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Reporter Jayme Lozano Receives Honors from AARP Texas

A Lubbock-based reporter who has investigated rural Texas hospital closures and community water system failures, spotlighted healthcare needs in West Texas and who has drilled into the issue of broadband expansion is being honored by AARP Texas for producing impactful journalism projects that address the interests and needs of older Texans and their families.

Jayme Lozano, who covers community news from the South Plains and Panhandle for The Texas Tribune, wrote in 2023 numerous stories about rural life in Texas and the implications of various federal and state policies on the people who live and work outside the state’s urban centers.

Lozano, a lifelong Northwest Texas resident, enjoys a reputation as a personable multimedia reporter who is focused on the topics of importance to rural Texans. She has developed strong ties with local residents and brings their experiences to readers, including public officials.

“I want to paint a clear picture of what it’s like to be out here,” said Lozano. “It helps that I’ve grown up here and have an appreciation for the value that small towns offer.”

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Born and raised in Levelland, an oilfield town 32 miles west of Lubbock, Lozano got her first taste of journalism at a college newspaper before she started at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal as a copy editor and page designer, then as a reporter on a regional news beat. She studied journalism at South Plains College and Texas Tech University.

Prior to The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit digital news organization based in Austin (which AARP Texas has supported with various media sponsorships and advertising), Lozano reported for Lubbock’s NPR station, KTTZ, and the PBS series “Frontline.”

The South Plains and Panhandle areas of Texas consists of dozens of counties and are home to hundreds of thousands of people, many of them in the agriculture and oil businesses. And yet, there are relatively few news organizations in the area. As Lozano has reported, the area faces major issues, including inadequate funding for infrastructure and challenges pertaining to education, health care, water quality and more.

Lozano (whose work is often under the byline of her full name of Jayme Lozano Carver) said she has given attention to high-speed internet (broadband) access issues because it’s a factor in why many rural residents can be disadvantaged and it has implications for their access to telehealth.

“It’s very much the same with healthcare,” she said. “A lot of my family had to travel long distances in emergencies. And that distance made things complicated. And then, working in the field, that’s also what I started hearing about so much. People would say they don’t have access to a clinic that could help them. That crying out showed me that I needed to hone in on (rural healthcare) too.”

Some of Lozano’s reporting can be found here:

This is the third consecutive year that AARP Texas has recognized journalists for outstanding reporting in the public interest. Through this recognition, AARP Texas seeks to honor journalists whose work promotes awareness and understanding of older Texans and the issues that matter to them and their families.

“Now more than ever it’s vital to recognize and celebrate the achievements and hard work of journalists like Jayme Lozano who delve into the topics that matter to people in all parts of the state and of all ages,” said AARP Texas Director Tina Tran. “At AARP Texas, we greatly appreciate Jayme’s reporting and we trust that it will inspire other journalists to focus on the needs of the age-50-plus community.”

Lozano’s work was selected as deserving of honors by a small team of AARP Texas staff and volunteers who reviewed the work of journalists throughout Texas. No monetary donations are involved in the recognition effort, though AARP Texas intends to provide Lozano with keepsakes of nominal value. Works of journalism by both professionals and students were reviewed, including written news reports, broadcast stories, podcasts, photojournalism and other forms of storytelling.

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