Saturday, December 31, 2016

Cathy Strong explores drone journalism

Former BJ State Desk reporter Cathy Robinson Strong, on the faculty of Massey University in Wellington, New Zealand, wrote an extensive paper on the new methods to cover the news, particularly drone cameras.

Cathy Strong
There’s even a Professional Society of Drone Journalists, founded in 2011. Can you imagine Don Roese or Ott Gangl piloting drones to get their photos of major news events?

Drone cameras are much cheaper than hiring a plane or helicopter for aerial photos, and can get closer to the actual happening. Drone cameras made a major impact in covering Typhoon Haiyan that hit the Philippines in 2013, which was a tuneup for even better and more extension coverage of  the Nepal earthquake in 2015.

The major limitation is battery life, so the drone cameras have to get in and back to base in a few hours. But then they can go back out again with fresh batteries.

The other barrier is dealing with restrictions on drones from country to country.

Maybe the BJ should get a drone camera to cover major events in Akron or Cleveland.

And then there are backpack journalists, who can get to the affected people quicker and closer to collect and tell the story in words and images. Problems there, too with poor sound and images if the reporter isn’t good with both technology and interviewing victims.

Cathy has been in New Zealand for decades, with a 3-year break to teach journalism in Dubai, United Arab Emirate. She flies to America regularly to visit family and friends. Cathy’s sister, Janet Mullins, lives on Bainbridge Island, Washington.
Cathy’s married daughters are Penelope, Rebecca and Amanda, all living in New Zealand, where earthquakes are a weekly occurrence.

The late Fran Murphey, retired BJ photographer Don Roese, former State Desk reporter Paula Stone Tucker and I have visited Cathy in New Zealand.

If you’re in New Zealand and want to look up senior lecturer Cathy, she’s in the Massey University School of Communication, Journalism and Marketing, Room SF47, Block 5. Her phone number is (04) 801-5799, extension 63549 and her email is  

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