TV stations are increasingly using a relatively new storytelling tool to provide their viewers with a point-of-view that was usually only available by helicopter. Steady, sweeping, controlled aerial footage from drones can provide viewers with the scope of a story like flooding, a scope that can’t be conveyed with shots from the ground. Whether they […]
TV stations are increasingly using a relatively new storytelling tool to provide their viewers with a point-of-view that was usually only available by helicopter.
Whether they use and operate their own drone or hire a vendor, the camera attached to a drone has become a captivating way to witness many news stories.
In September, KWWL, Quincy’s NBC affiliate in Waterloo, Iowa, was the first station in the state to use a drone as part of its live coverage of the flooding of the Cedar River in that area.
“The station planned for its implementation of drone technology by getting a remote pilot certificate for our chief engineer, Dan Whaley,” said Jim McKernan, KWWL’s general manager.
“This step is critical in the process of deploying the technology, which allows us to comply with federal regulations.”
“Now that we have and make use of drone-enabled video, it will really change the experience, not only for us as broadcasters, but open up a whole new way to see stories from the viewer’s perspective,” said Chris Hussey, KWWL’s marketing director.
Hussey said drone video and some Facebook Live videos drove heavy web traffic, accounting for more than 9 million page views in a little over two weeks.
TV stations along the East Coast used drones to capture important views of damage, beach erosion and flooding due to Hurricane Matthew. Some areas of the Carolinas are still recovering from the rain that flooded parts of the state.
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NOTE: The FAA passed some new rules about drone use in September.
Commercial drones must weigh less than 55 pounds, fly up to a maximum of 400 feet in altitude, at a speed of no more than 100 miles per hour, and can only be operated during daytime and up to 30 minutes before sunrise and after sunset, according to the FAA rules. Drone operators must also qualify for flying certificates and be at least 16 years old.