The Drone Journalism School Webinar

This Webinar was originally broadcast on:
June 14, 2017 Enroll Now
Watch and listen to the original one-hour Webinar in its entirety. This Webinar recording features the full presentation led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty including Q&A from the audience and resources from the presenter.

Course Overview

The Drone Journalism School Webinar
This $29.95 webinar is free thanks to the generous support of Google News Lab, the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, The National Press Photographers Association and DJI.
Originally Broadcast On:
June 14, 2017
Time Estimate:
One hour for the main presentation and questions. Sometimes presenters stay longer to answer additional questions from participants.

About Webinars

In this virtual classroom, participants can join in a seminar led by Poynter faculty and visiting faculty. This screencast includes live audio and a slideshow presentation in which participants can post questions and respond to poll questions posed by the host.

The Poynter Institute has partnered with Google News Lab, the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, The National Press Photographers Association and DJI to train more than 350 journalists in drone journalism school classes in 2017. Our workshops in Georgia and New York have filled to capacity and we have two more workshops in Wisconsin and Oregon.

This one-hour webinar gives you a taste of some of the teaching from those three-day drone journalism classes.

You will:

  • Hear from The Drone Journalism Lab founder Matt Waite, who teaches the fundamentals of the FAA Part 107 drone pilot test. Matt explains what to expect on the test and what he thinks the future holds for drone journalism pilots

  • Learn from NPPA’s general legal counsel Mickey Osterreicher, who has tracked the evolution of drone laws for years. Mickey explains how journalists are feeling pressure from local and state governments who want to regulate airspace and how journalists should respond to growing public concerns about privacy and drone safety.

  • Listen to Google News Lab’s Nicholas Whitaker, who says drone video has great value beyond covering breaking news. Whitaker explains how Google is working with partners to mine data from drones to build 3-D and virtual reality images. He says we are on the frontier of new ways to tell stories and improve journalism.

  • See what DJI, one of the powerhouses in drone manufacturing, is doing with drones around the world. From agriculture to industry to biology and journalism, drones are taking high definition photography into exciting new uses.

The host of this webinar, Poynter’s Al Tompkins, is an FAA Part 107 licensed pilot and will offer ethics guidelines that he, along with Waite and Osterreicher drafted for drone journalists. The ethics guidelines are a product of input from journalists who have attended our workshops.

What Will I Learn:
  • The basics of the FAA test: What is it, what’s in it, common misconceptions.
  • The lay of the legal landscape and why it is this way. The conflict of local and federal control.
  • The evolution of drone use. Where this is all heading and how drones are becoming essential not just to journalists.
  • The next steps for drone use including 3D mapping and interactive media.
  • The ethical frictions that confront us as drone journalists including privacy, production and safe operation.

This innovative program is offered in partnership with Google News Lab, with drones provided by DJI. Our teaching partners are the Drone Journalism Lab at the University of Nebraska, the National Press Photographers Association and our four host universities.

Who Should Take this Course:

Journalists working in any media, journalism students and journalism educators. We especially welcome newsroom managers who will make decisions about drone deployment and need to understand the legal implications of drone photography.

Training Partner:

Google News Initiative

The Google News Initiative collaborates with journalists and entrepreneurs to build the future of media with Google.

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it useful and accessible to everyone. Quality journalism is critical to that mission, providing accurate information to people on important issues when it matters the most.

Over the past decade, technological changes — and the shift to digital — have presented significant challenges to the underlying models that allow news organizations to produce quality journalism.

Technical Requirements:

1.4GHz Intel® Pentium® 4 or faster processor (or equivalent) for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended) for Windows 7 or Windows 8
Microsoft Internet Explorer 8, 9, 10, 11; Mozilla Firefox; Google Chrome
Adobe® Flash® Player 11.2+

1.83GHz Intel Core™ Duo or faster processor
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Mac OS X 10.7.4, 10.8, 10.9
Mozilla Firefox; Apple Safari; Google Chrome
Adobe Flash Player 11.2+

Bandwidth - 1.5 Mbits/sec up and down. We strongly suggest viewing our Webinars with a wired connection.

Some networks, especially those that use a proxy server, may encounter difficulty connecting to our Webinar software. If this is your first Poynter NewsU Webinar, please test your connection.

This Webinar contains audio. Please adjust your headphones or speakers.

Questions? Read our Webinar FAQ or contact us at

You can watch our Live Webinars on your iPad with a free Adobe Connect app. To watch Webinar replays, your iPad must be able to view Flash media players. The Live Webinar experience on your iPad is very similar to watching it from your computer. You can watch the video, follow the presentation, respond to polling questions, ask the presenter questions and participate in any discussion forums.

Download the free Adobe Connect app from iTunes here. To access the live event, click on the "Join Live Event Now" button on the Webinar landing page. The virtual room will automatically load. Viewing recorded Webinars on iOS devices is not currently supported.