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About the Author
is NPR's award-winning media correspondent based in New York City. His stories are broadcast on NPR's newsmagazines and shows, including All Things Considered
, Morning Edition
, and Talk of the Nation
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Dean Miller was born in Memphis, Tennessee and raised in Vermont and now lives on Long Island.
A linguistic chameleon, he is afraid he now says "dwog" instead of "dawg."
For 25 years, he worked as a reporter and editor at daily newspapers in the Northern Rockies, mostly in Idaho. (Not Iowa, not Ohio. Idaho.)His work and that of his newsrooms won numerous regional awards for writing, for environmental and investigative reporting. His last paper, The Post Register of Idaho Falls, Idaho, was in its time the smallest paper to win national awards such as the $10,000 E.W. Scripps Award for Service to the First Amendment and the Livingston Award (also $10,000) awarded annually to the three best under-35 reporters at work in the U.S.
Miller is the fifth son of a mining engineer and a political activist, both of Washington State pioneer families.
Miller's first book credit was as lead researcher and limited co-writer (with the incomparable Jess Walter) of "Every Knee Shall Bow: The Truth and Tragedy of Ruby Ridge."
Fascinated by the mythology surrounding cougar attacks on humans, he began collecting attack stories while working in Sandpoint, Idaho in the mid-1980s. By 1995, his file of clippings was bursting. The number of attacks was on the rise and "Cat Attacks, True Stories and Hard Lessons From Cougar Country" was launched.
Around the same time, Miller edited a series of outdoor guide books for Post Publishing, including books in the "Byways" series and "The Insider's Guide to Yellowstone."
In 2005 and 2006, Miller led his paper's investigation of the Boy Scouts of America's failure to protect boys from the predations of a series of pedophile staffers in the Grand Teton Council's summer camps. The series revealed court fles that had been sealed by poweful allies of scouting. The report resulted in replacement of the Council's executive director, re-incarceration of a prolific pedophile and increased scrutiny of scouting, a beloved institution in the town.
The assertions of falsehood and media bias brought by scout staff and by wealthy local allies ofthe Grand Teton Council were never proved and no correction was ever sought, nor needed. Indeed, the chief critic of the report was forced to publish an apology to several of the pedophiles' victims, whose credibility he had attacked in attacking the reports.
The paper's experience is the subject of "In A Small Town," a documentary produced by Joe Rubin for WNET's "Expose" program about investigative reporting.
Miller was selected for a 2007-2008 Nieman Fellowship in Journalism at Harvard University, where he studied music, comparative religion and documentary film. Indeed, Miller is still working to finish his film about the woman songwriter whose "Twenty Flight Rock" Paul McCartney played to get into John Lennon's band.(Sir Paul? Oh, Sir Paul? A moment of your time?)
Shortly after returning to Idaho from Harvard, Miller was fired as editor of The Post Register.
He is now Director of the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University, the cradle of the News Literacy movement.
Miller teaches the course and also helps other campuses (and even high schools) launch News Literacy courses of their own.
Most recently, Miller wrote a chapter of "Page One: Inside the New York Times and the Future of Journalim" edited by NPR's David Folkenflik.