Meet the SN&R’s new editor

When Eric Johnson was a teenager growing up in New Jersey, he was a big fan of the granddaddy of alternative newsweeklies, the Village Voice. It was an appreciation that impelled him to study journalism in college and start his own alt-weekly, the Missoula (Mont.) Independent, while he was still a student.

That was in 1991. Since then he has had a long and varied career in journalism, most of it as editor, news editor or managing editor of alternative newsweeklies such as the Monterey County Weekly, Metro Santa Cruz, Metro Silicon Valley and now the Sacramento News & Review, where he’s taking over as editor this week.

I’ve known Eric since the early 2000s, when he was editor of the Monterey paper—then called Coast Weekly—and I was editor of the Chico News & Review. We often ran into each other at alt-weekly conferences, where we’d talk about California politics, environmental issues and the joys and frustrations of publishing our papers.

When I learned he had applied to be editor here, I was delighted. Alternative newsweeklies are unlike any other medium, and the best editors are those who understand what makes them unique and how to make them better. That’s Eric.

For his part, he sees Sacramento as the fulfillment of his long-held desire to lead a culturally and politically progressive paper in a metropolitan area. With Donald Trump in the White House, the timing couldn’t be better.

Most important, Eric wants to tell Sacramento’s stories, to look deeply and unflinchingly at its shortcomings and celebrate the good work being done to solve problems and make this a healthier and happier community for everyone.