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Drones In Journalism

Drones In Journalism

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Drones In Journalism

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  1. Drones In Journalism Missouri Drone Journalism Program: Convergence Capstone Group Robert Partyka, Jaime Cooke, Zach Garcia

  2. What are drones? • Drones are Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, or “bots” as the class has come to call them) • This technology is most popularly known for militaristic use • Under this identity, UAVs conduct surveillance and are able to carry out long-distance aerial attacks without the added risk of placing soldiers in combat • Domestic use of UAVs has been a controversial topic, due in large part to the reputation that militaristic use has given the technology • especially as it relates to surveillance Credit: Charles McCain, Creative Commons TIME Magazine

  3. The Program’s Drones • These are the types of drones the program has been working with • The drones were assembled locally, thanks to a collaboration with the MU Division of Information and Prof. Matthew Dickinson • Cheap to assemble when made from kit • Most of the program’s work was produced on two quadcopters, while footage from one hexacopter was used in later stages of the semester Credit: Sally French, Missouri Drone Journalism Program

  4. The Convergence Team -We spent the semester creating an online presence for the program in the form of a blog -Some of the events we witnessed (and covered for the blog) along the course of the semester: -A controlled prairie burn -An NBC Nightly News visit -Class sessions with Pakistani and Korean journalists -A Missouri House of Representatives hearing regarding a UAV bill -Flight reporting at the Missouri/Mississippi Rivers confluence and Cahokia Mounds in the greater St. Louis area -A group of students completely unfamiliar with flying UAVs becoming skillful operators of the technology

  5. The Conflict -The widely negative public perspective of UAV technology has led to 28 states either passing or currently considering bills that limit or prohibit use -Currently, no direct legislation from Federal Aviation Administration -In general: lower than 400 feet and away from populated or privately-owned areas -Internationally, laws vary greatly -Missouri: “Preserving Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act” - Passed by House (House Bill No. 46) - Currently under Senate review Missouri House Rep. Casey Guernsey was the driving force behind House Bill No. 46 Photo by Jaime Cooke -How it all affected us: -We needed to stay current on the fast-moving laws, as a precursor for what might happen in Mo. -We had to exercise caution in blog production, because we were constantly being monitored…

  6. Research • Researching the Nebraska program: similarities and differences • Drone laws in the US vs. other countries • The perception of drones in the media • Missouri drone laws

  7. Media Coverage -Media coverage played a large role in the Missouri Drone Journalism Program education - First press was from KCTV5, a Kansas City based CBS affiliate. - First print coverage was from Fast Company - Didn’t conduct interviews, simply quoted our blog • Opened the door for coverage from other sources • Students learned from the way the media covered us

  8. Media Coverage -NBC Nightly News was our first National TV coverage - Talked more about drone use in journalism -ABCnews.com and VICE featured Jaime’s video -KBIA published the three stories - Some content was also shared by partner publication Harvest Public Media

  9. Media Coverage -Most media coverage was non-confrontational - Fears of getting “slammed” in press coverage -Most press organizations “got it” • Reported fairly and didn’t present the program in a negative light • News outlets interested in using the technology themselves someday

  10. Blogging/Website -Maintaining and running a website was key to the program’s success. - Introduced viewers to the program and its key players, a forum for people to turn to -”Contact Us” page was added after misattribution in the media -Transparency was also an aim of the website

  11. Blogging/Website -Statistics and Viewership - As of yesterday, the site had around 4,500 views - Most of this traffic from search engines - 50% U.S. based traffic • Most popular pages are about the drones themselves, not content • Video on Cade Cleavelin has over 600 views

  12. Video on the Program • Integrating ourselves with the class • Filming class activities, Jeff City hearing, outings, interviews, grant video • Shooting during class, class visitors • Conducting “debriefing” interviews • Assisting class with multimedia editing, content gathering • Learning as we go • Filming during media coverage, NBC

  13. Video 1 • https://vimeo.com/61748786 • First video: Cade Cleavelin • Trial video, no set pre-production plan • Picked up by other media outlets (yikes!) • Interviewed Cade after the fact • Remained a 3rd party during shooting • Documentary style • Drone footage not so great

  14. Video 2: Better • https://vimeo.com/63522238 • In field: assisted class, gave footage to class • Similar style to Cade video, but overall better • Focus more on what student learned • Interviewed Brendan after the fact • Improved: had a focus beforehand, fleshed out story as I was in the field, prepared • Drone footage was better quality

  15. Other Video Work • Video used for pulling still images: Jeff City, Big Muddy Wildlife Refuge, Eagle Bluffs • Filmed NBC crew visit: what they think of drones in journalism • Filmed classroom visits: Pakistani Journalists Interviewed them, filmed during class Currently putting together a final video to give to the grant provider –straight interviews with Bill and Scott

  16. Video Teaching Points • Media visits: watching other crews cover the class the way we did each day • Filming during Jeff City hearing- standing my ground • In the field: be prepared, take risks, help each other • Interviewing journalists: tweek questions, ask them to tell a story • Stay one step ahead of class

  17. Favorites • Learning new technology: gopro, beachtech, drone, time lapse • Field Reporting: we had to go where they went • Freedom: no tripod! • High Energy: pioneer program • Team Spirit: small group reporting, one mission