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NBC Using Facebook Live and Drones to Cover the East Coast Blizzard

CNN
In what may well be a groundbreaking new approach to weather reporting, NBC have been using drones to keep track of the massive snow storm which has been blighting the east coast of the United States this week. The storm has led to hundreds of flights being cancelled and traffic in many areas being brought to a grinding halt.

To report it accurately (and by-the-minute), NBC have been sending in drones to shoot aerial footage of the storm, and feeding the footage back directly via Facebook Live. Said broadcasts have been twinned with live updates about traffic conditions, local weather warnings and more. Given that NBC have almost 1 million followers on Facebook, this is a very clever and responsible way to utilise live-streaming.

Their network weatherman has also reported from Central Park using Facebook Live to bring further updates on the storm situation. This could be an interesting example of what's to come for news reporting. There's no reason why live reporting shouldn't be able to transfer from TV to social media, and the cumulative amount of time spent on platforms like Facebook is rivalling TV in a big way.

More to the point, if something is being reported on your feed, you're far more likely to see it than if you're hopping between television channels, unless it's a breaking story, and even then it has to be something very serious to warrant an interruption of the regular schedule. Up-to-the-minute weather reporting is a perfect example of something which can only benefit from Facebook Live.

Using drones for it is kind of a no-brainer, they serve the same purpose as helicopters in this context but they're more cost effective, safer and easier to send somewhere in a short amount of time. The applications for this kind of video reporting stretch far beyond blizzards and traffic jams, but it's certainly a start. In a few years, news services may start making a mass migration towards live-streaming services, and early examples like this only add weight to that claim.


Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum

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NBC Using Facebook Live and Drones to Cover the East Coast Blizzard Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, March 16, 2017 Rating: 5

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