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Taking Cal State LA to New Places

Drones become the new trend for college news reporting

DJI+Phantom
DJI Phantom

DJI Phantom

Ozzy Delaney

Ozzy Delaney

DJI Phantom

Carlos Gomez, Web Editor

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Drones have been a huge hit ever since last year. In fact, these new toys were a major gift for many families across the United States during the holiday season. Many of these new drones come equipped with cameras to capture stills and videos for the user. There are many applications for this new technology, in fact many newsrooms can benefit from these new advancements. The new Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s) have also caught the attention of amateur photo/videographers, many professional and student newsrooms, as well as the film industry, have already implemented them.

There are many different models of drones to choose from, depending on what you are looking for. An example would be the Hover Camera Passport, a lightweight drone that features a camera that can shoot in 4k resolution. The rotors on this drone are enclosed, meaning there is no threat of getting cut or hurt by the rotors. What’s more interesting is the weight of this drone model. Weighing less than the FAA registration requirement (.55 lbs), this drone does not require a permit to fly outdoors. Other drones, like the DJI Phantom 4, require registration and do not have enclosed rotors.

With photography being a huge factor in the newspaper industry, a drone with a camera could open up the doors to new angles for photos of campus events, social media campaigns, and sports coverage. For example, there are protests on campus where the turnout is big enough to be missed by a camera at ground level. The same can be said about a soccer, baseball, or tennis game if there were no bleachers. If a camera could be flown above the action, the whole game could be recorded or shot;  game coverage would be much more interesting for students and  athletes as well.

Having a drone for coverage also allows the possibility of expanding the course list here at Cal State LA. Point of View (POV) is a filming style where the camera imitates a human’s depth of field. This footage from a drone could potentially lead to courses designed to teach students how to make 360 photos/videos, VR filming, and ultimately AR implementations. Of course, this could take a couple of years after the implementation of the first UT drone, but perhaps it can be done. Cal State LA could be the first (or the best) campus to learn about these subjects and implement them to benefit the local communities that surround us. Not only that, but teaching students to implement these new courses could help students get into the Masters or Doctorate programs they truly desire.

All in all, while the first drone does not have to be an expensive piece of equipment, it can lead to  filming from an unexplored angle, be an adventure for places like campus newspapers. Since a college newspaper often represents a university’s advancement, it will provide a new path for the future of storytelling on college campuses.

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Taking Cal State LA to New Places