Techraking: Elevating The News conference

Posted By dickens on Apr 27, 2015 | 0 comments

Old stories, new perspectives. This is the mantra of Stanford John S. Knight Journalism Fellow Dickens Olewe, especially in regards to drone journalism. Engineers, journalists and drone enthusiasts alike gathered at Golden Gate Fields in Berkeley, Calif., for the ninth TechRaking conference on April 22.

In addition to live drone demonstrations and panel discussions by regulatory experts, conference-goers formed teams and pitched ideas for innovative drone usage.

“We’re talking about exciting applications we can do with this technology,” said Olewe, whose project African skyCAM won the inaugural African News Innovation Challenge in 2012.

In light of new FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) regulations and similar laws the world over regarding unmanned aerial vehicles, participants discussed how new laws would affect and possibly limit the use of drones in media. Currently, use of drones by media is not legal and proposed FAA regulations are expected in the fall.

While many panelists brainstormed the wide potential for both recreational and commercial UAV use, others went even further to suggest that drones may become a household appliance in the near future.

“The future of drone journalism is actually boring,” said Matt Waite, University of Nebraska–Lincoln professor and founder of the Drone Journalism Lab. “It is now and it will always be a tool. It’s a tool to tell stories, a tool to gather information.”

The TechRaking conference was hosted by The Center for Investigative Reporting, the News Lab at Google and Stanford University’s John S. Knight Journalism Fellowship program.

Courtesy of