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Feb. 26, 2013, 10:31 p.m.
LINK: www.usnews.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   February 26, 2013

US News writes about the two midwestern j-schools (Mizzou and Nebraska) who are attempting early experiments in using drones to help report news. Matt Waite’s Drone Journalism Lab at Nebraska received funding from Knight Foundation to explore uses of the unmanned aircraft last year. At the moment, non-commercial organizations like universities are the only places that can use drones outside of the government. That doesn’t mean there are no legal concerns:

Professors at both schools are also struggling with how to use drones in a way that will keep them off the radars of groups interested in privacy. In Missouri’s graduate school program (which has about 10 students enrolled), they are “having a hard time figuring out how to integrate [drones],” says Scott Pham, content director at [public radio station] KBIA and co-head of the Missouri program.

“The law has so much grey area — we have to find stories that are not going to involve people. The more people that are involved, the closer you get to legal and ethical issues,” he says. “We’re researching the laws, but to be honest, I want to find a way to skirt the issue.”

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