Articles, Blog

CBS Drone Force 2

November 13, 2019

To be an innovator in my field: it’s an
honor, it’s a thrill, it’s what gets you to work in the morning. To take
a new technology and identify it and know how to put it out in the field and
then to see it on television whether it’s that day or something that that’s a
permanent change, it’s just a wonderful… it’s the best part of the job.
I’m Peter McGowan news Operations Manager WCBS-TV. There was a a gas line building explosion in Paterson New Jersey I sent one of my guys out there
with a drone and we were able to see a crib that had been destroyed, a baby’s doll, a kitchen sink. And the reason that law enforcement and the fire officials saw
value in that is because that picture was all over the place in a way that
viewers hadn’t seen before for a good 36 hours of a news cycle. And that was their
way of telling the viewer visually, “Hey, if you smell gas this is what could
happen to you.” And that’s the kind of thing that we look for is that real
value added to a story. A different perspective, but it also serves a
journalistic purpose and a public service. I’m in charge of news gathering, field operation, editors intake. Pretty much if you watch the 5 o’clock
news and you see somebody standing out there in the field I’m responsible for
that one way or the other. Viewers are expecting when they see a story that’s
well produced that it’s well shot. And they want to see something different, and
they want to see something cool, and when we first started seeing drone footage,
particularly with the high quality, it just blew us away. You want to make sure
that we’re gonna do this, but that we’re gonna be responsible and add to the
viewer journalistic experience. And there were a lot of concerns about it. You know
drones have almost started off with a bad name, because there are a lot of
people out there that don’t know the rules. But our job is to really
set the bar and drones are probably the most exciting thing to come along in
terms of news-gathering, and in terms of the viewer experience on the big screen,
really since the helicopter. It’s compelling, it’s exciting and we are
absolutely in its infancy. I could easily see a drone being a standard equipment
as a tripod and a camera, and it’s exciting to be on the ground floor of
that, and that’s where we love to be

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