Send in the drones

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During the Occupy wall Street demonstrations in USA in 2011, journalists were blocked access to the area. But drones found a way. Activists built their own mobile phone-controlled drones, and could broadcast what was happening in the protest area directly on YouTube. The clashes between police and protestors were only to a small degree reported by the large news channels, but was heavily reported on YouTube.

Drones offer huge advantages for journalists, for instance when covering nature disasters. In many ways, drones have revolutionized journalism. But is technology developing too fast for the ethics and regulations to keep up? So far, Norwegian journalists have used drones responsibly, but still, restrictions and prohibitions are being proposed for large areas of Norway.

Professional journalists are usually aware that you are not allowed to use drones within 5 kilometres from an airport. But there are 200 000 drones in Norway operated by amateurs without any training and with various knowledge about the rules and regulations concerning drones.

Thomas Wold