I’m a PhD student researching digital attention dynamics and news media at Northwestern University, working with Professor Nick Diakopoulos in the Computational Journalism Lab. I graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in 2017 and am originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I’ve worked in audience development and analytics at Fusion Media Group, Digiday, Pacific Standard and the Dallas Morning News. I’ve written for Pacific Standard, the Christian Science Monitor, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency and others.

Recent updates

  • September 2020: I'm the TA for "Cultural Analytics," an undergraduate course taught by Professor Ágnes Horvát.
  • June 2020: I had two posters accepted at IC2S2: "The Network Structure of Freelance Journalism" and "Newsroom Layoffs and News Coverage Diversity".
  • November 2019: I'm going to be at MPSA 2020 in April, presenting "Simulating Attention Allocation in Online News Communities".
  • October 2019: I'll be at Complex Networks in Lisbon this December, presenting "The Network Structure of Freelance Journalism".
  • July 2019: I went on the PhDrinking podcast to talk about my research.


  • Hagar, N., & Diakopoulos, N. (2019). Optimizing Content with A/B Headline Testing: Changing Newsroom Practices. Media and Communication, 7(1), 117.https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v7i1.1801 [Link | PDF]

Conference presentations

  • Hagar, N., Layoffs and Newsroom Productivity. 2020. IC2S2. Virtual, July.
  • Hagar, N., Wachs, J., & Horvat, A. The Network Structure of Freelance Journalism. 2020. IC2S2. Virtual, July.
  • Hagar, N., Bandy, J., Trielli, D., Wang, Y., & Diakopoulos, N. Defining Local News: A Computational Approach. 2020. Computation + Journalism Symposium. Boston, Massachusetts, Conference cancelled.
  • Hagar, N. Simulating Attention Allocation in Online News Communities. 2020. MPSA. Chicago, Illinois, Conference cancelled.
  • Hagar, N. & Horvat, A. The Network Structure of Freelance Journalism. 2019. Complex Networks. Lisbon, Portugal, December.