Dronehack Journalism

DroneHack Journalism, taking place in Manchester, UK on Jan  21st, 2017 will bring together journalists, editors, storytellers, newsrooms, coders, developers, and engineers to create innovative drone concepts for journalism.


It’s a new year and if 2016 was anything to go by, drone technology in 2017 will continue to captivate a growing number of industries, creeping steadily into sectors one would not have thought possible a few short years ago.

Drone journalism is one of those. If you are a drone enthusiast with a buzzing journalistic mind operating in Europe and seeking new ways to incorporate drone technology into the way you tell your story, DroneHack: Journalism is definitely an event for you!

Organized by the Media Innovation Studio of the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan), Civic Drone Centre and Trinity Mirror, this event hopes to move UAVs beyond photo and video capture, and explore the niche media and journalistic opportunities drones can offer.

Taking place in The Sharp Project, Manchester, UK DroneHack Journalism will bring together journalists, editors, storytellers, newsrooms, coders, developers, and engineers to design, test and fly drones and explore new ways to capture data for journalistic purposes.

The event will include a workshop and learning sessions with mentors and speakers.

Speaker Line-Up

Confirmed speakers at the event include:

  • Ben Kreimer: journalism technologist and former beta fellow for BuzzFeed’s Open Lab Fellowship, Ben is also an advisor with the Drone Journalism Lab & Kenyan based SkyCAM. Ben will explore the use of drones and other open-source hardware platforms as tools for gathering data and telling stories in different ways.
  • Dr. David Dunkley Gyimah: winner of a J-Lab Knight Batten Innovation in Journalism award, and artist-in-residence at the South Bank Centre. His fields of activities also include journalism-academic pioneering research into cinema journalism. David will combine art and technology as a guide to a new perspective on drone use from an artistic point of view including passing on knowledge of his 28-year media career including BBC Newsnight, ABC & Channel 4 News.
  • Dickens Olewe: Kenyan journalist now based in London and working for BBC Africa, he was the digital lead at the Star Publications in Kenya where he set up the newspaper’s digital department. He is also the founder of SkyCAM, Africa’s first drone journalism project which was one of the winners of the inaugural African News Innovation Challenge in 2012. Dickens will speak on a wide range of topics including using new technology in drone journalism for storytelling.
  • Sally French: journalist for The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch, and also known as ‘The Drone Girl’, Sally was named one of Fortune’s ‘4 top women shaping the drone industry’. Sally will explore drone journalism deeper and will share her experiences and passion for the drone industry.
  • Steven Flynn, Skytango’s very own CEO, Steve is a 9-time Emmy Award winning Filmmaker, Producer, Director, Director of Photography, Editor and he is, of course, a licensed drone pilot. Steve will share his past experiences and current ideas on opportunities in the industry and how journalists can benefit from the use of drone technology.
  • John Mills: researcher based at the Media Innovation Studio. John’s fields of research cover journalism, drone journalism, the internet of things, wearables, HCI and innovation theory. Moving into academia from online journalism and content creation, in recent years his research has increasingly moved into the realm of drone journalism and how organisations can utilise physical-digital platforms in news reporting. John is co-organizer of the event and will facilitate the debate.
  • Darren Ansell: Space and Aerospace Engineering Lead in the School of Computing, Engineering and Physical Sciences in UCLan, Darren also leads a number of collaborative research projects in the UAV sector with various industry partners such as Civic Drone Centre and ‘GAMMA’ (Growing Autonomous Mission Management Applications programme) who are developing autonomous intelligent software for aerospace and nuclear industries.

The event will also bring together a range of media partners including Journalism.co.uk.

Who can sign up and where?

DroneHack Journalism Day is open to all levels of technical expertise and experience in the industry and participants will be provided with all the tools, parts and equipment needed to make a drone from scratch.

There will also be ‘drone doctors’ who will be on hand throughout the day to troubleshoot any potential hiccups and who will teach the basics of flying a drone.

Teams will be formed on the day to ensure a range of skills is present in each group and participants are encouraged to sign up individually or register a pre-existing & fully formed group. 

The event is now sold out but you can join the waiting list and the mailing list for the next events here: DroneHack Journalism Day.

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