When Ryan Mills received a master’s degree in 2005, he earned the award for the outstanding print journalism graduate student. He’s now the deadline editor at the Naples Daily News, where he mentors the young reporters who cover Collier County.
After graduating, Mills worked as a reporter for the largest newspaper in Alabama, The Birmingham News. But he and his wife, Megan, were unable to resist the draw of the Florida lifestyle, Mills said, and they relocated to Fort Myers less than a year later.
In 2006, Mills began working for the Naples Daily News as a police reporter, although his assignments often covered topics beyond his beat.
“I’ve done every kind of story,” said Mills, 34 “But as gruesome as it is, sometimes murder stories are the most interesting to write.”
As deadline editor, Mills serves as a liaison between the reporters and the copy editors. He has also become a mentor to the younger journalists at the paper.
Mills sees his position as an opportunity to pass on everything he has learned in his years as a reporter. He stresses that once a reporter understands the basics, the most crucial trait they need is confidence.
“Part of my job is to build that confidence that young reporters need,” he says.
At the newspaper, Mills also served as a multimedia journalist and for several months covered Florida state politics in Tallahassee, where he was charged with helping establish the Daily News’ presence in the capital.