Flight School: What Canadian Journalism Schools Need to Know About Drones

What do journalism schools need to know about drones? What are the regulations? Industry standards and practices? How do we teach the ethical use of drones in storytelling? This symposium is designed to exchange information, inspire research, partnerships and collaborations and develop Canadian expertise through training opportunities.

May 2, 2019
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.


8:30 a.m.
Registration (coffee, tea)

Jeff Ducharme

9:15 - 9:45 a.m.
Opening speaker - Jeff Ducharme, Journalism Professor, College of the North Atlantic.

Jeff Ducharme is a professor at the College of the North Atlantic where he led the development of Canada's first drone journalism program.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Panel one: educators

How do we best prepare Canadian journalism students to excel in the use of drones in newsgathering?   

Journalism school faculty discuss curriculum development, regulations, technology, equipment, faculty training and teaching approaches.

Panellists: Jeff Ducharme, College of the North Atlantic; Bill Hutchison, Seneca; Christina Jonas, Conestoga College; Lauren Toffan, Journalism Student, Seneca

11:00 – 11:30 a.m.
Networking break (coffee, tea, pastries, fruit)

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Panel two: government and industry

What’s legal, what’s doable and what’s next for journalists using drones?  

Government, aviation industry and drone manufacturers discuss regulations, industry standards and practices, insurance and privacy concerns for journalists and journalism schools teaching the use of drones in newsgathering.  Where is drone technology going and how can journalists benefit from that?  How can journalists use drones to tell more, and more culturally diverse stories?  What kind of partnerships/collaborations are possible between industry and journalism schools teaching drones?  Between research projects and journalism schools teaching drones?  Between community groups and journalism schools teaching drones?

Panellists: Sylvain Bourque, Civil Aviation Safety Inspector, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) Task Force Team Transport Canada; Ruby Sayyed, Head Air Traffic Management Advocacy, IATA; David Hansell, Public Policy Manager, DJI.

12:30 – 1:45 p.m.
Lunch and networking break  (Catered lunch)

Greg Agvent

1:45 – 2:15 p.m.
Afternoon speaker - Greg Agvent, CNN Senior Director National News Technology and Director of the Aerial Imagery and Reporting Unit

Greg Agvent is the Senior Director of the CNN Aerial Imagery & Reporting unit, CNN Air and has led CNN’s domestic unmanned aerial systems (UAS) program since CNN initiated its research efforts in 2013.

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Panel three: media employers

What do media employers want from journalism graduates trained in drone use?

Three media employers talk about how they use drones, the demand for drones in newsgathering and how they want journalism schools to prepare journalism students to use this technology. 

Panellists: Anjuli Semple, CBC News; Greg Agvent, CNN; Troy Gallant, CP24/Bell Media.

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Closing remarks

Seneca President, David Agnew