The Waterbury Observer is an independent newspaper covering Waterbury, Connecticut, (a city with a population of 114,000), since 1993. Waterbury is one of the most diverse small cities in America and the Observer has championed the overlooked, the maligned and the forgotten for the past three decades. The Waterbury Observer is owned by John Murray who acts as publisher, editor, reporter and photographer. Murray is the only full-time employee of the Observer and also handles production and distribution, and relies on his daughter, Chelsea Kaneb, and Maureen Griffin for sales, and Geraldo Reyes Jr. on special projects, especially helping to organize The Gathering (the most diverse cultural festival in New England) which Murray launched in 2013 in a partnership with the city of Waterbury. The Brass File is the name of the column that Murray wrote in the Observer for 20 years. It was a general interest column covering political intrigue, human interest, news, and personal observations from his life. The column will be regular part of The Waterbury Observer's Facebook Bulletin.
The Waterbury Observer has won numerous awards for photography, feature writing, columns and news reporting. Murray's work was highlighted in a two-hour special on NBC Dateline about an infamous rape case in Waterbury, and his reporting on the murder of Billy Smolinski helped trigger reform in how law enforcement respond to the report of a missing adult in Connecticut, and Billy's Law is currently being considered in the U.S. Senate.