Innovation Arrives On Campus


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.”






Undercover Cops Uncover Drugs


KNOXVILLE, PA – Undercover detectives averted a confrontation with two heroin buyers, one who was armed, during an exchange at 236 Rochelle Street in Knoxville.

Kenneth Ensley was sentenced to six months in prison and Ramone Harrison was sentenced to three to six months after an incident in late August of 2014.

Ensley was found to have a “knotted baggie of marijuana and four bundles of white stamp bags containing heroin,” according to the Probable Cause Affidavit that was filed by Detective Mercurio.

Detective Lewis and Mercurio received information that an unidentified black male was selling heroin in a borough of Pittsburgh.  The two cops immediately took action to find the man.

On August 31, Mercurio began texting the heroin supplier.  The supplier responded with “I’m good,” indicating that there was, indeed, heroin for sale.

Detective Ladner and Mercurio next posed as heroin users, undercover.  There were also five other detectives on standby in case of an emergency situation.

As Lewis and Mercurio brought their car around to Rochelle Street, they observed more than one seller at the scene.

“Lewis observed (Maurice) Wallace deliver heroin to two separate persons at 228 Rochelle Street,” according to Mercurio.

Detective Ladner also was undercover posing as a heroin user.

“I received a call from the same male I had been conversing with throughout the event who directed us to drive onto the 200 block of Dove Way to meet him,” Detective Ladner said, according to the affidavit.

Wallace immediately approached the passenger door of Ladner’s vehicle and gave Ladner 13 white bags containing heroin.  Ladner then handed Wallace $100 and drove away from the area.

According to detective Lewis, two other transactions of heroin and cash happened as the night went on near the 200 block of Rochelle Street.

“Wallace walked to an unknown white man and delivered heroin to the unknown white male,” said Lewis in the affidavit.

“We decided to arrest Wallace at the next opportunity,” said Sergeant Lukitsch in the affidavit.

After the two transactions, Wallace made his way to the tail end of Rochelle Street, where he complied and was promptly arrested at the scene.

As Wallace was being detained, Kenneth Ensley and Ramone Harrison were spotted in front of a house on Rochelle Street observing the incident.  Ensley tried to get rid of a white bag that would later be seen to obtain marijuana.

As the detectives closed in on the two men, they ordered them to get to the ground and show their hands.  Ensley complied, but Harrison refused.

According to Detective Mercurio’s affidavit, “Harrison put his hood up over his face and placed his hands inside the waist area of his body.”

This action alarmed the officers, as they assumed he could be armed.

Detective Martin moved in and grabbed Harrison, where he began to comply to the officers’ orders.  Martin patted Harrison down and immediately felt a gun under Harrison’s hood.

Both Ensley, 30, and Harrison, 17, were detained and sentenced a few months later.

Sophomore Year – Video Editing

JOUR 215 Project 1

This project was a sequence of multiple shots of a subject at five different angles.  The angles were: extreme long shot, long shot, medium shot, close-up, and extreme close-up in that order.  I filmed these shots with Mike Turk and we each edited our own videos (my edit is below).  I learned how to successfully take different shots of a subject using the zoom and my own positioning.  The best thing about the project is that there is a clear subject in the shots used.  I would change the lighting in the shots and maybe try and find areas that had more light, or use the color correction tools more to my advantage.



This project was a PSA (Public Service Announcement) created to raise awareness about pedestrian safety in busy downtown streets.  The videos used in this PSA were all shot in downtown Pittsburgh.  I filmed and edited the entire PSA myself.  I learned that filming in a busy area can be tricky, especially with people and vehicles everywhere.  It is important to find a spot and establish your personal area when shooting video in a busy environment.  The best thing about this project is the video sequence and the timing that the shots were individually on the screen.  I would change the area in which the footage was shot because there are more areas in Pittsburgh that would better identify with this PSA.


JOUR 215 NAT Sound

This project was an interview and profile story on Point Park University baseball player Edberg Dominguez.  The video had a lot of b-roll and natural sound due to the project requirements.  All of the footage was shot by Mike Turk and I edited this version of the piece (below).  I learned that many different sounds could be used depending on where the microphone is placed.  Also, I learned that many videos are more interesting when they contain an abundance of natural sound.  The best thing about this project is the voice-over interview placed over the b-roll action shots.  I would change the formatting of the video and have learned from this project to save my files in the edited form and the final form.  I only saved the video as an export and not an edit in Adobe Premiere – so I was not able to simply go back into the video and reformat it through Premiere.


JOUR 215 Free Form

This project was a free form that could contain any and many different types of footage.  I did this project on Point Park University dance major Julianna Rink.  I filmed and edited the entire Free Form myself.  I learned that taking a lot of videos, even if they would not necessarily be used, is vital to have a good project.  The best thing about the project is the background music and how it elevates alongside the b-roll of Julianna dancing.  I would probably change the amount of times I filmed things other than Julianna, because she is the main subject of the video.


JOUR 215 Final Project

This project was my final project for the semester.  It was a fiction piece I did featuring Nick Kasisky and R.J. Lane, who are two friends who become obsessed with the board game monopoly.  I learned that multiple angles for shots are crucial in order to create a unique and eye-appealing video.  The best thing about the project is the angles and different focal lengths I used.  I would use less shots of them playing the game and use more dialogue if I re-shot the video.