Center for Media Innovation a valuable resource for students


Written By Alex Grubbs, Copy Editor

The Center for Media Innovation (CMI) officially opened at Point Park Tuesday, and it will completely change broadcasting and photography for students at the university.

This comes after months of renovating the old Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant and transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility featuring a new television studio, photography studio, radio setup and classroom. Other features include an up-to-date control room, dressing room and whisper room (for voice recordings).

So why is this important?

Again, this new facility creates opportunities for students, expanding the capabilities they had before.

The CMI’s new classroom can be arranged in several different ways to create a more interactive and innovative learning experience. The room’s shape creates a more visually compelling situation than other classrooms on campus, pushing students’ focus to what is being taught.

In addition to the classrooms, there are many other aspects of the CMI that will benefit students.

With one television studio on campus, students were time-limited for creating and executing shows for U-View. Now with the new CMI studio, not only do they have the opportunity to create more shows, they also have a fantastic background for their productions.

Outside the windows of the studio is the corner of Third Ave. and Wood St. This backdrop adds a level of reality unattainable before this semester. The action of the city in the background will bring a specific Point Park-centric feel to broadcasts. This studio will help students create a sleek and polished reel.

With new audio equipment and a video camera,  the CMI brings Point Park radio into modern times.

Students involved in Point Park’s radio station, WPPJ, now have a better setup for shows and conducting interviews. It will no longer be people sitting next to each other. Instead, a table allows them to speak face-to-face, creating Ryan Seacrest or Nick Grimshaw vibes. A more professional setup is beneficial for students trying to get jobs in the industry.

Sporting a window for students to see Lawrence Hall, this new radio studio also gives the public visual clues about what radio shows are going on, helping to further Point Park’s reputation as a place where students are always creating working to pioneer media.  And, like U-View, WPPJ can now have more radio airtime with both studios in action.

Another great addition to the CMI is the photography studio. The all-white structure allows photography students to show off their talents through photoshoots. Students can use this space for head shots and professional pictures, as well as adding to their portfolios.

Although a great facility, the CMI’s space is limited. To access bathrooms students must walk to the YWCA or Academic Hall, and the television studio is smaller and can cause problems if students try to use the green screen wall. If there was a little more space, another green screen could be set up and would make a full newscast seamless.

Unfortunately, due to space, another Mac computer lab wasn’t an option. It could have benefited other students, specifically graphic design majors in the School of Communication, whose horizons aren’t greatly expanded by the CMI.

But the CMI offers great resources for students on campus. Although limited, it’s still well-equipped with modern technology that students can use to express their creativity and create content.