Nikki Usher

Professor, Journalist and more…


I’m often in quoted in the press, and this is pretty exciting, though I still consider myself a part-time journalist. Here are a few media appearances and some samples of my recent work. This list is constantly changing, so if you’re especially curious, check out Google News for recent material.

Here are some examples of media appearances to give you a sense for the kind of places you can find me quoted on issues in the press, on politics, and about social media, among many other topics: In The New York Times on Paying for Clicks (David Carr); In Politico on the NSA; In Slate on The New York Times; in ABC on Facebook; on All Things Considered (NPR) on Twerking as well as about click bait journalism on NPR’s Here and Now. I’ve gotten a bunch of TV appearances under the belt, including on AP TV and the UK’s ITN, as well as abroad on Al Jazeera English.

You can find three full talks here as a sample: my presentation at Rutgers in 2015 prior to the publication of Interactive Journalism: Hackers, Data, and Codemy post-2016 election version of this talk via the University of Oregon’s DeMystifying Media Series; and a talk before The National Press Club on my first book, Making News at The New York Times. 

Here are some samples of my journalism: A post on the problems with data journalism in the 2016 election on CNN’s website (later featured on the homepage), a longform! piece on the history of the White House Press Corps and its future in Fusion, a controversial piece about Jill Abramson and The New York Times in The Washington Post, a piece on The Times‘ innovation report in Columbia Journalism Review, and a piece in The Atlantic on Al Jazeera America. This is in addition to many contributions for CJR, the Nieman Journalism Lab, and PBS MediaShift. Journalism related to other subjects has also appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education.

My experience in journalism gives me a deep respect for the people and organizations I study. Before blogging for Nieman Lab, blogged previously for the Online Journalism Review (RIP) as a columnist, taking up academic research and questions and making this work accessible to an audience of journalists.

Philadelphia Inquirer, Reporter, 2004-2005

  • Covered five-county region of Southern New Jersey for Sports Section
  • Lead tennis writer for Advanta International Tennis tournament, with stories on then No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo and other top-ranked stars
  • Had two front page stories on girls’ high school sports: field hockey and soccer injuries; led Sports section multiple times with coverage of Title IX, girls’ swimming, developments in turf technology

Los Angeles Times, California Desk Intern, Summer 2004

  • Covered forest-fires, drive-by shootings, urban development issues and courts


Chicago Tribune, Metro Desk Intern, Winter 2004

  • Covered urban affairs and gay and lesbian issues, wrote stories about immigration in Chicago and wrote obituaries for Iraq War soldiers


New Orleans Times-Picayune, City Desk Intern, Summer 2003

  • Covered police, courts, and city hall, wrote in-depth reporting piece on youth homelessness in the city


The Dallas Morning News, National Desk Intern, Summer 2002

  • Wrote national stories on post-9/11 policy; front page story on e-coli breakout


Editor, Let’s Go: Washington, D.C., 2002, St. Martin’s Press

  • Oversaw team of 3 research-writers for 300+ page book in best-selling travel guide series. Wrote “Life in DC” chapter.


The Boston Globe, State House Intern Co-op, Fall 2001

  • Covered state budget crisis, assisted in post-9/11 reporting

The Harvard Crimson, Senior News Editor, 2002-2003

  • Coordinated daily coverage twice a week, edited three shifts a week, mentored young reporters, created arts-news beat

Hotline, Institute of Politics Fellow Intern, Summer 2000

  • Covered House races and monitored national and local news coverage for online site. Assisted in partnership with ABC for Republican National Convention.

The Harvard Crimson, reporter, 1999-2002

  • Admissions and financial aid beat, Arts Criticism and coverage

Additional freelance articles in Online Journalism Review (current contributor), Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Tribune’s Red Eye (columns), Windy City Times (Chicago, IL), Philadelphia Gay News