Nikki Usher

George Washington University

Nikki Usher, Ph.D. is Associate Professor in the School of Media and Public Affairs at the George Washington University, USA.

Her core research agenda is focused on understanding journalism's transition (or not) to the digital age. She is interested in exploring the dynamics of myriad forms of journalism and questions before journalism, from the future of traditional legacy news outlets to citizen journalism to news business models to online startups to data journalism to the role of platforms. She has recently begun a multi-method project on political journalism in Washington, looking across questions of Beltway v. Heartland, insularity, and engagement. She approaches her work through the lens of news production, meaning she has observed and interviewed journalists at leading news organizations with a focus on the US and Europe.

She is the author of Making News at The New York Times (University of Michigan Press 2014), winner of the Association for Education in Journalism’s Tankard Award for Best Book. Her second book, Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and News (University of Illinois Press, October 2016), looks at the rise of programming, data, and hacking in journalism and the ensuing changes to the profession and professional ideology. A forthcoming book will explore the relationship between journalism, trust, and place.

Usher has been a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University’s School of Journalism and a University of Missouri Reynolds’ Institute fellow. She is deeply committed to bringing academic research in conversation with journalistic practice, and as such, has been a frequent contributor to Columbia Journalism Review and Nieman Lab, as well as penning popular press articles and serving as an expert source. She received her Ph.D. and MA at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication and her A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard University.


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