About me

Carrie Brown-Smith (or just Brown, either one works) is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Memphis. 

Her work has been published in Harvard’s Nieman Lab, PBS Media Shift, the Convergence Newsletter, Electronic News, and ISOJ,  among others, and she is regularly sought as a speaker at conferences and events such as The Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at Ohio State University and the Society of Professional Journalists.  For the past seven years, her research has focused on how newsrooms can adapt to the rapidly evolving digital and economic climate, including extensive periods of observation and interviewing at 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, TX with co-author and friend Jonathan Groves. Brown was also invited to be part of a “select group of thought leaders,”  American Press International’s Research Advisory Board, whose members meet and collaborate with top newsroom leaders from The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC News, and other leading journalism organizations to shape practical research agendas. She was a research fellow at the Tow-Knight Center at the City University of New York for spring 2013.

This is what I look like when I'm being all academic

This is what I look like when I’m being all academic

In Memphis Brown has developed and taught new courses in cutting-edge areas such as social media and entrepreneurial journalism, winning the campus Distinguished Teaching Award in 2013. She served as director of the city-wide high school journalism program The Teen Appeal for four years and is currently an adviser to the program.  She also recently launched a new graduate certificate in entrepreneurial journalism in partnership with our local accelerator Start.Co.

Brown also has professional journalism experience, having worked as a reporter and 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 for the Traveling Curriculum Program of the Committee of Concerned Journalists, helping newsroom leaders and staff find ways to preserve core values while adjusting to myriad 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.

This is more what I look like the rest of the time.

This is more what I look like the rest of the time.

When Brown is not writing about, researching or teaching journalism, she is often running, reading, traveling, hiking,  playing with her lovable but unruly labradors Sam and Pippi, doing yoga, watching Packer football as a proud team owner, or enjoying a fine craft beer or a domestic macrobrew brewed in her hometown of Milwaukee. She lives in Midtown Memphis with her husband, Grant Smith, who is a data journalist and investigative reporter at the Commercial Appeal and a homebrewer. She gets by only with a lot of help from family and friends.

You can email her at carrielisabrown@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter @brizzyc

26 responses to “About me

  1. Chris -

    I am impressed and am learning things from your posts. I will add your blog to my own blog roll. Thanks.

    Rick Maurer

  2. Matthieu LARDEAU

    Hi Carrie,

    I’m impressed by your very interesting blog and I would to know a little bit more about your academic research which are closed to mine.

    I’m a former journalist too, an instructor in j-school and PhD student in France.
    In few words, my thesis is about the institutional change (managerial and organizational) in the newsrooms of French daily hard news newspapers. This issue is currently dramatically critical in France where faling business models and journalistic culture away from media firms economics and management need to be reframed in order to make survive our hard news dailies that are dramatically diving…

    I would therefore interested in reading your papers about your research topic: would you agree to send them to me? Maybe we can exchange about that ?


    Mr Matthieu LARDEAU
    Lecturer in Media business & marketing, IPJ & IFP Accredited Journalism Schools
    Research Assistant & PhD candidate, Dept. of Management, ESSEC

    Academic address: ESSEC Business School (www.essec.edu), Ph.D. program
    Av.Bernard Hirsch, BP 50105 – 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France
    E-mail: matthieu.lardeau[at]essec.fr
    E-mail: matthieulardeau[at]gmail.com
    LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthieulardeau

  3. trhanrahan


    I love your blog. As a fairly new teacher of undergraduates, I would love to pick your brain about techniques and lessons, etc.


  4. Very impressive. Definitely proud, as a journalist, that people like you are out there, intelligent and concerned!

  5. jamio

    Great blog and I’m so happy to have run across it. I’ve been looking for great resources about real people in the media. I’m a recent j-school graduate from mizzou. Thanks and you can find me at http://jamioetting.wordpress.com/

  6. changingnewsroom

    Thanks, glad you like it and the MediaStorm post. Good to “meet” another Mizzou grad. Will check out your blog. :)

  7. Excellent start. I’ve been deeply involved in research regarding the changes, over the last two to three hundred years, in what I’ll simply call ‘Journalism’ for the moment for lack of a better term. That ‘search’, literally & figuratively, brought me here. Thanks !!

    a.k.a. Singulus

  8. hi i reverse stalked yourblog using sitemeter on mine. we are also friends with roz on FB. my daughter is a senior in h.s. and a gifted writer. i am reluctant to encourage her into journalism due to shrinking nature of jobs but your blog seems to address this and similar concerns. i will blogroll it with your o.k. peace,

  9. changingnewsroom

    Hi Sean,

    It’s a difficult time in the journalism industry, that’s for sure, but I definitely believe that it’s still an excellent choice of a major.

    There are still opportunities at smaller papers, but it’s obvious that the pool of jobs at traditional media has shrunk. However, over the long term I’m bullish about the rise of new kinds of news organizations, and even today you can see them flowering in many cities.

    But, even if you daughter never ends up getting a job in journalism, she’ll have a host of transferable skills. Writing, multimedia, Web design & programming, being able to talk to people and find and verify information, critical thinking – those are, I would argue, valuable skills for a host of careers.

    Oh, and – it’s fun :)

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  19. vigneshvalliappan

    Glad to have found this blog by a journalism professor who is a UW-Madison grad. Fellow Badger (recent grad) here ;)

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