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Journalism Goes High Tech and Aerial

by Richard Cochrane on July 08, 2014

Paparazzi aside, wouldn't it be great to supply valid journalists and photojournalists with tools that kept them safe while allowing them to observe and record the facts? Fortunately, as reported in an online article on May 23, 2014 - "flocks of airborne camera drones will change journalism..." (Levine, 2014)

In the article, it is explained that flying camera drone gear is already considered to be nearly "mainstream" and that our "information hungry society" is going to be empowered by the expansion of this equipment. The drone, helicam, flying camera, etc. is something that will give "aerial sight" to an entire population once tied to earthbound positions.

This is a method of garnering facts and data akin to that of government and spy agencies. Because of this, however, the gear is often targeted and disabled or destroyed by those in charge. The article referenced a few recent events in which the use of a flying camera or drone and helicam configuration allowed non-government groups and individuals to document controversial events. However, some of the events recorded ended up with the drone or helicam being shot down and destroyed.

Of course, this proves that access to such gear is essential because it must already be reducing barriers to information, facts, and so much more.

The Cost

Naturally, many people reading this would automatically say that it doesn't make sense for an independent journalist to sink capital into a drone or helicam simply because it is likely to be damaged or destroyed at any time. While there is truth in this, it is important to note that many firms are making this once costly tech far more reasonable and accessible.

If you visit Heli Video Pros website you find not only a flying camera store and helicam experts, you also find such popular choices as the DJI Phantom in stock and for sale. The octocopter tech highlighted in the article mentioned above is available, and any type of accessories and essentials are to be found as well.

This says a great deal about the level of knowledge already existing in the drone industry. However, it is imperative to understand the financial "risks" of ownership. If you don't visit a website such as Heli Video Pros you are going to allow your own imagination to have free reign, and this could let you convince yourself that the prices are probably at "government budget only" levels. You know, the ten thousand dollar toilet seat theory, etc.

However, you would be wrong and the cost for something like a "ready to fly" DJI Phantom 2 might astonish you, and send you running to the nearest drone store.

Naturally, these are not exactly disposable items, but they are far from inaccessible to the amateurs hoping to upgrade to drone experts or flying camera experts in the near future. You will have to master the technology as this is a form of flight, but when you do you will be astonished at all that can be documented.

Just to prove that the flying camera and drone aerial filming is considered a leading source of valid journalism, keep in mind that CNN has an ongoing and open request for "crowdsourced" drone aerial footage. This tells us that journalism is already receptive to the use of this impressive gear, and that even an amateur who invests in something like the DJI Zenmuse or the DJI Phantom will find their time, experience, and curiosity well rewarded.

There is a lot to be said of aerial filming, and whether you use it to capture amazing natural events, local news stories, or even something as dramatic as fireworks or volcanoes, it will pay off.

Works Cited

Levine, Barry. Flocks of airborne camera drones will change journalism. VentureBeat. 2014.


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