Drones: an up-and-coming newsgathering tool for journalists that must be safeguarded, OSCE Representative says, issuing recommendations
VIENNA, 3 March 2016 – The use of drones by journalists for newsgathering purposes falls under the right of the media to publish news as well as the public’s right to receive information and ideas, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said today as she presented a set of recommendations on drone journalism.
“The evolvement of new technology constantly provides new ways for how members of the media collect information and their reporting,” Mijatović said. “Drones play an increasingly important role for how journalists can get information and cover events, and as such, drone journalism constitutes an integral part of the right to freedom of information.”
Drones, or remotely piloted aircraft (RPAs), provide new and advantageous ways to support news coverage. For example, when it comes to reporting on situations of civil unrest, drones provide a remote vantage point, providing crucial coverage while protecting journalists’ safety.
“Deploying RPAs for the purpose of journalism should be put under the dynamics of the exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of information,” Mijatović said. “It is a tool like any other for a journalist and it is part of gathering news.”
In a communiqué issued today, the Representative recommended the OSCE participating States to:
- Recognize that the use of drones by journalists for newsgathering purposes is within the right of the media to publish news as well as the public’s right to receive information and ideas;
- Accept that it is not akin to other civilian uses of RPAs because the publication of news is an exercise of freedom of the media;
- Encourage a legal and regulatory regime for the deployment of RPAs nationally which recognizes the unique and legitimate function of drones for the purpose of newsgathering in the public interest.
The Representative’s communiqué on the use of drones for journalism is available at www.osce.org/fom/225721.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on www.facebook.com/osce.rfom.