The Federal Aviation Administration recently made it easier for drones to be used for commercial means and CNN is taking full advantage. The news station announced last week the launch of its new drone program, CNN AIR. Poynter reports that the program includes two full time drone pilots and about a dozen drones.
The process to create the program took the network about two years. In 2014 Engadget reported CNN joined with Georgia Institute of Technology to study what would be needed to safely gather news by drone. Since then the news network has worked with the FAA for continued research and were granted permission to test drone use for news gathering. It paid off, as they are the first news network to have their own drone program.
In an interview with Poynter, Greg Agvent, the network’s senior director of news operations said there were three ways drones helped with news gathering: context, enhanced production value, and improving documentary storytelling. Their announcement video, as seen above, demonstrates what the network has already been able to do with their drones, with beautiful landscape shots from all over the nation, action sport shots, and most importantly how it’s helped illustrate to audiences the impact of breaking news stories like airstrikes and dangerous lead levels in a community.
It can be assured other news stations will quickly follow CNN AIR’s lead. Be ready to see a lot more aerials on your nightly news.