Drone Journalism

University of Nebraska Foundation

Date Awarded
Grant Period
06/18/12 to 06/18/13
Focus Area
Media Innovation
Knight Prototype Fund

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Photo: Silicon Prairie News
Photo: Silicon Prairie News

To fund research and experimentation into the use of drone vehicles as news and information-gathering tools, to study the ethics of these techniques and to publish case studies and best-practices guides

Professor Matt Waite will lead a project to research and experiment with drone vehicles as potential tools for news and public data collection. The university will conduct live experiments as well as research into the ethics, legal issues and best practices of drone journalism.

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Project Team

Matt Waite

Professor of Practice

Matt Waite is a professor of practice at the College of Journalism and Mass Communication, teaching reporting and digital product development. He is also a graduate of the college, earning his Bachelors of Journalism in 1997.

Prior to joining the faculty, he was the Senior News Technologist for the St. Petersburg Times of Florida and the principal developer of the Pulitzer Prize winning PolitiFact. In 2007, he began working as a hybrid journalist/programmer, combining reporting experience and web development to create new platforms for journalism. The first platform he developed was PolitiFact, a website that fact checks what politicians say. The site became the first website awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009. After PolitiFact, he and the New Products Development Team built journalistic products involving entertainment listings, high school sports, local crime and real estate. His projects tripled traffic to high school sports content, doubled local audience, won awards and accounted for more than 50 percent of all traffic to the St. Petersburg Times websites in less than a year.

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