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Normative paradoxes in 360° journalism: Contested accuracy and objectivity

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In visual journalism, the adoption of new technologies often leads to renegotiation of normative boundaries, and the case of 360° video is no exception. Two normative paradoxes emerge in journalists’ attempts to deploy 360° video to provide emotionally engaging and factually relevant content. The first paradox is that the 360° view is considered to provide a more accurate representation of events, but the viewer’s freedom to choose the field of view can lead to a less accurate picture of the story. The second paradox is that, by manipulating authentic imagery in the pursuit of more accurate and objective reporting, journalists compromise on traditional notions of accuracy and objectivity. These paradoxes push visual journalism away from the “as is” and toward the “as if,” detaching visual journalism from its naturalistic claims. This leads to increasingly blurred boundaries between journalism and other communication practices such as advertising and propaganda.