Ellen Shearer

Ellen Shearer is the William F. Thomas Professor Emerita in the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Until Fall 2022, she was bureau chief of the school’s Washington Program, Medill News Service, and leader of the graduate program’s Politics, Policy and Foreign Affairs Specialization.

From 1996 on, she directed the Washington program’s project, “No-Shows,” quadrennial national polls of likely nonvoters that provided new information about the characteristics of nonvoters and revealed five distinct types of people who don’t vote.

She is co-author of the book “Nonvoters: America’s No-Shows,” has written chapters in six other books. She also created and edited three books, “Whistleblowers, Leaks and the Media,” “ National Security Law in the News,” (both ABA Press) and “Truth Counts: A Practical Guide for News Consumers” (CQ Press).

Since 1999 she has coordinated judging for the White House Correspondents’ Association’s annual awards. She is a former president and board member of the Washington Press Club Foundation.

Shearer also is chair of the board of directors of the James W. Foley Legacy Foundation and serves on the board of the Fulcrum.

Before joining the Medill faculty, Shearer was a senior editor at New York Newsday, a consulting editor at Newhouse News Service, marketing executive at Reuters, and held positions as senior executive, bureau chief and reporter during a 10-year stint at United Press International.