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A blast from the past: Ruiko Jacobs

TUES. | 11-30-21 | FEATURES

      Rose has been publishing its student newspaper for over 50 years. Over the span of those 50 years, many different people from all walks of life have held the position of features editor. Ruiko Jacobs proudly held that position before she left Rose to pursue opportunities at University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA).

      “I’m [in] the class of 2020, but I left Rose in 2019 to come [to UNCSA],” Jacobs said. “I joined journalism in my sophomore year and I was features editor that year.”

     Joining journalism and becoming a features editor gave Jacobs a chance to use her creative side with her writing, which she believes would not have been likely without joining journalism.

     “I was able to use my writing and creative skills together,” Jacobs said. “Before I joined journalism I was just writing for class and I liked that, but it wasn’t connected to the other side of myself; my more creative side.”

     While Jacobs wrote for and liked every section the paper offered, features was her favorite.

     “I liked writing about human interest and I also really enjoyed the graphic design,” Jacobs said.

     Jacobs has always enjoyed writing so joining journalism really topped off her love for it. Working with others to make a product that people would see and read was also very rewarding for her, but her favorite part of being in journalism was the dynamic of the classroom.

     “[Journalism] was definitely more of a family; we even had family meetings,” Jacobs said. “It was the most tight knit group of people I’ve ever had a class with.”

     One of the most famous yet difficult tasks one is given as features editor is making the spread. The spread is pages 


Photo contributed by Ruiko Jacobs

six and seven in the newspaper, directly in the middle. While Jacobs was features editor she struggled with brainstorming ideas for the spread and putting it together, but it always paid off when it did come together.

     “Coming up with ideas for spreads was definitely the hardest part, but also the most fulfilling when everything came together,” Jacobs said. “I struggled in the beginning to learn how to use all the graphic design [applications] like Photoshop and Illustrator, but once I got the hang of it I thought it was one of the best parts of being an editor.”

     Out of everything Jacobs has written and designed in journalism, her favorite would have to be a spread she made about college and what people were doing after Rose. She wrote an article on a college student who was attending her dream college, UNCSA, so that was very inspiring for her. Jacobs’ interview was almost two hours long and her article came out to about 1,500 words.

     “I learned a lot about how it feels to leave Rose, to leave home [and] to pursue something that you love,” Jacobs said. “I hold that article and the [spread] design I was able to make really close to my heart.”

     Jacobs is currently a sophomore at UNCSA and while she did not continue journalism in college, she took the leadership and teamwork skills she learned while being a features editor on her adventure with the arts.

     “I am majoring in ballet and trying to become a professional ballerina,” Jacobs said. “I’m not currently doing anything with journalism and I didn’t continue it once I left Rose, but I’ll always take those skills with me and I miss it very much.”

     Since Jacobs is so deeply rooted in the arts, it would definitely take part in a spread if she could design one right at this moment.

     “I think I would like to explore how the arts affect communities, like everyday people, since I know I personally feel so detached from the academic things I was doing in my life before coming [to UNCSA],” Jacobs said. “The people I featured would definitely play a big role in how it looked [and] their artistic visions would play into it.”

     While Jacobs has taken a different direction with her life, she will always be thankful for the mentorship that journalism teacher Ashley Hutchinson and her Editors-in-Chief provided her.

     “I learned so much from my Editors-in-Chief and Hutch which was really integral to my process as Features Editor and as I grew into other leadership roles,” Jacobs said. “The collaboration and leadership skills are the most important things you can take away from journalism and being an editor.”

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