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Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen named new Director of the Reuters Institute


Rasmus Kleis Nielsen

Professor Rasmus Kleis Nielsen has been appointed Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Alan Rusbridger, Chair of the Institute’s Steering Committee, announced today.

Alan Rusbridger, Chair of the Reuters Institute, said: “Rasmus has won a huge international reputation for his academic work chronicling the revolution sweeping through journalism today.  He is a formidable researcher, increasingly sought out for the clarity and depth of his work. David Levy’s 10-year term at the helm was always going to be a hard act to follow. But, with Rasmus, the Institute will be led by a greatly respected analyst who will powerfully illuminate the path towards a sustainable future for serious journalism.”

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, said: “Rasmus is the best incoming director of the Reuters Institute we could have dreamt of. He is highly respected in the journalistic world for his research and incisive understanding of the media landscape. His authority in the field and his inside knowledge of the Reuters Institute makes me confident he will take it to new heights, and I look forward to continuing our close partnership. Rasmus has also greatly benefited from the leadership of David Levy, who has made the Institute one of the most reputed in the field. We wish David all the best with his less busy life!

Louise Fawcett, Head of the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, Professor of International Relations, and Wilfrid Knapp Fellow and Tutor in Politics St Catherines College said: “We are delighted that Rasmus Kleis Nielsen is taking over as Director. He will provide strong leadership for the institute, and brings his record of research excellence and innovation in the field of journalism and political communication which we at the Department and in the University value greatly. We look forward to the Reuter Institute’s going from strength to strength under his leadership.”

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is focused on connecting practice and research on issues facing journalism globally. It is based in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. The Institute, which was established in 2006, runs a journalism fellowship programme for outstanding mid-career journalists from across the world, provides leadership programmes for editors and executives, and pursues independent research on changes in journalism, news, and media globally.

Professor Nielsen said: “My vision is a Reuters Institute that empowers a new generation of leaders in news and helps them reinvent the journalistic profession and the organisations that enable it. All across the world, we urgently need journalism that can face, from a position of strength, the opportunities and challenges offered by changing audiences, technology, and political environments, and develop new ways to keep the public informed and empowered. We want to work with journalists and others in this joint task of building towards a better journalism for tomorrow.”

Professor Nielsen will succeed Dr David Levy, who is stepping down after ten years as Institute director. During Dr Levy’s directorship the Institute has grown enormously, with a more than threefold increase in staff and funding, a strengthened fellowship programme, the creation of a substantial research team, and increased impact on journalism and the news industry.

Dr Levy said: “I’m delighted to be handing over to Professor Nielsen, who has played such a vital part in building the reach, reputation and impact of the Institute. I know that he will be a great leader of the Institute and will find new ways to increase our impact for good on global journalism and the news industry as they forge a path through these challenging times.”

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen became the University of Oxford’s first Professor of Political Communication in 2017 and currently serves as Director of Research at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He is the author and editor of several books on journalism, the business of news, political communication, and digital media. He is co-editor of the annual Reuters Institute Digital News Report and a frequent speaker at industry and academic conferences all over the world. His work has been covered by a wide variety of media in many different countries, including the Economist, the Financial Times, the Guardian, the Indian Express, L’Espresso, the New York Times, Politico, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Vox, the Washington Post, Die Welt and many others.

Professor Nielsen will take up the post on October 1.

For more information contact Caroline Lees, Head of Communications, Reuters Institute 01865 611098 / 07779422497


About the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism:

The Thomson Reuters Foundation is the core funder of the RISJ, based in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. The RISJ was launched in November 2006 and developed from the Reuters Fellowship Programme, established at Oxford 35 years ago. An international research centre in the comparative study of journalism, the RISJ aims to be global in its perspective and provides a leading forum for journalists from around the world  to engage with scholars from a wide range of disciplines. See

Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Thomson Reuters Foundation acts to promote the highest standards in journalism and spread the practice of legal pro bono worldwide. The organisation runs initiatives that inform, connect and empower people around the world: access to free legal assistance, editorial coverage of the world’s under-reported news, media development and training, and the Trust Conference. See

Department of Politics and International Relations:

The Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford is one of the largest units for research and teaching in international relations, politics, government and political theory. Our work is directed to advance these disciplines. We create theoretical frameworks for the analysis of new objects of study using advanced research methods and we develop techniques for gathering, handling, processing and analysing data. We achieved top scores in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, confirming the excellence of our research. For more information please visit: