VR in Journalism: The Next News Experience at SXSW 2017

Blog Post created by alexander.blake-davies Employee on Nov 27, 2018


[Originally posted on 03/14/17]


According to their website, “The South by Southwest® (SXSW®) Conference & Festivals celebrate the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries.” Virtual Reality has become a big part of SXSW, and this year there are over 80 sessions dedicated to AR and VR. One of the most exciting aspects of VR is how this new medium is transforming the future of newsgathering and giving journalists dramatically new ways to tell stories.


In 2016, AMD collaborated with the Associated Press to tell stories in this new format, producing a series of 360 journalism pieces. At SXSW, the “Virtual Reality: The Next News Experience” panel is taking place today, March 14, from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Austin Texas Ballroom 5-7. The panel will feature AMD’s Head of VR and Software Marketing Sasa Marinkovic and AP’s Interactive Editor Nathan Griffiths launching a conversation covering the latest advances in immersive journalism, including an overview of AMD’s Radeon Loom 360-degree video stitching technology.


VR in Journalistic Storytelling

In addition to our collaboration with the AP, AMD has been working closely with other leaders in VR journalism. This past December we partnered with Time Inc.’s LIFE VR virtual-reality initiative and HTC to bring you the Remembering Pearl Harbor HTC Vive experience, and we worked with immersive journalism pioneer Nonny de la Peña’s Emblematic Group on the acclaimed Out of Exile: Daniel’s Story. Out of Exile was created with Radeon GPUs, and was nominated for a VR Journalism award at the 2017 Lumiere Awards.


In recognition of the important journalistic work these partners have created, we’ve put together a video featuring Nonny de la Peña, LIFE VR’s Mia Tramz, and AP’s Siri Abrahamson about the importance of how technologies like VR can help journalists tell their stories in a more impactful and immersive way.



According to Nonny de la Peña, VR is important for journalists because it gives them “an opportunity to really create a connection,” and helps create empathy because “if you feel like you are there, you feel like it can happen to you too.” Mia Tramz thinks that the “surprise and awe” that VR can generate is significant, and VR’s “sense of magic even in journalistic storytelling is really important.”


AP’s Siri Abrahamson relates that they are “constantly having to try to find new ways to tell stories and to share news,” and technology like VR “is what helps us to tell those stories better.”


Radeon Loom Adds Immediacy to Immersion

With immediacy being of critical importance to telling many news stories, using technologies to accelerate the creation process is paramount. By using Radeon technology Nonny de la Peña has been able to get stories out publicly quickly that would have previously taken “days and days to get out there."



Radeon Loom takes this to the next level — enabling a new breed of 360-degree video journalists to create the amazing VR journalism stories of tomorrow. While some news stories can wait, in today’s connected world that runs at breakneck speed, many cannot, especially those we consider “breaking news” events.


Radeon Loom addresses the formidable challenges of real-time live stitching of 360 videos, which will allow journalists to show even “breaking news” stories in 360-degree video, creating the ultimate immersive experience of events as they unfold. Imagine how impactful watching the upcoming March for Science and its 395 Satellite Marches in VR will be as they take place across the globe next month!


You can learn more about Radeon Loom at


VR Lounge



Along with our VR in Journalism panel, AMD will also be showcasing several VR demos and experiences at our VR Lounge that runs from March 14 – 16 at SXSW.


The SXSW AMD VR Lounge is located in the JW Marriott, Room 402 – 110 E 2nd St, Austin, and opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 14, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 15 and Thursday, March 16.




Alexander Blake-Davies, Software Product Marketing Specialist for Professional Graphics at AMD’s Radeon Technology Group. Links to third party sites and references to third party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third-party endorsement of AMD or any of its products is implied. Use of third party names or marks is for informational purposes only and no endorsement of or by AMD is intended or implied.