Nathaniel Miller is a versatile digital storyteller constantly searching for new ways to create, deliver and engage through a combination of journalism fundamentals and new media enthusiasm.
Sacramento features throughout his background: born in Sacramento; raised in the historic Sacramento neighborhood of Oak Park; currently living in Sacramento County; attended Sacramento High School, Sacramento City College and Sacramento State (where he succeeded in writing, editing, production and leadership roles at each stop); helped launch Sactown magazine as one of its first two interns; and served as the SacLights.com events editor before joining Sacramento’s largest media company.
Nathaniel worked for more than 12 years at The Sacramento Bee, rising from the digital team’s most junior member to the lead editor anchoring digital production during the majority of sacbee.com’s peak daytime traffic hours. His focus was on crafting a dynamic home page, guiding the newsroom’s social media presence, maintaining a high standard of presentation at the story level and building reporting tools to facilitate modern newsgathering. He was trusted to make independent editorial decisions in a fast-paced workplace while maintaining a consistent voice across a range of platforms. His success depended on a foundation in project management, collaboration, multitasking, critical thinking, attention to detail, concise writing, analyzing data, user-centered design and a willingness to learn — desirable skills that translate to any industry.
Nathaniel’s career started at a time when news outlets introduced online producer roles to newsrooms. There were few digital natives in his newsroom and, while fellow producers helped him along the way, his growth depended upon independent study and experimentation. Curiosity led to the research and development of strategies to succeed on emerging platforms. He curated Twitter lists as news sources, crafted a Facebook programming schedule supported by historical data, oversaw a local blogging network, integrated heads-up displays for instant traffic analysis, grew social media audiences without a marketing budget, maintained multiple newsletters, and built Facebook and Instagram listening networks in CrowdTangle, a content discovery and social monitoring platform. Social media discovery tools provided the framework to listen to community discussions and were critical in helping the newsroom identify potential stories.
Social media expertise led to the promotion to interactivity editor in 2013 and provided the opportunity for Nathaniel to further develop as a leader. He helped onboard interns and new employees; mentored junior digital team members; trained peers in one-on-one sessions; presented social media best practices in workshops; participated in McClatchy work groups to shape corporate digital strategy and routinely provided consultative services to management. At the daily morning meeting, he was expected to interpret short-term and long-term metrics for editors and highlight content opportunities based on observations gleaned from social media discovery tools. Nathaniel was the primary social media voice for The Sacramento Bee for more than a decade and continued to execute a robust distribution plan despite a diminished digital team. The demands for growth and adoption to new platforms did not decline even when the size of team did so.
His work has been honored by professional journalism associations and through employee recognition programs. Nathaniel was one of 34 millennial journalists chosen to participate in the Society of Professional Journalists’ Reporters Institute in 2010. Internal awards followed at The Sacramento Bee for the creation of a database of the region’s college athletes, the use of Storify to cover the Tour of California and, in 2019, as the senior member of a digital team nominated among the best teams in the company. Most recently, the California News Publishers Association recognized his work in a group awarded digital general excellence in 2018 and 2019.
Three independent media projects outside of The Sacramento Bee offer examples of his professional analytical experience in developing project plans, implementing a vision and monitoring the results. In 2012, he founded the Sacramento chapter of the Online News Association in order to foster relationships with local journalists through the organization of free networking and educational events. Beginning in 2015, he produced an occasional blog series with people who didn’t work in journalism commenting on the news as a way to sharpen my interview skills, develop as a storyteller and become a more visible journalist in his community. Each blog post began with an introduction based on an in-person interview followed by answers to nine questions and enhanced with embedded content. His most recent project, maintained from 2016 to 2019, was sparked by a newfound appreciation of local street art. The Sacramento Mural Map, once highlighted by The New York Times and included as a resource in university curriculum, featured more than 1,000 murals in the four-county region before Google discontinued the tool used to visualize the map at the end of 2019. Nathaniel collected all of the mural information on his own from various sources and positioned himself as an expert who could provide analysis and context regarding public art for city officials, community members, students and fellow journalists.
For more information on Nathaniel’s background, check out his LinkedIn profile.
If you’d like to reach out to Nathaniel about a career opportunity, you can send him a message here.