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David Harris Finds A Fit for Podcasting: The Media Creation Lab

For Professor David Harris, Sall Ann Semenko Endowed Chair and professor of law at the University of Pittsburgh, the Teaching Center’s Media Creation Lab presented a unique opportunity for him.

Harris teaches several courses at Pitt on criminal law and procedures, and also writes and produces his own podcast called “Criminal (In)justice.” The show covers the full scope of criminal justice issues affecting our country — police use of force, technology surveillance, drug laws and mass incarceration, racial bias, and more.

His search for a way to produce high-quality, professional audio recordings led him to the Media Creation Lab, a multimedia production center in Alumni Hall.

“The Media Creation Lab has been a godsend for my work creating content for the Criminal (In)justice podcast, which I write and host,” Harris said. “It’s a professional audio set up that allows me to put down recordings of news items and stories quickly, right on campus, without the cost or bother of seeking out a studio elsewhere.”

Harris regularly interviews prominent practitioners, thinkers, policy makers, activists, and authors on the show. Discussions emerge between some of the most informed people in the field, leading to expert insights and question-and-answer sessions. In addition, the show comments on new cases and controversies, legal developments, and events. “Everything from the Mueller investigation to new police initiatives across the country,” Harris said.

Each episode of the podcast carries its own set of unique requirements, but the lab’s support team welcomes the challenge.

“With the help I get from the staff, I’m able to come in with several items, put them into professional form for my producers, and put a good product out for my listeners,” Harris said. “Knowing that the facility is there and available, often on short notice, has allowed me to get Pitt’s name and my content out in the world quickly and efficiently.”

Max Glider, coordinator of learning space services, said the Media Creation Lab is capable of handling a wide variety of tasks. “This studio is a premiere location for recording podcasts of all types. You can record a single voice or record a dialogue with two or more people. Additionally, we have the ability to record remote participants with podcasting software or a quality phone hybrid.”

According to Glider, audio is only one piece of the multimedia puzzle.

“The Media Creation lab is also equipped to record video lectures with content,” he said. “We have a document camera to capture table-top activity and a touch-panel video monitor that can be used to annotate slides live during a presentation.”

The newest addition to the Media Creation Lab is a lightboard, which enables presenters to draw on the board with neon markers while being filmed through a piece of lit glass. “This allows the presenter to annotate and be seen simultaneously to create an innovative and educational product,” Glider said.

“The Media Creation Lab is constantly growing and can handle any educational media need,” Glider said. The lab was recently featured in a previous edition of TC60.

Faculty can take advantage of the Media Creation Lab by placing a reservation with the Teaching Center.

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