Hallie Miller, 24, is following in her grandmother’s footsteps.
Miller is a business and health reporter for the Sun. Her grandmother was a health features reporter at the Baltimore Sun, where some people, Miller said, still remember her.
Miller’s family has lived in the Baltimore area for generations. She grew up in Baltimore County, where she attended Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School and Chizuk Amuno Congregation, and then studied journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduation, she joined the Sun’s audience engagement team and eventually transitioned to her current role.
She lives in the downtown neighborhood of Highlandtown with two roommates, who are also journalists.
What got you interested in journalism?
I was probably inspired by my grandmother, who was a copy editor at the Baltimore Sun and then later on she became a health features reporter. She’s very helpful and one of my best sources. She always has ideas for me and references, old books that she used when she was a health writer. That’s been really fun, so I think that … being exposed to the power of the press very early on got me inspired and made me think about doing it myself.
Were you close to your grandmother growing up?
Very. We’re still very close.
How did you go from social media and audience engagement to being a reporter?
When I started, the way that the position was structured was we would have social media duties either in the morning or in the afternoon and then later it became we would have social media duties maybe two or three times a week, and then the rest of the time we got to explore different parts of the newsroom and make connections to different editors and find passion projects to work on in that time, which was unstructured.
My first pet project was in audio, which I had some experience doing in college, just through internships and extracurricular activities. I helped grow the audio division. Through that, I was doing a little bit of audio reporting. Eventually, that became, “Oh, if I wanted to do more traditional reporting outside of audio, now I have all these great story ideas and all of these sources.” Some Sun readers aren’t necessarily all on board with audio yet. Some of them are more traditional print readers and some people are reading on Instagram. So I thought it was important to broaden my skill set and lean into the skills that I didn’t quite have, which were traditional journalism reporting. I spent probably a year, a year and a half, just trying to do more of those assignments, meet our readers where they were and taking weekend shifts and holidays and meeting with editors to discuss what I could do to be a better, more well-rounded reporter in all kinds of formats.
Everyone at the Sun is super nice and encouraging. There are a lot of great mentors to be found.
What does your Jewish identity mean to you?
Growing up Jewish in a community like Baltimore meant that I was very privileged and just automatically supported by a group of people who maybe didn’t know a lot about me, but by virtue of where I came from and where I grew up and how I grew up, I was automatically in a community.
That’s basically how I lived my life. … No questions asked, unconditional, positive regard for other human beings with a focus on social justice and social issues, just openness and being the person that other people tend to rely on and depend on, just like I was always supported at school and at synagogue.