July 13, 2004
Autry Introduces MC101s to the American
West--Or at Least the Media Version of It
The Autry National Center (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage) is an appropriate place for a Mass Comm 101 field trip. It compares the media version of the American West with the actual West.

Our Tuesday afternoon outing began in the plaza next to this bronze of Gene Autry on his horse Champion.

Here iare a few of our early arrivals. Eventually, our delegation numbered 39.


The museum does a particularly good job of putting visitors into scenes from the Old West. This outdoor backdrop looks like something out of a thousand Westerns, but in reality it is quite near the interchange of the Golden State and Ventura Freeways.
Inside the museum, visitors have the opportunity to put themselves in the Old West. This exhibit makes the point that the American West was considerably more diverse than it has commonly been portrayed in Western entertainment.
We looked at artifacts from the actual American West...
...And the places where those artifacts were consumed.