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A new green screen for the KU’s Journalism department

Fully digitalized and freshly renovated, the KU’s Media House celebrated its official re-opening . From spring to fall 2016, the facilities used by the Journalism degree program were renovated and the technical equipment in the radio and TV studio was brought up to date. The new green screen, HD cameras, and modern mixing consoles will ensure that the KU’s journalism students can get to grips with the latest technology during their education.

‘The KU’s Journalism degree program has a strong focus on practical training,’ department speaker Klaus-Dieter Altmeppen explained in his welcoming speech. Preparing students to deal with new technical challenges in journalism is a key task for the program: ‘Technology is one of the areas in which journalists need to have skills.’ In combination with a mock editing department and a cross media lab, the fully digitalized TV studio and the new equipment in the radio studio will ensure that in the coming years students are able to learn about the latest technology during their studies at the KU. This is an important responsibility of the program, Altmeppen emphasized, as ‘it is essential in order for our graduates to be able to compete on the labor market.’

Around 300,000 euros were invested in the new technology. Funding was provided partly by the University and partly by the Bavarian government, which helped finance the equipment through the German Research Foundation’s Major Instrumentation initiative. The renovation and installation work was carried out in just a few months between spring and fall 2016. Luckily the Media House could not be compared to the Elbphilharmonie, Klaus-Dieter Altmeppen remarked, referencing the newly opened concert hall in Hamburg: ‘Not only did we finish on time, we actually finished slightly under budget.’

Part of the funding was invested in the now fully digitalized TV studio, which gives students access to three new full HD cameras and modern production technology. In addition, as of this semester the Journalism degree program has its own green screen, just like the ones used by major broadcasters. With this technology, videos can be made in front of a light green background that the production or post-production team can simply replace with any background of their choosing – from a digital news studio to Eichstätt’s main square. In addition to being more modern, the new studio lighting is also more environmentally friendly. Robert Thaller, the Journalism department’s technician, estimates that the switch to LED lighting means that the studio will use around 90 percent less electricity in the future. The TV studio was not the only area to receive entirely new equipment; the two radio studios were also equipped with new microphones, mixing consoles, computers, and audio editing software.

In addition to the external funding for the technical equipment, the KU invested around 400,000 euros in the renovation of the Media House, in particular the journalism facilities. New flooring was laid in the radio studios and a new air conditioning system was installed in the TV studio and editing area, while the cross media lab was connected to the building’s air conditioning system.