Australian journalist reports on the evolving language of the drone debate

Mark Corcoran, a journalist working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), has career experience that affords special insight on how "drones" can be used in reporting. As an international correspondent who's witnessed historic and tumultuous moments such as the Arab Spring from Cairo's Tahrir Square, he is interested in how these unmanned systems can reduce a journalist's exposure to harm.

He's taken time out from reporting abroad to conduct research MA through the University of Technology at Sydney, specifically to mull over drone journalism. He's recently published a piece for ABC on the impact the word "drone," and the unmanned aircraft industry's attempt to re-brand the technology from bringer of war to life-saving robot.

An excerpt:

"The 'D word' now dominates public discourse, from political debate, US Congressional reporting, and academic research, through to cover stories in influential media such as Time and specialist publications including the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Magazine.

Earlier this week the industry’s most powerful lobby group, the Washington–based Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), ran up the white flag.

Speaking at the Avalon International Air Show, AUVSI's chairman, Australian Peter Bale, said: "I'm going to roll over on this one, and call them drones from now on. There are just some fights you are not going to win."

His decision has been extremely unpopular with sections of the aviation industry, but Mr Bale argues there are far more important battles to fight."

Posted on March 7, 2013 .