What is being billed as the broadcast media industry’s inaugural how-to guide designed for the newsroom that seeks to use its own camera crews for drone-based story gathering has been released.
The training, equipment and support toolkit is being offered by drone services provider Measure. It is designed to give media and broadcast companies the option to outsource all drone operations to Measure-employed pilots, or the ability leverage the toolkit to capture their own footage.
“Both options relieve news crews and production managers of drone-related responsibilities ranging from hardware and software selection to airspace permitting, regulatory compliance, insurance coverage, equipment maintenance and repairs, and everyday troubleshooting,” Measure says. “The value of the service is reflected in the adoption of Measure’s turnkey service by major cable and broadcast news organizations since its launch more than a year ago, providing broadcast-quality aerial footage of Hurricane Matthew, the 2016 presidential election and other major news events around the world.”
The toolkit extends the following benefits to media organizations that wish to fly drones with their own staff:
• Broadcast-ready drone and camera hardware, including the DJI Inspire 2 and DJI X5S Micro 4/3 camera with interchangeable lenses. Equipment can be either leased or purchased directly from Measure.
• A LiveU Bonded Cellular Uplink enabling live footage to be transmitted directly to the customer’s production booth without dependence on a satellite or microwave truck.
• A pilot training program specifically designed for newsgathering and taught by former U.S. military flight instructors, training news crews to minimize risk while flying in challenging environments.
• Pilot, flight operations and equipment tracking, enabling customers to monitor pilot behavior for potentially dangerous flight operations that compromise safety while also capturing flight logs, project metadata and equipment usage that helps determine maintenance schedule.
• Maintenance and repair support from Measure drone engineers, including assistance in the event of a mishap.
• Preferred insurance with significantly discounted premiums as well as optional extra coverages for special events
• Regulatory support to ensure that news crews know when and where it is safe and legal to fly.
• Help desk assistance via phone or web portal, reducing media company workload by allowing questions about flight operations, regulatory compliance or mechanical issues to be addressed to Measure pilots, flight instructors, drone engineers and regulatory experts.
“Drones are now an essential newsgathering tool, but media companies face major challenges in bringing drone newscasting to their operations,” said Measure VP/Media Jon Ollwerther. “You need to be an expert in everything from drone flying to state and federal regulations. With our turnkey service, any news organization can be up and flying today. Now with our toolkit, media organizations can leverage drone technology for reporting purposes while using their own news crew and safely building an in-house capability.”
Measure’s unique broadcast news toolkit is part of a broader expansion that also includes the opening of new offices in Washington D.C., New York and Los Angeles.