The MU School of Journalism is experimenting with the use of drone technology in field reporting.
In Feb. 2013, MU secured a $25,000 grant for the university to build custom drones. While innovative to say the least, the University of Nebraska has been developing a drone journalism lab since 2011.
The two schools are hoping these experimental programs can lead to a permanent use for drones in the field of journalism.
Expanding drone technology could lead to a fundamental breakthrough in the way multimedia journalism is presented. With the ability to capture HD videos and still images, drones will allow journalists to travel to areas they’ve never been able to before.
Imagine how drones would have helped journalists cover Missouri’s historic drought in 2012. Using the drones to fly over crop fields and capture images and video of the destruction would have definitely added an interesting element to the way its coverage was presented.
Unfortunately, using drones for journalism purposes has raised a lot of ethical questions from civilians and legislators. They fear drones could be used for illegal purposes and the invasion of privacy.
Journalists are always searching for different tools to expand coverage and simplify reporting. Drone technology will allow reporters to cover stories in a very innovative and unique way. Provided that they do it in an ethical manner, I believe drones will help media coverage and provide yet another tool for journalists to employ in the field.