Nikki Usher, Ph.D. 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 news production in the changing digital environment, blending insights from media sociology and political communication. From 2019-2020, she has been a fellow at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities and as of Summer 2020, a fellow with the Open Markets Institute's Center for Journalism and Liberty.
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, 2016), focused on the rise of programming and data journalism, and was a finalist for the Tankard Award, making Dr. Usher the first solo author to be a two-time finalist. Prior to Illinois, she was an associate professor at The George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.