Pulitzer-winning columnist, podcaster, author, speaker, teacher, storyteller, wannabe playwright, general ass, but not by today’s standards.
Make the world more just. Shake a few gates.

Welcome to the Official Website of John Archibald

John Archibald has been a journalist in the American South for more than 35 years. He is a Pulitzer-winning columnist, a national Murrow Award-winning podcaster, a voice of the deep South and what that place means to America.

Archibald is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Shaking the Gates of Hell: A Search for Family and Truth in the Wake of the Civil Rights Revolution, published by Alfred A. Knopf in 2021 and included as one of NPR’s favorite books of the year.

He was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University in 2020-2021, and taught column writing at Harvard Summer School. While at Harvard he studied alternative storytelling and how algorithms in digital news affect perceptions of crime and contribute to polarization.

In the time since, he has worked to write several plays, including one called “Pink Clouds,” about confusion over life and death in Alabama. You can see a tidbit of that here, from a 2021 Harvard Playwright’s Fest reading. He is working to develop the play for a debut in the South.

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Archibald’s reporting has been honored more than 75 times in state and national journalism contests, including those sponsored by NABJ, the National Education Press Association, The AP, Alabama Press Association, Troy State University and others. He was honored for “distinguished journalism” by Auburn University, and enshrined on the student journalism hall of fame by the University of Alabama, his alma mater.

He worked on teams that twice were finalists for IRE Awards, and his reporting led to changes in laws and policies, and the arrests and convictions of several public officials and their associates. He has appeared frequently on national and international news programs, and as a speaker at schools, colleges, conferences and clubs.

Latest stories

The pieces on Brookside and the craziest speed traps you’ve ever seen have gotten a lot of attention. Follow along.

Police in this tiny Alabama town suck drivers into legal ‘black hole’ (this is the first and main story)

Pastor, sister say rogue Alabama police force sought revenge

The dark roots of policing for profit — and what to do about it

‘We’re going to get something done’: State leaders promise action on Brookside ticket trap

Brookside Police Chief Mike Jones resigns after AL.com report on traffic trap

Alabama Lt. Governor requests state audit of Brookside and its police department

Brookside police patrolled social media, threatening town’s critics

Brookside mayor pulls ticketing cops off I-22, says ‘we need help here’

Second in command quits Brookside PD, leaving a trail of trouble

Brookside to return ‘tank,’ mark police cars, investigate racial profiling

Drivers tell Brookside horror stories; call for restitution, dissolution

Retired Birmingham Police officer recalls bizarre Brookside traffic stop

Lawsuits roll down on Brookside; one calls for fines to be repaid to drivers

How Alabama’s most notorious speed trap town was shut down

Seven Brookside police officers have resigned since January

State, feds paid overtime that fueled Brookside traffic trap

Here’s some old stuff we like.

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