Who's Who 2012 - Melissa Miller

Monday, March 19, 2012
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com

After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Melissa Miller worked jobs as a reporter, photographer, editor and not-for-profit director in Missouri, Michigan and Indiana. After her first niece was born in 2009, Miller moved back to her hometown of Jackson to be near her family. A year later, she began working at the same newspaper she read growing up -- the Southeast Missourian -- and now serves as its business editor. "I quit a great job doing public relations in Santa Claus, Ind., and sold my house, and while I had to make some financial lifestyle adjustments, putting the people in my life first was the best decision I ever made," she says. Miller enjoys spending time with her nieces, volunteering with the Zonta Club of Cape Girardeau and hanging out with her 16-year-old "Little Sister" from Big Brothers Big Sisters.

How is your career field changing?

The newspaper business is much different today than it was when I was in journalism school 15 years ago. We don't wait to get back to the office before we write a story. We tweet from news conferences, post photos of news events as they happen on Facebook and post breaking news stories on our website from our iPhones. People have more choices now than ever when it comes to where they get their news. And while those other sources can tell you what happened and where, you just can't explain why something happened in 140 characters on Twitter. Newspapers are still the best news source for digging into the details behind what's going on. I believe they always will be, but at some point, they just might not be printed on paper anymore.

What inspires you?

I am constantly inspired by the people I write about. Many times, reporters don't meet people on their best days. We interview people who are about to lose their house to floodwaters or have just lost someone they love in a tragic way. Reporters, like me, have a huge responsibility to share these stories in an effort to help others learn and understand more about what's going on in their community, our state and our nation. Knowing this keeps me motivated.

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