this is the only time I will let reading distract me from blogging ;), I’m laughing, since because I’m blogging, I am not ignoring the online world.

I would find it pretty hard to ignore it, as a matter of fact, but wouldn’t you?

Even though what I have said about this book is limited, since I kind of hot overwhelmed with the amazing quotes included by intelligent John Naughton (apologies), it really IS worth the read! It’s absolutely incredible for us souls who are growing up in a generation so involved with immense technology.

From the printing press to Facebook, there is so much to learn. I’m happy to say that I am one with an open-mind about our technologically advanced world. If you are not willing to learn, what are you?

You can buy this book here!!!! > http://www.amazon.co.uk/From-Gutenberg-Zuckerberg-Really-Internet/dp/0857384260

Download the kindle version here > http://www.amazon.co.uk/Gutenberg-Zuckerberg-Really-About-Internet-ebook/dp/B006PI6TEW/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=