Which news organization will be the first to have a “drone desk?”
The photo above was taken not by a journalist, but by a drone hobbyist in 2012 who believed a Texas meat packing plant was dumping blood into a river. He turned his photos over to state authorities, sparking an investigation.
“These drones are increasingly sophisticated and may be used in cases where flying a helicopter would pose a safety threat for the pilot. For newsrooms figuring out how to pay for a helicopter, fuel and a pilot, the drones — which can cost from $500 to a few thousand dollars, may be the way of the future.”
— Mark Tremayne, assistant professor of broadcast communication at the University of Texas Arlington.
Tremayne was part of a University of Texas at Arlington communication team that studied some recent private drone use cases.
There are lot of issues with private use of drones in the United States, but as the price of the devices drops, it’s inevitable that they will be used; if not in the pursuit of journalism, certainly in many other fields for applications we haven’t even thought of.
“It’s just that journalists have to get more creative and entrepreneurial. And, I think, that’s the problem. There’s not a less risk-taking crowd than a bunch of journalists who like to tell everyone how to run their businesses,” said Kara Swisher of All Things D.