Meet the guest speaker: Lakshmi Sarah, VR journalist

Artificial intelligence, augmented reality, virtual reality — today’s buzzwords are fast becoming tomorrow’s immersive storytelling, the next wave of new journalism.

Virtual reality journalist Lakshmi Sarah will show NBTB students the new media landscape during her evening guest speaker presentation on Friday, July 7.

Born and raised in California, Sarah is an educator and journalist with a focus on the environment, identity and the arts, as well as Southeast Asia.

Over the past few years Sarah has worked with newspapers, radio and magazines from Gaborone, Botswana to Los Angeles, California. Her work includes writing and producing for various audiences, including Mic, Global Voices, AJ+, KQED, Fusion and The New York Times:

Sarah co-founded Tiny World Productions to focus on immersive video content. She is a graduate of Pitzer College and the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

Sarah’s presentation will focus on new media formats and storytelling by examining a couple of case studies in the industry to see how journalists and news media organizations are taking on new forms of storytelling.

Among the questions she’ll explore are how does 360 video work? How can it be used for news and in-depth storytelling, and what makes a good 360 story?

Journalists often debate if technology brings you closer or moves you further away from the human at the heart of a story.

But Sarah rejects the binary.

“If you tell a powerful story in the best medium, you can hit that sweet spot of the right story in the best medium and those are the most powerful stories,” she says, adding that”studies are still being done to measure the impact of VR (on) empathy, so the jury is still out on that one.”

Sarah’s talk will take place at 7 p.m. at NBTB’s common room on the Stanford campus. NBTB students and families are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact us at newsroombythebay@gmail.com.

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