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Articles by Nikki Usher

Nikki Usher is an assistant professor at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs this fall. She received her PhD in May 2011 from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. She has published and blogged about topics ranging from citizen journalism, the origins of news on the web, the implications of the new media economy and news business models, and the changing identity of legacy journalists. Her dissertation is focused on how business newsrooms are adapting to the changing digital environment, with the The New York Times as her principal research site. She has conducted field research at NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, Marketplace public radio, TheStreet.com, and The Times. She was also a research assistant for the Knight Digital Media Center, where she still assists in projects looking at the evolution of newsroom leadership. Prior to life as an academic, Nikki was a reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer. You can reach her at nusher@usc.edu.
@nikkiusher
With higher education at the crossroads of the culture war, public media is vulnerable to growing political interference over its operations.
“We don’t write for white subscribers, but it ends up being white people who read us,” a Midwestern news executive told an audience earlier this year.
“We need to admit news publishers are not sympathetic victims losing an unfair fight against anti-competitive practices — at least not now.”
“This isn’t new blood for the news industry but journalism dialysis — old blood pumped back into the system for a fresh start.”
“It’s not that journalists shouldn’t engage in fact-checking, nor is it that journalists should avoid presenting facts as verifiable and trustworthy claims about the world — it’s that they shouldn’t be so obnoxious about it.”
“My real bet, though, is that the battle between the Times and the Post is being waged most when it comes to their rival international and national expansions. And the winner of that struggle is too close to call.”
In this excerpt of her new book — based on months spent observing the inner workings of the Times’ newsroom — Nikki Usher shows how some of digital news’ most important real estate gets allocated, minute by minute.
The Gannett paper is finding that its new, more modern space can be useful as a marketing tool for the paper itself.
Does the rise of mobile devices mean journalists no longer need a newsroom in the middle of where news happens? The Herald’s move out of downtown suggests physical proximity still means something in the digital world.
Across the country, newspapers are leaving their old haunts and shifting to cheaper buildings — and taking the opportunity to reshape how their newsrooms look.