Nikki Usher




     232 Gregory Hall



Nikki Usher, Ph.D. is a visiting associate professor at The University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) in the College of Media and an Associate Professor at The School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University. Her research focuses on news production in the changing digital environment, blending insights from media sociology and political communication.

Her first book, "Making News at The New York Times" (University of Michigan Press, 2014) was the first book-length study of the US’s foremost newspaper in the Internet era and won the Tankard Award, a national book award from the Association for Education and Mass Communication in Journalism. Her second book, "Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Code" (University of Illinois Press), focused on the rise of programming and data journalism, and was a finalist for the Tankard Award, making Usher the first solo author to be a two-time finalist.

Dr. Usher is the co-editor of the Oxford University Press "Journalism and Political Communication Unbound" book series. She has been a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a fellow at the Reynold's Institute at the University of Missouri. She is the winner of the AEJMC Emerging Scholar Award and was named the Lillian Lodge Kopenhaver Outstanding Junior Scholar, in addition to joining the Kopenhaver Center as a leadership fellow.  She is a frequent commentator on the evolving news media landscape, serving as an expert source for journalists, and, on occasion, writes commentary for industry-facing and popular press outlets. Dr. Usher received her Ph.D. and MA from the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and her AB from Harvard (magna cum laude). In her spare time, she enjoys triathlons, tennis, and Civil War history.