From opinion columns and copy editing in high school, to radio, newspaper writing and editing in college, Jared Kaufman has worked in various aspects of the world of journalism. The junior at the University of Missouri is currently using his talents as the editor-in-chief of the school’s student-run newspaper, The Maneater.
Kaufman’s interest in journalism began while in high school in Plymouth, Minnesota. As his excitement for journalism continued to grow, he made the decision to carry this passion into his college career.
“When I came to college, I was looking for other opportunities relating to journalism,” Kaufman said.
He started venturing out by working with the radio station KCOU. He then tried his hand with writing stories for The Maneater. Kaufman decided the newspaper is where he wanted to devote his time.
“I enjoyed writing stories,” Kaufman said. “I enjoyed the editing process, so I got more involved.”
His involvement grew from writing stories to copy editing in his second semester of his freshman year at MU. This gave him the opportunity to use his editing skills and continue writing for the paper. From there, he moved up to the position of copy chief the fall semester of his sophomore year, which involved working with another copy chief to run the copy editing desk. This was all done while he continued to write a few stories for the publication.
He works closely with his managing editors, Katie Rosso and George Roberson, in order to get content edited and ready for publication.
“Behind the scenes, he does so much that nobody ever sees,” Rosso said.
Roberson recalls one instance last year before Kaufman was editor-in-chief when they worked together to brainstorm ways to improve the publication. It was one Tuesday evening in the fall when they had been working on production for print on Wednesday. Working together as copy chiefs, the pair stayed in the Maneater office until production was finished. After the frustrating process, the two were discussing what they could do to try and make the paper better.
“One night we were just like ‘What didn’t work this week? What isn’t working at this paper?’ and we stayed up,” Roberson said. “I think we ended at two and we stayed up until six in this news room coming up with a giant list of ideas that we could do to make things better. And he drove that for the most part. He had all these ideas and we took the white board and started writing post-its and connected the post-its. That’s a very Jared thing. And those post-its stayed up throughout the year. We moved them back to our corner and they stayed up.”
The spring of Kaufman’s sophomore year, he was faced with the task of working for The Missourian. He wrote stories for them, and also spent time during the following summer working as an editor. This gave him yet another opportunity to expand on his journalism skills.
Kaufman obtained the position of editor-in-chief of The Maneater the fall of his junior year, a job that requires a variety of skills and quite a hefty time commitment.
“Sundays, Mondays and Thursdays we have scheduled meetings that happen every week, so we have to prepare for those,” Kaufman said.
In addition to that, Kaufman spends many hours on Monday and Tuesday nights preparing The Maneater for print on Wednesdays. Online content is updated every day, so part of every afternoon is spent working with copy editors and writers in order to make online content available.
“I try to see most of the stories that go out,” Kaufman said. “I’m here at some point every single day, doing actual Maneater related work most nights of the week.”
Not only does Kaufman try to make the newspaper the best it can be, he applies that same attention to detail to all aspects of his life.
“He is persnickety,” Roberson said. “He has very high standards for pretty much everything that he does.”
Aside from preparing stories for publication, Kaufman is tasked with setting up larger meetings for collaborations the newspaper does with MUTV, KCOU and other leaders of on-campus organizations that the paper has relationships with.
Kaufman takes his job as editor-in-chief seriously.
“He is probably the most caring editor-in-chief that we’ve had in years,” Rosso said. “He so deeply cares about the writers and how the editors are feeling. He takes on their burdens.”
Kaufman always tries to do what is in the best interest of the newspaper as a whole. This can be a daunting task as he serves as the face of the publication. In his position, Kaufman has to field any and all comments on content and act as a buffer between the public and the newspaper.
“He always says that he is like a firefighter because he puts out all the small fires,” Rosso said.
Although Kaufman is faced with many tasks and late nights, he gives the majority of the credit to his staff. The Maneater has a staff of around 100 MU students, with the majority of the writers being freshman.
“I could not do my job without everybody else in that room,” Kaufman said. “There are so many things that they all do. There is no way I could run this paper without everybody doing their own little thing… If I did not have all of them doing the things that they do, there would be no newspaper. I just want to give a shout out to my staff because they rock.”