Technology

FAA Nixes Drones for Journos

Drones might count as new media — and certainly have journalistic uses in covering everything from prairie fires to chemical emergencies. The federal government, which devotes enormous technical resources to spying on its citizens, now says this is illegal. The Federal Aviation Administration issued the ruling, saying there was no grey area: hobbyists can legally fly video drones. But journalists can not. Image: Cade Cleavelin, a science/ag journalism senior at U of Missouri, demonstrates a DJY Phantom quadcopter at the 2013 SEJ Conference in Chattanooga, TN. © Roger Archibald.

Secret CRS Reports on Environment Published

Taxpayers' money funds the Congressional Research Service as it produces objective and authoritative reports on issues facing Congress — many on subjects of interest to environmental journalists. Congress, however, does not share these reports with the public who paid for them. Thanks to the Project on Government Secrecy, another batch of the reports has been leaked and published.

"Despite Reports, Response Slow To Danger of Oil Fires on Rail Tankers"

"WASHINGTON -- Five years before a train loaded with crude oil derailed and exploded last year in Quebec, killing 47 people, another derailment in Oklahoma should have given federal regulators an early warning that the type of oil both trains carried was more flammable than authorities realized."

Source: McClatcht, 01/06/2014

"World Food Prize: Controversy Dogs Ceremony"

"This year’s World Food Prize laureates called on a hungry world to embrace the seeds they helped develop, despite controversy that threatens to limit the reach of biotech crops."

"Three researchers who played prominent roles in developing genetically modified crops — Mary-Dell Chilton of Syngenta, Robert T. Fraley of Monsanto and Marc Van Montagu of Belgium — were awarded the World Food Prize on Thursday at the Iowa Capitol. The music- and history-filled ceremony highlighted the prize’s biggest and most controversial week yet."

Source: Des Moines Register, 10/18/2013

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