Tummino #NTNM Assignment 3

5 years from now, every local and national news station will own at least one drone. It’s presumable that stations in bigger markets or cable networks like CNN or MSNBC will have more drones, and better quality drones as well. In the event of breaking news, drones will be employed to get the first pictures, or at least to supplement ground coverage. For local stations, covering a fire or major traffic accident from the air will no longer be impossible but commonplace. Major stories would also benefit from drone coverage as well. Take the many demonstrations across the country this past week in wake of the grand jury decision in Ferguson. All of those could be covered from the air via drone footage. This has already been done by some for this fall’s protests in Hong Kong:

(Click the option to open in a new window to view)

(Source: YouTube)

By this point, news helicopters will be mostly obsolete, due to their expense in being launched and operated, as well as due to the danger inherent in flying them over crowded urban and suburban areas. Cameramen will be trained on how to fly the drones in addition to station cameras.

10 years from now, the companies which make drones will have figured out how to make them stay in the air for hours at a time and will be able to mount bigger cameras on the drones. Pre-planned flight routes will allow drones to turn into blimps, flying around sports stadiums to supply aerial coverage of games. Drone proliferation will cause them to become somewhat more affordable, leading to news organizations buying more. By this point, it will no longer be necessary for news organizations to carry a large army of photographers, and instead will replace them with drone operators, who will be able to remotely fly drones and hover them near the ground to gather close video. Additional innovation may be required to allow drone operators to remotely operate cameras and microphones so the drones can be used to gather interviews as well.

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