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UAVs Used For Journalism Class

Air space could be used for journalism in the future. Photo by Richy Carrillo

Air space could be used for journalism in the future. Photo by Richy Carrillo

It seems as though journalism is being taken to new heights at the University of Missouri and Nebraska. Classes are being offered teaching students on drone reporting, despite that it is illegal for professional journalism for breaching of privacy.

The drone journalism lab at Nebraska-Lincoln stated in 2011, students are starting to learn how to fly unmanned autonomous vehicles (UAVs), they are collecting video footage and photographs for their projects. Both schools consider the classes to be experimental and are using the drones for things like water sampling, drought surveillance and controlled fire tracking.

This seems pretty interesting to me because it starts to show the industry is always evolving. At the same time though this could also be bad if it is left unregulated. For example, who is going to determine who will be able to own one, and how many can be owned to a company or personal use. Pretty soon the sky is going to be full of those things just taking pictures and shooting videos without anybody’s consent. Not only that they could also shoot at people’s homes and yards and even farms. To me there stands a big ethical question if it is right to have drones overhead in order to capture a good photo for an article. As journalists, we are constantly being challenged by decisions. Most recently the NY subway photo where a man died and opinions came up whether or not he could’ve been saved.

There is no doubt journalism is changing with social networking and now possibly drones. Both schools are considering this class as experimental, but I think it would be a good addition to the online journalism class at the University of Portland.

–          Richy

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