Finally, a good article on "drone journalism"

ABC News Australia has a thorough piece on the state of "drone journalism", which gives some good examples and cuts through the sort of silliness that characterized some earlier reports, such as those featuring Occupy Wall Street types flying a Parrot AR.Drone inside.

It includes an important quote from Matt Waite, who runs the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska

Despite America's love affair with new technology, Professor Waite says the rate of take-up of drone journalism is still very slow - for one single reason.

"Here in the US the law doesn't allow it - plain and simple," he said.

"The rules right now in the US are basically this: nothing over 400 feet, nothing out of sight, nothing near people and no commercial purposes.

"If it were (just) the first three, drone journalism would have a fighting chance. The commercial restrictions are the hardest to overcome."

Sounds like Professor Waite, at least, is taking a realistic and responsible approach. 

[Thanks to Gary Mortimer/sUAS News for the link]

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Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on February 21, 2012 at 10:25am

That is a great article.  Very well done.  Proper journalism.

Comment by Matt Waite on February 21, 2012 at 11:59am

Thanks for the kind words, Chris. We're trying to be responsible about it. And I've crashed my little toy quad copter and broken it enough that realism was made readily apparent. Excited to see what the future holds.

Comment by Kirill on February 21, 2012 at 12:34pm

Excellent article and video.

Comment by Copter Richie on February 21, 2012 at 1:39pm

Once upon a time, journalism was independent of Government and Business. What happened?

Comment by Douglas D. on February 21, 2012 at 3:15pm

Confused.. Does this mean if A rc company makes a video of there Qcopter/plane and how well it takes video - on there web site, they are breaking the law? 

Comment by Douglas D. on February 21, 2012 at 3:17pm

Or is it just the the video/photo's themselves?

 

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 21, 2012 at 3:43pm

Seems like the writer just lurked around DiYDrones, and just wrote and article sumnaruzubg all of the "Hot List" discussions and blogs. ;-)

Comment by Juan Soler on February 21, 2012 at 4:19pm

I am part of the Australian scene and an ex-ABC employee.  I am also one of the thousands of Australians that hold the ABC up as a beacon to aspiring journalists as an example of impartial, thorough, research based reporting.   The ABC is entirely funded by the Australian government.  Its charter is to "entertain and inform".  It is our cultural mirror and we are all very proud of it. Each Australian contributes 5c per day - a tiny investment considering the array of educational, current affairs, kids programmes and drama that they provide for the public.   most of the best journalists in Australia started as ABC trainees.  If you want further examples just look at the "4 Corners" programme (available on I-View) - :)

Comment by Andrew Dunlop on February 21, 2012 at 5:12pm

And a little bit more from the Australian ABC:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-21/protests-grow-over-drone-atta...

Comment by James masterman on February 21, 2012 at 5:42pm

I'm Australian and an avid watcher of the ABC. Publicly funded broadcasting does have its advantages - without any commercial breaks it is much more enjoyable to watch a TV show - and there is no need to keep your commercial sponsors happy with positive stories, because there aren't any commercial sponsors.

 

On the down side, it has been reported by some to have a political left wing bias. I've noticted this to a degree on some of the news & opinion shows. Still, the quality is generally much higher than what's available on our commercial stations.

Back to the topic - Not a bad review for the average person who doesn' t know much about UAV's. The comments from the Chinese guys are interesting. If our own governments are not interested in allowing easy access to drone technology then the Chinese will and they will probably be ahead of us in a few years.

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