Now that work and more has earned Johnson a position at The Washington Post, on the local enterprise team.
Journalists climb to new and bigger jobs a lot, so a move like this is not usually the stuff of news. But the memo from Post editors announcing Johnson’s hire caught our attention because it captures, in a few quick sentences, what it takes to do aspirational work. It notes Johnson’s skill in “deftly juggling breaking news and deeply reported narratives” as the Chronicles wildfire reporter, and before that she delivered investigative scoops from the city hall beat. In other words, she made the most of the assignment in front of her.
That work, by the way, landed Johnson a book contract. “Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire” comes out this August. She also just won Best of the West in longform feature writing for a December 2020 story about a serial arsonist.