Nikki Usher

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Nikki Usher, Ph.D., is a senior fellow at the Center for Journalism & Liberty at Open Markets Institute. She is an associate professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the College of Media’s Journalism Department (with affiliate appointments in the Communication and Political Science). Her research focuses on journalism in the changing digital environment, blending insights from media sociology and political communication. Her policy interests include finding pragmatic approaches to reconciling the impact of platforms and big tech with sustainable news and information for communities.

She has held fellowships with the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, Columbia’s Tow Center and Missouri’s Reynolds Institute for Journalism. She is the author of three books: News for the Rich, White, and Blue (2021); Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code (2016), and Making News at The New York Times (2014). Nikki received her AB from Harvard University and her MA and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication.

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