Upon Reflection alan miller

Alan C. Miller: Upon Reflection

“Upon Reflection” is a collection of Alan Miller’s thoughts on journalism, news literacy, education and related topics, published biweekly during the pandemic school year of 2020-21. He will add to this collection when inspiration strikes.

Previous columns:

About Alan C. Miller:

In 2006, Alan C. Miller, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times, was invited to his daughter’s sixth-grade class to talk about what he did as a journalist and why his work was important. The responses he received led him to think about the impact that many journalists could have if they shared their expertise and experience with the nation’s students. Two years later, he left the Times and established the News Literacy Project.

In February 2009, NLP introduced its classroom and after-school curricula in Bethesda, Maryland, and New York City. Its mission: to teach teenagers how to discern fact from fiction in the digital age. Today, under Alan’s leadership, NLP’s work has grown to include online and in-person programs and resources — not only for middle school and high school students, but also for educators and for the public nationwide.

Alan began his journalism career at The Times Union in Albany, New York, where he was a political and state investigative reporter. He spent five years as a state and county political reporter at The Record in Hackensack, New Jersey, before joining the Times, where he worked for 21 years, the last 14 as a charter member of the Washington bureau’s high-profile investigative team. His reporting prompted investigations by the Justice Department, Congress and inspectors general in federal agencies and resulted in congressional hearings, reforms and criminal convictions.

He has received more than a dozen national reporting honors, including the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting for a series on the dangers of the Marine Corps’ Harrier attack jet. His reports on illegal contributions from foreign nationals to the Democratic National Committee in 1996 won the George Polk Award, the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting and the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal.

Alan was a fellow with the Peter Jennings Project at the National Constitution Center in March 2008 and the Japan Society in 1998 and a student participant at the East‐West Center Communication Institute from 1976 to 1978. He has appeared on panels sponsored by the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy, Investigative Reporters and Editors, the International Center for Journalists, the National Endowment for Democracy and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, Alan received a master’s degree in political science from the University of Hawaii.

Alan Miller

A pioneer in the field

"Teaching news literacy is not an option. It’s an essential survival skill in an information age."