Jacob Nelson’s research examines how the news industry grapples with this moment of profound uncertainty following decades of decline in readership, revenue, and public trust. Nelson’s research examines the relationship between journalism and the public and specifically focuses on how journalists think about and measure their audiences and how audiences behave. Drawing on audience studies research, he suggests that structural factors – such as social media platforms, the amount of time people devote to news, the language people speak, and the place where they live – play a significant role in shaping news audience behavior.
Nelson is an assistant professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
His latest publication explores how journalists are attempting to transform their approach to their readers and what this transformation means for the news industry and democratic society.