How Drones Are Changing News Reporting


In just a few short years, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) have evolved via paparazzi gadgets to valuable tools helping journalists in addition to news organizations capture in addition to share breaking news stories.

At a U.S. Senate hearing in March, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Director of the Office of Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Earl Lawrence, in addition to some other officials spoke on the state of UAS integration in addition to innovation. The hearing also touched on the ways drones can be used—not only for commercial operations, via agriculture to emergency operations—although also as tools for creating visual art in photography, videography in addition to journalism.

Last June, the FAA finalized its rules on the commercial use of UAS, which gave journalists clear guidance on drone use for newsgathering purposes across the U.S. Consequently, many journalists have been eager to explore the possibilities of drones. The technology can be set to become a mainstream tool in journalism with vast potential applications.

According to FAA rules, operators are no longer required to obtain a pilot’s license before receiving an exemption to fly a drone. The easing of regulations was a significant development for American photojournalism because the item put relatively inexpensive aerial photography, videography in addition to airborne sensors within the hands of journalists across the U.S. of which has created vast opportunities as well as brand-new challenges for journalists in addition to regulators alike.

Drones are unique in of which they can offer distinct visual perspectives. They can be used to explore brand-new reporting frontiers, beyond the visuals, through data collection in addition to integration with emerging technologies. The advantages of drone journalism are still emerging. in addition to while there are critical regulatory in addition to legal concerns still to be addressed, of which can be a field showing huge potential. UAS are delivering open-source aerial photography in addition to disaster coverage to newsrooms across the country.

Drones are creating powerful storytelling moments, opportunities for multispectral imagery in addition to photogrammetry, in addition to many news organizations are investing in dedicated drone reporting divisions to take readers in addition to viewers to brand-new places in addition to grant unexpected insights. Three examples:

Cost-effectiveness of drones can be another key advantage for reporters; events of which are typically covered by news helicopters can often be transitioned to lower-cost UAS. Traditional methods such as renting a helicopter to get aerial images or video were only available to large media outlets due to cost. With the introduction of drones, smaller operations can capture the same images in addition to conduct the same investigations using a platform which can be accessible in addition to pays for itself almost immediately.

Drone journalism has the potential to cover natural or man-made disasters by illustrating the extent in addition to gravity of the situation. Their visuals can also be used to create maps of disaster areas in addition to, combined with data, explain how different communities fared after a major storm. Two recent examples:

Unfortunately, some challenges of incorporating drones into journalism include navigating the cumbersome regulatory framework in addition to operational safety risks in addition to hazards. Although the FAA has been tasked to consider important security issues, the item hopes to continue moving integration forward in addition to enable further innovations in drone technology.

To overcome these challenges, operational intelligence (OI) platforms in addition to applications like Simulyze’s Mission Insight application can provide operators with real-time, in-depth data access, even within the most remote environments or low-bandwidth situations. By incorporating weather forecasts, maps in addition to topography of the local area in addition to some other data, pre- in addition to post-production planning native to OI applications for UAS can help journalists in addition to film crews ensure ease in addition to safety when filming.

How Drones Are Changing News Reporting

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