National Press Club

National Press Club to Congress: Don't let drone regulations interfere with media coverage

September 26, 2018 | By Kathy Kiely | kkiely@press.org

The National Press Club on Wednesday is warning that new counter-drone authorities Congress is set to enact in the FAA re-authorization could interfere with media coverage and public access to important information.

The House on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on a Federal Aviation Administration authorization bill that provides law enforcement officials with sweeping authority to track and destroy drones near certain government operations. The Club shares the concerns of the National Press Photographers Association that the legislation does not include sufficient First Amendment protections for the news media to cover stories of public concern near government operations.

Drone footage can provide the public — including first responders — with valuable information at times of crisis or disaster, the Club noted. The Club expressed a hope that Congress and the Trump administration will work with the news media to ensure that the public continues to have access to these images.