Highlighting Past Daily Forty-Niner EICs for Women’s History Month

In honor of Women’s History Month, we caught up with some of our past female editor in chiefs  to showcase the amazing work they did and find out where they are now.

Former Editor in Chief Joanne Tucker previously held the position during her senior year at Long Beach State  in 2009 – 2010. She began her involvement with the paper during her sophomore year where she worked as a staff writer, followed by a city editor and news editor, before becoming editor in chief.

While at CSULB, Tucker double majored in journalism and anthropology, was enrolled in the University Honors Program  and was a President’s Scholar. 

What were some of the daily tasks you had as editor in chief? 

“I reviewed the newspaper before it went to the printer, communicated any issues, communicated with the business manager for any conflict of interest with our advertisers. I also wrote opinion pieces, managed the writers and hiring everyone, managed the main editors and would meet with the university president to talk over university goals.” 

What was the first job that you got after graduating?

“It was actually all through CSULB that I got connected and found my first and long [term] job at a company called Bobit, a B2B business magazine company. I started my first day a week after graduation. It started off as a special project type job and then it very quickly started growing into what is now called content marketing.” 

What other jobs have you had since the 49er and where do you work now?

“I was working remotely with a company in Seattle for almost 2 years, then I had a death in the family that brought me home to Hayfork, Calif. The second I came back to my hometown and saw some of my old teachers, they asked me if I would be interested in taking over some substitute teaching jobs. Literally that first day on the job, I was a junior high substitute teacher, and I just fell in love. Next thing I knew I was quitting my job, re-enrolling in school and [have] just finished my master’s degree in education and my teaching credentials for high school English. This year is now my first full school year as the regular high school English teacher at Hayfork High.”

What skills at the Daily Forty-Niner did you find most useful in your career now?

“Not being afraid to just go and talk to people. I see that with my students now when they get very hesitant and shy. That has really made me reflect on my own abilities like ‘Why is that so easy for me?’ I remember sitting in that dungeon [newsroom] making my very first phone call interviewing somebody as a staff writer, being thrown out there with just a pad and paper like ‘Go get that quote!’ It’s forcing you out there because, yeah writing and all that are wonderful skills, but it’s that confidence that’s not being afraid of asking people those questions. I use so many of those journalism tactics still even in my personal life.”

What was your favorite memory at the Daily Forty-Niner?

“We had this wall where if someone said something weird or funny, somebody from across the room would quickly hear it and write it out and put it on the wall. That was kind of our ongoing funny memory well. It was in the dungeon, right behind the couch. But it would stay so editors from before, their quotes were still there. It created this ongoing chain even across the years. We spent so much time down in that dungeon together. We all ate together, had coffee in the morning with each other, I mean we really lived and breathed with each other.”

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Kat Schuster, a transfer student from Cuesta College, where she also held a position as editor in chief of The Cuestonian, came to CSULB and landed that same role. Previous to her transferring, she worked as an arts intern at San Luis Obispo’s “The New Times.” As a junior transfer student, the 2019 alum started off her Daily Forty-Niner career as a news editor eventually making her way upto EIC.

What were some of the daily tasks you had as editor in chief?

I managed a staff of more than 20 editors and writers, I was in charge of overseeing all the content and approving the copy before it went online and I also did a lot of work to help launch a new website and just prioritizing digital over print.” 

What was the first job that you got after graduating?

“I was freelancing for Southern California News Group at the end of my junior year. I started writing for the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Orange County Register and I had a news column there all while going to CSULB and working for the 49er. When I graduated, I started freelancing for the Long Beach Post. I also continued to freelance for Southern California News Group.

What other jobs have you had since the 49er and where do you work now?

“During that time, I also managed social media for a skincare CBD company and a kombucha and honey company. This summer I was freelancing, then the pandemic really ruined that for me because that’s difficult to tackle as a freelancer. I was sort of struggling in trying to find my footing, but I did pitch a coronavirus news story for the Long Beach Post and some others for the Southern California news group. I struggled for a while, but then I got a phone call from Patch, a hyperlocal news platform that has different news sites from here to New York City, so I took over the California breaking news editor position this past summer. I cover California politics, coronavirus, vaccines and all breaking news that has to do with California.” 

What skills at the 49er did you find most useful in your career now?

“The 49er really taught me how to be a good news writer and Barb was a really big part of that. She was also really encouraging and was a big inspiration for all of us. I learned how to really work with a news team, the photographers to get photos, coordinate with other editors. I think Cal State has a lot of resources that are available to you that you don’t even realize, that a lot of professional newsrooms don’t even have.” 

What is a piece of advice that you would give to the staff now?

“While you’re in college, if you’re a journalism student and [you’re] not involved in the broadcast program… or the Daily Forty-Niner, you’re definitely missing out. One thing I wish I would have done more is take advantage of all the multimedia equipment. Also, be mindful of the connections that you’re making while you’re on the 49er. You will continue, if you’re lucky, to communicate with those people when you graduate. You might be applying for the same jobs, you might be reporting on the same story, that same person might help you out. Try to make friends, make connections, and be kind to people.”

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