Marquita Brown

Independent journalist & content strategist

Independent journalist | remote | 2003-present

  • Worked as an editor, writer, or consultant for clients including the Institute for Nonprofit News, The Emancipator, The Kansas City Beacon, California State University, Northridge, Poynter, and Hechinger Report
  • Advised on story framing and humanizing data about racial disparities in pedestrian deaths; made edits to ensure the article focused on people on the wrong end of the statistics
  • In an essay for Poynter, I explained potential red flags that job seekers should watch out for during the interview process.Red Flags
  • Produced user personas for a furniture company’s internal use, highlighting the culture, experiences, and lifestyles that might influence customers’ personal styles
  • Designed mock magazine covers for a private client
  • Explained the impact of stagnant funding of Mississippi elementary and secondary public schools for The Hechinger Report. PBS Newshour also picked up this article
  • Covered the Guilford County Board of Education and wrote news features for the News & Record and 1808 magazine in Greensboro
  • Reported on breaking news in northern Mississippi, such as a fatal lift crane accident, while an undergraduate at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss)

Managing director, senior editor One Day/ Teach For America | remote| December 2020 – May 2023

  • Coached, advised and edited writers — staff, contributors and freelancers — to produce more than 125 articles and op-eds focused on educational equity and that aligned with the organization’s stated mission and values
  • Amplified TFA alumni who are thought leaders by soliciting and shepherding the production of timely op-eds. One alumnus thanked me on LinkedIn for my “thoughtful revisions and laser edits.”
  • Helped lead the production of digital journalistic articles and essays on topics related to the intersections of K–12 education, educational equity, and social justice
  • Edited stories for thoroughness, narrative quality, clarity, and structure
  • Wrote articles and produced other journalistic stories related to educational equity that aligned with brand goals.
  • Managed staff writers, freelance writers and edits stories from them and other contributing writers
  • Planned editorial packages for important milestones such as the back to school season, Black History Month, and Native American Heritage Month
  • Moderated a live webinar about addressing the issue of student loan debt

Managing editorEdTech: Focus on K-12 Magazine/ Manifest | Washington, D.C. | June 2019 – December 2020

  • Oversaw content creation and production for a quarterly magazine about education technology in K–12 schools, which was a finalist for the Content Marketing Association’s award for best digital publication in 2021
  • Planned and strategized editorial campaigns around topics and events—content that drew significant increases in audience traffic and engagement
  • Managed freelance writers and a related budget
  • Analyzed and consolidated research into a quarterly marketing insights brief
  • Wrote articles, columns, social media posts and pitches, ensuring they align with client goals and branding
  • Ghostwrote op-eds for subject-matter experts
  • Drafted scripts and led production of the occasional case study video.
  • Produced articles, live tweets and video from industry conferences and events

Program manager – Education Writers Association | Washington, D.C. | May 2017 – June 2019

  • Collaborated with the rest of a small team to plan and promote events as well as content targeted to journalists who cover education
  • Shepherded the content planning and programming for Diving Into Data, an annual grant-funded seminar focused on data-driven journalism.EWA audiogram
  • Strategized and produced newsletters, marketing emails, social media copy and other campaigns to promote the organization’s events, achievements, and members
  • Ideated, organized and sometimes moderated monthly webinars on timely education topics that would appeal to journalists
  • Produced a digital newsletter three times a week using Salsa Labs marketing software
  • Produced Member Spotlight, a monthly feature of organization members (and designed the logo/image)
  • Engaged an online audience of more than 30,000 people as a social media manager. Initiated the use of audiograms and  used multiple programs for graphic design, video and audio editing to create social media content.

Education reporter – News & Record | Greensboro, N.C. | May 2013 – July 2016

  • Reported primarily on Guilford County Schools, a district of about 72,000 students that is the third-largest in North Carolina
  • Analyzed data using Microsoft Excel to inform reporting on topics such as student discipline, fire code violations, and budgets
  • Spurred the creation of an alumni association at Kiser Middle School by reporting on the school losing its drama program and a popular teacher due to budget cuts

Education reporter – The Clarion-Ledger | Jackson, Miss. | August 2008 – May 2013

  • Covered seven school districts — including three of the largest in the state — and the state Department of Education
  • Spurred changes to state law and state Board of Education policy by reporting on an increased number of teachers accused of having sexual relationships with students or other minors
  • Broke news on a local basketball coach who whipped players with a weightlifting belt in violation of the school system policy banning corporal punishment. This story was picked up by national news outlets such as USA Today and ESPN.

Reporter – The Roanoke Times | Roanoke, Va. | September 2005 – August 2008

  • Covered the city of Salem, Roanoke College and Hollins University
  • Helped cover the mass shooting at Virginia Tech
  • Wrote feature stories, shot photographs and recorded videos for the Neighbors section before being promoted to a city beat


UX lead/ Information architect — Team Pura Vida | San Jose, Costa Rica | October 2016 – January 2017

  • Collaborated with the rest of a team of eight graduate students to revamp websites for two nonprofit organizations — Fundación Piedad and Reto Juvenil Internacional
  • Conducted research, drafted user personas, coordinated card sorting, and handled usability testing
  • Wrote and edited web content
  • Edited photographs

Fellowship – Learning to Understand | Greensboro, N.C. | 2014 – 2015
Explored the challenges around education for local public schools students whose first language is not English through a fellowship from Renaissance Journalism. This effort won a national award from the Society for Features Journalism. This project required hiring and collaborating with a freelance designer for an interactive map as well as gathering and analyzing data for charts and graphics.

Lead Reporter– Building a Better Mississippi | Jackson, Miss. | 2011 – 2012
Served as lead reporter for a series of four news packages exploring four areas of concern for public schools in Mississippi – early education, dropout prevention, teacher quality, and charter schools. This series won several awards. The lead reporter also coordinated roundtable discussions and conducted live online chats with readers.

Honors and Awards

National Press Foundation, Long-Term Care Fellowship, 2023
Poynter, Lead With Influence (training), 2021
Global Communications Association, presenter, international conference, 2017
N.C. Press Association, Education reporting, third place, 2017
Nat’l Society for Features Journalism, Diversity in digital features, second place, 2016
Summer Data Institute (ProPublica),
 One of 12 journalists selected for inaugural coding and design bootcamp, 2016
Renaissance Journalism, Reporting fellowship on opportunity gaps, 2014
LA/MS AP Managing Editors, Community Service, third place (lead reporter), 2014
LA/MS AP Managing Editors, Spot news, first place (group prize), 2014
Mississippi Press Association, Community Service (all dailies, lead reporter), first place, 2014
Gannett Awards for Excellence, Public service journalism, Division II finalist (lead reporter), 2013
Mississippi Press Association, Bill Minor Prize for General News, 2011
Mississippi Press Association, Best Series of Stories (shared award), first place, 2011
Associated Press Managing Editors, News writing, 2011
Mississippi Press Association, Team reporting award, 2009

Skills and Tools

Content marketing
Multimedia storytelling
Developmental editing
Social media management
Research and analysis

Structural editing
Photoshop (intermediate)

Content strategy
UX research
Data analysis
Social media management
Brand management

Newsletter production
Conference panel planning
Editorial campaigns
User Personas


Elon University, Elon, N.C.
M.A. in interactive media
Developed skills in coding, design, UX/UI, etc.
Blogged for Eye on iMedia.
Presented original academic research at the Global Communication Association’s 2017 international conference.

University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss.
B.A. in journalism and political science, English minor
McDonnell-Barksdale Honors College.
Won multiple awards for journalism and academics.
Served as opinion editor and in other roles for The Daily Mississippian.
News announcer for Rebel Radio 92.1.