Spatial audio and immersive journalism: production, narrative design, and sense of presence



Palabras clave:

Immersive journalism, Immersive storytelling, Audio storytelling, Narrative, Binaural sound, Spatial audio, Emotional turn, Journalism, Cinematic radio, Audio documentary, Audio communication


This article presents the findings from an experimental study on the use of binaural audio in two long-form journalistic features broadcast on Portuguese radio. From a production and narrative design perspective, our objective is to examine whether/how binaural audio implies a transformation of previously established news radio production work principles and practices, as well as of storytelling ideation and techniques. From a user experience viewpoint, we examine whether the use of binaural audio translates into higher levels of self-reported immersion and place illusion (n = 77). Despite the spread of new audio journalism formats, media and communication studies have until now largely neglected the role of spatial audio in the construction of immersion and the illusion of place. We argue that this epistemic omission translates into an image-centric conception and operationalization of the immersive journalism proposal, which stands out as a knowledge gap regarding the work of journalistic storytellers and relating to participants´ actual experience. The original contribution of this article is threefold: (1) conceptual, by broadening the perspective of journalism studies´ scholars and media professionals on the concept of immersive journalism, which, in our view, is often incorrectly considered to be synonymous with that of virtual reality journalism; (2) practical, by generating a more nuanced understanding of how actual practitioners perceive and employ immersive journalism; (3) phenomenological, by developing an examination of the factors that influence listeners´ ultimate perception of the immersive experience.


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Cómo citar

Vicente, P.-N., & Pérez-Seijo, S. (2022). Spatial audio and immersive journalism: production, narrative design, and sense of presence. Profesional De La información, 31(5).



Artí­culos de investigación / Research articles