School of Communication
Major: Journalism, Class of 2014
Job: Reporter for the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye edition
Rianne Coale has been out of school for less than two years, but she is already making a name for herself in Chicago.
As the transit reporter for RedEye, Coale writes a weekly column that is read by daily commuters across the city—and she uses that space to give a voice to people who otherwise wouldn’t have a platform.
Here, she talks about her column, what she loves about journalism, and how her professors helped her become the person she is today.
Tell us about your job and what you do.
I first got hired at RedEye as a social media manager. That’s what I did for the first eight months of my job. I recently became the transit reporter, and I have a weekly column called Transit Diaries, which comes out every Tuesday. People share their crazy or unusual transit stories, and I get experts to comment on them. I also write general assignment pieces.
What’s your favorite part of the job?
I’d have to say it’s meeting the people that I interview and learning from them. I love talking to people and sharing their stories.
Any advice you would give to someone looking to get into the same field?
Don’t give up or be discouraged by rejection. It’s really easy to get down on yourself. It doesn’t hurt to be knocked down a few notches, but don’t give up. Also, listen to and make friends with your professors. They know what they are taking about, and they have great connections with people already in the field.
Which class or professor helped you the most with what you’re now doing?
The School of Communication was my home, and all of the professors are the most intelligent people I’ve ever met—and they are all so willing to help when you ask. It’s really hard to pick one professor. Specifically, John Slania, Lee Hood, and Ralph Braseth were significant mentors for me. Being a part of the Rambler Sports Locker changed my life. I still apply what I learned working with that organization every Thursday to what I’m doing today.
And finally, where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
I would love to be a broadcast reporter. Being a reporter for a newspaper is so different than being a reporter for TV, but I’m learning the same concepts and skills. I just want to be the best journalist I can be 10 years from now.