#Drones Go To #Journalism School
Journalism programs at the University of Nebraska and the University of Missouri are experimenting with UAVs for reporting and story research.
The ways we report and consume news have changed radically in recent years. Now not only are journalism schools adapting to answer the challenges of producing content on all shapes and sizes of screens and devices while maintaining integrity—with fewer resources than ever—two college journalism programs are also teaching students how to operate drone aircraft for story-gathering and reporting. Both classes are considered experimental. But they’re also easily replicated at any university. (Drones are getting pretty cheap, too.)RQCX-3 “Raven”
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Drone Journalism Lab and the Missouri Drone Journalism Program at the University of Missouri are the first two programs of their type in the nation. At both universities, journalism students are taught the basics of flying unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), using still and video cameras to gather aerial information, the ethics of operating flying cameras, FAA regulations and safety, and how to interpret aerial footage. The goal is to turn information gathered from the air into workable stories.
Both programs are experimental, but operate in different ways. The Nebraska Lab is integrated into the university’s college of Journalism and Mass Communications, and serves as a stand-alone proof-of-concept learning lab. “In short, drones are an ideal platform for journalism,” according to the lab’s mission statement online.
In an ironic twist, a Republican Missouri state representative is “concerned” about using drones to collect news.
Lawmaker concerned about using drones to collect news
By Terry Ganey
The use of remotely controlled drones to gather news has stirred interest among a small group of journalism students at the University of Missouri.
At the same time, it has raised concerns among some members of the state Legislature, which is considering a bill to prohibit the use of unmanned aircraft to collect information in agricultural areas.
State Rep. Casey Guernsey, the bill’s sponsor, said Tuesday he has no problem with journalism students learning how to use drones. But the Republican from Bethany opposes the notion of news organizations using remotely controlled flying cameras to collect information.
The drone pictured here and at Fast Company is the Roswell Flight Test Crew RQCX-3 “Raven” hexcopter.