The Alliance is part of the News Media Coalition, which submitted comments on March 9, regarding the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) proposal to allow unmanned aircraft systems (UAS or drones) to conduct licensed operations in the 5030-5091 MHz spectrum band. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking did not raise significant concerns; therefore, comments emphasize issues consistent with those we raised last year:
- Newsgatherers are unique end-users and have worked with the government toward sensible drone regulation and policy that is consistent with First Amendment principles.
- The FCC rulemaking should provide maximum flexibility to accommodate breaking-news coverage.
The privacy of journalism drone operators’ PII must be preserved.
- To preserve independence in news reporting on government and others, any rulemaking should permit the FCC to share news drone operational information only where necessary to protect safety.
- Compliance with any rulemaking should not impose significant costs on journalists because, unlike other end users, news organizations cannot pass those costs on to consumers.
Holly Lubart is Vice President, Government Affairs at the News/Media Alliance. Previously, she served as Vice President of Government Affairs for the PA NewsMedia Association and started her career as a journalist. Lubart has over 20 years of political and communications experience.