The 2015 Digi Awards (hosted by nextMEDIA) were held this November at the MaRS Discovery District. This year, Ryerson graduate Marie-Esperance Cerda took home the Graduate of the Year award for her project in 360° virtual reality news.

The project consisted of a 3D printed rig with six GoPro cameras attached, which Cerda used to shoot video during the 2012 Montreal riots. The use of Google Cardboard presents the video with a whole new narrative and taking interactive journalism to a different level. It also proved to be a rewarding challenge for Cerda, a first time user of 360° video. “It’s totally new technology and it threw me back to my analog days taking photos with film,” explains Cerda. “I didn’t know what I was shooting or how my video would turn out.”

Though Cerda has graduated from Ryerson and is currently working for the Canadian Press, she continues to work on her project at the Transmedia Zone. “I like how Ryerson gives space to students or recent grads who want to continue whatever they started,” says Cerda. “That’s how I have the chance to improve on my project.”

In the future, Cerda says that she would like to create a company to bring virtual reality more into the mainstream. “It’s an interesting medium for journalism that should be explored further and I want to be a part of that.”

View Cerda's video of the Montreal riots below.