Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Lowell Bergman has been named the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Dean Orville Schell announced today (Thursday, May 18).
The newly endowed position was created with the support of Chicago philanthropists Reva and David Logan of The Reva and David Logan Foundation, a private, independent grant-making institution focusing on education, the arts, religion, civil society, social change and aid to the disadvantaged.
Bergman, a veteran reporter and producer, began teaching seminars on investigative reporting at UC Berkeley in 1991 while working as a staff producer for the CBS News magazine "60 Minutes." While at "60 Minutes," Bergman produced more than 50 stories on subjects including organized crime and international arms dealing, drug trafficking, and abuse and torture at California's Pelican Bay State Prison. The story of his investigation of the tobacco industry for "60 Minutes" was adapted into the Academy Award-nominated feature film "The Insider."
Bergman will continue teaching his weekly seminar at the journalism school, and work as a correspondent for The New York Times and as a producer/correspondent for the PBS documentary series "Frontline," integrating graduate students into the research and reporting.
His seminar students have initiated and reported numerous award winning stories including "A Dangerous Business," a joint production of The New York Times and "Frontline" that received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2004 as well as Alfred I. duPont awards for broadcasting.
Bergman will continue to serve as an adviser to the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Berkeley-based non-profit he co-founded in 1977.
"The naming of Bergman - with his experience and continuing record of achievement - will be a significant benefit to the (Graduate) School of Journalism and its students," said David Logan, a former investment banker and lawyer whose decades-long commitment to supporting projects in the public interest has resulted in numerous honors.
"As the media retreats from the costly and time-consuming, but still essential task of researching investigative projects on critical global subjects, the Logan Chair and the new program which is being elaborated out around it here at the Graduate School of Journalism will allow our students and faculty to begin filling the gap," said Schell.
"There could be no more appropriate person to fill that chair than Lowell Bergman, a journalist of great experience and unequalled investigative acumen," said Schell. "We are extremely grateful to David and Reva Logan for both their recognition of the importance of investigative journalism to American society and for their enormous generosity to UC Berkeley."
Bergman said he looks forward to continuing to break new ground nurturing and passing on the art of investigative reporting.
"The new world of news, with its flood of information, makes in-depth reporting more valuable than ever as we struggle to make sense of our world," he said. "The chair and the generous support of the university and other donors help us expand the investigative journalism program at Berkeley and hone the cutting edge that distinguishes this kind of reporting."
Private donors and Paul Gray, UC Berkeley's executive vice chancellor and provost, have committed to providing additional support to the expanded investigative program.
Bergman's career spans more than 35 years, beginning in the late 1960s as a freelance reporter for the weekly San Diego Street Journal, as well as for Ramparts and the San Francisco Examiner. He later worked as an associate editor at Rolling Stone.
In the mid '70s, he helped found the Center for Investigative Reporting and was part of the reporting team whose work after Arizona Republic reporter Don Bolles was assassinated while investigating land fraud by organized crime led to the founding of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
From 1978 until 1983, Bergman was a producer, reporter and then executive in charge of investigative reporting at ABC News. He was one of the original producers of "20/20." In 1983, Bergman joined CBS News as a producer for the weekly newsmagazine "60 Minutes," leaving the network in 1998 as its senior investigative producer.
Bergman next forged an alliance between The New York Times and PBS "Frontline" - the only regularly scheduled, long-form public affairs documentary series on American television. The collaboration resulted in a series of stories on topics ranging from California's energy crisis and the country's war on drugs to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the roots of 9/11.
As part of this effort, Bergman has also reported and produced stories about the credit card and gold industries as well as about the post 9/11 hunt for "sleeper cells" in America and Al Qaeda's recent attacks in Europe. These unique print and broadcast collaborations have been awarded numerous Emmy, Peabody, DuPont and Polk awards. Extensive Web sites prepared in large part by students in Bergman's seminar have accompanied many of these projects.