An Eye In The Sky, Part 2


By Joey Martin

Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) Is the use of drones becoming so popular that it could change the way you watch your daily newscast?

"They want new... they want different... they want something they've never had before. And I think a drone is capable of accomplishing just that," says Chris Pruitt, GM at Neuhoff Communications.

The use of drones in the civilian world is a new concept, but it’s a concept that is gaining speed every day.

And for the world of local television, a drone could be used in a variety of different ways.

"I see the drone... video production device being used in several applications in news that we cover just here in our local area," Pruitt explains.

"You know before, we’re looking at let's say an accident scene from a ground level view... whereas we were to deploy a drone to get an overhead view it gives people more variety... more and better coverage of the news and how the news is actually happening," he adds.

That being said, is there a line being crossed when civilians or local media outlets are using flying cameras on a daily basis?

"I think there is a worry amongst your everyday citizen out there that these drones would be used in inappropriate manners. I can tell you from a news organization... I could never see an instance where we would put people's lives in danger. We would always take into consideration the unintentional consequences of our actions. We would certainly be keeping a top of mind, making sure that were respecting people’s privacy. I think all of those things have to come into play," Pruitt says.

The applications of the use of drones in your local daily news range from, of course the hard hitting stuff, but there is always the lighter side of life that makes the news every day.

"We'll use it for the fun stuff... the light-hearted things... you know, the race with kids... perhaps maybe at a football game," Pruitt explains.

At the end of the day, the use of a new form of technology is usually met with skepticism, and with no official legislation regulating the use of these drones in the media world... is it the future of broadcast journalism or is it just another passing fancy?

"As we go down this road of the evolution of this incredible piece of gear that can allow us to get a bird’s eye perspective... there comes a responsibility that comes with it. And perhaps it will be something that we will just have to face and address," Pruitt points out.

So for now, the use of civilian drones is teetering on the realm of uncharted space... but the applications are endless.

Currently there is no official legislation on the book that would limit local media outlets from using drones.

But as the technology progresses and the laws change, only the future will tell.

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