Productive Workshop on Journalism From Above

Drone journalism is moving the limits for airborne news coverage. In September 2019 researchers from three continents met for a two-day workshop, Journalism from above, in Sweden to discuss critical aspects of this disruptive technology.

From Above Workshop

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The workshop was hosted by Mid-Sweden University in Sundsvall, which had invited more than twenty international media researchers to share their perspectives on drones in the news. Turo Uskali from Finland gave a talk on the development of Drone journalism in Finland. In very few years, Finnish drone journalism has emerged from being a visual tool applied on catastrophic events only to becoming an invaluable aerial camera used in everyday reporting.

In 2018 Uskali co-authored the Routledge-book Responsible Drone Journalism together with Astrid Gynnild. In her talk at the international workshop Gynnild discussed social implications of drone journalism as ubiquitous sensoring.

She emphasized the many uncertainties related to the increasing use of drones by hobby pilots. In Norway alone, several hundred thousand drones, from micro drones that weigh only a few grams to drones of 1,5 kilos are operated legally without being registered anywhere. With new regulations the aviation authorities seek to get the wild west-situation under more control and prepare for new aerial traffic space for drones of all sizes. But so far only a few aspects of these considerable societal changes have found their way into the news. An outcome of the workshop in Sundsvall is a Special issue on drones in the open access journal Media and Communication, which will be released in 2020.

Turo Uskali, Jyväskylä University, Finland (Video link)Drone journalism in Finland: From floods to every day reporting

Astrid Gynnild, University of Bergen,Norway Social implications of drone journalism as ubiquitous censoring