CNN's bird's-eye-view of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. -- the scene of a seminal moment in the civil rights struggle -- also represents a seminal moment in newsgathering, the news network said
The video, which aired on CNN's morning news show New Day March 6 -- the day before the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday," when civil rights activists started the march from Selma to Montgomery -- was "the first ever FAA-authorized use of UAV [unmanned aerial vehicle, or drone] video for news-gathering," a CNN spokesperson said.
TV news operations had been testing drones for news gathering and, last fall, the FAA approved exemptions to drone regulations that allow TV and film production teams to use the small, unmanned aircraft to get killer shots without endangering any humans.
The Obama Administration and the FAA released an executive order Feb. 15 with rules for government drone use and for creating a process that promotes protection of privacy, civil rights and civil liberties in commercial and private use (like the guy who landed the drone on the White House lawn) of drones.
Within 90 days, the National Telecommunications & Information Administration has to get to work on a framework for "privacy, accountability and transparency for commercial and private UAS use." Earlier this week, the NTIA sought comment on that framework.