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David Nelson

Associate Professor Emeritus

David Nelson teaches graduate courses in media management and ethics, media marketing and news at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. He also teaches undergraduate reporting classes and an adult writing class. Prof. Nelson served as chairman of the Newspaper Department and also as Associate Dean of the school. Prior to that, Prof. Nelson was a news executive at Time Inc. and at Knight-Ridder Newspapers. Active in the industry as a consultant today, Prof. Nelson served or serves on advisory boards of Morris Communications, Chesapeake Communications, the Newsletter Publishers Association, the Specialized Information Publishers Association, the Associated Press, the New York Times College Advisory Board and the Inland Press Association.

Each spring his graduate students create new products – web and print – for publicly traded and private U.S. communication companies. Two recent projects in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Davenport, Iowa, have been cited by the Newspaper Association of America as award winners for design and content. The students competed against professionals, not other students. The Milwaukee Journal adopted the class project as its MKE product in 2004. Paddock Publications in suburban Chicago has taken the 2005 “Beep” prototype to both web and print platforms. The 2006 project was at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. And the 2007 project was with Morris Communications.

An international authority on newspaper and newsletter mergers and acquisitions, Nelson has lectured in Scandinavia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Greece. His consulting in the U.S. stretches from California to Maryland, from Michigan to Florida.

Prof. Nelson holds the Carnegie Teaching Fellowship at Northwestern University. He teaches the only undergraduate course in the U.S. that examines the roles and relationship of the military and the news media.

Nelson facilitates conferences on this topic between news executives and ranking officers in the U.S. military.

Awards And Honors

Northwestern University inducted Prof. Nelson to its “Teachers Honor Roll” in 1975, 2002 and 2008. He was named Northwestern’s “Professor of the Year” for 2007.