Fiona Morgan

Journalist | Researcher | Consultant

About me

An ecotone is the space of transition between two biological communities, where two ecosystems meet. It could be a marsh or an estuary. Some species thrive only in that space of blending and change.

The idea of an ecotone speaks to me, because I thrive in the spaces in between:

between journalism and civic engagement…

between scholarship and social change…

between policy analysis and community building…

between research and action….

I see journalism as part of a larger information ecosystem, and I believe its future lies in engagement and collaboration from people of all walks of life. I bring the perspective of an experienced reporter, researcher, and organizer to building that future.

I launched Branchhead Consulting in 2018 so I could work with a broad range of clients, including philanthropic foundations, universities, news organizations and community groups. 

As Journalism Program Director at Free Press, I organized for better local journalism as part of the News Voices project.

As a Local News Consultant for Democracy Fund, I authored a 2018 report called Learning from North Carolina: Exploring the News and Information Ecosystem.

From 2011-2015, I was a researcher at the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. I provided support to Prof. James T. Hamilton for his book Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Reporting (Harvard University Press, 2016).  Jay and I continue to collaborate on research relating to how economics shape the information lives of low-income people and communities. Our article, “Poor Information: How Economics Affects the Information Lives of Low-Income Individuals,” was published in the peer-reviewed International Journal of Communication in 2018.

I enjoyed a 10-year career as a journalist before earning a Master of Public Policy Degree at Duke University in 2011 so that I might better understand the forces at work that have been driving the crisis in local journalism.

I’m here to listen, connect, and collaborate.

This site is a repository for my professional and scholarly work. For more about my consultancy and its offerings, visit