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‘Inside Syria’ (and Inside the Emergence of VR for News)

ABC News VR, a division established in collaboration with Jaunt, was launched to transport viewers into news stories with immersive, live-action VR experiences.

ABC News VR, a division established in collaboration with Jaunt, was launched to transport viewers into news stories with immersive, live-action VR experiences. For its first assignment, “Inside Syria,” ABC News VR took audiences to the streets of Damascus, as correspondent Alexander Marquardt documented the city, its conflict and the race to save its cultural history.

“This rare access also included the streets and historical sites of Damascus, now largely cut off from the outside world,” explains ABC News president James Goldston. “Alex and his team explored those streets with one of Jaunt’s stereographic cinematic VR cameras, documenting the city’s sites—historical treasures now in peril. From the Damascus Citadel and Souk to the Umayyad Mosque and the National Museum, Alex transports viewers into the story, providing a depth of reporting—and a personal guide—unlike anything we’ve done before.

“ABC News VR enables viewers to immerse themselves in a 360-degree virtual reality experience within Syria that can be accessed anywhere on mobile or desktop by visiting ABCNews.com/VR and by downloading Jaunt’s VR app for iOS and Android devices.

“The collaboration between Jaunt and ABC News takes our storytelling to a new frontier,” Goldston concludes. “I can’t wait to see how you use this new technology to engage our audience in thrilling new ways.”

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