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Reuters drone footage of Thai duck flock goes viral as drought worries threaten farming tradition

Ducks are loaded onto a truck as they go into rice paddy fields to clear up weeds and pests, such as snails and bugs, after harvesting season in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand September 12, 2020. Picture taken September 12, 2020. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun

This month, Reuters used drone cameras to produce a video showing ten thousand ducks ‘cleaning’ a rice field in Thailand (link). In the days after the video was published, the Reuters footage had more than 15 million views across social platforms for Reuters clients globally. While no one could argue it was breaking news, the video was visually compelling, surprising and delightful, driving engagement with viewers around the world.

The requirements for a modern media organisation are increasingly complex, from breaking news on the most important events in the world to covering global developments, reporting entirely free from bias while also providing context and perspective. Sometimes though, as a video that racked up millions of views across social media platforms shows, its role is also to entertain, offering an easy entry point to a difficult story -- that of the droughts in Thailand.

It wasn’t just the entertainment factor of the huge herd waddling across the fields but also how Reuters chose to tell the story. Staying true to Reuters commitment to innovative storytelling, the shots were filmed using drones, GroPros, timelapses, slow motion and point-of-view images to create modern and engaging content. A text story (link), along with pictures, offered further insight into the ‘cleaning’ practice, but also expanded on the event to explain how a drought in Thailand was threatening the farming tradition in a country which is the world’s second-biggest rice exporter.

With a robust visuals offering of more than 1,600 images and over 200 video stories delivered each day, Reuters covers the real world in real time.

[Reuters PR Blog Post]

Media contact:Tumshie Smillietumshie.smilllie @ tr.com

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