Publisher and Editor – John Murray
After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1981, Murray worked for six years as a commercial salmon fisherman in Ketchikan, Alaska. The seasonal job lasted four months and filled Murray’s pocket with enough cash so he could travel and explore the world. During his twenties he spent two winters in Europe, wandered through India, Nepal and East Africa, and most significantly, hitchhiked 40,000 across North America, where he learned to connect with people living in the shadows of American society. The travel experiences triggered Murray’s career in journalism, which began shooting dramatic images from Southeast Alaska. Returning east, Murray worked at the Litchfield Enquirer, the oldest weekly newspaper in Connecticut, from 1987 to 1989, and then the Register-Citizen in Torrington, Connecticut, where he was the chief photographer from 1989 to 1993.
Murray joined Marty Begnal, a fellow Register-Citizen journalist, in co-founding The Waterbury Observer in October 1993. Begnal left the Observer in 1996 to pursue other interests, and Murray continued on alone. In the past 18 years the Observer has won numerous awards from the New England Press Association and from the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists for feature stories, photography, columns and investigative journalism.
In April 2007 Murray was featured on NBC Dateline for his coverage of a controversial rape case that occurred in Waterbury in 1993. Murray’s coverage helped trigger a two hour NBC special highlighting Donna Palomba’s courageous battle against sexual assault, police corruption and media insensitivity.
In addition, Murray’s coverage of the bizarre disappearance of Billy Smolinski was honored as one of the top investigative stories in New England, and triggered federal legislation, “Billy’s Law”, which seeks to change the way police officers respond to the report of a missing adult. Murray’s work has appeared in the Hartford Courant, Connecticut Magazine, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times. Murray can be reached at 203-754-4238