John Johnson Jr. looks through some clippings from the Watertown Daily Times's archive Wednesday at the newspaper's offices in Watertown.
After a long career devoted to documenting – and shaping – North Country life, John Johnson Jr. is far from calling it quits. But he is stepping down from daily oversight at the Watertown Daily Times and its parent company, Johnson Newspapers, helping to make way for a new generation of family leadership.
An era in North Country – and national – journalism came to a quiet close at the end of March. The Watertown Daily Times closed its Washington, D.C. bureau, laying off the last of its capitol beat reporters, part of a tradition that stretches back more than 60 years.
The closure is part of a steep decline in regional newspapers providing their own eyes and ears on the ground in Washington, looking out for their readers' and their regions' interests as federal policy is made.