The NGO, created in cooperation with the Independent Media Trade Union of Ukraine (IMTUU) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), aims to unite journalists’ interests and to formulate ethical standards for drone usage.
“We needed an instrument or organization to defend the rights of media professionals using drones. Therefore we have created this union,” Drone.ua’s founder Valerii Iakovenko told Ukraine Digital News.
Any journalist, blogger or vlogger using drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles for professional purposes can join the initiative.
In exchange for a membership fee, the union’s members will benefit from legal support both within and beyond Ukraine. In addition, PUDJ members will be granted free access to educational resources, workshops and open events.
As an IMTUU member, the union can already benefit from legal support for its members. Besides, PDJU has partnered with a legal firm, Leman International Law Group.
“We are planning to attract grant funding to cover the legal services provided to our members in the future,” Iakovenko told Ukraine Digital News.
Currently based at Drone.ua’s office in Kyiv (Kiev), the new union is planning to move to a separate location. Iakovenko said they hope to open representative offices all over Ukraine in the future.
When asked if the union membership is open to journalists from other countries, Iakovenko said that although there are no limitations, their primary focus is Ukraine.
“However, if our colleague from a partnering organization, such as IFJ, needs help, we will provide it without delays,” he stated.
There are several similar organizations outside Ukraine, including the Professional Society of Drone Journalists. The Ukrainian union is planning to partner with its foreign counterparts in the future.
Earlier this summer Drone.ua attracted an undisclosed amount of funding from several international investors to create what is expected to become the largest provider of unmanned technology services for agriculture in Ukraine.