Nicole Carroll, a veteran of the Arizona Republic, was named editor in chief of USA Today, a signal that emphasizes the national broadsheet’s emerging function as a provider not only of the country’s biggest stories but also information culled from the local and regional holdings of its parent, Gannett Co.
Carroll has been vice president of news and editor of the Arizona Republic and its corresponding digital outlet, azcentral.com, since 2015. She replaces Joanne Lipman, who stepped down from the role in December.
In Arizona, Carroll “has led award-winning, groundbreaking work that pushed the boundaries of digital storytelling and, importantly, delivered impact and changed lives.” said Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of the USA Today Network and associate publisher of USA Today, in a prepared statement. “We are proud of Nicole and look forward to seeing her energy and passion make its imprint on USA Today.”
Carroll in 2017 led a multi-media report for USA Today that examined the Trump administration’s effort build “a great wall” on the U.S.-Mexico border. The project revealed the challenges and unintended consequences, and gave readers the opportunity to explore the entire border through virtual reality, bots, aerial and 360-degree video, documentaries, photos, podcasts, exclusive investigative reporting and more.
She has led the Arizona outlet’s fight against two violations of journalists’ First Amendment rights. The Republic fought both cases all the way to the Arizona Court of Appeals, and won. Under her aegis, the Republic launched major projects that examined the plight of abused and neglected children in state care; how the rising Arizona heat kills low-income residents; and the wrongful termination of forty state workers, who got their jobs back after Republic revelations.
“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 Nicole Carroll, in a statement. “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. 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.
She earned her master’s degree from Georgetown University in 1996. After graduation from Arizona State University, she held reporting and editing jobs at the El Paso Times, USA Today and the East Valley (Mesa) Tribune.