CNN launches virtual reality journalism unit CNNVR

(Image: CNN)

CNN announced the official launch of CNNVR, what it’s calling a “new immersive journalism unit and virtual reality platform” within CNN Digital.

CNNVR will set up shop in New York, Atlanta, London, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Dubai, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Beijing, and plans to cover major news events in 360-degree video, provide VR live streams, and produce weekly virtual reality experiences.

The weekly VR experience debuts today and focuses on the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain.

CNN’s VR and 360-degree content will be available on the network’s iOS and Android apps and online at CNN.com/VR. The new VR content will also be available across a range of headsets including Samsung GearVR, Oculus Rift and Google Daydream.

RELATED: CBS News app adding 360-degree video

Up to the launch of CNNVR, the network has been experimenting with VR and producing new stories in 360-degree video.

“Today, this new dedicated team is committed to harnessing the power of virtual reality to transport our audience inside the stories we tell all around the globe,” the company said in a statement.

Of course, CNN is hardly the first news organization to use 360-degree video and VR in its reporting.

In November 2016, CBS News launched new apps for Amazon Fire TV and Android TV that feature a redesign and will offer 360-degree video playback.

“Our new apps for Fire TV and Android TV featuring 360-degree video capabilities mark a major step forward in terms of how viewers will experience and interact with news in the future,” said Christy Tanner, senior vice president and general manager of CBS News Digital, in a statement.

Also in November, the New York Times and Samsung announced a collaborative effort on 360-degree video and live VR reporting.

“It’s because of Samsung’s support and filming technology that we’re able to give global audiences a true sense of what it means when The New York Times is covering the breadth of what’s happening in the world,” said Meredith Kopit Levien, executive vice president and chief revenue officer for The New York Times Company, in a statement. “Last year we delivered the VR experience to the masses, along with dozens of VR films since then, but now it’s time to make 360 video a part of the daily news report, as common as text or interactives.”

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