Matt Waite to teach drone journalism in Chile

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 - 7:00pm

University of Nebraska–Lincoln College of Journalism and Mass Communications professor of practice Matt Waite will be traveling to The Universidad de Concepcion in Chile in October to help teach a drone journalism class.

The Universidad de Concepcion is teaching a class of 16 journalism and aerospace engineering students who will work and learn alongside each other about drones and their benefits for journalism. Waite’s participation is funded by the state department.

“Chile has rules that allow us to teach drones in a way that you can’t here in the United States,” Waite said.

At University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Waite founded the first drone journalism lab in the country in November 2011, but because of federal regulations, University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s drones have been grounded in the United States since 2014. Currently, Waite is training for a pilot’s license so the lab can obtain federal permission to fly drones outside again. He began flight lessons in May.

Chile has far less strict regulations when it comes to drones, so Waite has the opportunity to teach in a way he can’t in the United States right now, which is why the U.S. State Department is funding Waite’s participation in the program.

This will be Waite’s second trip to Chile. The first was for a series of speaking engagements about PolitiFact, the Pulitzer Prize-winning website that judges the truthfulness of politician’s statements.

Before joining the CoJMC faculty, Waite was the senior news technologist for the St. Petersburg Times. Before becoming a web developer, he was an award-winning investigative reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and St. Petersburg Times. In 2009, he founded Hot Type Consulting, a company that builds applications for media outlets.

Matt Waite
Matt Waite