Drones replacing reporters?

By: | Published: April 15, 2018 4:32 AM

The global digital video team at CNN Digital uses VR in the field when covering major news events, and produces packages in stunning 360 degree video, transporting users to the front row of global events as part of their toolbox of reporting tools.

drones, reporters, technology, artificial intelligenceWith emerging technologies and their varied commercial applications, various industries are transforming how they do business. (Reuters)

With emerging technologies and their varied commercial applications, various industries are transforming how they do business. The same can be said about the news media industry, which is in a learning phase as it attempts to use drones, virtual reality, social media newsgathering, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and more. And news companies have been relatively quick on the uptake. Though drones are just one of the ‘newer’ ways to gather news or disseminate it, the use of virtual reality (VR), gathering via social media, curated content for digital-only consumption and robo-journalism are just some of the broader methods that are transforming the business of news.

The global digital video team at CNN Digital uses VR in the field when covering major news events, and produces packages in stunning 360 degree video, transporting users to the front row of global events as part of their toolbox of reporting tools. Greg Agvent, senior director, CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting, shares that drone-produced aerial imagery can add context, perspective and understanding to a news event — and can also enhance storytelling and improve production value.

Closer home, NDTV began an initial experiment with mobile journalism about two years ago. Samsung India and NDTV signed an agreement in 2017, wherein Samsung provided Galaxy S8+ smartphones to the news organisation for the purpose of filming/recording of news and other programme/content. The World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year was one of the biggest events NDTV covered using smartphones. Suparna Singh, CEO, NDTV, adds, “Our seniormost anchors, including Vikram Chandra and Prannoy Roy, shot their big interviews using smartphones. It makes shooting and delivering the footage far less clunky, allows for a way more modern and real-time feel, and the quality is super.”

BBC has been able to use UAS (unmanned aerial systems) successfully for newsgathering and has been doing so since 2013. BBC tends to use UAS for stories in more rural areas, and for current affairs features rather than breaking news. BBC crafts content to be able to deliver it via Google Home, Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa. A team of journalists is dedicated to produce content for the voice-enabled AI devices that churn out hourly news and sports updates.

There are companies coming up that make use of AI to scan through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram primarily, and shares tip-offs, breaking events, live feeds and straightforward stories off press releases with at least five major TV networks and several regional newspapers in Japan. ‘The Modern Day News Hunt’

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