Rose Law Group Reporter has posted more than 20,000 articles, but the volume of news is not what drew the attention of an international awards committee.
The Pewluster Prize Committee on this month announced its 2017 Pewluster for Journalism has been awarded to Rose Law Group Reporter of Scottsdale, Ariz. for innovation in news-gathering. The Reporter employs the use of drones to fly the state and nation in search of news other media ignored or doesn’t understand.
The drones were designed and manufactured at a Mesa plant abandoned in 2012 by a company that produced ring tones for iPhoneys.
Here’s how it works: At 4 o’clock each morning, a former National Security Administration agent launches the robots from a hidden bunker near Bisbee, Ariz.
After targeting a source of news—often people sitting on park benches feeding the birds—the drones send a completed story back to the Reporter’s main newsroom, where it’s edited and posted on wwwroselawgroup.com.
“We’re saving gas, gumshoe and phone expenses,” said Phil Riske, who heads up the program. He refused to reveal how much has been invested in the drones, or whether any have been shot down.
The Reporter earlier this year won praise from the American Civil Liberties Union for gathering news without violating anyone’s civil rights.