Changing Planet

Drone Journalism Used to Cover Presidential Elections in Central America

This post is the latest in the series Dreams of the World, which profiles interesting people Kike meets during his travels. Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series

DJI Phanton 2 Vision Quadcopter. Photo © KIKE CALVO

For the first time in the history of journalism in El Salvador , drone technology was used to cover presidential elections. The newspaper La Prensa Gráfica, used a small quadcopter to capture images and footage during voting day as citizens lined up to the polls in this Central American country.

In an info graphic, the paper explained to readers how the technology they used works. The equipment of choice was the new DJI Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter.

Drone journalism has also been used in other countries across Latin America. As Jeffrey T. Lewis reported last June for the Wall Street Journal, ¨Two of Brazil´s largest media organizations have adopted the latest technology to record images of the protests around the country.¨ Grupo Reforma, the largest print media company in Mexico, also documented a massive construction project from the sky in 2013.

¨We can cover all type of events. For instance, we can document live sports,  fly over areas where emergencies have occurred, monitor protests that are developing or report on traffic jams,¨ said Álvaro Sagrera, Technology Director of Grupo Dutriz, owner of La Prensa newspaper.

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Award-winning photographer, journalist, and author Kike Calvo (pronounced key-keh) specializes in culture and environment. He has been on assignment in more than 90 countries, working on stories ranging from belugas in the Arctic to traditional Hmong costumes in Laos.Kike is pioneering in using small unmanned aerial systems to produce aerial photography as art, and as a tool for research and conservation. He is also known for his iconic photographic project, World of Dances, on the intersection of dance, nature, and architecture. His work has been published in National Geographic, New York Times, Time, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New York Magazine, Rolling Stone, and Vanity Fair, among others.Kike teaches photography workshops and has been a guest lecturer at leading institutions like the School of Visual Arts and Yale University. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic blog Voices. He has authored nine books, including Drones for Conservation; So You Want to Create Maps Using Drones?; Staten Island: A Visual Journey to the Lighthouse at the End of the World; and Habitats, with forewords by David Doubilet and Jean-Michel Cousteau. Kike’s images have been exhibited around the world, and are represented by the National Geographic Image Collection. Kike was born in Spain and is based in New York. When he is not on assignment, he is making gazpacho following his grandmother’s Andalusian recipe.You can now buy Kike´s products: http://bit.ly/RJXlqr You can travel to Colombia with Kike: www.colombiaphotoexpeditions.com

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