Q&A with Senior Reporter Phil Riske; a decade with Rose Law Group Reporter

By Callan Smith | Rose Law Group Reporter

Phil Riske

Recognized for his excellence in journalism, Phil Riske left retirement behind and kicked off the Rose Law Group Reporter (RLGR) ten years ago, working with Jordan Rose, Rose Law Group founder and president to produce a  news source for Arizona readers, and beyond.

I’ve worked with Phil for three-plus years and can attest to the standard of excellence he brings to the Reporter daily. I posed the following questions to him, looking to learn more about why he came to the Reporter, career experiences and what advice he can offer to journalists. I’m pleased to share the following:

What brought you out of retirement to create the Rose Law Group Reporter with Jordan Rose?

At the party for my retirement from Arizona Capitol Times, Jordan’s husband, Jason, asked me if I would be interested in doing social media work for Rose Law Group (RLG), a couple hours a day. I met with her and went right to work. To build it to where it is now has taken a whole lot more than a couple hours per day.

After ten years and over 37,000 news articles published on the Rose Law Group Reporter, what’s your most memorable experience?

That’s a tough one. Having never written personal opinion columns before, the opportunity to do so for Rose Law Group Reporter, the news arm of RLG, is fun. Some scoops about PhoenixMart are memorable, and covering the Arizona Legislature is something I’ve had years of doing.

What goals did you have for the Reporter when it began?

Our goal was to build an audience of RLG clients and public officials to become the favorite source of daily news about real estate, government, renewable energy and a variety of other topics.

From your work as an editor at the Capitol Times to radio, working for a senator and beyond, can you tell us about some noteworthy moments over the length of your career?

When asked about the most important thing I ever covered, I always say the Black 14 incident at the University of Wyoming. It involved sports, religion, racism and finally a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. As part of that, I served as a consultant to Sport Illustrated

At Capitol Times, I investigated malfeasance of a state official that resulted in his resignation, which was ordered by then-Attorney General Terry Goddard.

Working for a U.S. Senator in Washington was educational. I got to deal with the famous national reporters of the day. 

With your wealth of experience, what would you suggest to up-and-coming journalists with the changes that have come to the business of news?

I would suggest that above all, stick to the knitting — uphold the original standards of journalism because they are being violated every day because of competition in the market place. “Corporate journalism,” which is a misnomer, has caused massive layoffs in newsrooms across the nation, and threatens to do the same her. Republic journalists must unionize to save their jobs and a proud newspaper that used to get the bad guys, even after a car bomb took the life of one of its top investigative reporters. 

The more layoffs there are, fewer are the chances news organizations will have the manpower to investigate public corruption. That safeguard is being significantly diminished.

Directly to the question, I believe the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication is guiding young journalists in the right direction.  

Read Phil’s opinion columns here:

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September 2019