How drones are changing journalism and the news media

As Business Insider reports, the clear trend that emerged in 2016 and will only intensify in 2017, is the transformation of news-gathering, and journalism overall, as a result of the proliferation of drones. BI notes these examples of drone use in major news organizations over the past year:

  • The New York Times made extensive use of drones in media coverage and highlighted how the new technology made this reporting possible. A story on the impact of the Syrian Civil War on Aleppo captured using drone footage was featured on the front page, and, realizing the impact drones had on coverage, the newspaper put together a list of top stories it told through drone footage across the world.
  • CNN launched a team dedicated to flying and operating drones as part of expanded news coverage. The news network used drones as a way of augmenting its traditional television coverage, providing the benefits of traditional aerial vehicles such as planes and helicopters, and the improved vantage point they can provide, but for a fraction of the cost.
  • Drones were also the cause of governmental action, with police and local authorities imposing no-fly zones to forestall the possibility of media coverage using drones. During civil unrest in 2014 in Ferguson, MI, police requested that airspace be closed off to prevent media from gathering footage. Similarly, authorities instituted no-fly zones in the vicinity of protests at Standing Rock, ND, which protestors and journalists claimed was to prevent coverage of the protests and the acts of police.

“Using drones is already transforming the media, and that will only increase as drones become more widespread and technically able. As authorities are forced to create regulations that permit more widespread use of drones, this trend will only increase moving forward. Drones are not just toys, but enterprise tools as well as part of a new wave in media.”

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