I had ideas for umpteen blogs. Here is where they all somehow converge and I attempt to do something productive with my sprawling web presence.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
CNN, FAA and Georgia Tech team up to test drones for journalism
Our love affair with drones is increasing. For example, this month, CopterExpress will nix the middle man in pizza deliveries with the first ever drone delivery system. It promises to deliver your pizza in under 30 minutes with the extra boon of not having to tip the driver. On YouTube, there are videos posted showing new views of our landscapes that we wouldn’t have gotten without drones and their accompanying GoPros. From wildlife, to protest coverage, and from art projects featuring Cirque du Soleil or an up-and-coming hip-hop artist, drones have made significant moves in becoming integral to today’s useful technologies.
UPI reported on Jan. 12 that the world of journalism is also taking to drone tech. CNN is seemingly in the lead, as they team up with the Georgia TechResearch Institute. The news media company has gotten the go-ahead from the FAA to work on what looks akin to a beta program where drones will be tested in news gathering and reporting.
The collaboration with the Georgia Tech Research Institute will oversee collection of information about how the drones will work in the gleaning of news. The FAA will use that information to create rules and guidelines within which future organizations will operate.
CNN and the Georgia Tech Research Institute aim to utilize quality drone tech and to find out, ultimately, the possibilities of what can be done in the realm of video journalism. Their aim also includes creating high quality journalism that follows guidelines that will keep the airways safe.
According to Gizmodo, CNN has already been testing drone tech for months but they haven’t been the only news organization using the tech, nor have they been the first. Other news agencies, like the Associated Press, have been using drone tech to get aerial views of disaster sites, for example. Journalism schools had also been using drones in classrooms before the FAA decided that idea would not fly. In 2011, an organization of “Drone Journalists” was established, touting itself as “the first international organization dedicated to establishing the ethical, educational and technological framework for the emerging field of drone journalism.”
The usage of drones in journalism has been stoking the fires of the First Amendment rights conversation, as well. When the FAA has squashed such things as the incorporation of drone tech into university classrooms, major media agencies countered, saying that the usage of drones in journalism is a First Amendment right that should be fully protected and even more so than in the case of hobbyists and commercial users. Further, media companies should be included in the rules and guideline-making process when the government moves to create strictures on the way drones can be used or whether or not they can be used at all.
CNN has made the first collaboration out of all the news agencies, it seems, with a government entity. It’s not certain when drones will officially be used in news reporting, but it may not be long before drones take the airways. This seems to be a very big step and includes major parties in the decision process of how drone journalism will be used in the maybe not so far future.
*originally published on the now defunct Examiner.com