George Archibald

formerly, Washington Times

George Archibald, retired senior investigative reporter for The Washington Times, is author of the book Journalism is War (2009).


George Archibald, retired senior investigative reporter for The Washington Times, is author of the book Journalism is War (2009).

Archibald teaches undergraduate journalism courses, and was a newspaperman for 30 years. He covered Congress, the federal government, and national politics in Washington for 23 years as a senior investigative reporter for The Washington Times after he broke the Geraldine Ferraro financial ethics story in 1984. He was the newspaper's national education reporter from 2001 to 2005.

Archibald was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in journalism four times. He reported as a former government insider, having also run a congressional office, served as a budget policy staffer on the House Appropriations Committee, and briefly as a deputy assistant secretary of education during the Reagan administration.

Mr. Archibald's 30 years as a newspaperman include six years as editor and general manager of college, military, and community newspapers. Archibald's first job during high school in 1962 was as an assistant for the late national radio news commentator Fulton Lewis, Jr. He was editor of his college newspaper at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he got a degree in political science and history.

Drafted into the military in 1967, Archibald served as editor of an Air Force newspaper at the nation’s largest pilot-training base in Arizona during the Vietnam era. After military service, he was a staff columnist, letters editor, and editorial pages makeup editor for The Arizona Republic in Phoenix from 1970 to 1973.

During the remainder of the 1970s in Washington, D.C., he was a press secretary and legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. John B. Conlan, chief of staff and House Appropriations Committee aide for U.S. Rep. Eldon Rudd, both Republicans, with a break in 1976 when he opened and managed the Washington office of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative state legislators' group, and helped produce ALEC's first book of suggested state legislation.

Archibald served on President Reagan's Transition Team at the National Science Foundation and co-authored the education chapter of the Heritage Foundation's heralded report to the incoming president, Mandate for Leadership. In 1981, he was budget specialist for President Reagan's assistant secretary for legislation at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He also served as deputy assistant secretary for legislation at the Department of Education, but resigned over policy differences with Education Secretary Terrel H. Bell.

Archibald joined a pre-publication team that started The Washington Times in January 1982 and was the newspaper's first reporter hired for the national news desk. He covered federal budget and Social Security reform battles on Capitol Hill before becoming an investigative reporter. The paper nominated him first for the Pulitzer Prize for breaking the Ferraro story the day she was nominated in July 1984, and again with Paul Rodriguez for breaking the Barney Frank-Washington call-boy scandal in 1989. Archibald and Rodriguez also won the National Newspaper Association's second place award that year for their exclusive series about Congressman Frank's involvement with a male prostitute who operated a sex-for-hire ring from the Massachusetts Democrat's Capitol Hill apartment.

The City Paper in Washington dubbed Archibald "Mad Dog" after he broke successive investigative stories on former Reagan aide-turned-lobbyist Micheal Deaver in 1985 (for which he got his third Pulitzer nomination) and disgraced House Speaker Jim Wright.

The City Paper gave Archibald its "Hit Man of the Year" award in 1986 for stories about activities of Rep. Patricia Schroeder, Colorado Democrat, in support of Nicaragua's pro-Marxist Sandinista revolution.

In the early 1990s, Mr. Archibald covered the Keating Five savings-and-loan influence-peddling story and the House post office and bank scandals leading to Republican takeover of Congress. During the 1992 presidential campaign, Archibald investigated Bill Clinton's earlier tenure as a Rhodes Scholar and anti-Vietnam War activist at Oxford University in England and his 12-year stint as Arkansas governor. He wrote the Times' "record" stories about President Bush and Governor Clinton. Following Clinton's election, he left Washington from 1993-94 to return to community journalism as editor-general manager of The Warren Sentinel in Front Royal, Va, a weekly owned by Byrd Newspapers.

Among many awards, Archibald personally won the Virginia Press Association's first-place editorial writing award and second-place for a community news series on fire and emergency services. With a greatly improved news product, he also dramatically increased The Sentinel's circulation and advertising revenue before The Washington Times recruited him back to investigative reporting. After rejoining The Times, he covered waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government and the politics of the feminist movement-- traveling to Beijing, China, in September 1995 to cover the United Nations' Fourth International Womens’ Conference. He also covered money-and-politics during the Clinton years, fraud and corruption at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and controversy over U.S. participation in the United Nations. During the first year of the Bush administration, he covered congressional action on the president's No Child Left Behind education reform plan, patients' bill of rights, and campaign finance reform.

Archibald also was professional-in-residence and an associate professor for Regent University's graduate journalism program in Northern Virginia from 2000 to 2003. He has since taught journalism courses and lectured at the undergraduate level at four other colleges in California, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina and served as a consultant scholar for The Center of Vision and Values at Grove City College in northwestern Pennsylvania. Archibald, 62, has four daughters ages 17 to 24. He is listed in Who's Who in America.


Spring Journalism Sessions

March 14th, 2010

WJI will offer five sessions at the annual spring convention of College Media Advisers, held in New York City at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square, March 14-16, 2010.

CPAC Seminars

February 10th, 2011

WJI will offer editorial critiques, panel discussions and seminars for young journalists attending CPAC '11 in Washington, D.C., February 10-12, 2011.