Alumni Spotlight: Rory Linnane '08
The below spotlight was written by SHS student Nathalie Bolduc and was previously featured in the recent issue of the Ripples newspaper.
Rory Linnane, ’08 alumna, started her journalism career with Ripples in Shorewood, and continues to write locally for the Wauwatosa Now weekly newspaper.
“Ripples really did give me a strong foundation for what I do now,” Linnane said.
In high school, Linnane was involved all sorts of activities, including mock trial, soccer, Amnesty International and Ripples.
“I just kind of tried out a lot of things to try to see what I liked,” Linnane said.
After graduating from Shorewood in 2008, she attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in international studies and journalism. Although her current job does not allow much use of the international studies degree, it is still helpful.
“[My international studies degree] might give me a more worldly perspective on some issues,” Linnane said.
Her educational background comes into use for her volunteer work, however. Linnane volunteers as a grant writer for Sanivation, an organization that helps provide toilet access to developing countries.
“I really recommend studying what you’re interested in in college and, even if you don’t use it in your career there are tons of other ways to use it,” Linnane said.
Linnane determined that she liked to write longer, more in depth stories after writing a piece about New Horizons for Ripples.
“That [story] kind of helped me realize I like doing that kind of reporting where I get to go more in depth into different topics and I tried to pursue that in college as well,” Linnane said.
Upon leaving Madison, Linnane returned to the Milwaukee area and began working with the Brookfield Now. She then transferred to the Wauwatosa Now, where she continues to work currently.
“There’s a lot that I really like about community journalism. You really get to know the audience that you’re working with, and it can be really rewarding because you get a lot of feedback and … feedback is good because it means that people are reading and that they care. In Wauwatosa specifically, people are really invested in their community, so they really pay attention to their newspaper and are really engaged. I really enjoy working there,” Linnane said.
Linnane is currently working on a “Hidden Tosa” series, or a story in which she goes into new and oftentimes unused places in her community with a photographer and explores the area.
“I really love that kind of exploring and seeing new things and being able to share them with the community,” Linnane said.
Linnane also writes stories that may not be as riveting, but are of equal importance. These include covering school board meetings, government committees and local elections.
“I think it’s good to have a presence [at government meetings] … it makes the officials a little more conscious of what they’re doing, “ Linnane said. “It really facilitates citizen involvement.”
Although as a journalist Linnane could work internationally, she prefers to stay where her roots are: in Milwaukee.
“Right now I really like Milwaukee … I could live anywhere in the world right now, but I enjoy living here. I think there’s a lot of cool stuff going on,” Linnane said.
Monday April, 27, 2015
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