Use of New Narratives for COVID-19 Reporting: From 360º Videos to Ephemeral TikTok Videos in Online Media.
Abstract: The disruptive evolution of technology has impacted on all aspects of communication. Consequently, various alternatives are being developed for storytelling, delivering messages, and connecting to people. The evolution of social media and multimedia technologies is evident. Since 2014, we have witnessed changes both in the concept of immersion over the 360º format and virtual reality. Such changes aim at much closer proximity between user and content, strengthening possible empathic bonds. Even so, emerging audiences, especially Generation Z, spend time in digital environments that do not support this type of content. As a consequence, their interactions and multimedia behavior focus on vertical, ephemeral content, rendering TikTok as an innovative alternative with a significant growth trend. This study proposes a review of media outlets and journalists’ work reporting on the COVID-19 pandemic using 360º multimedia narratives and TikTok. Research shows evidence of the limited use of the immersive multimedia format and the increase of productions in the ephemeral vertical format of TikTok —whose audience reach has grown significantly. Keywords: COVID-19, 360 video, ephemeral video, journalism, Generation Z.