First flight: MSU journalism students take camera aloft in public television studio

MSU Knight Center journalism students fly a drone in a WKAR studio

Marte Skaara, a student at MSU’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, pilots a drone with a high definition camera through a WKAR studio.

The camera flew through the WKAR public television studio on four rotors, spinning and even flipping as it recorded high definition images.
MSU students operated the drone with an I-Pad, getting a feel for the challenges of controlling a video feed while keeping the camera aloft. The exercise is part of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism’s new course, News eye in the clear sky.
The course examines the use of remote sensing devices – satellite images, data from buoys, Internet cameras, motion sensors, wildlife tracking sensors and drones – to better explain complex environmental issues to the public.
Federal regulators have not yet released rules for the civilian use of drones outdoors.  But the potential these Unmanned Aerial Vehicles have for capturing images has journalists and others plenty interested in how the technology will be harnessed.
They are particularly valuable for covering environmental issues and large scale landscape changes.
The MSU students are studying remote sensing technology’s potential application to journalism and other fields. At the same time they are researching the ethical and privacy concerns that such technology  poses.
The course is taught by Knight Center Associate Director David Poulson.

Evan Kreager flies with Erik Stiem as co-pilot.