Kristen Johanson is the crime and justice reporter for KYW Newsradio, covering gun violence, major city and federal court cases, and criminal justice reform in Philadelphia.
Johanson extensively covered the city’s civil unrest in 2020, record-breaking homicides and shootings, fatal police officer shootings like Robert Wilson III and Sgt. James O'Connor, as well as issues within the criminal justice system.
In May 2021, she was one of the journalists who hosted the 2021 Philadelphia district attorney Democratic primary debate, co-hosted by KYW Newsradio and NBC 10.
She is also the co-creator and producer of the podcast Gone Cold, which highlights unsolved murders in the region.
Johanson joined KYW Newsradio in January 2015.
Prior to being named the crime and justice reporter, she was part of the news team that covered the 2015 papal visit, the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and the 2018 Eagles Super Bowl victory and parade. She has helped mentor future journalists through the station’s Newstudies program and the 2016 Democratic National Convention Youth News Team.
Prior to joining KYW, she worked at CBS 3 for five years as a planning and assignment editor. She began her career at FOX 29 as a production assistant.
A graduate of Towson University, Johanson spent four years as a Division I swimmer, serving as a captain her senior year, and secretary for the university’s Proud Athletes Who Serve for two years. Johanson received a bachelor’s degree in both English and mass communication.
On the side, Johanson volunteers around the city, specifically trying to assist the homeless. She has been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters program, and serves as an advocate for the nonprofit Kisses For Kyle, which helps raise money for families battling childhood cancer. She is also part of Philadelphia’s chapter of the National Brain Tumor Society and the committee for the region’s Race for Hope.