Oscar Johnson's
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Seattle Central Community College Seattle, Washington
Pre-graduate studies with a focus in sociology. Sept. 1993 - June 1995

The Evergreen State College Olympia, Washington
Bachelor of Arts degree with a focus in
community journalism. Sept. 1995 - June 1998

Center for Global Education at Augsburg College Windhoek, Namibia
Study abroad program; focused on issues of gender and development in Southern African media. Jan. - April 1997

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism New York, New York
Master of Science degree in newspaper journalism. August 1999 - May 2000


Phi Theta Kappa honors member - 1994

Northwest Journalists of Color Scholarship award - 1995 and 1996

Washington Press Association Scholarship award - 1996

Patricia Fisher Scholarship award - 1996

Unity '99 Ambassador: Quadrennial joint conference of the national associations of Black (NABJ), Native American (NAJA), Hispanic (NAHJ) and Asian American (AAJA) journalists. Due to experience as an African American working in, and writing about, an American Indian community (for Smoke Signals tribal newspaper). chosen with a handful of others to represent and facilitate cross-cultural understanding among participants. 
Seattle, Washington - 1999

Association of Alternative Newsweeklies Diversity Fellow: Among 6 recipients nationwide to win one of AAN's first fellowships to this annual workshop and networking conference by critiquing their local alternative weeklies; in this case, Willamette Week coverage of minority communities in Portland, Oregon.
Memphis, Tennessee - 1999

The David S. Barr Award. Award by The Newspaper Guild for, "journalistic achievement and to encourage young journalists to focus on issues of social justice" for a five-part series on the little-known histories of the predominant five tribes of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Today, CTGR acknowledges more than "20 (t)ribes and bands from western Oregon and northern California that were relocated to the Grand Ronde reservations in the 1850's." - 1999

Elected to the Board of Directors of Columbia University Society of Profesional Journalists (SPJ); served as liaison to SPJ's head New York chapter.


Northwest National Writers Workshop. I attended select journalism workshops, forums and lectures on honing writing and reporting skills.
The Poynter Institute/The Seattle Times.
Seattle, Washington - April 1996

Northwest National Writers Workshop. I attended select journalism workshops, forums and lectures on honing writing and reporting skills.
The Poynter Institute/The Oregonian.
Portland, Oregon - April 1998 

Cross-Cultural Journalism Conference
Central Washington University/Native American Journalists Association/The Yakima Herald Republic. I attended this two-day series of lectures and forums on writing and reporting about communities of different cultures, with an emphasis on underreported Native American communities and issues.
Yakima, Washington - Oct. 1998

Covering Race Relations in Your Community. I participated in this four-day intensive workshop on various issues of race, how they play out in the media and how journalists can handle them with awareness, fairness and integrity.
The Poynter Institute
St. Petersburg, Florida - Dec. 1998

Professional History:

CITY COLLEGIAN Seattle, Washington
Reporter and Features Editor
At Seattle Central Community College's student weekly, I wrote news, features and op-ed, edited copy, designed pages with Quark Xpress and assigning stories. I started a "Cultural Corner" feature series to showcase campus diversity. Sept. 1994 - June 1995

COOPER POINT JOURNAL Olympia, Washington
Reporter and Features Editor
At The Evergreen State College's student weekly, I wrote campus news, features and editorials. I edited copy, designed pages with PageMaker and recruited volunteer staff and submissions. I started an "Insights into Talking About Race" feature forum. Sept. 1995 - Dec. 1996

THE OLYMPIAN Olympia, Washington
Intern Education Reporter
I wrote news and features about education, from colleges to elementary schools, while adding to this Gannett Company paper's effort to increase coverage of diverse communities. I also wrote a variety of profiles. Oct. - Dec. 1996

THE NAMIBIAN Windhoek, Namibia
General Assignment Reporter
I covered urban and rural news, national government, arts & entertainment and op-ed for this Southern African nation's premier English daily. I shot photos for most of my stories. May - Dec. 1997

Intern Research Assistant
I surveyed the political and economic viability of the nation's independent media for a regional study. I also researched available funding for starting independent media. May - August 1997

SMOKE SIGNALS Grand Ronde, Oregon
News and Copy Writer
I reported on federal and state government trends affecting American Indians and tribal, regional and national Indian news. I wrote copy promoting the Grand Ronde tribe and its values. My historical series on the tribe won the Newspaper Guild's
David S. Barr Award. June 1998 - July 1999

NEWSDAY Long Island, New York
Intern Reporter
I reported on courts, crime and communities in Nassau and Suffolk counties. June 2000 - August 2001

LOS ANGELES TIMES Los Angeles, California
General Assignment Reporter (
METPRO apprentice)
My daily reporting included Santa Monica city government, crime and police in South Central Los Angeles, courts and a variety of features. I received a letter of commendation from then Police Chief Bernard Parks for my features on the LAPD. Sept. 2000 - Sept. 2001

THE DAILY PRESS Newport News, Virginia
Government Reporter
I covered James City County and Williamsburg City government for this Tribune Company paper's suburban bureau. I also wrote a variety of feature articles. Sept. 2001 - April 2002

Copy Editor and Staff Writer
As copy editor for this hybrid of the English-language edition of Japan's 3rd largest daily and the New York Times Co.'s IHT, I edited and very often rewrote translated articles. I contributed monthly to Asahi's "Expat Forum," and wrote features and profiles for the "Weekend Beat" section. Feb. 2004 - Sept. 2005

Editor and Writer
I assign, edit and write articles on fitness and amateur sports for this premier online English-language magazine targeting Japan’s health-conscious ex-pat community. I won this part-time contract based on my proposal for the editorial format it now uses. Oct. 2005 to the present

Since I moved to Tokyo I've been writing and reporting news, features, reviews and columns on various topics for publications including:
Metropolis and JSelect magazines, and CareerCross Japan in Tokyo, Shanghai-based Asia Times Online and Oriental Express, as well as the Asian Reporter in the United States. I also shoot photos that accompany many of my stories. 1996 to the present