Dean Geeta Anand’s statement on mob attack on the U.S. Capitol

January 6, 2021

January 6, 2021

Dear Berkeley Journalism Community,

I write to say to our fellow journalists covering the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol that we are thinking of you and grateful that you are doing the important job of accurately and courageously reporting the news.

We are watching with horror the images being shared of journalists having their equipment snatched from them and trashed.

We are grateful that you are asking the important questions: Why weren’t we as a nation prepared for this easily anticipated attack? How is it that peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors and journalists were tear gassed and beaten so the president could hold a press conference outside the White House while this pro-Trump mob so easily marauded through the Capitol to prevent the certification of our election? Who will hold the president accountable for egging on this unprecedented attack on democracy? Why did our social media platforms do so little to stop the spread of dangerous disinformation about this election?

As journalists, we train to be ready to accurately and powerfully report on these earth-shattering moments. As journalists-in-training, let’s use this time to watch how our colleagues do their jobs—how they report but also how they frame their stories and the questions that they ask.

Please know, beloved Berkeley Journalism Community—students, alumni, emeriti, staff, faculty and lecturers—that you are in our thoughts and in our prayers today. Our profession calls for us to be on the front lines as witnesses to history. It calls for us to ask the tough questions on behalf of the people of this country. It isn’t an easy job, but it is such an important one. The value of honest, fact-based, smart and brave reporting has never been more vital than it is today.

With so much gratitude to all of the journalists who are making sure America knows what is happening in the capital. On behalf of Berkeley Journalism, we salute you.

Geeta Anand
Dean and Professor
Robert A. Peck Chair

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