John Watson joined The Conversation in December 2013 as politics & society editor. After two years in that role, he took up the new position of cities & policy editor. John has worked in the news media since he decided in the mid-1980s that a life tracking elephants (in the process of gaining an honours degree in ecology) was less interesting than being a journalist in apartheid-era South Africa. His residence was soon revoked and he returned to Australia. He joined The Conversation after nearly two decades with The Age as an editor, writer and columnist.