Oscar Johnson's Bio
Oscar brings more than a decade of combined writing and editing experience to news, features and niche publications, business and technical documents, copywriting and online content. He has crafted and honed prose for publishing and business needs in four countries, and is recognized for his tailored and detailed approach to in-house, promotional and advertising copy as well as newspaper and magazine articles.
Prior to offering writing and editorial services in Japan, Oscar wrote for the Los Angeles Times, The Namibian and The Daily Press, and won the 1999 David S Barr award for his feature writing. He has worked as a copy editor for International Herald Tribune/Asahi Shimbun (IHT/Asahi), and as editor developed the editorial format for Fitness Japan webzine. He has proofread and/or rewritten in-house and published materials for companies such as Toshiba, SMC, Komatsu, Comsus and Fujitsu.
Oscar’s services include:
- Newspaper, magazine and online articles, from business to entertainment
- Company bios, press releases, brochures, ads and keyword-specific content
- Custom editing based on AP, Chicago Manual, in-house protocols, etc.
- Proofread or rewritten personal, business and technical documents
- Editorial formats and protocols for newcomers to English-language markets
Oscar earned his MS at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in 2000, and received his BA in 1998 from The Evergreen State College, where he finished his studies the previous year. He also interned at The Olympian and Newsday.
In 1997, Oscar traveled to Namibia and later worked for The Namibian, writing news and features on topics ranging from local arts to massive protests by war veterans. His initiative to travel to the rarely covered rural north produced acclaimed articles on a controversial plan for a hydroelectric dam. The following year he began freelance reporting, while writing news and copy for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde in Oregon. His duties there also included proofreading annual corporate reports.
In 2000, Oscar started a yearlong apprenticeship with the Los Angeles Times where he covered breaking news such as the passing of Santa Monica’s landmark living wage law. He also wrote compelling features, some of which highlighted law enforcement and prompted a letter of appreciation from the city’s police chief. The next year The Daily Press recruited him as local-government reporter in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he also took the initiative to write several feature articles.
In 2002, Oscar moved to Tokyo where he took up freelance writing for publications in Japan and abroad such as JSelect magazine, Asia Times Online and Asian Reporter. He later joined IHT/Asahi, where as a copy editor he also rewrote translated articles and wrote features. He contributed monthly columns, which drew kudos from readers and requests for permission to reprint them, to the paper’s weekly Ex-pat Forum.
Japan’s demand for quality English-language editing beckoned Oscar back to fulltime freelancing in 2005 - this time as editor, as well as writer and reporter. Well versed in the twists of Japanese-to-English translations, he now provides a range of services. He is editor of Fitness Japan and proofreads and rewrites documents ranging from technical manuals, business contracts and sales brochures to corporate speeches, CEO bios and company profiles for a number of Japanese and international corporations.
As a journalist, Oscar continues to write for various publications. His regular contributions include monthly features for Fitness Japan, a monthly column for Focus Japan and frequent cover stories for Metropolis magazine.