John Bridges began teaching journalism at UT after a 30-year career as a newspaper editor in Austin. Over those three decades, he served in nearly every editing role at the Austin American-Statesman, starting as a news copy editor and retiring in 2021 as executive editor.
As sports editor, he was named Cox Newspapers Editor of the Year for his direction of coverage of the Texas Longhorns’ Rose Bowl and Final Four appearances. As senior editor for news and managing editor, he directed award-winning breaking news coverage of mass shootings at Fort Hood and Sutherland Springs, flash flooding and the Austin bombings. He oversaw formation of the American-Statesman’s investigative team and PolitiFact Texas, the first state-level affiliate of the fact-checking news site. With Bridges leading day-to-day news coverage, the Statesman newsroom was named Texas APME’s Newspaper of the Year three times.
A Georgia native, Bridges began his newspaper career when he moved to Texas in high school and covered football games for the twice-weekly Atlanta (Texas) Citizens-Journal. At the University of Texas, he received a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund internship and spent two summers on the Washington Post’s national copy desk. He also worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution during the 1996 Summer Olympics.
He is an advocate for First Amendment rights, open government and press freedoms and serves on the board of the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation. He is former president of Texas Associated Press Managing Editors.
He met his wife, Kamela, while both worked at The Daily Texan. She teaches legal writing and directs the David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing and Appellate Advocacy at the UT School of Law.