University of Leicester
2022_FOKICEVA_E_PhD.pdf (2.49 MB)

Creating News Visuals: A Multi-method Study of Drone Pilots' Role in the Appropriation and Shaping of Drones in the UK Media

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posted on 2023-05-12, 08:26 authored by Elina Fokiceva

This thesis argues that drone visuals production is a process of social shaping of drones in the media, where the central role is given to a drone pilot actor (ANT). The primary study's question is how and why are drone visuals produced and used in the UK news?

The study explores the processes of drone video production and denotes the organisational influence on the social shaping of drones (SCOT). This research examined drone pilot practices by conducting 21 semi-structured interviews with the BBC in-house, freelance, and private drone company pilots, BBC representatives, and examiners from a Recognised Assessment entity (RAE).

The study presents findings from an ECA of drone video collections discovered from the BBC Motion Gallery and ITN Online Collection. This study offers a theoretical and methodological contribution to drone journalism study, reflecting on the social shaping of technology in the media, the role of the new media professional - the drone pilot- and the new form of visual content, the drone video. The thesis presents findings on drone pilots' role in shaping drones in the media and the visual framing of news stories. The organisational context, drone pilot collective subjectivities and the visual framing aspects have been discussed in this thesis as it relates to this study's aims.



Julian Matthews; Vincent Campbell

Date of award


Author affiliation

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Awarding institution

University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD