Carrie Brown is the director of the social journalism program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. This first-of-its kind master’s program was launched in 2015 to help students develop new ways to engage communities and build the kinds of digital and social media skills in high demand in today’s newsrooms.
Brown helped design the curriculum and syllabi, and her ongoing role involves recruiting and assisting its faculty members, teaching two of the program’s courses, handling many aspects of admissions and marketing, serving as the students’ primary academic advisor, working with alumni, and managing a variety of collaborative projects and relationships with major news organizations.
Her research focuses primarily on how newsrooms wrestle with culture change and has included extensive periods of observation and interviewing at news organizations such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, WMC-TV Channel 5 in Memphis, and the Christian Science Monitor. In 2013 she won the Top Paper Award at the ISOJ conference in Austin, Texas with co-author and friend Jonathan Groves.
In 2014, Brown won the national Educator of the Year award from the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication’s Newspaper and Online Division. She also won the Alumni Association Distinguished Teaching Award at the University of Memphis and the Faculty Achievement Award at CUNY-J School.
Her work has been published in Harvard’s Nieman Lab, MediaShift, the Convergence Newsletter, Electronic News, and the ISOJ journal. She has spoken at a variety of conferences and events such as The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University, the Online News Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Poynter Institute, as well as at a variety of universities across the U.S.
Prior to coming to CUNY-J school, Brown was an associate professor of journalism at the University of Memphis, where she developed and taught new courses in social media and entrepreneurial journalism. She served as director of the city-wide high school journalism program The Teen Appeal for four years. She launched a new graduate certificate in entrepreneurial journalism in partnership with local accelerator Start.Co. Her interest in design thinking led her to complete the Memphis Innovation Bootcamp in 2013 and serve as a invited facilitator for the Online News Association’s dCamp Mobile. She was a co-founder and executive committee member of SafeZone, a volunteer network of faculty, students and staff across campus that supports the LGBT community.
Brown also has professional journalism experience, having worked as a reporter and/or editor for the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, CD Publications, and the Columbia Missourian. In addition, she traveled to more than 50 newspapers large and small across the United States as the manager of the Traveling Curriculum Program of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, helping newsroom leaders and staff find ways to preserve core values while adjusting to industry changes. The workshops were based on the principles articulated in the book Elements of Journalism by CCJ Chairmen Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel.
Brown received her PhD from the University of Missouri, where she studied with the director of the Center for the Study of Organizational Change, learning about theory and research from outside the field relevant to challenges facing journalism today. She received her MA in communication from the Annenberg School at the University of Pennsylvania and her BA in journalism and biological aspects of conservation from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, in the state where she was born and raised.
When Brown is not writing about, researching or teaching journalism, she is running, reading, traveling, hiking, playing with her lovable labrador Sam, doing yoga, watching Packer football as a proud team owner, or enjoying a fine craft beer or a domestic macrobrew. She lives in Jersey City with her husband, Grant Smith, who is a data journalist at Reuters.
You can email her at carrielisabrown AT gmail or follow her on Twitter@brizzyc