VR, IBC, Diversity & More

IBC is to be applauded for the way it has skilfully managed to ramp up the number of women speaking on its panels from 14% to 37%. There is a ways to go yet, of course – about 13% by the looks of it – but it’s a start.

And it’s a good start too, especially given the wider industry’s tendency to pay lip service to diversity and then run away all forgetful like.

Pleased to have played my own very small part in it by writing a piece about modern VR production techniques that signed off with a really strong quote from Zahra Rasool (pictured), the Editorial Lead for Al Jazeera’s immersive media studio, Contrast. As a tech journalist one doesn’t get to talk about diversity too often, at least not in a way that doesn’t make it sound crowbarred in there. But Zahra’s words were powerful enough that it was a no-brainer to include them and give the article a purpose above and beyond the usual discussion of resolutions and 3D engines.

“The unique thing about VR is that it can immerse you in a location the way other mediums cannot,” she says. “The problem is that most of the people with access to the technology at both ends are white men. The stories that are being told are very much from that perspective, reinforcing the stereotypes that are already present in our media industry. We need to be telling the stories in a better way. We need to be telling the stories of the developing world, of the communities of colour.”

Read the whole piece here: The cutting edge of VR production