Jackie Rupp is editor in chief of Philadelphia Weekly.
I actually studied undergraduate at Penn State Abington with an integrative arts degree. I was initially interested in creative writing and fiction, but I gravitated towards journalism and became a freelance writer for many different writing companies, both nationally big and locally small. I had all types of work, from toy reviews for Disney to medical writing for a few years.
How did you start working for Philadelphia Weekly?
I started Philly Current magazine with a friend which still runs today, but I sold my share for a whopping $10! I was then the temporary editor for Philadelphia Weekly and then promoted to editor-in-chief, which surprised me because I thought I was just a placeholder until they found someone else.
How exactly would you describe Philly Weekly and its demographic?
Philly Weekly is an alternative news source where we try to focus on both the large stories in the Philadelphia area and the more grassroots smaller profiles. For instance we wrote Where Philly Would Be in 10 Years and my personal favorite Mipsters, or Muslim Hipsters. Our demographic is a bit surprising. Where we thought it would be say 18–29, it was more around 21–51. I think this is because these people started reading it in their college days and kept with it.
What is your day-to-day like as an editor?
I would say about 75 percent of my time I am reading other people’s work, changing errors, giving advice, you know, editor things. I oversee and assign writings to others. We have all freelance writers and no permanent staff, so getting a feel for another’s writing is both refreshing to have different styles and challenging to not have a consistent voice. The other 25 percent, I am frantically writing my own pieces, as the editor.
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists and editors?
Go where you want your name to be seen. Take it from me, who’s written on just about everything. I didn’t always enjoy medical writing, but it built my profile and got me where I am now. But if you love something, the hours really fly.
Where do you see both Philadelphia Weekly and yourself in 10 years?
Oh, that’s a tough question, but I think the better question is how long will handheld print be around? I’d like to definitely expand our name on social media but never lose sight of our personal approach with smart and entertaining coverage. As for myself, I hope to still be shopping in the junior section.
—Luke Antonello, ‘16