After years working as journalists, we moved into the academic world to figure out what trends, developments, and insights might help the industry transform and survive in the digital future. We dug into social media, nonprofit models, organizational change — all in an effort to discover what might help newsrooms in transition.

The result of that research effort? The Lean Newsroom, a road map for change.

It integrates theories of innovation, strategy, and organizational culture to provide a framework for helping newsroom leaders and managers transform their organizations.

We are currently working on a book for Focal Press. Until we finish that beast, you can find our thoughts, conversations, and debates in this online space. Feel free to chime in through comments or guest posts — we love to hear from passionate, creative minds concerned about the future of journalism.


Carrie-Brown-head-150x150Dr. Carrie Brown-Smith is director of the master’s program in social journalism at the City University of New York. She came to New York after developing an entrepreneurial journalism program at the University of Memphis, where she established herself as a pioneer in social journalism. During her academic career, she has worked with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Christian Science Monitor, and the Commercial Appeal among other news organization to study their efforts to transform their newsrooms.

Prior to her move to academia, she worked with Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel at the Committee of Concerned Journalists. She also spent time as a journalist at the Eau Claire (Wis.) Leader-Telegram, CD Publications, and the Columbia Missourian.


grovesmugDr. Jonathan Groves, associate professor and chair of Drury University’s Communication Department, is director of the university’s graduate Social Media Certificate program. In his research, he has explored several change efforts, including the Christian Science Monitor‘s push to become a Web-first news organization and the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World’s development of WellCommons, a local health portal. Over the past decade, he has spoken on organizational change and social media to news organizations and industry groups as well as nonprofits and government agencies.

Groves and Brown received the Top Research Paper award at the International Symposium on Online Journalism in 2013 for their paper analyzing the Monitor‘s effort to build audience engagement. 

After earning his MBA, Groves became the first doctoral fellow at the University of Missouri’s Reynolds Journalism Institute. He also worked for 14 years as a reporter and editor at papers in Missouri and Arkansas, including stints as business editor at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and assistant managing editor of the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader.