Diffusion of Drone Journalism: The Case of Finland, 2011–2020

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Article | Open Access

Diffusion of Drone Journalism: The Case of Finland, 2011–2020


  • Turo Uskali Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Ville Manninen Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland / Innovation and Entrepreneurship InnoLab, University of Vaasa, Finland
  • Pasi Ikonen Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Jere Hokkanen Department of Language and Communication Studies, University of Jyväskylä, Finland


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Abstract:  This article details Finnish news organizations’ adoption of drones for journalistic purposes from 2011 to 2020. The theoretical starting point of the article is Rogers’ (1962) diffusion of innovations theory, which explains how new ideas and technologies spread in societies. The main empirical data for the study were derived from a phone survey conducted among the 80 most popular newspapers in Finland. The findings reveal that drone journalism in Finland has already diffused from a few pioneering organizations to a large number of newsrooms, including regional, mid-sized newspapers. Most of the newspapers are either using in-house drones, buying commissioned images, or using both strategies. The frequency of use was found to be much higher for those newsrooms using their own drones. Finally, the article ponders possible explanations for different trajectories in the adoption of drones in various countries based on the Finnish case.

Keywords:  aviation; drone journalism; Finland; news organizations; newspapers; visual journalism

Published:   27 July 2020


DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v8i3.3075


© Turo Uskali, Ville Manninen, Pasi Ikonen, Jere Hokkanen. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.