About Public Sphere

Public Sphere is a newsletter for people trying to make sense of this current moment of democratic decline — and not just in the context of Donald Trump. As a journalist with reporting experience, historical knowledge, and language skills in Russia and Eastern Europe, I look to the region as a possible warning of how democracies can fall sometimes swiftly and sometimes imperceptibly. Since the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, I have traveled back and forth from Ukraine and have reported stories here before they appeared in U.S. news outlets.

I also have interviewed journalists, authors, former officials, and politicians for the newsletter, including Timothy Ryback, Byron Tau, Zoë Schiffer, Tina Nguyen, Daniel Ziblatt, Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Susan Neiman, Jeffrey Toobin, Dr. Ian Garner, Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Robert Draper, Michael Beckley, Josh Chin and Liza Lin, Tim Miller, Marie Yovanovitch, Rep. Peter Meijer, Casey Michel, Rep. Ruben Gallego, Tim Mak, Samantha Rose Hill, Dr. Fiona Hill, Spencer Ackerman, Sheera Frenkel, and Hana Meihan Davis.

About Luke Johnson

(Photo: Will Reintzell Photography.)

Luke Johnson is a freelance reporter living in Berlin, covering Ukraine, Russia, disinformation, tech, and many other topics. He has written for The New Republic, Fortune, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Medium, Al-Jazeera America, and other outlets.

In May 2018, he finished an M.A. in Global Affairs at the Jackson Institute at Yale University. He was the Managing Editor for Articles at the Yale Journal of International Affairs.

Prior to Yale, he worked in Washington as a Politics Reporter and Associate Editor at HuffPost, covering Congress, campaigns, and elections. He also worked for Radio Free Europe as a correspondent, and for the American Independent News Network as a reporter. He has reported from Russia with funding from The Knight Foundation, as well as from Ukraine. He has appeared on MSNBC, BBC Radio, and Hromadske, an independent television channel in Ukraine.

Subscribe to Public Sphere

A newsletter focused on the crisis of democracy across the globe, with a special focus on Russia's war on Ukraine, written by Luke Johnson.