Sarah J. Jackson

Sarah J. Jackson, Ph.D.

Sarah J. Jackson
  • Presidential Associate Professor
  • Co-Director, Media, Inequality & Change Center

Sarah J. Jackson studies how media, journalism, and technology are used by and represent marginalized publics, with a focus on how communication arising from Black, feminist, and activist spaces contributes to US progress.

Jackson's first book, Black Celebrity, Racial Politics, and the Press (Routledge, 2014), examines the relationship between Black celebrity activism, journalism, and American politics. Her co-authored second book, Hashtag Activism: Networks of Race and Gender Justice (MIT Press, 2020), focuses on the use of Twitter in contemporary social movements. As a 2020 Andrew Carnegie Fellow, she is working on a third book on the power and innovation of African American media-makers. She engages deeply with critical theories of the public sphere, race, and social movements throughout her work.

Jackson is co-director of the Media, Inequality & Change Center which explores the intersections between media, democracy, technology, policy, and social justice. MIC produces engaged research and analysis while collaborating with community leaders to help support activist initiatives and policy interventions.

Her work has also appeared in the Journal of Communication, The International Journal of Press/Politics, and Feminist Media Studies, among others. Jackson is frequently called on as an expert by local and national media outlets including NPR, PBS, the Associated Press, and the New York Times.

Jackson serves an associate editor at Communication Theory, as the Conversation & Commentary editor at Women’s Studies in Communication, and on the editorial board of Political Communication. She sits on the advisory boards of the Center for Critical Race and Digital Studies and the Social Science Research Council’s MediaWell initiative and the scholar’s council for UCLA’s Center for Critical Internet Inquiry. Previously, she was a Fall 2018 fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Public Policy; a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society; and a 2019 New America National Fellow.

Before joining the Annenberg faculty, Jackson was an associate professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in Communication from the University of Michigan.


  • B.A., University of Utah
  • M.A., University of Michigan
  • Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Selected Publications