Johanna Miller mug

The Pajaronian newspaper has been a part of my life for as long as I remember.

Growing up, the paper would be delivered every morning to the Miller house on Lincoln Street. I remember sitting around the table in our tiny kitchen and watching my parents pass the pages back and forth, commenting on the news of the day.

My sister and I were featured in the paper a few times—she for her gymnastics accolades, me for my time with the Girl Scouts. At age 3, a photo of me dressed up as a princess ran in an issue of the paper in August 1990. 

And when I transferred to a university in Oregon for college, my family would occasionally send me cut-out articles and photos from the paper, keeping me informed on everything that was happening in my hometown.

The Pajaronian has always been a constant in my life. So it was a given that I would accept a position with the paper when it was offered to me in early 2017, after four months of internship.

These past six years have been challenging, fun, stressful, exciting, rewarding—nearly every adjective in the book could describe it. I have learned so much from my fellow reporters, some of whom have been with the publication since I was in elementary school.

Being a reporter has not been easy, especially for an introvert like me. It took some time for me to adapt; I was thrust into so many new situations, sometimes dangerous, other times awkward. It forced me out of my shell and made me confront things I never imagined.

This job also reintroduced me to a community I thought I already knew. I met city and nonprofit leaders, first responders, business owners, artists and farmers. I discovered what was inside certain buildings in Watsonville that I had driven past my entire life. I got to know so much more about my hometown.

This week is my final with The Pajaronian. But I don’t think this job will fade into my memory or be easily replaced any time soon. The experience has fundamentally changed me as a person. And I will never take for granted my time here.

There are a lot of people I want to thank—more than I have the space to mention in this short column. I have been working closely with managing editor Erik Chalhoub, photographer Tarmo Hannula, reporter Todd Guild, and office manager Alanna Anderson since my first day on the job. Everyone at The Pajaronian has been wonderful to work with, and I will miss them acutely.

I will also miss all of you, the readers, who have kept The Pajaronian going through its ups and downs. This newspaper is an important part of Watsonville’s history. It was founded in 1868, the same year the city was officially incorporated, and has continued to cover news to the present day. In my opinion, local independent journalism is now more important than ever. So I really hope this community continues to support this paper in any way they can.

Thank you, Watsonville, for an amazing six years. I’ll see you all around town!

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Reporter Johanna Miller grew up in Watsonville, attending local public schools and Cabrillo College before transferring to Pacific University Oregon to study Literature. She covers arts and culture, business, nonprofits and agriculture.


  1. thank you, Johanna , for your excellent articles . i have looked forward to them. best of luck in your future, and do come back and visit often.

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  2. You will be missed, by readers and editors alike. Thank you for helping keep local journalism alive.

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