Four-time Pulitzer Prize Winner David Barstow joins Berkeley Journalism

July 15, 2019

David Barstow, a senior writer at The New York Times and the first reporter to ever win four Pulitzer Prizes, is the new head of investigative reporting at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Barstow has been named the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism, succeeding Prof. Lowell Bergman, who retired in June after 28 years of teaching at UC Berkeley.

Barstow will lead Berkeley Journalism’s prestigious Investigative Reporting Program, founded by Bergman and comprising a nonprofit newsroom, an annual journalism conference, and a post-graduate fellowship program. The IRP offers UC Berkeley students unique opportunities to help develop major stories for some of the nation’s foremost print and broadcast outlets. The IRP also works closely with master’s students in the Journalism School to develop and publish their own investigative projects.

“David offers an unparalleled record of professional accomplishment, and is among the most honored journalists in the country,” said Edward Wasserman, dean of Berkeley Journalism. “Beyond his extraordinary record, which speaks for itself, we scoured the nation for months for someone who was eager to teach and mentor our students, and to integrate the IRP’s signature strengths into our master’s program in a thoroughgoing way so the entire School will be known for its training in investigative reporting. We are convinced David is just that person.”

“David Barstow is one of the finest journalists of his generation,” said Dean Baquet, executive editor of The New York Times. “His name has appeared on some of the most important stories The Times has published. He is a sensational writer, and reporter, and a journalist of high integrity. We are sorry to see him go, of course. But we also hope that we get to work together on future projects. And we think he will be a great teacher for a new generation of investigative journalists.”

At The Times, Barstow was part of a team with Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner on an 18-month project that won a 2019 Pulitzer for shattering Donald Trump’s myth that he is a self-made billionaire and exposed evidence of questionable tax avoidance by the Trump family. In 2013, he and Alejandra Xanic von Bertrab were awarded the Pulitzer for investigative reporting for “Walmart Abroad,” a series that exposed Walmart’s aggressive use of bribery to fuel its rapid expansion in Mexico. In 2009, he was awarded the Pulitzer for investigative reporting for “Message Machine,” a series about the Pentagon’s hidden campaign to influence news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, he and Lowell Bergman were awarded the Pulitzer for public service for articles about employers who committed egregious workplace safety violations that killed or injured hundreds of workers.

“I’m thrilled by the opportunity to lead the Investigative Reporting Program at Berkeley,’’ Barstow said. “I’ve long believed that the best way to teach investigative reporting is by actually doing investigative reporting. That is exactly what the Investigative Reporting Program has been doing for the last 14 years under the leadership of Lowell Bergman. It is an enormous honor to now fill his shoes, and I can’t wait to mentor, encourage and work side by side with the brilliant students at the School of Journalism who are enthusiastically taking up the torch of investigative reporting. The truth needs reinforcements and I can think of no better place to find recruits.”

Barstow joined The Times in 1999 and he has been a member of the paper’s Investigative unit since 2002. He is the recipient of three Polk Awards, the Goldsmith Prize, the Alfred I. duPont Silver Baton, the Barlett and Steele Gold Medal, a Loeb Award, the Sidney Hillman Award, the Daniel Pearl Award for Investigative Reporting, two Sigma Delta Chi awards for distinguished service, the Peabody Award, the Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, the Mirror Award, an Overseas Press Club Citation, two Society of American Business Editors and Writers awards, and the Gold Keyboard.

Before joining The Times, he reported for The St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) in Florida, where he was a finalist for three Pulitzers. Before that, he was a reporter at The Times-Union in Rochester, N.Y., and The Green Bay Press-Gazette in Wisconsin. Barstow is a native of Concord, Mass., and a graduate of Northwestern University, which honored him with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010. He was inducted into the Hall of Achievement at the university’s Medill School of Journalism in 2015.

His predecessor as Logan professor, Lowell Bergman will continue developing projects in association with the IRP as well as its new non-profit production arm, Investigative Studios where he is president of the Board of Directors, and as an Emeritus Chair in Investigative Reporting.

“I am honored that my successor as the Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism will be my dear friend and colleague, David Barstow,” said Lowell Bergman. “There is no one I have known in a half century in this line of work who can match his dedication and talent. It means that the Investigative Reporting Program will continue to innovate and grow. And it means that a new generation of investigative reporters will be benefiting from his wisdom.”


Photo: Wesaam Al-Badry (’20)

About the Investigative Reporting Program
The Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is dedicated to promoting and protecting the practice of investigative reporting. Established in 2006 by veteran investigative reporter Lowell Bergman, the IRP has been a pioneer in the collaborative production of award-winning investigative reporting on multiple platforms. This innovation, now commonplace in the news business, has been recognized with the highest honors in journalism and made it a model for nonprofit journalism based at a college or university replicated around the world.

Its work has appeared on PBS Frontline, Univision, NPR and PBS NewsHour and in publications such as Mother Jones, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, The Intercept and The Atlantic, among others. The IRP offices are sponsored by a gift from the Heising-Simons Foundation to the University of California, which allowed the university to purchase a building for the IRP and The Daily Californian in 2012.

Support the Investigative Reporting Program’s groundbreaking work here.

Marlena Telvick
Berkeley Journalism

Will Kane
UC Berkeley Communications & Public Affairs


Dean's Newsletter

Quarterly Newsletter From Dean Geeta Anand

Spring 2024 Dear Berkeley Journalism community: With great optimism about the future of our school, I share with you news of the largest gift in the history of Berkeley Journalism:…