Media and January 6th

April 12, 2024
Copy of 1-23-2024 (10)

Freedom Forum, Carroll Hall | Friday, April 12, 2024 | 10am-8:30pm

Join us for a day of insightful discussions with leading scholars in social science, media, and policy as we delve into the events of January 6th, 2021, and explore crucial avenues for safeguarding democracy. Panels of experts from across disciplines will unravel the layers of this pivotal moment in American history and shed light on the profound impact it has had on media, politics, and society. We’ll discuss practical strategies to defend democracy and address contemporary challenges, while understanding the historical significance of January 6th and its implications for the future. See more details on each panel below!

Schedule

  • 10:00am-11:30am | Panel: Understanding January 6th
  • 11:30am-1:00pm | Lunch
  • 1:00pm-2:30pm | Panel: Researching Threats to Democracy
  • 2:30pm-3:00pm | Coffee Break
  • 3:00pm-4:30pm | Panel: Defending Democracy
  • 4:30pm-5:30pm | Coffee Break
  • 5:30pm-7:00pm | Closing Conversation: Media, January 6th, and American History
Copy of 1-23-2024 (17)

Understanding January 6th

10:00am-11:30am

How should social scientists, media scholars, policymakers, journalists, and the public understand what happened on January 6th, 2021? Researchers on this panel, all contributors to the Media and January 6th volume, discuss their work demonstrating that what happened on January 6th was an attempted coup grounded in the political interests of the outgoing President, his supporters, and members of the Republican Party – as well as the political coalition it represents. They analyze how media, communication, and rhetoric were central to laying the groundwork for January 6th as well as how the events on the day unfolded.

Moderator
  • Shannon McGregor- Associate Professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a CITAP Principal Investigator
Panelists:
  • Scott Althaus- Merriam Professor of Political Science, Professor of Communication, and Director of the Cline Center for Advanced Social Research at the University of Illinois
  • Danielle Brown- 1855 Community and Urban Journalism Professor and an Associate Professor at Michigan State University’s School of Journalism
  • Alice Marwick- Associate Professor in the UNC Department of Communication and a CITAP Principal Investigator
  • Francesca Tripodi- Assistant Professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science and a CITAP Principal Investigator

Researching Threats to Democracy

1:00pm-2:30pm

Scholars on this panel, all contributors to the volume, demonstrate the urgency with which our research must change if we are to play a part in ensuring the health of our democracy. These scholars argue for research on how deep networks of domestic extremists – and the money, political institutions, and media environments that allow them to thrive – provide fertile soil for antidemocratic crises. And, they argue that we must understand partisan media as political organizations, the power of media representations about January 6th and its key actors, and the importance of consequences for those who violate democratic norms.

Moderator
  • Rebekah Tromble- Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs and Director of the Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics (IDDP) at the George Washington University
Panelists:
  • Yunkang Yang- Assistant Professor of Communication at Texas A&M University
  • Regina Lawrence- Associate Dean of the School Of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon Portland and Research Director for the Agora Jounalism Center
  • Jennifer Stromer-Galley- Professor in the School of Information Studies and Senior Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs at Syracuse University
  • Dave Karpf- Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University

Defending Democracy

3:00pm-4:30pm

On this panel, scholars discuss how we can defend democracy and its institutions. Panelists argue that this means crafting new stories about demographic change in the United States, journalists confronting the ways they uphold unequal power systems, understanding the dangers of anti-democratic populism, and checking the media power of anti-democratic movements. Only by understanding January 6th and how it was a threat to America can we have a clear sense of how to protect our fragile democratic institutions.

Moderator
  • Khadijah Costley White- Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University

Panelists:
  • Andrew Thompson- Assistant Professor of Political Science at George Washington University
  • Meredith Clark- Associate Professor in the School of Journalism and the Department of Communication Studies at Northeastern University
  • Silvio Waisbord- Professor at the School of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University
  • Paul E. Johnson- Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Pittsburgh

Media, January 6th, and American History

5:30pm-7:00pm

In this closing conversation, scholars reflect on the place of January 6th in America’s political and media history – and where we go from here. They connect January 6th to similar moments across American history, including violent assaults on the American democracy during the Reconstruction Era. And, they discuss the many changes in both politics and media technologies that have made contestations in our political discourse – and on our streets – unique to our own time. This panel will end with a discussion of where we go from here as a nation and society to restore public life, protect American democracy, and rebuild our media and political institutions.

Panelists:
  • Daniel Kreiss- Edgar Thomas Cato Distinguished Professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and CITAP Principal Investigator
  • Tressie McMillan Cottom- Associate Professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science; and CITAP Principal Investigator
  • Dannagal Young- Professor of Communication and Political Science at the University of Delaware