Caresse Jackman is an in-depth reporter at WWL in New Orleans. Born to two Guyanese immigrants, she vividly remembers her parents, in the late 1970s, early 80s, watching the story of religious cult leader, Jim Jones who conspired with his inner circle to direct a mass suicide and mass murder of his followers in the remote jungle of Jonestown, Guyana. The story was being aired on CBS/60 Minutes. It was the first time her parents had actually seen what happened, as they lived a few miles away and only heard it on radio. It was then that she realized the impact of television news and how it changes lives. Caresse was born in New York and raised in Atlanta. And although she was born in the U.S., she maintained the Guyana culture, always having to explain her background. She has fond memories of her father watching local, national and international news. Specifically, a story by journalist, Christiane Amanpour that centered on the women in Afghanistan affected by the Taliban. The story moved her to tears. She was fascinated by Amanpour’s amazing journalism...her resilience, bravery and dedication to tell the stories of those women, at any costs.
After graduating from the University of Georgia, Caresse landed her first job at WJTV in Jackson, MS as a morning show producer. After three years, she became an MMJ at WCBI in Columbus, MS. 2 ½ years later, she moved to WJRT in Flint, Michigan as a general assignment reporter, getting there right as the Flint water crisis began to unravel. The extensive coverage over the next two years led the station to receive both an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow Award for continuing coverage on Flint’s water emergency. From Flint, Caresse moved to New Orleans, as general assignment reporter at WWL-TV. For the past three years, she has covered a wide range of stories that have gained local, national and international attention. These include the burning of three historically Black Churches in St. Landry Parish, the removal of four confederate era monuments, an exclusive interview with former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke and pump issues taking place at the New Orleans Sewerage and Water Department.
In Caresses’ word: “Working in news is something that I adore and cherish. For me, it’s rewarding...not because you get recognized...or because my stories may receive lots of clicks online. It’s the feeling that I get when I know someone who reached out to me was moved to tears knowing that finally someone is listening to them. It’s when people stop me and remember a story that I did or uncovered. That, to me, is why we need good journalist. That’s our purpose. It’s the reason why I enjoy telling stories, uncovering the truth and looking out for the thousands of viewers I serve. It’s that passion and mission that I remember every single time I enter the newsroom, pick up a microphone, voice my track and appear live on TV.”