Assistant Professor, Arizona State University


This is where you'll find my work.

My CV (Feb. 2017).

Academic Journals

digital democracy in america

J&mc Quarterly, 2016

Jacob L. Nelson, Dan A. Lewis, Ryan Lei

This article argues that digital civic engagement fills the void left by drops in more conventional forms of political participation, and that educators have an important role to play in cultivating and maintaining online and offline civic engagement among younger people. 

audience currencies in the age of big data

ijmm, 2016

Jacob L. Nelson, James G. Webster

Audience size and composition data have long served as the “currencies” that support the operation of commercial media. This article explores how, in an era of big data, these currencies might go beyond traditional measures of audience exposure.

training social justice journalists

j&mc educator, 2015

Jacob L. Nelson, Dan A. Lewis

Journalism schools are in the midst of sorting through what it means to prepare journalists for a rapidly transitioning field. This article describes an effort to train students in “social justice journalism” at an elite school of journalism.

Other Publications

Book Chapters

Webster, J.G. & Nelson, J.L. (2016). The Evolution of News Consumption: A Structurational Interpretation. In M. Mortensen, J. Ørmen & J.L. Jensen (Eds.), News Across Media. New York, NY: Routledge.


Nelson, J.L.  (2017, January 31). Is ‘Fake News’ a Fake Problem? Columbia Journalism Review.
Nelson, J.L. & Webster, J.G. (2016, May 20). Audience Currencies in the Age of Big Data. MediaShift.
Nelson, J.L. (2015, September 30). Digital News Audiences Shift to Mobile as Platform Widens Margin vs. DesktopDigital Content Next.
Webster, J.G. & Nelson, J.L. (2015, May 15). Accounting for Attention Minutes as Currency. Digital Content Next.