Within the last few years, there has been an increasing use of drones throughout the world. Many people use drones for recreational use because, well it can be very entertaining to fly them around and take amazing pictures from heights only someone in a plane or helicopter could reach. Drone accessibility is on the rise due to them becoming more affordable as well. As of 2016, consumer drones could be bought for as cheap as $40. With drones becoming more widespread and accessible, there have been many ethical questions that have arisen.
The ability to take pictures from the sky is a very powerful thing when it comes to the journalism field. But with that comes abuse, especially in the forms of safety and privacy. Why? Because there is a chance that what is captured on the drone's camera may invade someone's privacy. When journalists fly drones they are not prone to asking the people that they take pictures of for permission.
There is also the question about private and public property because air spaces are included. When people are flying drones, many of these questions are ignored and that is not good journalism.
When Cyclone Pam tore through Vanuatu in March 2015, 17,000 buildings were destroyed or damaged and 65,000 people were displaced from their homes. Journalists used drones to fly other the devastation and capture photos of the destruction. But, was this right? Due to the roofs of many houses being torn off, the drones could have captured very private moments between the families residing in the houses.
So how do we as journalists and drone users ethically deal with this issue? According to the Professional Society of Drone Journalists they use a code of ethics that ranks values from highest to lowest.