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Bio

Carrie Brown is an associate professor of journalism at Montclair State University as of fall 2024 and the former founding director of the engagement journalism program at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in New York City. This first-of-its kind master’s program was launched in 2015 to with a focus on serving communities’ information needs through listening and building trust.

Brown helped design the curriculum and syllabi, and her role involves recruiting and assisting its faculty members, teaching some of the program’s courses, handling many aspects of admissions and marketing, serving as the students’ primary academic advisor, working with alumni, developing career resources for students, maintaining the program’s professional relevance, and managing a variety of collaborative projects and relationships with news organizations.

Her research and book, Transforming Newsrooms, co-authored with Jonathan Groves, centers on how news organizations can change their cultures and adapt to the changing media landscape. The book is a suggested read by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford; is used in professor Jay Rosen’s Studio 20 course at NYU, and helped guide change at the Swiss public broadcast organization RTS. It is based on extensive periods of observation and interviewing at news organizations such as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Christian Science Monitor.

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 Newmark J School at CUNY.

She has spoken at a variety of conferences and events such as the Online News Association, the International Symposium on Online Journalism, the Society of Professional Journalists, Investigative Reporters and Editors, and the Poynter Institute, as well as to a variety of universities and news organizations around the world.

Prior to coming to New York, 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 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-TelegramCD 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 dog Fred, doing yoga, watching Packer football as a proud team owner, or enjoying a fine craft beer or a domestic macrobrew. She lives in Maplewood, NJ 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