Drone journalism takes off

A really well balanced, correct and insightful article on ABC News Australia, very much in contrast with what is coming out of the mainstream press in the USA.

Mark Corcoran http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-02-21/drone-journalism-takes-off/3840616

Drones play an increasing and controversial role in modern warfare. From Afghanistan and Pakistan to Iran and Yemen, they have become a ubiquitous symbol of Washington’s war on terrorism.

Critics point to the mounting drone-induced death toll as evidence that machines, no matter how sophisticated, cannot discriminate between combatants and innocent bystanders.

Now drones are starting to fly into a more peaceful, yet equally controversial role in the media. Rapid technological advances in low-cost aerial platforms herald the age of drone journalism.

But it will not be all smooth flying: this new media tool can expect to be buffeted by the issues of safety, ethics and legality.

2 comments for “Drone journalism takes off

  1. 22 February 2012 at 2:36 am

    I have a tough time with this. As a professional computer geek (I’m a network admin) and electronics/RC hobbyist, I am drawn to the tech side of UAS. I can also see a myriad of uses for UAS in a number of humanitarian and commercial roles (search and rescue, reconnaissance and aid in disaster areas, pipeline patrols, fish and wildlife surveys…you get the picture).

    However, I am also aware of the huge, huge privacy and ethical issues raised by low-cost drones. They are already cheap enough that a middle-class hobbyist can experiment with semi-autonomous vehicles, and the electronic sensors available now would have given Orwell cold sweats if he could only have imagined them. Although I “have nothing to hide,” I am not sure I am all that jazzed about police forces obtaining drones. Considering how our government has shrugged its collective shoulders at reports of, ahem, “collateral damage” in the war against terror overseas, I am not optimistic that having drones in the hands of LEO’s across the country is going to usher in a golden age of peace and tranquility. Much more likely, I suspect, that we will one day wake up wondering, in the words of the Talking Heads, “How did we get here?”

    • 23 February 2012 at 9:10 am

      Very fair comments Mike, may you live in interesting times as those shortly in charge of everything say.

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