Mary Nesbitt is managing director of the Readership Institute at the Media Management Center and Associate Dean for Curriculum and Professional Excellence at the Medill School, both at Northwestern University.
The Institute was formed in 1999 by the national publishers’ and editors’ organizations (NAA and ASNE) to help U.S. daily newspapers grow readership. Since then its role has evolved to include other news media. It conducts consumer, content and organizational research with an emphasis on practical application. It shares the findings through workshops, seminars, presentations, reports, articles and an extensive website, www.readership.org
Nesbitt has worked with the Center since 1998, first directing the women in newspaper management project and then helping to create the Readership Institute. Her background is in journalism and teaching.
Nesbitt was associate editor of The London (Ont.) Free Press
from 1992-1996 and city editor 1988-92. During that period, she played a key role in developing and executing a regional and local news coverage strategy; public journalism projects; community outreach; new editorial products; newsroom reorganization into teams; and goals-based performance assessment. She also taught as an adjunct in the graduate school of journalism, University of Western Ontario.
Before entering journalism, Nesbitt taught English language and literature at a school near Chichester, Sussex, England; and English as a Second Language to francophones in the Canadian armed forces. She has a B.A. (Hon.) from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Western Ontario.