As local papers across the nation board up their windows and many reporters trade their pens for the keyboard – The Chronicle is holding on to what hyper-local news was, is, and could be. That’s why I’m here: I believe in that purpose. I’m a student of history and I’m eager to jump aboard.
The easiest way to describe reporting is through the analogy of a mirror – a place where everyday folks hold up a lens to what’s going on about town, what the street corners are whispering, and sometimes, what isn’t being said. But, for today – let’s fog up the glass a little. I’ll draw a smiley face in the steam, and wave hello to the fantastic and dedicated readers of The Chronicle.
My name is Ryleigh Norgrove, and I’m a new reporter with The Chronicle. And while I’ll mostly be covering Cottage Grove and county issues, there are stories all over Lane County that I’m ready to find them right along with you.
First, here’s a little about me. I’m a writer, avid hiker, climber and photographer. I’m also a Tacoma girl. I grew up in a small town in Northern California called Healdsburg, and began working in local news when I was in high school. I’m a small-town girl at heart, raised in a community of hardworking neighbors and relatives closeby. My younger brother, Sam (my longtime carpool karaoke partner and avid Queen fan), is a sophomore at Oregon State University, so I am, unfortunately, a Beavs fan. I hope you won’t hold that against me.
I’m also a recent college grad out of Willamette University in Salem, where I studied political science and English. In my time there, I had the opportunity to write speeches for Gov. Kate Brown and also had the opportunity to learn that politics was not my jam, jelly or marmalade (only artificial things have that long of a shelf life). I moved away from politics toward nonfiction, hanging in biker bars with the president of the Portland Dykes on Bikes, interviewing the longest Johnny Cash impersonator in Ireland, and sneaking onto an international sailing race.
For the past few months, I have had the joy of playing, working and exploring our national parks. I worked in the hospitality business, living in Glacier National Park in rural Montana and Zion National Park in Utah. My boyfriend, Liam, and I have recently settled in the southern Willamette Valley, and are so happy to have found a new place to call home. We’ve even recently adopted a hound-dog named Koda, and though she hasn’t caught a rabbit (thank God) she’s a true friend of mine.
I cannot begin to describe how excited I am to be working alongside The Chronicle team. After a few weeks on the job, I’ve had the joy of talking to folks all around Cottage Grove – from the rockstar librarians downtown, to the kind folks at Community Sharing, the creative residents of Middlefield Oaks, and the dedicated local politicians at the Town Hall on homelessness.
Now more than ever, it’s become just as important to understand who is writing as why. So, with that being said: Hi! It’s been a pleasure to meet you. I’m so excited to learn about you and your community, and am incredibly grateful for the warm welcome I’ve received.
I’ll be splitting my time between the Springfield and Cottage Grove offices – so come on by, let’s grab a cup of coffee sometime.
Ryleigh Norgrove is a reporter for The Chronicle. Email her at [email protected]