About Radley Balko

Radley Balko is a journalist, blogger, speaker and author based in Nashville, Tennessee. He specializes in reporting on criminal justice, civil liberties and the war on drugs. The American journalist writes columns in The Washington Post. He has a personal blog called ‘The Agitator’. He also blogs at the site ‘Reason Hit and Run’. Radley Balko’s articles have been published in Forbes, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Post in Canada, Worth, Reason, the Chicago Tribune and TIME. 

About Radley Balko

Radley Balko was born on the 19th of April in 1975. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism & Political Science. He is an alumnus of Indiana University. He graduated in 1997. He is a self-proclaimed atheist. Balko is the author of “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist”, “The Rise of the Warrior Cop” and Overkill: The Rise of Paramilitary Police Raids in America. The latter was his first book published by CATO Institute. “The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist New York” and “The Rise of the Warrior Cop” were published by PublicAffairs.

Impact and Influence of Radley Balko

Radley Balko writes opinion columns for the Washington Post. His writings have covered the excessive use of SWAT and increasing paramilitary raids across the country. Such writings have featured in leading newspapers and media including the New York Times. His writings have been praised by many journalists, writers, civil rights activists, human rights organizations and others. His fact based reporting has been cited more than once in Supreme Court judgments or dissent notes. Very few journalists have had as much of an impact on real cases in a court of law and have become a topic of discussion in the larger public discourse over the years. Radley Balko is one of these few investigative reporters and journalists.

Balko’s investigative and factual reporting was mentioned in the dissent note of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer in the Hudson v. Michigan case. He brought national attention to the Cory Maye case. Balko had reported about the police raid at the house of Cory Maye and published his findings in Reason. The feature highlighted the case of a black man on death row in the state of Mississippi. He was charged with murdering a white cop during the raid. Balko’s feature in Reason was used as an opinion in the Supreme Court of Mississippi. His coverage of the Cory Maye case was profiled by National Journal and another investigative report by him about Steven Hayne, a medical examiner in Mississippi, was accorded the second prize in the category of investigative reporting at the Los Angeles Press Club Awards for 2007.

Radley Balko is a former policy analyst. He worked at the Cato Institute. His stints over the decades include senior editor with Reason, a columnist with FoxNews.com, a correspondent for ESPN, and associations with the Wall Street Journal, BBC, MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, NPR and Fox News Channel. He has worked with the Huffington Post as an investigative reporter and senior writer. He has extensively written about drug policy, civil liberties, police misconduct, tobacco, alcohol and obesity. He has also written about trade, globalization, culture and politics.

Balko is one of the most persistent American journalists who have constantly raised important issues. His consistent writings about “no-knock” drug raids have been published in several newspapers, journals and magazines. He wrote extensively about a raid on the residence of Cheye Calvo, which was later referred to as the case of Ryan Frederick. Balko has taken strong stands on many issues, including criminalization of drunk driving. He has routinely advocated that the punishable act must be that of violating rules of the road and being the cause of an accident rather than the factor or issue leading to the offence. He has pointed out that isolating alcohol consumption and resulting impairment for additional punishment becomes more punitive rather than being about road safety or making roads safer.

Accomplishments of Radley Balko

The investigative report of Radley Balko about expert witness fraud in a case of death penalty case in the state of Louisiana had bagged the 2009 Western Publication Association’s Maggie Award. He was a finalist for the Opinion Columnist of The Week in 2011. He was the Best of Show Journalist for the year 2011 by the Los Angeles Press Club. Balko is known for his groundbreaking reporting. His fact-finding, breaking of stories and extensive coverage of serious issues have had actual impacts. His features and opinions often compel readers and society at large to think about real problems and his works actually have a consequence. His works have often propelled people and organizations to act. 

Radley Balko won the Best News Story Award of Western Publications in 2010, was ranked first for Online Commentary by the MD-DC-DE Press Association in 2014, receive the Innocence Project Journalism Award in 2015, the Champion of Justice Award of NACDL in 2016 and the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2017.

Books by Radley Balko

Balko has written three books. Two of them are about the increasing militarization of the police forces around the country. He wrote about the militarization in Rise of the Warrior Cop. He has written about the increasing paramilitary raids across America in Overkill. The book cites how the number of raids by SWAT teams was around three hundred in a year through the 1970s and has increased to as many as a hundred and fifty per day in the year 2005. His third book with coauthor Tucker Carrington about a true story of injustice in the south is The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist.

Radley Balko continues to write about the criminal justice system in the country, the war on drugs, issues affecting civil liberties and occasionally blogs about culture & music of Nashville. His books are available for sale online. His appears on television and writes columns regularly. He is active on Twitter and can be followed @radleybalko. He has over seventy eight thousand followers.