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The BBC recently aired two documentaries on drones and they were a little bit sensationalistic, to say the least. That’s not to downplay the seriousness of the subject matter covered by the programs, but it doesn’t help things to delve into hyperbole just for the sake of attention.
And attention they got as none other than DJI, the world’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones, publicly expressed their displeasure with the two documentaries and even filed a formal complaint about their allegedly biased nature. BBC’s Panorama special “The Gatwick Drone Attack” and Horizon’s “Britain’s Next Great Air Disaster? Drones” both drew the ire of DJI in their depiction of the Gatwick airport events during the previous holiday season in the case of the first and the hype around drones and commercial air space in the second.
The company said in a statement, “As the world’s leader in civilian drones and aerial imaging technology, we feel it is our duty on behalf of the millions of responsible drone users around the globe, to express our deep disappointment at the BBC’s negative portrayal of drone technology and one-sided reporting based on hearsay. This now seems to be an established pattern of reporting by the BBC, with such bias appearing both during Panorama’s ‘The Gatwick Drone Attack’ that aired 15th April 2019, and more recently during Horizon’s ‘Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones’ aired 1st July 2019.”
The second documentary about drones being the next “great” air disaster particularly garnered DJI’s displeasure. The company notes, “The documentary almost exclusively focused on threats and risks posed by drones, and the general tone of the documentary was overwhelmingly negative, with the presenter frequently using the words ‘catastrophic' and ‘terrifying'. Although at no point was DJI explicitly named, the programme frequently showed DJI-branded drones in a very negative light, completely overshadowing what DJI has achieved in the drone industry, our many safety and security features, and the impeccable safety record of the industry.”
You can read the full letter by clicking here.
Naturally, the BBC responded, saying, “From the outset, and repeatedly during the film the positive uses of drones and the efforts the industry has taken to make them safe was referred to,” continues the statement. “The film does not claim that drone technology is unsafe, but rather that in can be used maliciously when in the wrong hands.”
Did you catch either of the documentaries? Or what do you think about the threat of drones in general? Let us know in the comments below.
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