She and her two colleagues were the first to share the story of Jim Obergefell and John Arthur. Obergefell later became the lead plaintiff in the landmark decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized gay marriage. Their story, and some of her footage, is now featured in the Netflix series "Amend," hosted by Will Smith. She has also covered Hurricane Katrina, immigration in Mexico, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.
Cochran was named among the top photojournalism multimedia producers internationally as her portfolio of video work was recognized in the National Press Photographers Association's annual contest in 2016. Since 2013, she has received twelve Emmys for her video work from the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), which serves four states. Cochran was honored for her still photography as 2016's Ohio Photographer for the year (large market), by the Ohio News Photographers Association. She's won several writing and reporting awards, including Best Use of Public Records, Best Religion Reporting and Best Minority Affairs Reporting by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists.
She has been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Seattle Times and USA Today and aired on PBS News Hour. Along with visuals, she has also been honored for her reporting. In 2016, her work was also recognized as being the best video journalism in Gannett, Inc., which owned 109 properties at the time.
Cochran was an adjunct professor in the University of Cincinnati's journalism program for two semesters, until she moved to D.C.. In 2016, she was asked to join the board of Associated Press Photo Managers, representing the multimedia discipline. She served a two-year term on the Board of Governors of NATAS Ohio Valley (2014-2016), which covers parts of Ohio, parts of Indiana, all of West Virginia, and all of Kentucky. She also served on the Cincinnati ReelAbilities Film Festival local programming board.
In 2017, Cochran became an FAA-licensed unmanned aircraft pilot, and was selected to be part of Gannett's beta drone photography program.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes: The everyday horror of heroin overdoses; NPPA's News Photographer (May, 2018)
Behind Enquirer's heroin epic: "We wanted a normal week; It was terrible enough;" Columbia Journalism Review (September, 2017)
Enquirer journalists earn four regional Emmy awards (August, 2017)
Cochran brings home three more regional Emmys (August, 2016)
Cochran named Ohio Photographer of the year by the Ohio News Photographers Association (April 23, 2016)
Cochran mentioned among the top photojournalism multimedia producers by NPPA (March 23, 2016)
Cochran named best videojournalist in Gannet in annual Best of Gannett awards (March, 2, 2016)
Cochran wins video category in Gannet's third-quarter Awards of Excellence (Nov. 3, 2015)
Cochran wins two Emmys (July 26, 2015)
Cochran's video of Obergefell & Arthur on tarmac part of New York Times' mini-documentary (starting at minute 3:24), 'How a Love Story Triumphed in Court' (July 26, 2015)
Cochran wins statewide honors for videos (April 18, 2015)
Carrie Cochran is a Pulitzer Prize-winning filmmaker and journalist for the Scripps Washington Bureau's investigative team, where she has worked since April 2018. Before moving to D.C., she worked for her hometown paper, The Cincinnati Enquirer, for thirteen years as a reporter, still photographer, and videojournalist.
In June 2020, she was awarded the grand prize in the Robert F. Kennedy Human RIghts' Journalism Awards for her role in the documentary, "A Broken Trust." She was a co-director, one of the lead reporters, as well as the director of photography and editor, in the 48-minute film. The investigation examined how centuries of inequities and legal loopholes have not only left American Indian and Alaska Native women vulnerable to sexual assault, but also made it difficult, if not dangerous, to report their perpetrators. In March of 2021, the text component, originally published in USA Today in 2019, was entered into the Congressional Record in its entirety as part of the U.S. House of Representatives' debate on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.
In 2018, Cochran won the Pulitzer Prize for local reporting for her contributions to "Seven Days of Heroin." She was the lead producer, the lead editor and a cinematographer for the 30-minute documentary that was part of the winning entry, and was also the reporter and still photographer for several of the written vignettes. The documentary also won a National Murrow Award.