MEDIA
11/20/2015 02:54 pm ET

New York Times Uses Virtual Reality To Show Parisians' Resilience

"As a reporting tool, virtual reality is still in its infancy; its power to create empathy is just beginning to be understood."

In the wake of the tragic attacks in Paris last week that left 130 dead, journalists Ben Solomon and Leslye Davis of The New York Times decided to use a new tool to highlight Parisians' resilience and determination -- virtual reality.

"Finding Hope in the Vigils of Paris: A Virtual Reality Film" provides a 360-degree view of people gathering around makeshift memorials at different sites around the city. The film can also be viewed on the Times' virtual reality app, NYT VR.

The vigils demonstrate Parisians' resolve to continue their way of life -- "the very thing the attackers sought to disrupt," Solomon and Davis wrote. The authors also praised virtual reality as a new way to "help readers understand what life feels like in the places we cover."

"As a reporting tool, virtual reality is still in its infancy; its power to create empathy is just beginning to be understood," they said. "Our mission as journalists is to answer questions. In this case, we sought to answer the question of how a city gathers itself and begins moving forward."

The Times launched its virtual reality app, NYT VR, earlier this month with "The Displaced," a film that follows three kids who are caught up in the global refugee crisis. The publication partnered with Google to distribute Google Cardboard viewers, a low-cost cardboard device that holds a smartphone, to over 1 million Times subscribers so they could view the film the way it was intended to be seen.

Other media organizations, like ABC News and Vice, have also created virtual reality content.

Watch The New York Times' 360-degree film, "Vigils in Paris," above.

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