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Bob Carroll documentary on drones showing March 22, alongside film exploring Vidette

Image from the film God's Eye News: The Use of Drones in Journalism.

Image from the film God's Eye News: The Use of Drones in Journalism.

Illinois State University’s Bob Carroll has been telling stories through the camera lens for decades. Now he turns that camera toward restrictions for drone use with a new documentary called God’s Eye News: The Use of Drones in Journalism.

A viewing of the film will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 22, at the Normal Theater. God’s Eye News, produced by Carroll, will be shown along with the premiere of Paper: The Editorial Side, a documentary that highlights the workings of Illinois State’s student newspaper The Vidette.

Image from the film God's Eye News: The Use of Drones in Journalism.A Q&A segment with Carroll and Paper producer Vince Pinto will follow the showings. The event is free and open to the public, though donations will be collected for a Vidette student scholarship.

Carroll worked for 15 years as a news photographer and studio manager before bringing his talents in 2007 to Illinois State’s student TV program, TV-10. His interest in drones and their possible use for journalists led him to study the devices, as well as their restrictions. “The FAA has allowed the use of drones by hobbyists, but prohibits anyone from using a drone to make money,” said Carroll. “The rationale for this regulation is safety, but absurdly, this actually means that a child can fly a drone, while an adult who might profit is somehow unsafe—simply by the fact that he or she is making money.”

The film includes interviews with historians of aviation and photography, as well as current journalists and freelancers who have used aerial cameras in everything from Super Bowl coverage to Washington, Illinois tornado coverage.

God’s Eye View explores topics from the fearful public perception of drones as killing machines, to the First Amendment rights of journalists to gather information,” said Carroll.

Paper producer Pinto is a senior and an interactive media major at Illinois State. He describes his first-ever documentary as an “intimate behind-the-scenes look at what it really takes to produce a week’s paper from start to finish.” A photo editor for The Vidette, Pinto created the 32-minute documentary to combine his two passions: filmmaking and journalism. The film was produced with assistance from associate producer and Illinois State’s Associate Professor Maria Moore.

Those with questions about the showings on March 22 can contact Lynn Rossi at lmrossi@ilstu.edu. To reach Carroll, call (309) 438-7780, and to reach Pinto, email vapinto@ilstu.edu.