Topic 4

The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens

The media literacy activities in this section explore citizen engagement and involvement in politics and society, including immigration, the COVID-19 pandemic, voting, gender in leadership, trans identities, political activism, political protest, political advertising, and the January 6, 2021 insurrection. A digital choice board addresses the rights and responsibilities of citizens from a critical media literacy perspective.

“A citizen is a participatory member of a political community. Citizenship is gained by meeting the legal requirements of a national, state, or local government” (Center for the Study of Citizenship, Wayne State University, 2021, para. 6). 

Image by ArtsyBeeKids is under Pixabay License

In the United States, both citizens and non-citizens have rights and responsibilities in their civic, political, and private lives. They enjoy the freedoms of a democratic society while having responsibilities that they are expected to perform, including obeying laws, voting in elections, working with elected leaders, engaging in peaceful protests, and affirming the fundamental principles of American political and civic life. 

U.S. history has numerous examples of individuals who showed political courage and leadership in support of democratic values and freedoms, but it also includes multiple times when individuals and groups failed to live up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. In modern society, public and private interest groups, political action committees, and labor unions, more than individual citizens, play powerful roles in lobbying for social and economic change.

Media Literacy Choice Board

Screenshot of the The Rights and Responsibilities  of Citizens  Media Literacy Choice Board
The Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens Media Literacy Choice Board (view)
(make your own copy of this choice board to remix/share/use)

Media Literacy Activities

Immigration in the News Portrayals of Immigrants in Television and Film COVID-19 Information Evaluation Women Political Leaders in the MediaOnline Messaging by Special Interest GroupsDigital Games for Civic EngagementSocial Media and Elections Images of Political Leaders and Political Power Political Spin in Media Coverage of Political Debates Celebrities' Influence on Politics Political Activism Through Social Media Media Recruitment of Public Sector Workers Deciding What Books Students Read in School Images of Teachers, Teaching and Public Service Careers For Whom Is and Could Your School Be NamedRepresenting Trans Identities Media Framing of the Events of January 6, 2021Music as Protest Art PACs, Super PACs, and Unions in the Media Brands and Politics

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