DRONE JOURNALISM TALKING POINTS
FROM THE PROFESSIONAL SOCIETY OF DRONE JOURNALISTS
1. As per our bylaws, the PSDJ has three main goals: development, adoption, and advocacy.
Our goals are: ( a ) Fostering the development and safe operation of unmanned vehicles for journalistic purposes; ( b ) Advocating freedom of responsible and ethical use of unmanned vehicles by journalists, ( c ) Furthering the adoption of unmanned vehicles by the press through education, outreach, and promotion.
2. Journalists seek to be ethical, responsible users of drone technology.
Journalists who use drones are concerned with documenting public events happening in public places. As any other drone operator, journalists should be trained to use drones safely and certified to demonstrate their ability to fly safely.
3. The public’s access to information is limited when journalists are barred from access to the skies.
Journalists should not be barred arbitrarily from flying drones, as doing so would limit the public’s access to important information.
4. Drones are aerial platforms for sensors, which journalists intend to use to expand public knowledge.
Being much less expensive and safer than news helicopters, they enable independent journalists to cover important events from a valuable perspective. A variety of airborne sensors can enable journalists to make quantifiable, evidence-based news reports, such as counting crowds at political protests, or measuring environmental impact. Drones will enable journalists to obtain data and provide independent verification for the public good, where before only governments had the ability or authority to do so.
5. The use of drones enables the documentation of events not possible by traditional means.
Developments in UAS technology have enabled the reporting and documentation of events in areas formerly inaccessible or too dangerous for traditional reporting techniques. Recent examples include coverage of violent uprisings in Egypt, Venezuela and The Ukraine. Drones allow journalists to document hazardous scenes such as train crashes, large fires or industrial accidents, and coverage of sporting events not accessible via traditional manned means.
6. “Drone” simply refers to a remote-controlled aircraft or boat.
The PSDJ conforms to the definitions written in authoritative english-language dictionaries, such as the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) and Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary, all of which define a drone as a remotely-controlled aircraft or boat. Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) is defined as the aircraft itself, and any kind of ground-based equipment used to control the aircraft. Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and Remotely Piloted Aerial System (RPAS) also are acceptable.