Journalism schools experiment with drones as newsgathering tools, but worry about privacy
By ELLEN SHEARER
Medill National Security Journalism Initiative
The use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, for commercial and law enforcement use in the United States is under increased scrutiny as the Federal Aviation Administration moves forward on implementing laws to regulate the technology. But the value of the small, relatively inexpensive surveillance technology has not escaped the notice of another group of potential users – journalists.
At least three journalism schools are experimenting with small drones to determine their usefulness and practicality in newsgathering and storytelling. In addition, a few news organizations have also put some drones in the air, as did the Occupy protesters to monitor police action. And they are being used by Realtors and other commercial outlets as the FAA deliberates the safety and privacy regulations needed, which is to be completed by 2015 when wide-scale use is anticipated. A Congressional Research Service report estimated that the drone industry will reach about $89 billion in 10 years.
“There are a lot of arguments for why journalists might want to use UAVs to do journalism,” said Matt Waite, a journalism professor and director of the Drone Journalism Lab at the UN-L College of Journalism and Mass Communications. … (Continue reading story on NationalSecurityZone.org)