The events of January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol have been presented in the media as a riot, an insurrection, a siege, or legitimate protest by a mob, a few bad actors, lawful protestors, political opportunists, or carefully planned conspirators. The following activities ask you to compare and contrast different media framing of the January 6, 2021 events and subsequent investigations into what happened.
What really happened on January 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol?
How will it be discussed in history and civics classes not only today, but 10, 20, 30 or more years from now?
Defenders claimed that the people who marched to the Capitol were living up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution by demonstrating against what they regarded as an unfair election.
Critics claimed nothing could be further from what actually happened. They contended that a crowd, intentionally inflamed by speeches by political leaders, became a violent mob, and sought to overturn the results of a free and fair presidential election, and in so doing, turned against the ideals and values of American democracy.
The public's understanding of January 6 depends in large part on how the media chose to frame it. Media framing is how reporters and editors present what happened - the words used in stories, the images shown in videos, the pictures that accompany news bulletins, the choice of who to interview to gain information and insights, etc...
Then, based on your findings, create a video in which you discuss how different media outlets framed the people who were involved with the events of January 6, 2021 as either individuals who demonstrated political courage or individuals who failed to live up to the ideals of the Constitution.
Include screenshots of news articles/images and screenrecorded news clips in your video.
Examine the varied understandings of the role of elected representatives and discuss those who have demonstrated political courage or those whose actions have failed to live up to the ideals of the Constitution. (Massachusetts Curriculum Framework for History and Social Studies) [8.T4.11]