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New editor to focus on community journalism
The Appeal-Democrat's new editor brings a long record of journalism experience at community newspapers across the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere.
Steve Miller, 56, took over the paper's newsroom management on Monday, after a nearly seven-year stint as editor at the Herald and News in Klamath Falls, Ore.
"I expect to have an award-winning operation," said Miller, a native of Nebraska. "I'm happy to be here, and I have a lot to learn. I'm looking forward to it."
Miller said he plans on placing a special emphasis on making the newsroom as interactive as possible, both through social media and establishing a reader advisory group. He said he also wants to re-establish an editorial board and make the paper's opinion page a more engaging place.
"To me, the perfect op-ed page is a forum largely populated by readers' views," he said.
He said he also wants to solicit feedback from readers and users on story suggestions, website usability and design, as well as create stronger ties and cross-publishing across the paper's various forms in print, the Web, Twitter and Facebook.
Miller said as a strong advocate of community newspapers, he wants coverage to focus on breaking news, watchdog oversight of local government, community features and enterprise reporting.
"I hope to develop the ability to look at things in depth," he said.
Appeal-Democrat Publisher Larry Riley said Miller's experience and know-how will help make a stronger newsroom.
"His experience will build on our foundation and strength ... community journalism," Riley said in a statement. "Look for him to strike a healthy balance between community journalism, investigative and enterprise reporting while also helping to introduce changes to our Opinion page and other sections of the newspaper in the upcoming months."
Miller attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and began his career in 1982 at a weekly newspaper in western Nebraska, then moved to a daily paper in the same region.
He then joined Pioneer Newspapers and served as managing editor at the newspaper in Pocatello, Idaho, and then publisher at the paper in Ellensburg, Wash., before taking the helm in Klamath Falls in 2006.
Though many of the places he has been before also had a strong agricultural base, he said, none had as much diversity in crops as Yuba-Sutter, which he noted is also more diverse culturally than his previous stops.
Miller has been married for 36 years to his wife, Christine, and has two grown children who live in Portland, Ore. In his spare time, he enjoys activities with his two dogs, hiking and gardening, he said.
CONTACT Ben van der Meer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4786. Find him on Facebook at /ADbvandermeer or on Twitter at @ADbvandermeer.