Media and January 6th

Edited by Khadijah Costley White, Daniel Kreiss, Shannon C. McGregor, and Rebekah Tromble

Oxford University Press

Mis/Disinformation, Political Processes

The images cast across screens across the country on January 6, 2021, laid bare the fragility of American democracy as the steps and halls of the US Capitol were inundated by a violent band of insurrectionists. Fed by blatant lies, political anger, and racial animus, they sought to halt a procedure enshrined in the US Constitution and to overturn a freely and fairly run election. Meanwhile, efforts to obstruct, avoid, and misrepresent the subsequent investigation of the January 6th attack have continued apace.

With a relative dearth of work that centers historical and contemporary racial, ethnic, and power dynamics in the context of media, our interdisciplinary field was caught flat-footed, unprepared to respond to those who actively seek to undermine American democracy. This edited volume is a first step toward remedying that situation. Media and January 6th brings together a diverse group of leading scholars to help us more clearly understand the relationship between media and the attempted coup. The volume examines why and how January 6th came to be and the centrality of media to the event. It is organized around three key questions: How should we understand January 6, 2021? What should research look like after January 6, 2021? And how can we prevent another event like this?