Rachel Davis Mersey, PhD

  • Professor, Northwestern University
  • Associate Dean for Research, Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications
  • Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research

Rachel Davis Mersey is a professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. There she also serves as the associate dean for research.

Her second book, with co-authors John Pavlik, Everette Dennis and Justin Gengler was published by Routledge in May 2018. Mobile Disruptions, a book in the series Disruptions: Studies in Digital Journalism, examines the state of and opportunity for mobile media innovations in the Gulf states. Her first book, Can Journalism Be Saved? Rediscovering America’s Appetite for News, was released in 2010 and stands as a formative argument in the recasting of local news efforts as community-driven initiatives.

Rachel is currently working on a book, under contract with Columbia University Press, on the media consumption habits of elites, specifically America’s one percent, with particular attention to the implications for community-building and democracy. In addition, with funding from the McCormick Foundation and the Knight Chair in Digital Media Strategy at Medill, Rachel is collaborating with colleagues to examine the community infrastructure variables that are correlated with healthy local media markets. She is also involved with a number of different industry-relevant projects including the examination of factors of engagement in 360-degree video and augmented reality, audience development via social video, and tone and empathy in podcasting.

Rachel is a fellow at Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research (IPR). She holds a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.