MDJ Starter Kit: The Decision Generator

Welcome to the Missouri Drone Journalism Start-up Kit! This kit is designed to aid businesses considering implementing drone piloting into their business practices. Although this kit is primarily for newsrooms, the information presented in the kit’s various sections can be applied to any commercial drone usage. Let’s get started! Meet the Decision Generator, a simple tool for making sure that you’re making good decisions before the drone is in the air. 

The Law

  • Will you be within the limitations set by Section 107?
  • Will you be breaking potential laws as understood by common journalism practices – right to privacy, free speech limitations, etc.

The Airspace

  • What’s the classification of the area you’re trying to shoot? (how close to an airport?)
  • If close (5-10 miles, normally) to an airport, do you have authorization/waiver?
  • Are you within any Alert Areas, MOAs, or other specialized airspaces?

The Ethics

  • Safety
  • Privacy
  • Sanctity of public spaces?

The Equipment

  • Is everything in good repair?
  • Are there any necessary updates to make before going in the field?
  • Have you logged any maintenance/equipment add-ons?

The Station’s Mission Rules

  • Weather
  • Newsworthiness
  • Necessity of drone usage
  • Anything else decided by your individual newsroom