CNN announced on Thursday the launch of CNN Aerial Imagery and Reporting (CNN AIR), which will use unmanned aerial systems to assist in its reporting.
According to a press release provided to The Daily Caller, Terence Burke, senior vice president of national news, said that “CNN’s cutting-edge development of technology to enhance the way we tell stories is a part of our DNA. We are proud to continue the tradition with CNN AIR, and to establish a unit that will expand our technological capabilities for newsgathering.”
CNN has formed the “first media-related research partnership with the Georgia Tech Research Institute” and will be in a direct research agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration.
According to the press release, in 2015, “CNN was selected by the FAA as one of the first three industry ‘Pathfinders’ to develop safe uses of UAS in newsgathering. CNN has shared data and research that has helped formulate a framework for various types of UAS to be safely integrated into the national air space and continues to work to expand the safe and legal operation of UAS in newsgathering.”
CNN has already deployed the use of drones in its coverage of the recent flooding in Louisiana, the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the Republican and Democratic conventions, presidential primary debates, and town halls. The 50th anniversary of the civil rights march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and Anderson Cooper’s coverage of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina also included drone coverage.