Once again proving that your passion can lead to a rewarding career, Ebony Magazine’s Editor-In-Chief, Mitzi Miller, utilized her passion for reading into a fulfilling and lasting commitment to help determine the type of content we see. She shows that knowing what your audience wants can place you in position to be successful and recognized for it.
Taking the time to talk to BlackEnterprise.com, Miller speaks with us about what led her to journalism, what she has planned for the future and what her favorite holiday is.
BlackEnterprise.com: Congrats on your recent position. You were recently Editor-In-Chief of JET, now that you are the EIC of Ebony, what will be different in terms of how you approach this position as compared to your last one?
Mitzi Miller: Thank you Ced! It’s all very exciting. I think the biggest difference in approach will be in the content area. The EBONY audience’s needs are completely different than the JET readers. I believe EBONY readers come to the publication for an enriching read that brings substantive value as opposed to a quick hit that provides just enough service to make it worth the time. So it’s important that I always take into consideration how every feature will stand the test of time, what can it offer not just today but next week and a month from now.
With the landscape changing amongst the magazine ranks as far as how people read content these days, how do you see the changes affecting the way the magazine will be accepted and viewed in the days of instant online content?
I honestly believe that EBONY is a heirloom publication that the entire African American community feels vested in seeing survive regardless of changes in technology. So while the majority will receive their immediate current events information online, they will continue to seek the authoritative in-depth reporting and unique perspective that the monthly print publication offers.
What prompted you to pursue a career in journalism?
My love for reading. I wanted to be in a position to determine the content of what went into my favorite magazines.
You’ve also co-authored several books, will we see a Mitzi Miller book anytime in the future and if so, what type of book would you like to write?
Yes, you will definitely see a solo Mitzi Miller book in the future. It’s on my bucket list! As far as type, it will be fiction. I love creating characters and developing their story lines.
As far as you being a writer, where do you draw your passion from and what keeps you going on a daily basis?
Every day I wake up and thank God for grace. Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am now or have the strength to continue.
Mistakes are a part of life and we all make them. Are there any mistakes you’ve made over the years that, if you could go back to, you’d do it a different way and if so, what would you do differently?
I’m made too many mistakes to start pulling the bones out of the closet. However, I genuinely try to learn from my missteps and avoid repeating them.
Tell us something about you that isn’t public knowledge that you’d like people to know.
My birthday is my absolute favorite holiday. As far as I’m concerned, it even trumps Christmas!
What does Mitzi Miller have planned for the immediate and distant future?
In the immediate future, I’ll continue to uplift and enhance the EBONY brand to the best of my ability and enjoy every interesting opportunity that comes my way. In the distant future, marriage, a family and an at-home office with a great view of the ocean.
For anyone interested in having a career in your line of work, what advice would you give them in order to sustain a long and fruitful career?
Stay open to new adventures and remain true to your individual voice. No one will be better at being you than you.