Drone Journalism and the Redefinition of Ethics in Professional Journalism

Conference: The European Conference on Media, Communication & Film (EuroMedia2020)
Title: Drone Journalism and the Redefinition of Ethics in Professional Journalism
Stream: Digital Media and Use of New Technology in Newsgathering
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Beryl Ehondor, Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria
Emmanuel Nzeaka, Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria


The emergence of drones in journalism has raised questions concerning its use and implications against the backdrop of local and global professional media’s interpretation of ethics. This subject is germane at this time taking into consideration the pervasiveness of drone technology in news-gathering and investigative journalism. The emergence and convenience of drone journalism are fraught with dialectics around privacy, intrusion and professional ethics. The redefinition of ethics is therefore imminent in the face of rising challenges associated with drone journalism. This paper thus postulates that the application of ethics in journalism requires modifications to suit the demands of this avant-garde reporting, as the intrusive nature of this medium of investigative journalism will create new ethical challenges for practitioners, governments and citizens. This paper engages literature review and discourse analysis on the issues of ethical dilemmas in drone journalism, implications for the African Media and society. The focus is to contribute to journalism ethics in a drone age via a re-definition of ethics rooted in the philosophy of virtue ethics. This paper will specify the relevance of rethinking the classical interpretation of ethics through a transformative understanding of new perceptions in the face of drone technology. In conclusion, the paper pays attention to three stand-points: the regulation of drone journalism, the redefinition of media ethics, and the agglomeration of the two to bring out an acceptable moral procedure on drone journalism.