Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC) alumnus Marlon A. Walker was named executive editor of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson and the Mississippi state editor for the USA TODAY Network.
Since August 2020, Walker had served as senior editor at the publication following the departure of Mary Irby-Jones. He was promoted to executive editor on April 12, after a national search.
A native of Detroit, Walker graduated from FAMU in 2005.
“I always knew I wanted to be a journalist. FAMU’s School of Journalism & Graphic Communication made that happen. That program challenged me to be better than I thought I could be. It also exposed me to news leaders who continue to inspire me and take my calls,” Walker said.
After graduation, Walker’s first newsroom role was as a copy editor at the Tampa Bay Times. Since then, he has been a reporter with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Detroit Free Press, the Associated Press, The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., and The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia.
“I was a kid from Detroit who knew what he wanted but didn’t have the motivation to achieve it on my own,” Walker said. “I know it’s cliché on the ‘Hill’, but ‘Excellence with Caring’ was a culture that quickly enveloped me, guided me, gave me tough love and ensured I could achieve everything I ever wanted. That’s why I push students to Florida A&M. I got so much more than classes and books.”
A longtime member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Walker served as the organization’s vice president of print for five years.