Keen readers will have noticed a new editor’s name on the masthead. We are pleased to announce that Tanya Miller started two weeks ago as Berkeley Patch’s new full-time local editor. She follows Emily Henry, who will still be part of the Patch family as a kind of roaming local editor, hunting down good stories around the East Bay. You’ll be seeing Emily’s byline here on Berkeley Patch and on neighboring Patch sites.
Tanya has lived in Berkeley for more than a year. She moved here from Southern California where she produces a radio show for KPCC and worked as a freelance videographer. We asked Tanya what her first thought was when she learned she would be moving to Berkeley from Los Angeles.
What's catching your journalist's eye in Berkeley?
I’m drawn to stories about people that surprise me -- where I go in with one assumption and come away thinking something totally different. I like to cover ordinary people because they always turn out to be extraordinary in their own way. And most often these seemingly small stories seem to lead me to bigger, more interesting stories than I might have otherwise found.
What were you doing before you joined Patch?
I was a finalist for a $100,000 grant about connecting kids from neighboring high schools. They had all 30 finalists develop their projects. It was kind of a brutal process, it was so much work.
Can we see a sample of some of your work?
Sure, here's some of the field testing I did for the grant. I think it's a good example of some ordinary kids, in an ordinary innercity public school, who turned out to be very extraordinary: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahlCWsd4ui0
I was also doing a radio show, which I still produce. It airs on the NPR affiliate in LA, KPCC. It's called Cyberfrequencies and it was developed with a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It’s a chatty, blog style show about the social ramifications of technology, rather than the tech experts.
Berkeley is full of experts. Everyone has an opinion on everything. What big plans do you have for Berkeley Patch?
I’m interested in covering the brainpower of Berkeley and Cal. I’m interested in getting in the schools. I’m interested making the site useful -- I want people to come to the site and find things they can use like good restaurants, fun things to do around town. I’m also into featuring the interesting people and places here in Berkeley, so it's not always strictly news.
What was your reaction when you fond out you were moving Berkeley before? I was excited. I wanted to be next to nature, next to Tilden. I wanted a more walkable life. I pretty much walk everywhere I can and, on a good week, I go hiking three or four times in a week.
Had you lived in Berkeley before?
I lived here about 10 years ago, in the Berkeley Hills for a couple years, but I've split my adult life between the Bay Area, which I love, and LA, where my family lives.
What was different this second time around?
I’m always surprised how little things change in Berkeley. Things turnover more quickly in LA.
How can people contact you if they have a restaurant suggestion or a hot news tip?
Pretty much anywhere they post on the site I'll get back to them, but they can also reach me at email@example.com or by calling 510.566.8136.
It's kind of weird timing to put out this announcement since I'm going to New York next week for training, and the previous editor, Emily Henry, is going to be running the site, but I'll be back fulltime after that.