But that may change as journalists create reports with virtual reality, so that viewers feel as if they are witnesses to the unfolding action.
Nonny de la Pena, senior research fellow at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Journalism, does this by mixing traditional journalism with immersive gaming technology. Her team might record sound clips on the ground before combining them with visual reconstructions of the scene.
The viewer would then wear virtual reality goggles that track their position in the room and translate their movements into the scene in front of their eyes. In a documentary about Syria, for instance, de la Pena placed viewers in a street as a bomb exploded so that they could witness the terror unfolding ? before then taking them for a walk around a refugee site.
So far she says the users' experiences have been extraordinary, with many reacting very emotionally to the stories.