What is drone journalism?

Recently we were on the Great Victorian Bike Ride riding through some of the most picturesque countryside in Victoria, Australia. The chance to collect a bird’s eye view of over 3,000 people on bikes was too good to miss. Our client Bicycle Network used a drone to capture the view.

What is a drone? It is simply a small, unmanned aircraft which captures photos, video and data for the media. The device has spinning blades which rotate rapidly. In the air, a drone becomes a potential projectile which can be dangerous if not used or maintained correctly.

How are they used in journalism? Drones are used in many instances now in news media. This flying camera can be used to cover sport through to a major fire or a major event. Cast your mind back to the floods in Louisiana, US where CNN used drones extensively, or the BBC which used them in its coverage of the protests in Thailand. The link below shows how aid agencies are using drones to bring their story to media attention.

Can anyone use a drone to make news? Anyone can buy a drone from the local electronics shop but the rules for journalists are rather different to a person flying a drone for a hobby. You will need to pass a drone flying test, then get insurance and finally set out some rules.

Safety first is the top of any rules list we have seen. Other rules are to maintain the drone safely, and have procedures in place for privacy concerns that may arise from a story that uses drone footage.