Editor-in-Chief, 100 Days in Appalachia
Dana is editor in chief for the digital media outlet 100 Days in Appalachia and is an associate 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 she leads a team of embedded researchers and journalists investigating the intersection of organized white supremacists and networks of mis/disinformation in Appalachia, with a state-based focus on West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
This research is well situated to inform the increasing intersection of disparate extremists groups, including “Qanon,” “boogaloo,” para-military and self-style militia activity and other far-right and white supremacist groups in the region. 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 increasing 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, NBC News, The New York Times, and others, as well as regional outlets throughout Appalachia.
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