Class Reflection on WTE Field Trip

Students from last year named one thing that they learned at WTE. Can you add anything to the list?

  1. There are multiple colors of ink for the newspaper that have to be layered properly. The ink consistency is more like pudding than water.
  2. The paper rolls that the newspaper is printed on are each 15 miles long and weighed half a ton.
  3. The size of the printing press was impressive: it took 2 ships and 20 semi trucks to deliver the printing press from Germany.
  4. There are special technicians that are experts on the printing press in case it needs maintenance.
  5. There are only 3 of the WTE-type printing presses in the US. There are about 11 of them in the world.
  6. The managing editor assigns individual reporters to specific “beats” (e.g., education, sports, features).
  7. The WTE printing press also prints other regional papers, such as the Laramie Boomerang and The Greeley Tribune (in Greeley Colorado).
  8. The printing press and the editors/reporters are seemingly working 24 hours a day to keep the news cycle going.
  9. The WTE keeps an archival library of every daily WTE newspaper that has been printed.
  10. The WTE prints their own newspaper as well as flyers, advertisements, and other paid media materials (i.e., commercial printing). About 15% of revenues comes from paid newspaper subscriptions, with the remainder of revenues originating from commercial printing and paid advertising. Some of that commercial printing occurs on $1 million printers and copiers.
  11. The printing press speed was impressive.

Let’s download and post our 5-10 favorite Cheyenne Photos.


Why Increase Media Literacy?

Key Idea:

In order to survive in our information-saturated culture, we put our minds on “automatic pilot” in order to protect ourselves from the flood of media messages we constantly encounter. The danger with this automatic processing of messages is that it allows the media to condition our thought processes.

The Information Problem

  • World Wide Web: 13.4 billion pages
  • Hollywood feature films: 700 hours each year
  • Commercial TV: 48 million hours each year
  • Radio: 65.5 million hours each year
  • YouTube: 100,000 hours each day
  • Total amount of information doubles each year
  • Multitasking with new technology is increasing media exposure

And It’s More Than Just Direct Exposure…Types of Media Exposure

  • Direct Exposure: When we perceive a media message
    • Listening to music
    • Watching a video
    • Surfing the web
  • Indirect Exposure: When we think about a media message while we are not being actively exposed to it.
    • Talking about the news with family
    • Thinking about why you love a song
    • Making judgments using standards that the media have conditioned –>For example, stereotypes!
      • What images come to your mind, when I say the following words:
      • Professor
      • Superhero
      • Scientist
      • Nurse
      • Lawyer
      • Teacher
      • Criminal
      • Most likely, the media have conditioned you to think about a particular gender, race, and age for each label above.

Getting Back To The Information Problem: How Do We Deal?

  • Automatic routines help us filter information quickly and efficiently
    • Like computer codes in our minds
    • Sequences of behaviors or thoughts that we learn from experience and apply again and again with little effort
  • Automaticity: A state where our minds operate without any conscious effort from us
    • We filter almost all messages with little effort until something triggers our conscious attention

Where Do Automatic Routines Come From?

  • Family, institutions, society, and mass media
  • Some routines help us
    • Local newspapers program us to focus on our community
  • Some routines further the interests of others
    • Advertisers program us how to think about ourselves (body image, shopping habits)

Are Automatic Routines Helpful or Hurtful? Well, Kinda Both…

  • Advantages:
    • Helps us making quick, effortless decisions
    • Allows us to multi-task
    • Protects us from information overload
  • Disadvantages
    • Exposure to so many messages that we pay less attention to each
    • Less likely to learn from any one message
    • Lose opportunities to expand our experiences

Re-Programming Ourselves

  • Motivation is key
  • You must learn:
    • Why media messages are produced.
    • Who makes media messages. What are THEIR interests?
    • What effects media messages have.
  • Knowledge will give you CONTROL
    • Build the life and knowledge you want, rather than letting media build the life they want for you

Risks of Media Illiteracy

  • Habitual exposure patterns make you miss valuable messages
  • You accept the meaning of messages presented by the media without challenge

Activity and Blog Post: Estimate Your Media Diet

  1. What kind of media routines to do you have? Think through your day, from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. Write a paragraph about what media that you typically encounter in a day back home. And, estimate how many minutes that you spend with each media activity. How much of this media consumption is automatic and how much of this media consumption is critical and thoughtful?
  2. How much of your media consumption is news? What is news to you? Name what sources you get your news from. Why do you use these news sources? Why do you trust your news sources? Is the news you consume slanted or bias in any way? What improvements to your news diet can you make? How much do your parents impact your news diet?
  3. How much of your media consumption is entertainment and sports? What are your favorite entertainment sources? For example, TV shows, websites, movies, books, gaming, etc. Why do you use these entertainment sources? How much time do you spend with entertainment? Does it interfere with other aspects of your life, like your social life or academic life? To what extent do your parents regulate your exposure to entertainment? Are they more lenient now than in the past because you’re in high school now?

— My Thoughts —

Young people need to be critical of their media routines. Media can very easily impact how we think and act, even if we don’t realize it and it’s not purposeful. For example, media can greatly impact our expectations and behavior when it comes to physical intimacy and interactions with significant others; we learn this from movies and TV shows — we learn “social scripts” about how to act. Thus, it’s important to think about how our media consumption impacts our behaviors, thoughts, emotions, and attitudes.

Young people also need to know what is going on in the greater world around them. Being more aware of news around the world, nation, state, and local community makes you a more informed, well-rounded, intelligent, and understanding person. It also improves your grades in school and gives you a better chance at getting a good job.