A tussle over airspace. Could news drones be collateral damage?

From Reynolds Journalism Institute

There’s a movement afoot that would severely limit how drones can be used – and it would essentially make using a drone for journalism illegal in many cases. Judd Slivka, director of aerial journalism at the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, has written about it for RJI’s site. This is a piece that breaks this news in the journalism community, he says.

Here’s a summary:

  • The right to fly over private property is legally well established. But various groups are trying to restrict that for privacy purposes. In doing so, they may open up media outlets to frivolous lawsuits that could harm First Amendment rights. 
  • This latest effort – which is being posed as model legislation for states to adopt – not only makes flying over someone’s property cause for a civil suit, it also makes taking photos or videos of someone’s property a cause for civil action.

Check out the post here: 


Slivka runs the RJI drone journalism program and has spoken to numerous groups around the country about the intersection between drones, journalism and property rights. He also works with communities and parks systems to develop common sense policies. He’s a former newspaper and TV reporter and is also a recognized expert in the field of mobile journalism.

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