Journalists & Drones: from paparazzi to war correspondents
Policy and regulations

Journalists & Drones: from paparazzi to war correspondents

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Back in 2016, Shutterstock placed drone photography in their top 3 of trends that are shaping the future of imagery. And aerial video is certainly nothing new, many filmmakers (think of the Wolf of Wallstreet, Skyfall, Jurassic World, etc) have been using helicopters and planes for video production. Even paparazzi have been using the skills of drones for privacy invading footage.

The Orchid Project

And it’s certainly not only the entertainment world that gladly makes use of the opportunities that drones have to offer, UAV’s are also widely applied in journalism. For example, the Orchid Project, that is set up not only as a rescue resource and for increased effectiveness in disaster response, the uses of drones in such dangerous and chaotic situations also makes a quick collection of real time information possible.

Another case is the 2015 terminal explosion in Tianjin, China and the enormous damage it caused. In addition to the kilometers of fire that resulted from it, the explosion claimed over 700 injured people. Also here, drones were used to picture the situation. BBC news posted drone footage taken right after the explosion happened. Also check out this drone footage, taken 1 year later.

Top 5 opportunities for journalists

It’s evident that drone photography and filming is imperative for journalism in today’s world. There are so many opportunities lying at our feet, waiting to be picked up and used. To put this in perspective, Skytango asked a number of experts for input and from that assembled a top 5 opportunities in drone journalism. They identified extended options for storytelling, cost effectiveness/affordability, data gathering, integration with emerging innovative technologies, human life saving/safety for journalists & operators as the main opportunities of drones in journalism.

What's next?

A forecast for the upcoming year, put together by The Poynter Institute for journalism, gives you a glimpse of where drone journalism stands and where we are heading to. The dangers for the drone landscape are discussed by three experts in the industry. In which mainly public opinion, the government and the education for a drone license comes up for this. Nevertheless, they have confidence in drone journalism in 2018 and hope that the development will continue and that it will be necessary to treat and grant certain exemptions that will allow the landscape to expand. If you want to read the whole interview you can find it on their website.


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