The “drone zone” of journalism


Drone journalism is evidently a relatively new practice in the industry, which assists storytelling through use of drones, or unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) – “a device that is used, or is intended to be used, for flight in the air with no onboard pilot”, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Prior to August this year, journalists in the U.S.A. who intended to use drones were required to obtain a pilot certificate – whether it be recreational or private. Now, journalists in the U.S. are only required a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating, and a pass for background security check. Either that, or one can be supervised by someone that has already met the requirements.

According to Missouri Drone Journalism Program educator Rick Shaw, getting his pilot certificate before the change required more lengths just to get his hands on a drone.

“To get a private pilot’s license you need 40 hours of practical lessons in an airplane with a flight instructor. The total cost for that is about $9,000,”

With that now out of the way, journalists now have easier access to expand their storytelling methods. They will have wider access to aesthetically pleasing content such as aerial videos. This also serves a novelty aspect for the audience, providing them with a different, geographical worldwiew.


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