Former Times-Journal reporter earns doctorate degree at TAMU

Published 5:00 am Saturday, August 19, 2023

Former Selma Times-Journal reporter Tyra L. Jackson earned a doctorate degree at Texas A&M University (TAMU) last week.

Jackson’s doctorate in communication has a specialization in media, culture, and identity.

Jackson has strong Selma ties. She graduated from Selma Early College in 2012 and attended the University of Alabama. She earned a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Alabama (2014), and M.A. in community journalism from Alabama two years later.

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Jackson is the daughter of Felicia Jackson of Selma and the twin sister of Alabama Army National Guard Capt. Terra L. Jackson. She and Terra Jackson are the founders of the Ola Mae Simpson Memorial Scholarship, a local scholarship for Selma-Dallas County high School seniors.

“I thank God for taking me on this Ph.D. journey, and I’m looking forward to the future he has prepared for me,” Jackson said.

Jackson worked as a general assignment reporter for the Times-Journal in 2015.

“I enjoyed covering Selma, and learning even more about the community where I grew up,” Jackson said. “I was able to meet people I had never interacted with in my daily life, and it gave me a new perspective of the city.”

Jackson is a critical race and media scholar who studied Black journalists, coverage of Black communities, and white news practices and routines.

During her time at TAMU, she served as the Student Government Association (SGA) Diversity Commission’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Academic Affairs Chair, Graduate and Professional Student Council Representative, and a graduate research assistant for the TAMU’s Race and Ethnic Studies Institute.

Jackson also served as an instructor of record and taught several communications courses at the university.