Monday, March 8th


Democracy Town Hall: “Writing and Righting the Wrongs of Journalism”

Monday, March 8, 2021 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. (PST)
Free and open to the public.
This event is co-sponsored by the Social Science Matrix and Berkeley Journalism and is part of UC Berkeley’s Reimagining Democracy Town Hall Series.

Journalists who have redressed the wrongs of journalism will discuss what goes into the struggle to get it right in this panel moderated by Berkeley Journalism’s Dean Geeta Anand.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO of Mother Jones, whose nonprofit, advocacy journalism has changed the way we think about criminal and racial justice, education, climate change, and food/agriculture.

Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who changed our understanding of police brutality against Black civilians through his Washington Post stories and data analysis.

Michael Pollan, Berkeley Journalism professor and pioneering journalist who changed how we think and write about food, making the linkages between farm policy, industrial agriculture and nutrition.

Introduction by Raka Ray, dean of the Division of Social Sciences in the College of Letters and Science at UC Berkeley.

Recommended Reading

Boston Globe launches ‘Fresh Start’ initiative: People can apply to have past coverage about them reviewed” (Boston Globe, January 22, 2021)

“What we’ve learned about police shootings 5 years after Ferguson” (Washington Post, August 9, 2019)

“For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It” (National Geographic, March 12, 2018)

“L.A. Times faces painful reckoning over race in its staff and pages” (Los Angeles Times, June 24, 2020)

“The Sickness in Our Food Supply” (New York Review of Books, June 11, 2020 issue)


Geeta Anand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author who serves as dean and professor at Berkeley Journalism. Her stories on corporate corruption won the Wall Street Journal a Pulitzer Prize in 2002, and she was lead reporter in a series on healthcare that was a finalist in 2003. She wrote the non-fiction book, The Cure, about a dad’s fight to save his kids by starting a biotech company to make a medicine for their untreatable illness, which was made into the Harrison Ford movie Extraordinary Measures in 2010. She worked as a journalist for 27 years, most recently as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal in India.

Monika Bauerlein became Mother Jones’ chief executive officer in 2015 after serving as co-editor (with Clara Jeffery) for nine years. Under her tenure, Mother Jones has grown its audience twentyfold, doubled the size of its staff, established bureaus in Washington and New York, won multiple awards, and launched a campaign to establish a new media business model centered on reader support for investigative and in-depth reporting.

Wesley Lowery is special projects editor at the Investigative Reporting Program at Berkeley Journalism. He is leading a team of graduate students investigating police misconduct in the United States, and he’s offering advice and guidance on other IRP investigations. Lowery comes from The Washington Post, where he was a national correspondent, covering law enforcement, justice and their intersection with politics and policy. He was the lead reporter on the paper’s “Fatal Force” project, which investigated deadly police shootings across the U.S. The project was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting and the George Polk Award for national reporting in 2016. He is author of the book They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.

Michael Pollan is a writer, teacher and activist. His most recent book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence, was published in 2018. He is the author of seven previous books, including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times Bestsellers. Pollan teaches writing at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where he has been the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Journalism since 2003. In 2010 Time Magazine named Pollan one of the 100 most influential people in the world.


Social Science Matrix at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Journalism



Get directions to Online


This is a FREE event.
Tax-deductible donations from the J-School community help make this possible.

No tickets required


Julie Hirano