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Experienced journalist named Clarion Ledger executive editor

April 12, 2021 GMT

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — An experienced journalist who has been a leader in a national organization was named Monday as the new executive editor of the Clarion Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi.

Marlon A. Walker, 39, also was named Mississippi editor for the USA TODAY Network, which includes the Hattiesburg American. Walker arrived at the Clarion Ledger in August as a senior editor.

USA TODAY Network’s regional editor for the South, Michael Anastasi, announced Walker’s promotion Monday, and Walker began immediately, the Clarion Ledger reported.

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Walker succeeds Mary Irby-Jones, who in March became executive editor of the Courier Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. Anastasi said the USA TODAY Network conducted a national search for a new executive editor for the Clarion Ledger.

“But at the end of the day, the best person for this job was the person already in the room,” Anastasi said.

Walker, a Detroit native, has spent the last decade advocating for improved diversity and equal pay in newsrooms. He was elected vice president of print for the National Association of Black Journalists in August 2015, and held the position five years.

“I look at Mississippi and everything this state has to offer and I want to continue doing what we do best — telling the unique and compelling stories of this community,” Walker said Monday.

Walker is a 2005 graduate of Florida A&M University. As a reporter, he covered education at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Walker has also covered city and county government, transportation and public safety while working at news organizations including The Tampa Bay Times; The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina; The Associated Press; The Telegraph in Macon, Georgia; The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the Detroit Free Press.