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CMI celebrates one-year anniversary

By Amy Philips-Haller, Point Park News Service:

It was standing room only at the September 12th Point Park Center for Media Innovation one-year anniversary event that included featured speakers, two panel discussions, and a plaque unveiling  that honored Richard M. Scaife.

The event marked one year since the doors opened to the media hub that is home to three studios, a control room, dressing room, green room, whisper room, and classroom.  Point Park University students and campus media organizations utilize the space to hold pitch meetings, produce podcasts, generate television programs, create YouTube videos, and shoot photographs.  Professors utilize the space for lectures and hands-on instruction.

The Center for Media Innovation was the long-time vision of Point Park University President Dr. Paul Hennigan.   After Trib Total Media Investigative Reporter Andrew Conte joined the faculty at Point Park, the two saw the vision through to completion.

The center received $2.5 mil. in funding from The Allegheny Foundation, an organization that grants awards to  local Western Pennsylvania nonprofits that focus on historic preservation, civic development and education. Richard M. Scaife began the foundation in 1953.  The news ticker was donated by the Tribune Review Publishing Company.

“Mr. Scaife actually signed off on this project before he died,”  said Center for Media Innovation Director, Andrew Conte.  “He believed in it.”

Scaife passed-away on July 4, 2014.

During the one-year anniversary event, the university honored the legacy of Scaife, and unveiled a plaque dedicated to the philanthropist.  Scaife believed in “investment in ideas,” it says.   

 “We wanted students to know we are invested in their ideas,” explained Chelsea Pompeani, the Media Innovation Specialist at the Center of Media Innovation.

 Speakers included Center of Media for Media Innovation Director Andrew Conte, retired chairman of Trib Total Media Yale Gutnick, and Point Park University President Paul Hennigan.

 “It has been fulfilling to see our students use this space to create award-winning productions and advance local journalism. Our faculty members have contributed fresh ideas, hands-on direction, and a sincere commitment to preparing our students,” Hennigan said.

Panel Members included Don Marinelli of InvenGlobal, John Chamberlin of Ya’Jagoff podcast, Frank Murgia of Pittsburgh Podcast Network, Rob Taylor of the New Pittsburgh Courier, Eric Heyl of Patch,  AmyJo Brown of Grant’s Hill, Ann Belser of Print and Alyse Horn of Storyburgh.

“We were so pleased to offer two workshops focused on the future of journalism and storytelling. We deliberately invited presenters who are doing something completely new to the Pittsburgh news ecosystem, ranging from a data-driven startup to another new outlet featuring original storytelling. We wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the Center for Media Innovation at Point Park University with true media pioneers,” said Conte. 

John Chamberlain, owner and founder of the YaJagoff! Blog and Podcasts, said, “I want to pay it forward and share my experiences with students.”  He suggested the students also need to  understand “the business of the business.”

Student and Point Park News Service Brand Manager Angela Altieri, said, “It is a great space because there are so many options.   You can go to one place and get it all done.”

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