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 April 15, 2019, and more recently during Horizon’s “Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones,” aired July 1, 2019.
The BBC is a public service broadcaster whose remit is to “inform, educate, and entertain.” We strongly believe that both these programs fall very short of informing and educating viewers in an impartial and accurate manner. It is the BBC’s duty to paint a more nuanced picture of the events at Gatwick, given that there is still no firm conclusion due to the lack of physical evidence or any photographic material to prove that a drone was even the actual cause of the disruptions, and therefore no information upon which to analyze the actual risk or threat to aviation. In relation to “Britain’s Next Air Disaster? Drones,” only about one minute of an hour-long program was given to the multitude of benefits that drone technology has to offer society.
DJI was approached by both the Panorama and Horizon production teams and provided plenty of input including an interview and in-depth background information. However, almost none of the material was included in either program. We have to assume this is because the BBC ultimately preferred to boost viewing figures by focusing on sensational, high-risk scenarios that are vanishingly rare or almost impossible, while ignoring evidence that drone technology is safe and that the drone industry itself has implemented various features to mitigate the risks described. This cannot be construed as balanced or impartial in anyone’s book.
Today, we want our readers to take part in the discussion by sharing with you an open letter we have sent to the Director-General of the BBC.
Please read the full letter here.