Carter received his bachelor's degree in journalism from BYU, a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and a master's degree in international human rights law from the University of Oxford. After completing law school at the the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, he served as a law clerk for Judge Ruggero J. Aldisert, after which he returned to BYU as a faculty member in the Communications Department. Along with his teaching responsibilities, he is also the Editor-in-Chief of the campus paper, The Universe. In 2013, the paper received second place for Best All-Around Non Daily Student Newspaper from the Society of Professional Journalists. The paper also swept the in-depth reporting category for student newspapers, claimed first-place honors in breaking news reporting, and won several other awards that year and was also recognized by the Student Society of News Design.
Carter has worked for newspapers in Utah, Illinois, and Washington, D.C and has served as a law clerk for the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In the summer of 2004, Carter took third place in a faculty paper for the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications Law Division "Medium-Based Regulation and Criminal Libel on the Internet." During the winter of 2008, Carter's article, co-written by James C. Phillips, "Justices Treat Newspapers Differently in Oral Argument" was published in the Newspaper Research Journal.
In 2008, Carter attended the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication annual convention and was one of four panelists on a panel co-sponsored by the Law and Policy Division and the Ethics Division. Carter was awarded BYU's Class of '49 Endowed Young Faculty Award the following year.
In 2012, Carter and fellow professor Ed Adams found journals and books that explained the Supreme Court mystery of "the switch in time that saved nine". The documents were by Merlo Pusey, a reporter from the 1940s whose main focus was the Supreme Court and its various Justices. That year Carter has also had several articles published in academic journals, including BYU Studies, Communications Law and Policy, and Rutgers Law Journal.
The following year Carter had the opportunity to deliver the keynote address at the April 2013 convocation of the College of Fine Arts and Communications. On July 1, Carter became an Associate Dean for the College of Fine Arts and Communications at BYU. He served in this position until 2015, when he became the Director of the School of Communications.
In May and June of 2014, Carter taught journalism law and ethics at Universidad Mayor in Chile on a US Fulbright grant. While there, he was joined by students Jared Jakins, Jeffrey Wade, Ricardo Quintana and Shelbi Anderson and faculty Jeff Sheets and Brent Barson, and the group spent two weeks gathering information about the reform of higher education in Chile in collaboration with students at Universidad Mayor. This project was funded by BYU's Laycock Center.
Carter published an article, These Steep Woods and Lofty Cliffs, about the relationship between BYU and the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, England, in the Winter 2015 edition of the BYU Magazine.
- CFAC News - "Ed Carter Appointed as New School of Communications Director" (30 April 2015)
- YNews - Ed Carter new associate dean of BYU College of Fine Arts, Communications (20 June 2013)
- The Universe - BYU's 'Universe' continues to win awards (17 April 2013)
- The Universe - BYU takes Society of Professional Journalists awards (15 April 2013)
- BYU Magazine - Supreme Court Mystery Unlocked (Winter 2013)
- The Deseret News - 'Confidential' interview with Justice Roberts discovered in BYU Special Collections (8 Sept 2012)
- The Universe - BYU professors uncover one of the Supreme Court's biggest mysteries (4 Sept 2012)
- BYU Magazine - "The Rule of Law" (Fall 2005)