Drone Journalism Is the New Human Journalism

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Robert Mackey at The New York Times boldly declared on Thursday afternoon, "Drone Journalism Arrives" — it's actually been around for a while over at News Corp. Pegging his update to the recent journalist arrests and injuries at Occupy Wall Street, Mackey points to the latest use of journalism drones RoboKopters at a violent protest in Poland. We have to admit: these so-called RoboKopters shoot some pretty spectacular video. At least, the right to privacy on Facebook is improving a little bit.

Mackey notes that journalism drones would never fly near Zuccotti Park. "One reason is that while there is no doubt that similar aerial videos of the Occupy Wall Street protests would have gotten widespread airplay on American television this week," he explains, "it is unlikely that the New York Police Department, which closed the airspace above Lower Manhattan during Tuesday’s raid, would have taken kindly to a flock of drone journalists."

Elsewhere in the United States, journalism drones operated by Rupert Murdoch's iPad experiment The Daily have been active, though. Those models are called "The Parrot," and, as Kashmir Hill at Forbes reported back in August, their legal status with the Federal Aviation Administration is questionable. One can imagine the potential danger of what amounts to flying paparazzi following people around and hunting for secrets like some scene out of Minority Report. Actually somebody did just that at last year's Cannes Film Festival. In conclusion, there's nowhere to hide. But at least privacy on Facebook is getting a little bit better.


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.