Topics in Visual Journalism

Drone Journalism

Course Details

The advent of drone technology gives journalists and filmmakers a powerful new tool– a camera that flies! Aerial photography is a consideration in nearly every major production today, from breaking news to feature documentaries. Federal, state and local laws and regulations, however, drastically limit what is possible.

This new ten-week module will teach students how to fly DJI drones. We will cover the technical controls of the aircraft in the classroom and have hands-on lessons flying the drone in the field.

It will also be a lesson in aerial cinematography from a journalism standpoint. What type of shots best tell the story and how can we get them? We will cover the ethical, legal and privacy concerns of a flying camera in news situations. 

Lastly, the course will prepare students to pass to the FAA’s Part 107 commercial drone pilot regulations at the end of the semester. Any journalist who wants to fly professionally, needs to be certified as a commercial remote pilot. In addition to classroom instruction, students will be required to meet on 2 different weekend days during the semester for flight training near Coney Island. We will offer several options for flight training to avoid any personal conflicts. Our classroom time will be shortened to make up for this additional instruction time.