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Dana Coester

Editor-in-Chief, 100 Days in Appalachia

Dana is editor in chief for the digital media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia and is a professor at the West Virginia University Reed College of Media. Dana’s work has long focused on the intersection of technology, media and rural community, and leads research and reporting teams examining online and offline extremism, media manipulation, and disinformation campaigns with a trauma-informed approach. Coester’s work emphasizes susceptibility and resilience in rural community members to mis/disinformation in Appalachia, with a state-based focus on West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

This research is well situated to inform vocabulary, best practices and historical and regional contexts for editors and reporters reporting on extremism. This perspective serves to steer coverage away from a focus on spectacle and individuals and towards a more complex understanding of the contributing factors leading to incidents of civil unrest rooted in the region. Dana and her team are most interested in community-based solutions that center the needs of targeted groups and de-escalation of potential violence and interventions that provide off-ramps for susceptible young people recruited into extremism. Coester has been cited by and has provided research briefings to news outlets such as The Telegraph, Huffington Post, NBC News, The New York Times, and others, as well as regional outlets throughout Appalachia.

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State Expertise: W.Va.
Speaks: English

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