All posts by Constantine Koumoussis

Exploring the Brooklyn Bridge

I have always been fascinated by how elegant the design of the Brooklyn Bridge is. Despite being one of NYC’s most popular attractions, it is a bridge with a huge cultural and historical impact. I think it would be really cool to make a short documentary on it. The documentary would focus on the history behind the Brooklyn Bridge (the history behind its amazing design, why it used to represent ‘innovation’ back when it was built, and how it has now changed to represent NYC’s past and where New Yorkers came from); also it would focus on the cultural impact that it has had over the years (how it immediately became a cultural sensation, and how/why it has become one of New York’s most visited sights). The reason I think that a documentary like that suits well with this class, is because drones can offer us unique perspectives of the bridge (angles that otherwise one can only take with helicopters). I checked the map of where drones are allowed, and it seems that it is perfectly legal to fly drones near the Brooklyn Bridge (obviously we would not go on top of cars and people, but would only fly on the side of the bridge above the water). The only risk involved with a documentary like this is that we would have to fly the drone above water (which is kind risky in case anything goes wrong with the drone).

Is Drone Journalism for Real?

Drone journalism undoubtedly has the potential to change the course of journalism as we know it. As we mentioned in class, the fact that a random person (who has nothing really to do with journalism) can get a drone and document events like riots, protests, acts of civil disobedience, etc. is truly amazing. This could be huge for communist (or in general non-democratic) countries where governments basically own the media and curate the news according to certain people’s interest. A random person with a drone could take a picture/video which could have a massive effect (a picture/video which people would literally have no way of seeing otherwise). In that sense, drone journalism is something that is 100% for real. It could democratize the media industry in many ways (something that no one could ever imagine up until very recently). Nevertheless, the fact that drones have the potential to change journalism, does not mean that it will happen. The effect that they’ll have will depend on the legal issues that surround the use of drones. If governments decide to impose very strict laws (that directly forbid users to document certain things or to shoot in certain areas), then the effect of drones would be very limited (or much more limited than it would have been otherwise). Furthermore, putting aside the question of whether drones will changes things, there are also many palpable privacy issues regarding the use of drones. While I am not going to discuss this issue, it seems obvious to me that misusing drones could potentially prove to be very damaging.