It is a common occurrence for important stories go unreported, as the area is either too hard to access or would put the reporter in harm’s way.
Recently, The Africa News Innovation Challenge has funded the African SkyCAM project, which implements the use of drones for journalists in Kenya. This provides an affordable alternative for media organizations that cannot invest in helicopters or send on-foot reporters to unsafe areas.
The organization also has another initiative in the works, africanDRONE, which would branch “drone journalism” across Africa.
This technology could be revolutionary for journalism in developing countries and also bring important issues to the world stage, which previously may have gone unreported.
However, like any technological development, it does not come without its concerns.
Ben Kreimer from the Drone Journalism Lab out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, who is working with the African SkyCAM project, says garnering the public trust could pose an issue for the growth of drone journalism.
“When most people think of drones, they think of military and surveillance aircraft, not a remote control quadcopter…” Kreimer said according to Sci Dev Net.
Legislation could also bring this type of journalism to a standstill.
Since there are currently no airspace laws in Kenya to regulate consumer drone-use, drone hobbyists could threaten the freedom journalists currently have if any incidents occur. One problematic drone incident could lead to a government-enforced blanket-ban on drone use.
In the meantime, Kenyan drone journalists are unveiling a world or opportunity for journalism in developing countries.