News media organizations have been experimenting with immersive journalism formats in recent years. The search for new ways to tell stories is driven by technology and has given rise to new –and not so new– forms of expression. The initial enthusiasm has dissipated over the years, so the uncertainty of the future of immersive journalism justifies the study of the most potential ways of using this technology in journalism. This research was carried out in Finland and Spain, and it is based on a textual narrative analysis and a reception study comparing the online article and 360º video versions of the report Fukushima: Contaminated Lives from El país. The results identify the affordances of both formats and confirm that immersive journalism has the capacity to generate a greater emotional effect based on a greater perception of presence, realism and involvement, also having a positive impact on increasing interest and changing opinions on related topics. The narration of online article seems to work better only if there is large amount of information that has to be understood and contextualized. However, authors claim that, instead of an essential break, there are similarities between both formats, which are situated on the same continuum of emotionality and rationality. These findings also indicate that immersive storytelling can be an important part of the emotional or affective turn in contemporary journalism. The sensation of presence and empathy towards distant and complex realities emerge as the main distinguishing values of the kind of immersive journalism that Fukushima: Contaminated lives represents.

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Published on 08/02/22
Accepted on 08/02/22
Submitted on 08/02/22

Volume 31, Issue 1, 2022
DOI: 10.3145/epi.2022.ene.08
Licence: Other

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