|President Obama in the Situation Room, May 2011|
Nonny de la Pena, yesterday's featured journalist and professor at the USC Annenberg School of Communication, expanded on these practices through a history of virtuality in news dissemination and civic discourse by concentrating on her past work with virtual news stories.
Using the same software technology, Second Life, which De la Pena described, consider the following YouTube clip on bin Laden's assassination in relation to the nature of virtual news. Given the strict confidentiality prohibiting any media coverage prior and during the event, it is understandable that virtual media was an inevitable choice to attract viewers to tune in to the news. With dynamic scenes, rich audio and music, and crafted storytelling viewers were undoubtedly immersed in the environment of SEAL operation, despite the video description disclaiming, "this is not meant to portray actual events". Since the public was censored of proof of his death, the next best thing was to recreate it.
The CBS video below more effectively illustrates the event using animated maps, infographics, archived footage, press releases, and most importantly, a simulated reenactment of the operation.
Though the simulation was constructed according to a collection of interviews between soldiers and White House officials, its accuracy can only be contested as much as its purpose as a simulation and not actual footage. The continually digitizing world increasingly demands virtual footage due to content output pressures, however its usefulness and accuracy must be negotiated between both journalists and viewers.