The Associated Press has built an agile 360 video operation that’s able to respond thoughtfully and at a moment’s notice to breaking news. Its digital team achieved this by dismissing the notion that creating high-quality 360 videos requires any special technical expertise.
“We think of 360 video as a toolkit that all journalists should have,” says Paul Cheung, director of interactive and digital news production at the AP. “It’s not just a luxury accessory to storytelling. We are creating a lot of enthusiasm by showing that anyone can do it as part of their regular assignment.”
The organization has around two dozen kits spread around the world that consist of an easy-to-use point and shoot $500 Nikon Keymission 360 camera, lavalier microphones for recording interviews and a Pelican case. Dozens of AP journalists who don’t necessarily have significant video experience — just enthusiasm, a good eye and one day of training — form the many one-person 360 teams across the globe that can quickly turn around high-quality videos.
We chatted with some AP journalists and AP’s digital team about their advice for shooting 360 videos.