BY BRYAN PARTIKA
PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh media professionals gathered Tuesday to open the door to a changing world of journalism in the form of the new Center for Media Innovation. The new center, open to students of Point Park University, provides new advancements in media, broadcasting, journalism, and the entire School of Communication.
“It is exciting to see this type of investment into journalism,” said Ben Howard, visual designer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
He was one of five keynote speakers at Tuesday’s event.
The multi-million-dollar facility, located on the corner of Wood Street and Third Avenue, has a ton to offer for students. According to Point Park University’s website, the state of the art facility is completed with a television and radio broadcast studio, a multimedia newsroom, a photo studio, and a presentation gallery space.
WTAE reporter Michelle Wright stressed the importance of innovation in today’s tech-savvy media world.
“Ten years ago, we (the media) said ‘hey we should have a website.’ Now, almost every one of you has a website,” she told the students in attendance.
Wright would later go on to explain the importance of gaining experience in the field of work. The importance of internships was stressed in her speech as well as building on the advantages of the fast world of social media.
“You still want to do serious, hard hitting news,” Wright said, “but you want people to know that you’re doing it.”
Point Park students will absolutely be letting the world know what they are accomplishing given the location and reach that the Center for Media Innovation (CMI) provides for the students. The CMI allows students to expand their media experience and expand the way in which the entire School of Communication operates. Classes will be pushed to use the CMI to learn how to use full-production cameras and many of the other spaces in the building. The clubs at the school will also benefit, as the Globe (Point Park’s newspaper) and UView (Point Park’s television station) now have even more access to equipment and advancements.
“People need to stop saying that journalism is dead because the Center (CMI) is proof that it isn’t,” said Luis Fabregas, news editor at the Tribune Review.
Continuing on, Fabregas explained how journalism is growing at an unprecedented rate for online users. “Users online are so unpredictable,” he explained.
He also explained how reporters are bettering their skills with the advancements of online media, where newspaper website viewership is growing as print viewership has gone down in recent years.
“Reporters will become more versatile, taking pictures, shooting video,” Fabregas explained as he mentioned the importance of journalists advancing their skills as technology grows.
Point Park University continues to strive in the dynamic ‘vertical campus’ of downtown Pittsburgh. The School of Communications took a huge boost into the future with the new CMI and will only grow from here.
Producer and journalist Terry O’Reilly was the last keynote speaker at the event, but he made sure to make a statement on the students. For students entering the field of journalism, the job opportunities can look slim with newspaper viewership declining. O’Reilly quickly denounced that and encouraged students to continue to advance their skills as media advances in an ever-changing media world:
“The state of public media is good in the United States.”