USA TODAY just announced that Nicole Carroll will become editor-in-chief, effective March 2018. Carroll joins the daily after serving as vice president of news and editor of the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com since 2015.
“Nicole embodies the values, journalistic excellence, integrity and fierce competitive spirit USA TODAY needs to further its position as a trusted national news leader,” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of USA TODAY NETWORK and associate publisher of USA TODAY, in a news release. “At the Arizona Republic, Nicole has proven to be a dynamic community leader, committed champion of the First Amendment and a tireless advocate for her readers. She has led award-winning, groundbreaking work that pushed the boundaries of digital storytelling and, importantly, delivered impact and changed lives. We are proud of Nicole and look forward to seeing her energy and passion make its imprint on USA TODAY.”
“I am honored to be named editor in chief of USA TODAY, a leader in investigative reporting and innovative storytelling. It is humbling to follow in the footsteps of some of the most respected and talented journalists in the business,” said Carroll. “I am incredibly proud of the team at the Arizona Republic and azcentral.com and am grateful for my time there. I look forward to continuing the work we accomplished together in holding the powerful accountable, informing and empowering our communities, and innovating new approaches to storytelling and investigative journalism.”
Carroll joined the Republic in 1999, where she has held jobs ranging from city editor to planning editor to managing editor for features. She was named executive editor of the Republic and azcentral.com in 2008. That same year, Carroll was inducted into the Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2015, she was named vice president of news and editor and in 2016 she added regional responsibilities, serving as southwest regional editor for the USA TODAY NETWORK. Carroll received The National Press Foundation’s prestigious 2017 Benjamin C. Bradlee “Editor of the Year” award and, for the past six years, the Republic/azcentral.com has twice been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News.
Carroll led the extensive explanatory reporting project “The Wall” for the USA TODAY NETWORK in 2017. This landmark multi-media report examined in unprecedented detail the current presidential administration’s signature campaign promise to build “a great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. The project revealed the challenges and unintended consequences. In addition, the project—for the first time ever––allowed the public to explore the entire border through immersive experiences that included virtual reality, bots, aerial and 360-degree video, documentaries, photos, podcasts, exclusive investigative reporting and more.
Other recent accomplishments led by Carroll include leading the effort to fight two significant violations of journalists’ First Amendment rights. The Republic fought both cases all the way to the Arizona Court of Appeals—and won. The Republic also launched major projects revealing the reasons behind the record number of abused and neglected children in state care; as well as how the rising Arizona heat disproportionally kills low-income residents. Forty state workers got their jobs back after Republic investigative work revealed they had been wrongly fired. And a two-year concerted investigative effort on the state’s school voucher system revealed it helps mostly the wealthy rather than the poor, as lawmakers had promised.