The role of the media in the perception of UAVs

Dale Richards, Alex Stedmon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    We are still some distance from seeing the routine flight of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in national airspace. Apart from issues associated with technology and regulatory requirements and constraints, a key factor will be the perceptions and acceptance of UAVs held by the general public. A number of surveys have started to examine the views and attitudes held by different sectors of the population and these begin to reveal the nature of concerns about UAV operations. However, one key aspect of how an attitude develops and forms is the manner in which information is conveyed to us. This paper examines the role that the media has in conveying information pertaining to UAV news articles and features using a survey (N=48) that examines the perception of UAVs merely by the manner in which the headline is conveyed. A sample of 60 UAV media headlines from three media sources (BBC, CNN and Shephard) were selected and tested for how the public perceived them. Results indicated that attitude towards headlines reported in both BBC and CNN were very similar, but not in comparison to the industry publication. Also, the theme within which the headline was framed appeared to influence whether it was perceived as either positive or negative. The importance of understanding public attitude and the role of the media is discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publication2018 Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference
    PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA
    ISBN (Print)9781624105562
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018
    Event18th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, 2018 - Atlanta, United States
    Duration: 25 Jun 201829 Jun 2018


    Conference18th AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, 2018
    Country/TerritoryUnited States

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Energy(all)
    • Aerospace Engineering


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