I know it’s fashionable for publishers to cut back on staffing so I wonder what they think of this initiative: drone journalism.
The film above shows how a drone – more properly called an “unmanned aerial vehicle” – was used to cover this year’s record drought in the US state of Nebraska.
And the film below shows the vehicle itself, and the ease with which its pilot is able to control it. So, to add to all those other skills modern journalists are now expected to have, expect “drone piloting” to feature on future CVs.
The project, pioneered by Drone Journalism Lab, was discussed at a Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism seminar last week.
As Judith Townend pointed out, there are wide-ranging possibilities for the use of drone journalism, such as the coverage of conflicts and environmental disasters, and also sports reporting.
But there are many potential problems too. Will there be objections from governments and consequent regulatory oversights? Will there be privacy issues? How should news outlets deal with third-party drone content?
Following the seminar, these questions will get an airing in a report from the Reuters Institute. I doubt that it will point out one obvious plus for publishers – the saving in reporters’ expense accounts.