Catherine J. Rourke is an "Award-winning investigative journalist, media trailblazer and social change Thought Leader." She is the author of “Unseen Dreams: Voices of Low-Wage Workers” and "Invisible Sedona ~ Forgotten People and Neglected News". She is based in Sedona, Arizona.
The following biography for Catherine Rourke was posted at the BBS Radio Home website:
- "Catherine Rourke is an award-winning investigative journalist, media trailblazer and social change Thought Leader specializing in Truth in Media, Medicine, Health Care and Social Justice.
- "The New York City native picked up a quill pen at age 4 and has been writing ever since. Her first social justice report “Who Rules America?” was published at age 15 and received a Quill & Scroll award. After completing her studies at the City University of New York and Oxford University in England, she took her first job at The Miami Herald. From there she spent the next 30 years serving as a reporter, photographer and editor for newspapers, magazines and book publishers around the nation.
- "Catherine’s writing primarily focused on social justice and the downtrodden in their own voices – the working poor, the homeless, labor concerns, women’s issues and human rights. But it was as a newspaper editor and columnist in Sedona, Arizona, that she faced a turning point in her profession when her investigative reports about mysterious deaths at a local medical facility met with media censorship.
- "Determined to uphold her moral responsibility as a journalist to serve the common good, she launched a nonprofit online newspaper in 2007 to deliver the truth and report about the downtrodden in their own voices. The Sedona Observer grew virally into a global vehicle for truth in media -- with 44,000 free subscribers around the world and 6 national press awards – with a slogan “Changing America by Changing Its Media First.”
- "The newspaper relies on public donations, so Catherine has received not one penny of income for her social justice reports. Instead, she is the recipient of 26 press awards, including “Arizona Journalist of the Year” ~ along with plenty of death threats.
- "She currently resides in Florence, Oregon, where she writes a column for the local paper and teaches creative writing classes. As a visionary writer her mission centers on “soul-utions” for human transformation. Known as “The Editorial Intuitive,” she is currently writing a book titled “And Forgive Us Our Press Passes ~ Confessions of Modern Day Muckraker.”
Salt of the Earth Labor College
Catherine Rourke, editor of The Sedona Observer and an ILCA labor journalist for many years, will host a presentation and discussion at the Communist Party USA controlled Salt of the Earth Labor College in Tucson on April 12 2011.
Her talk, "ARIZONA’S TOURISM WORKERS: EXPLOITATION & EXASPERATION,” focuses on how Arizona’s tourism industry generates billions of dollars in profits for hotels, restaurants, resorts and other corporate interests while its work force includes some of the most underpaid workers, who often earn less than minimum wage.
With articles such as “The Future of Work in Sedona” and "Out to Lunch: Food Service in America," Rourke will talk about what can be done to improve working and living conditions for these workers.
Her story, "National Disgrace in Grand Canyon National Park," was published in Nickeled and Dimed in the Southwest, an anthology about low-wage jobs published by the Southwest Center for Economic Integrity in 2006.