When the third-year journalism major first came to Long Beach State after graduating from Hemet High School, she had her sights set on a completely different career.
Ashley Ramos pledged to CSULB in hopes of becoming a Division 1 athlete in cross country. Her goal was to one day make it to the Olympics.
But things didn’t go according to plan.
Ramos moved into the dorms as a freshman but, within two semesters, was removed because she was unable to afford all the costs associated with living on campus. She was also placed on academic probation.
She then attended Long Beach City College for a semester. Ramos had been editor in chief of her high school yearbook but didn’t pursue a degree in journalism, instead deciding to become a psychologist.
While at LBCC, she took a photojournalism class, and it was at that time she took a moment to think “What do I really want to do?”
Her love for photography began to steer her in the direction of photojournalism, and, from that moment on, Ramos dove head-first into the world of news media.
Journalism, instead of any other form of photography, drew her in because of the responsibility that comes along with the role: representing the community.
“The point of going into journalism is to service the people, and if you’re not doing that, then you’re failing the people,” Ramos said.
In spring 2019, Ramos returned to CSULB and again struggled to get back on track.
Ramos, now a newsroom veteran, will serve as the Daily Forty Niner’s editor in chief starting this fall.
Heading into a fully online semester in fall 2020, Ramos joined the social media team as the Instagram account manager and helped to expand and capitalize on the page’s ability to connect with the campus community.
Ramos, among others in the newsroom, has always been vocal about wanting to see the ‘Niner do better and believes that it can become the paper it should be. That’s why she took on the role of community engagement editor at the beginning of this semester.
“There was a lot to fix, but I had to put on a different lens on how to fix it,” Ramos said. “The world is changing so fast, but we just have to listen to the audience to see what they want and need.”
Carly Cylinder, owner of Flour LA, Inc. and Ramos’ internship coordinator, said that the new editor in chief will no doubt be a successful one.
“Ashley’s ability to juggle tasks with astute confidence, clarity and competence should be a welcomed start in her new position as EIC,” Cylinder said. “It’s very exciting and no doubt a glimpse into what her future holds.”
An early inspiration for Ramos, John Hill, her high school yearbook adviser, feels that she will make a “fantastic” editor.
“Ashley has demonstrated the maturity and ability to be an independent thinker, problem solver and has shown a natural ability to work well with, and for, others,” Hill said. “She took on challenging assignments, worked very hard to complete them, all with a positive and embracing attitude.”
Hill added that Ramos “has been an outstanding individual and will continue to be an outstanding young woman.”
Looking ahead to taking on the role of editor, Ramos plans on addressing deep-rooted issues in the paper, how it’s run and even its name. She hopes to make the newsroom a more diverse and welcoming space.
“I’m looking forward to working closer with the community, which would help in creating more diverse coverage,” Ramos said. “As well as work internally on how things are run and how we serve the community.”
Making these monumental changes to things that have been in place for over 70 years will not be easy, but if anyone can do it—and do it with grace and purpose—it’s Ashley Ramos.