They say a sign of being an expert is a lack of awareness of the beginner’s perspective. Although I don’t yet consider myself an expert on 360 video and virtual reality content creation (and I doubt I ever will), I have to continuously put myself in the shoes of the beginner.

I must remember that VR is still an unknown for most media organizations.

The Worldwide Association of Women Journalists and Writers was formed in 1969 as the Asociacion Mundial de Mujeres Periodistas y Escritoras (which is why its acronym is AMMPE, not WAWJW).

And it is also one of the most geographically diverse associations I’ve been involved with.

Women journalists from all over the world, from Chile to China, met in London to discuss women’s role in the media, journalistic ethics, digital innovation and more.

I was invited to demo some of the best 360 video journalism I’ve seen, from The Guardian, Al Jazeera, National Geographic and others.

 The 2018 AMMPE Congress was held in London November 6-9.

The 2018 AMMPE Congress was held in London November 6-9.

 An AMMPE attendee dons a VR headset (the Google Daydream, of course, since the event was at Google’s UK HQ) to watch Al Jazeera/Contrast VR’s piece, Yemen’s Skies of Terror. The piece was shot by local journalists and edited by Contrast’s experienced team of VR journalists.

An AMMPE attendee dons a VR headset (the Google Daydream, of course, since the event was at Google’s UK HQ) to watch Al Jazeera/Contrast VR’s piece, Yemen’s Skies of Terror. The piece was shot by local journalists and edited by Contrast’s experienced team of VR journalists.

 Showing my favorite 360 camera for journalism, the light, rugged, reliable and high-quality GoPro Fusion. It is the affordable 360 camera under $1000.  Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia,    www.lauragrb.com

Showing my favorite 360 camera for journalism, the light, rugged, reliable and high-quality GoPro Fusion. It is the affordable 360 camera under $1000. Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia, www.lauragrb.com

The experience was a reminder that I live in a bit of a bubble, surrounded by people who often know more than I do about making immersive media. When I emerge from that bubble, though, I am the expert.

And I have to change the way I talk about these things in an attempt to make them less intimidating to others.

 Showing off Samsung Gear 360—the cheapest 360 camera used by news agencies around the world (including the New York Times)—to  Leonor Suárez , news editor at RTPA (at left).  Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia,    www.lauragrb.com

Showing off Samsung Gear 360—the cheapest 360 camera used by news agencies around the world (including the New York Times)—to Leonor Suárez, news editor at RTPA (at left). Photo courtesy of Laura Garcia, www.lauragrb.com

That’s why I’m putting together a massive document (seriously, it’s now 30 pages long) outlining every single step that goes into producing a 360 video. I’ve already committed the process to memory, but I realize I need to write it down before it becomes automatic.

360 video has so much to offer journalists all over the world. It’s transparent. It’s immersive. And it isn’t nearly as hard as people think it is. And I, for one, am ready to see more content produced by local journalists rather than by teams parachuting in with a camera and preconceived ideas about a place.

We are building this medium from the ground up. Let’s not leave anyone—of any race, gender or geographic region—behind.