Metaverse and Journalısm

Prof. Dr. Erkan Saka

Executive Summary

The term Metaverse does not refer to a specific type of technology; it points to is a wide-ranging transformation in how we interact with technology. It basically aims to transform being in a network beyond the screen. 

When one thinks of metaverse and journalism, various technologies that form up the emergence of metaverse are primarily listed: Web3, NFTs, and the developments in Artificial Intelligence. The report first summarizes journalistic practices through these technologies. 

The closest example to the current state of Metaverse is the Second Life game which became very popular in the early 2000s. Second Life is an online virtual world game that was popular during the early 2000s. It is an example of what a Metaverse could look like, where people can interact with each other in a virtual space. The game has become popular enough that it was used for journalism purposes, where cases are reviewed and discussed. 

The report continues with major issues In the current state of the emerging Metaverse: These issues can be listed as such: Governance, Content Moderation, Personal Data, Business Models, Audiences, VR-focused content production, Journalism Education, Anxieties about Journalism in Metaverse. Most of these issues are already seen in digital journalism, and Metaverse will make them more complicated. 

This text is pointing out that journalists in the Metaverse (an online, virtual world) have not yet developed the skills necessary to effectively produce content. The content that is currently being produced is not being tailored to the complexity of the Metaverse and is not being understood by the majority of potential viewers. Therefore, it is only appealing to a small subset of people, or a “niche” audience.

As a radical wave of Metaverse is coming, journalism education should be developed accordingly.  We are now ready for such a period in terms of infrastructure, hardware, and content production, but many issues will continue to be on the agenda, from the search for business models that have haunted journalism since digitalization to governance issues. Journalism educators should take a proactive stance and be a part of this transformation. Making sure students are trained in the skills that will be required in the next decade. This could include training in virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence applications and other aspects of the Metaverse. Educators should also be aware of the ethical implications of such technology and ensure that students are equipped with the necessary skills to navigate such complex ethical issues.