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U. professor to publish book on US Capitol insurrection

Khadijah Costley White, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, edited a book titled "Media and January 6th" about the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. – Photo by

Khadijah Costley White, an associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies, is set to release a new book about the insurrection that occurred on Jan. 6, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol, according to an announcement by the School of Communication and Information on the social media platform X.

White, an editor for the book "Media and January 6th," worked alongside an editorial team to compile and present scholarship on the insurrection, she said.

White said existing literature and research about the Jan. 6 insurrection is limited, with there being no significant scholarship about the media's role in the insurrection. The book is aimed toward reporters and media scholars, whom she hopes will gain a greater understanding of far-Right violence, she said.

"The goal of the book is to really call attention to both journalists and media researchers to pay attention to what happened on January 6 as a huge wake-up call in regards to our own work and to what is happening in American society right now and globally in regards to the far-Right," White said.

The idea for the book came about at a conference held in 2022 at the University of North Carolina, where she spoke about the Jan. 6 insurrection as a keynote speaker, according to White. She said that she and the other editors agreed that the insurrection was a manifestation of far-Right violence, which formed the basis for their research.

After adding their own chapters, the editors sought out other researchers to contribute their scholarship to the book, White said. She also said editors authored sections of the book, for which they wrote the introduction and epilogue.

White said reporting on the Jan. 6 insurrection has been inadequate, adding that the book's analysis can help change the way such stories are covered.

"We want reporters to think about how they portray Right-wing violence, how they tell the stories of Right-wing threats and to really emphasize it as a true threat," she said.

White, whose research is concentrated partly on race and media, said that race is key to the narrative surrounding the Jan. 6 insurrection. She said attacks with Black or Arab perpetrators receive disproportionate attention compared to such incidents done by white individuals.

She also said her scholarship is concerned with dealing with white supremacist and far-Right violence, which she said is commonplace in the present day.

"Whiteness and white violence is treated as almost invisible in our society," she said. "So then, we have white supremacy being treated as a reasonable and legitimate political belief in the 21st century."

White said the book, which will be published by Oxford University Press, will be officially released in March. She and the other editors will return to the University of North Carolina in April to speak at an event celebrating the book's release, White said.

"We have to use our expertise and our research to help create pro-democracy work that bolsters and deeply invests in what America does best when it is a true multiracial democracy that represents everyone," she said.

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