Journalists Using Drones to View Immigrant Detention Facilities

Journalists Using Drones to View Immigrant Detention Facilities

In another innovative use of unmanned aerial photography technology, journalists are using drones to view conditions at detention facilities along the U.S.-Mexico border.

There has been wall-to-wall coverage of late in the United States of the turmoil surrounding the separation of undocumented immigrant children from their parents at the southern border of the country. As the controversy continues to boil over, reporters along with members of the U.S. Congress have tried to gain access to various immigrant detention centers around the country with little success. In an effort to better cover what is happening inside these facilities, news organizations such as the BBC have taken to flying drones equipped with cameras over them. 

Images have had a significant impact in thrusting this issue front and center, and drone footage has the potential to further shape the narrative. What do you think about journalists using drones as part of their reporting? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Lead image by A. Savin via Wikimedia Commons.

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10 Comments

Mark James's picture

Misrepresented images and an anti right media have continued to destroy any credibility the media once had. It is sad, that we have to assume everything, even the photos are lies to support an agenda now days. Some are legit, but unfortunately we don't know which ones. Photo journalism was a respected profession at one time. Now if they are not stalking people for rumor mags, they are misrepresenting photos to forward their agenda.

mlittle's picture

And yet the lie continues...

Leigh Miller's picture

Lot's of good uses despite the clueless actions of some operators.

The genie is out of the box anyway...only a matter of time before we start seeing routine applications of the tech.

mlittle's picture

Aneesh you cite the other article you wrote that was false. It was only a photo of a little girl crying because her mom was caught trying to enter the country illegally. That little girl was not separated from her mother as was implied in your other article and yet you still refer to it as though it had something to do with kids being removed from their parents. What gives? Why do you continue to push a lie?

Aneesh Kothari's picture

Thanks for your comment and feedback, Michael. I respectfully disagree that I’m “pushing” anything. As I stated in my previous article, the photographer presumed that the mother and child would be taken to a detention center for processing. I also stated that the child was crying because the mother had to put her down while federal agents body searched her. Nothing was claimed about that particular child being separated. I know that image in particular has become a lightning rod of controversy especially with the Time magazine cover. I understand both sides of the argument - my viewpoint is simply that the image is powerful and puts a human face on this story. I’m very happy to hear that the child was not separated from her mother. Unfortunately many other similar cases have not had similar outcomes to date.

mlittle's picture

I understand. Thanks for the reply!

michael buehrle's picture

oh boy...........................

Do we know that the people in the video are children who have been separated by border patrol?

I cannot tell if those are children or adults from the video, and I would be interested to know how anyone can.

Drones? Fine. Separating kids from parents? Not fine.

You know what else isn't fine? Making unsubstantiated claims while practicing "journalism". Does the person posting this know for a fact these are minors and that have been separated from their parents? In this day in age, I doubt it. But I could be wrong, maybe this drone operator had incredible access to Border Patrol information which identified each individual and confirmed his claim...

According to a recently released study an overwhelming 83% of minors detained are unaccompanied. Sadly, they're orphans upon arrival. Which means statistically maybe 2 of the people you see in this video might be minors separated from their parents by officials. But clarifying that much detail in a twitter post is probably inconvenient and doesn't generate as much traffic.

In short, yes, use drones, but use the information responsibly.