RTDNA Needs Journo-Drone Stories

WASHINGTON—The organization representing broadcast news operations is itself seeking stories about newsgathering drones. The Radio Television Digital News Association is urging members to “send us examples of drone uses,” so the organization can take them before the Federal Aviation Administration in its bid to get a waiver for their use.

“For the past several months, RTDNA and the NAB have been working with the FAA to seek a waiver to allow… drones to be used in a limited manner for newsgathering purposes,” said Mike Cavender, RTDNA executive director. “This waiver request is in advance of final rulemaking on the technology in the months ahead. The FAA has already granted similar, limited use waivers to some businesses, including several movie and TV production companies.”

RTDNA needs to include in the application “specific in-market examples of breaking news events and other news stories where the use of drones would have allowed for more access as well as better, safer video coverage than provided by equipment currently in use.”

RTDNA and the NAB are seeking a blanket but limited-use permission type of waiver. The FAA is concerned about drones falling on people’s heads. RTDNA and NAB believe they can make the case for breaking and spot news.

Cavender is asking for examples of where “drone coverage would have been useful and could have been accomplished safely and without undue risk to individuals.” His email is mikec-at-rtdna.org.