According to Evan Cornog, student journalists are in the digital world, and no longer train for “print-only” reporting.
As a result, Hofstra University invested in a new infrastructure so that its Lawrence Herbert School of Communication could support brand new HD equipment for journalism students.
Drastic facility facelifts are common in higher education, especially as colleges hustle to beat the competition and provide current technology to train its students for the work world.
“Every part of the school needs a lot of technology,” says Cornog, dean of the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication at Hofstra. “We’ve been upgrading in a piecemeal fashion as we’ve needed to replace switchers and other things, we’ve been moving to hi-def compatible stuff. This is the summer we’ve ripped out the router and all that.”
Hofstra’s revamped infrastructure features a brand new core to support new Hitachi SK-UHD4000 4K broadcast cameras, and experimentation with 4K capabilities.
Even though the 4k features were a necessary part of the university’s overall installation, Cornog says the price threw his team off guard.
“When we looked at the 4K option, that put us into a different price range than what we anticipated,” he says. “I needed to go to the university president and get support from him to make this happen. He quickly grasped the opportunities that were available by doing this, and provided the money we needed to go to the 4K cameras.”
The price was worth it – after receiving additional support from administrators, Hofstra’s new cameras made its journalism students stand out and gain exposure to the future of journalism technology.
“It has given us the opportunity to go where no university has gone to date, as far as we know yet, and that is to explore what it’s like to incorporate 4K production within an existing kind of hi-def environment,” says Randy Hillebrand, training coordinator, adjunct associate professor of radio, television, film at Hofstra.
“We looked at it as an opportunity to leap ahead of the competition and build a facility that is relatively future proof,” says Tim Fehmel, facilities manager/director of operations at the Herbert School.
Aside from on-camera training, the upgraded Lawrence Herbert School of Communication provides a space for students to learn about reporting via mobile devices.