Lowell Bergman

Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism  |   510-643-1332  |   E-Mail

Lowell Bergman is a producer and correspondent for the PBS documentary series Frontline, and the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism where he has taught a seminar dedicated to investigative reporting for more than 20 years.

Bergman began his career with the alternative press as a freelancer for Ramparts magazine and as an editor at Rolling Stone. He co-founded the Center for Investigative Reporting in 1977, and soon after joined ABC News where he eventually became director of investigative reporting and an original producer at 20/20. In 1983, Bergman joined 60 Minutes, where over the course of 14 years he produced more than 50 segments, including stories on organized crime, arms and drug trafficking, terrorism and corporate crime. His 60 Minutes investigation of the tobacco industry was dramatized in the Academy Award-nominated feature film The Insider.

In 1998, Bergman forged a unique collaboration between The New York Times and PBS Frontline, to co-report stories for print and broadcast with the participation of graduate students. The teams produced stories on corruption in Mexico, the East Africa bombings, Enron’s role in the California energy crisis, the credit card business and a series on the roots of 9/11, as well as subsequent stories on the terrorist threat inside the United States and Europe.

In 2004, Bergman received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, awarded to The New York Times for “A Dangerous Business,” which detailed a foundry company’s egregious worker safety and environmental violations. The documentary also received every major broadcasting award. Bergman was a New York Times correspondent until 2008. Bergman has received numerous Emmys, as well as five Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver and Golden Baton awards, three Peabodys, a Polk Award, a Sidney Hillman award for labor reporting, the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism and the James Madison Freedom of Information Award for Career Achievement from The Society of Professional Journalists. In September 2009, Bergman was named one of the 30 most notable investigative reporters in the U.S. since World War I in George Washington University’s Encyclopedia of Journalism.

Bergman graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966 and was a graduate fellow in philosophy at the University of California, San Diego until 1970.

Lowell Bergman has lived for nearly 40 years in Berkeley, California. He is married to Ms. Sharon Tiller, the Director of Digital Media at the Center for Investigative Reporting. The couple has five children and six grandchildren.

Published Stories & Highlights:

Inside the Investigation of Leading Republican Money Man Sheldon Adelson
ProPublica, PBS Frontline
Sheldon Adelson, the largest Republican donor in the 2012 campaign, comes under expanding scrutiny by federal and Nevada investigators for the methods used in Macau to save his company and help build a personal fortune estimated at $25 billion.
The Real CSI
PBS Frontline
The science behind forensics
Murdoch's Scandal
PBS Frontline
Inside the phone-hacking scandal that rocked a government and shook a media giant.
In The News: Walter Cronkite
PBS Frontline

Following the death of CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, PBS Frontline highlighted Professor Lowell Bergman's 2006 interview with Cronkite for the four-part documentary series "News War" produced out of the Journalism School.

Newspapers are Dead. Now What?
The Commonwealth Club

On Monday, June 29th Logan Professor Lowell Bergman will join Phil Bronstein of the San Francisco Chronicle and others to discuss the changing world of journalism at The Commonwealth Club

The Big Shift

On May 28th, 2009 Logan Professor Lowell Bergman was a featured speaker at an inaugural event hosted by the creators of the annual "TED" conference. The theme of Bergman's talk was "Deep Journalism: Investigative Reporting in a Post-Profit Era."

Corruption Case Exposes Scope of Bribery in Nigeria
The NEWSHOUR with Jim Lehrer

This NewsHour segment is just one component of a nine-month investigation on international bribery by PBS FRONTLINE in partnership with the Logan Investigative Reporting Program chaired by Professor Lowell Bergman.

Lowell Bergman to speak at Macalester
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Logan Professor Lowell Bergman is interviewed by the Minneapolis Star Tribune in advance of his April 20th talk about the future of investigative reporting with MPR's Kerri Miller in St. Paul, MN.

International Bribery on the Grand Scale
World Affairs Council

Logan Professor Lowell Bergman will discuss his recent PBS Frontline documentary "Black Money" at the Marin Chapter of the World Affairs Council , Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30pm.

Lowell Bergman Talks About "Black Money"
KQED Forum With Michael Krasny

April 6, 2009 - KQED Forum with Michael Krasny talks with UC Berkeley journalism professor and investigative reporter Lowell Bergman about "Black Money," his new documentary for PBS Frontline on the use of bribery by international corporations.

How To Fix American Journalism
Huffington Post

March 12, 2009-The Huffington Post highlights the UC Berkeley Investigative Reporting Program chaired by Professor Lowell Bergman as one of the successful media partnerships at schools across the country. "More established models include Lowell Bergman's UC Berkeley students working on projects for the New York Times and Frontline..."

4 Year Old NY Times Story by Bergman Enters Election Fray
Politico.com/New York Times

Last week, John McCain's chief strategist told reporters that Democrat VP candidate Joe Biden's son Hunter had lobbied for the credit card and banking industries. A verbal sparring between Democrats and Republicans followed. Read the original 2004 story by Logan Professor Lowell Bergman and IRP Deputy Director Marlena Telvick.

Bribery Scandal Rocks Big Oil

Logan Professor Lowell Bergman and IRP Deputy Director Marlena Telvick report on breaking news from Houston as part of a joint reporting project by PBS's Frontline and ProPublica on international bribery, the subject of an upcoming documentary produced out of the Investigative Reporting Program at the school.

The Future of Investigative Journalism
The Editors Weblog/World Editors Forum

Logan Professor Lowell Bergman discusses his views on the key issues facing investigative reporting, highlighting why non-profits and educational institutions will become increasingly important.

Shining a Light
On The Media - WNYC/NPR

Logan Professor Lowell Bergman discusses the past, present and future of investigative reporting with hosts Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield of On The Media - WNYC/NPR.

A Dangerous Business Revisited: Tuesday, February 5th

Five years ago, FRONTLINE and The New York Times joined forces to investigate death and dismemberment in one of America's most dangerous industries -- the iron pipe foundry business. One company stood out, the McWane Corporation. It had more health and safety violations than all of its competitors combined, and there were a number of environmental violations as well. 

For PBS FRONTLINE revisits its original broadcast with correspondent Lowell Bergman who reports on what has changed at McWane.

Professor Lowell Bergman Nominated for Three WGA Awards
The Hollywood Reporter

Logan professor Lowell Bergman has been nominated for three Writer's Guild of America Awards for "The Enemy Within" which assessed domestic anti-terror efforts 5 years after 9/11, and parts one and three of "News War" a four-part Frontline documentary series co-produced by the Graduate School of Journalism examining the political, cultural, legal, and economic forces challenging the news media today. He shares the nomination for hour three with Steve Talbot, a lecturer in the Documentary Program. 

Payload: Taking Aim at Corporate Bribery
The New York Times

For the The New York Times, Logan Professor Lowell Bergman examines billions of dollars in clandestine and questionable payments to Saudi royals over the last 20 years as part of an $80 billion contract to supply advanced fighter jets and other military hardware. IRP Deputy Director Marlena Telvick contributed.

BP Settlements Seen on Safety And Price Cases
The New York Times

For The New York Times, Logan Professor Lowell Bergman reveals that British energy company BP, tarnished by a string of costly legal problems, is preparing to settle accusations that it was criminally indifferent to worker safety in a 2005 accident that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. It was the nation's deadliest industrial accident since 1990. (October 24, 2007)

FRONTLINE Examines Journalism Under Siege

FRONTLINE will air "News War" on February 13, 20 and 27. Reported by Professor Lowell Bergman, the series traces the history of American journalism since the Nixon administration. An episode of FRONTLINE/World will air March 27 that examines international forces that influence U.S. journalism. The series was co-produced with the Graduate School of Journalism.

Bergman and Talbot to Appear at Commonwealth Club
PBS Frontline

Professor Lowell Bergman and Lecturer Steve Talbot will
speak to the Commonwealth Club on January 11, 2007 about a PBS Frontline that will examine the forces challenging the news media today and the press reaction. Bergman and Talbot trace the recent history of American journalism, from the Nixon administration's attacks on the media to the post-Watergate popularity of the press to the new challenges facing the free press.

The Enemy Within
Frontline World

In "The Enemy Within," which aired in mid-October, FRONTLINE and The New York Times joined forces to investigate the nature of the terrorism threat five years after 9/11 and whether after a multibillion dollar government reorganization and the transformation of domestic counterterrorism efforts, the country is better prepared to prevent another catastrophic attack. The Frontline website features special reports by current and past Berkeley students, including Lodi Muslims: Under the Eye of Suspicion by Jeff Kearns (2006), Policing the Front Lines by Cathy Bussewitz (2007), The Man Turned Away by Charlotte Buchen (2007), and Defending the Home Front: The Military's New Role, by Jordan DeBree (2007) and Lee Wang (2006). The film's producer is Reva and David Logan Distinguished Professor of Investigative Reporting Lowell Bergman. Associate Producers are 2005 graduate Rob Harris and Marlena Telvick. Additional research was done by students Matt Levin, Kate Golden and Joseph De Avila. Assistant editors are Charlotte Buchen (2007) and Marjorie McAfee (2006). Jordan DeBree, Rob Harris and Jeff Kearns were given reporting credit for Lowell Bergman and Scott Shane's article in the New York Times.

The Enemy Within
Frontline/The New York Times

"The Enemy Within," reported by Professor Lowell Bergman, which aired on Frontline and was published in The New York Times, details the federal government's multibillion dollar domestic counterterrorism efforts and whether the country is better prepared to prevent another catastrophic attack. The film and accompanying Web site and newspaper story were prepared with the assistance of students and alumni from Bergman's investigative reporting class.

Bergman and Ashcroft On The Air

Professor Lowell Bergman and former Attorney General John Ashcroft talk about the government's investigation of terrorism and national security since 9/11 on The Charlie Brennan Show on KMOX on Tuesday, October 10.

Bergman Frontline Stories Win duPont Awards
Frontline/The New York Times

Winners of the 2006 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for broadcast journalism included "Al Qaeda's New Front" produced by Frontline and "The Secret History of the Credit Card," produced by Frontline and The New York Times. Logan Distinguished Professor Lowell Bergman was correspondent for both films.

Peru: The Curse of Inca Gold
New York Times & FRONTLINE/World

Lowell Bergman reports for a New York Times & FRONTLINE/World co-production, on the cost of mining for gold in Peru. He invesitgates the Yanacocha gold mine, the U.S. mining company that profits from it, and the former executive who talks openly for the first time about the mine's environmental and political problems.

Al Qaeda's New Front
Frontline/The New York Times

Logan Distinguished Professor Lowell Bergman helped write and report a Frontline/The New York Times investigation of the war on terrorism in Europe, which airs Tuesday, Jan. 25 on PBS. A Web site was produced with reporting by students in a class taught by Bergman and Rob Gunnison. Bergman also wrote a story with Don Van Atta Jr. in The New York Times.

Examining the Credit Card Industry
New York Times

Logan Distinguished Professor Lowell Bergman helped write and produce a joint project between The New York Times and Frontline that examines the industry that provides credit cards to 144 million Americans.