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Archive for July 25th, 2013

Update: Please read the discussion of legal issues at the end of this post.

I was writing an email in a conference room between appointments at the Charleston Daily Mail when the newsroom erupted in commotion. Laughter, exclamations and a whirring sound. I stepped out to investigate. And I saw the maiden flight of the West Virginia Video Drone.

Retiring Editorial Page Editor Johanna Maurice wanted to leave her newsroom with something to remember her by. She says she’s not tech-savvy at all (not on Twitter), but she’s been watching as her colleagues have raced into the digital age. So she bought an app-controlled drone quadricopter, equipped with a video camera, to give to her colleagues.

It’s not the first Digital First newsroom to use a drone. I think that was the Macomb Daily last year in its coverage of Jimmy Hoffa dig. But it’s the first Digital First newsroom (that I know of) with its own drone. The staff had some fun testing it (see the Tout videos below).

The drone’s debut was perfectly timed for me, not just during my visit, but only a few hours after my Tout workshop. I was pleased to see staffers who had taken the workshop whip out their phones to capture the flight on video. (A few who hadn’t attended were shooting vertical videos, but I gently informed them that they needed to shoot with their cameras turned horizontally. (more…)

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