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In the news: Melvin B. Miller

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In the news: Melvin B. Miller
Melvin B. Miller

Melvin B. Miller, the former publisher and editor of the Bay State Banner, was inducted last Saturday into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Miller, a lifelong Roxbury resident, was honored with three other New England news legends for his 57 years at the helm of New England’s longest-running Black weekly newspaper.

The retired attorney is one of more than 100 individuals who have been singled out by the New England Newspaper and Press Association over the last 20 years for their extraordinary contributions to their newspaper, the news industry and their communities.

Miller is also a past winner of the association’s prestigious Yankee Quill Award, which was presented “not based on any single achievement, or for doing your job each day, but rather based on the broad influence over the course of a career.”

During his remarks at the Hall of Fame induction awards dinner, Miller reflected somberly on a newspaper industry under stresses by economic forces as well as illiberal attacks on press freedom, challenging those in the audience to carry on the fight.

Miller, a graduate of Boston Latin School, Harvard College and Columbia Law School, was honored by the association for using “his voice for more than five decades to dive deeper into issues ranging from politics, social justice and economic development that have local and national impact.”

The founder of the Banner, who sold the paper last year to a consortium headed by Ron Mitchell and Andre Stark, endeavored over the course of his publishing career to meticulously tell “the stories of the minority community – stories often overlooked in mainstream media.”

Miller started the paper in 1965 to fill a news void – the Black voice in public affairs – thinking it might be a part-time concern, but the Banner soon became his fulltime work.

“By the end of the paper’s first year,” said the association in its tribute to Miller, “ink was flowing in Mel’s veins and Boston was paying attention to the scrappy weekly.”

Bay State Banner, Melvin B. Miller, New England Newspaper Hall of Fame