Jacob Nelson, Assistant Professor



Jacob Nelson will be joining the Cronkite School as Assistant Professor of Digital Audience Engagement in fall 2018. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to study the changing relationship between journalists and their audiences.

His research has been published in academic journals including Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, Digital Journalism, and Journalism Practice, as well as in trade presses like Columbia Journalism Review, MediaShift, and Digital Content Next.

In 2017, he was named a Knight News Innovation Fellow by Columbia Journalism School’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism.

Jacob will earn his doctorate from Northwestern University’s Media, Technology, and Society program in May 2018. His dissertation is exploring how three different news organizations define, pursue, and measure “audience engagement,” a term portrayed by many within journalism as the answer to the industry’s ails.

Before graduate school, Jacob was as an editor for Patch, a hyperlocal, online newspaper. He covered Highland Park, a small suburb north of Chicago.