The website for the BBC College of Journalism published an interesting post on Friday by BBC world affairs producer Stuart Hughes, which looked at how news organisations could use drones as “newsgathering tools”.
According to Hughes, “in theory” the aircraft could be a useful tool for news outlets keen to get a bird’s-eye view of certain news events, such as protests.
Photographers covering election demos in Moscow also deployed a UAV – prompting some onlookers to suspect they had spotted a UFO over the Russian capital.
The resulting images were widely used by international news organisations – including the BBC.
However, Hughes said that in reality regulations would make it difficult to operate the aircraft “in built up and congested areas – exactly the sort of places where most news stories take place”.
Understandably so – no news organisation would want to deal with the legal consequences if its unmanned camera crash-landed onto the head of a peaceful protestor.
But nevertheless he is “excited by the prospect of using Big Boys’ Toys as part of our newsgathering”.
It may be some time yet before drone journalism becomes commonplace but, potentially, the sky’s the limit.