News from above

COLUMBIA (AP) — A University of Missouri journalist is studying the use of unmanned drones more commonly seen in military applications as a potential tool for gathering news.

The Columbia Missourian reports that KBIA-FM news producer Scott Pham has received a $25,000 school grant to work with counterparts in the MU College of Engineering to develop flying robots for journalism use.

Pham said the drones can take aerial photographs and record video from difficult-to-reach news scenes. He came up with the idea while reporting in southeast Missouri on the breached Birds Point Levee in October 2011.

“The reporting was difficult to do because you had to do it from the ground up, and it was so low,” he said. “We would have benefited so much more from getting a bird’s-eye view.”

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