An aspiring and successful actor, Che is deeply immersed in the Rochester cultural scene. So much so, we’ve named him Che of The Town!
Exclusively for Talker, Che has solicited and is conducting interviews from about 60 Rochestarians working in a diversity of creative fields.
For the full series, see Che of The Town: Interviews
Che has featured many members of the local media including radio personality Scott “Fitz” Fitzgerald, radio personality Chris Konya, creators of The Rochestariat, Stefanie and Jason Schwingle, journalist Hélène Biandudi Hofer, journalist Jennifer Johnson, journalist Nikki Rudd journalist Norma Holland, journalist Alexis Arnold, journalist Ginny Ryan, meteorologist Scott Hetsko and producer Sajad Hoffman-Hussain and Editor-in-Chief Juanita Washington.
Today Che adds journalist Maureen McGuire to the list.
I’ve been working as a journalist for 27 years, a fact that sometimes surprises me. That’s because I had NO idea what career to pursue when I graduated from college. (For background – I’m a Rochester native, attended Bishop Kearney High School, Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and then pursued a graduate degree in journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia). After I left school in Missouri, I worked as a reporter in Columbia, Jefferson City, Traverse City, St. Louis, and then – here in Rochester.
I studied English and Math in college, then moved to New York City and spent a couple of years bouncing around from job to job, mostly at publishing companies. I even freelanced as a studio musician playing piano on soundtracks. My interests were all over the place – but instead of drifting along endlessly, I was lucky. At each of my jobs I encountered mentors who picked up on my affinity for writing, and encouraged me to pursue a job where I’d get to write all the time. One of those mentors worked for CBS News- so that’s how I wound up studying journalism.
What do you enjoy most about being in Journalism?
I like this work because no one day is like the other. I get to meet different people all the time. I’m paid to ask questions, do research, take pictures and write my heart out. It really is something. But it’s also stressful. That’s a big downside. Especially in broadcast news, deadlines are always weighing on you.
Any advice that you can give to aspiring journalists?
I always tell beginning reporters to make sure they read a lot. Read the newspaper, study the budget at city hall, make sure you’re up on current events. The more you make that part of your daily practice, the easier it becomes to talk and write about your own content with confidence, because you’re able to put things in context. It’s really important.
Talk about a time where you faced adversity; how have you learned from the experience?
In recent years, I’ve been given lots of opportunities to report on things that matter to me. That includes issues such as caregiving, elder resources, and Alzheimer’s disease. My dad suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and died last year, and some of my most rewarding work chronicled my family’s experience. Knowing it’s helped others makes the work of journalism meaningful in ways I never thought possible when I started out.
I moved back because I wanted to be closer to friends and family. It was the best move I ever made. When you get to do the work you love in a place you love, it’s a good life. I’m blessed!
ON OTHER JOURNALISTS