Drones

for 

Journalism

    Journalism is an industry that should be affected by drones in a slightly different way from other industries. It’ll be directly and indirectly economically affected. Drones in the journalism industry have only one use which is to take aerial photography instead of taking it from a helicopter or from the ground. This one use can help journalists in various different situations. Drones are already being used by journalists in many places.

    The major direct effect from drones in journalism would be their eventual ability to make helicopters redundant in most cases. Helicopters are used for journalism in many natural disasters and also in places that are hard for journalists to normally get to. Drones on the other hand are much smaller, cheaper, require less manpower and can in most cases do whatever a helicopter intended on doing. Drones are also much more mobile and faster. In terms of they can take off and be taking pictures much faster than a journalist in a helicopter. Most drones are also portable and can be taken everywhere with journalists. Because of all these different factors drones would result in a massive decrease in manpower and operating costs for news firms and journalists. This would allow news media firms to allocate more funds to drones, having more of them operating at the same time and increasing journalism coverage.

    There is an organisation in Africa called “AfricanskyCAM” (http://www.africanskycam.com) and they are Africa’s first drone journalism team. They are using drones to cover various different things that happen in Africa. These include natural disasters such as flooding, a political rally and many others. This is only one journalism team and they are the start of a bigger move. The move for bigger journalism firms to start using drones. Already the economic impacts are evident in this industry. It is very hard and usually impossible in many countries to get aerial footage of floods but with drones it’s much easier. As AfricanskyCAM has already shown, drones can create a more free and competitive journalism industry that would end up positively affecting the business environment of journalism.

    Another way that drones can help journalism is in specific countries. Some countries lack freedom of the press not because of government control but because of constant fear of journalists being attacked for reporting on certain topics. An example of this is in Pakistan where in 2013 there were five attacks on journalists [1]. Due to these attacks most journalists don’t report on certain things that happen in some countries. Therefore limiting the freedom and reach of the press. If we were to use drones instead of humans to report on certain events, we would dramatically decrease the risk to the journalist and increase media reach and freedom in these countries. Doing so will allow news media to grow more freely. This will in result make the business environment for journalism firms in these countries more free and easy to enter, eventually having a positive economic impact.

    In conclusion drones in Journalism will have a different kind of impact compared to drones in other industries. However, they will eventually end up having a positive economic impact on this industry. The only thing holding back drones in journalism for now is regulations that are being eased in many countries, and we should see more of an impact on this industry in the coming years.

[1]"Terrorist Attacks on Journalists in Pakistan." Satp.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Aug. 2015. <http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/pakistan/database/Terrorist_attacks_Journalist.htm>.