Kristen Cox Roby



Editor and Publisher


Atlantic Region Storytelling Editor, USA TODAY Network Education: University of Missouricolumbia, bachelor’s degree, journalism; Binghampton University, master of arts, English One of her reporters nominated Kristen Roby with this recommendation: “Kristen Roby causes a scene wherever she goes — in the best possible way. She has taught this old dog to create narratives by not relying on quotes but rather by putting the reader in the moment, in the scene, making a connection that a notebook full of complete quotes could not. … Kristen has brought the best possible motives — service to the reader and the story — to the exercise. She has made me a believer. Kristen Roby has an eye for just the right detail and an ear for dialogue that rings hollow. She is a what-if-we-try-this collaborator. … On projects large and small, her mission — always accomplished — was to elevate journalism, put the story first, and treat the reader to a great read.” What advice do you have for other young professionals who aspire to become an editor extraordinaire? Respect and learn from everyone: your manager and your reporter, photographers and designers, SEO strategists and content analysts, the editor who’s been at your company for 30 years and the new graduate who just joined the team. Collaboration is the key to successful journalism. Editing is about more than handling copy and coaching reporters; it’s about bringing talented specialists together to share ideas about words, visuals, design, audience and more. Some of our most powerful journalism emerges through consistent, meaningful, inclusive conversations. What was the most interesting story you’ve covered? Beginning in 2020, a team of USA TODAY Network New York journalists shadowed six families from across the state as they endured a year of learning during a pandemic. We captured this diverse group of families for this ambitious storytelling project – from a single mother who had just regained custody of her young daughter to a large, multigenerational household of refugees – as they navigated a school year like no other. Reporters and photographers checked in five times over the course of the 2020-21 school year and published nearly three dozen stories with accompanying documentary-style visuals. The families shared their fears, frustrations, hassles and hopes with readers as our journalists built a bedrock of trust and transparency to tell their stories with empathy. The series was a hit with readers, generating new subscriptions and even a bit of celebrity for the participants, and proved to be a milestone experience for both our sources and the journalists involved.