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Alumni Profiles

Alumni Portrait: Audio Producer Justin Richmond

November 23, 2021

When Justin Richmond (’15) came to UC Berkeley from Southern California for his undergraduate studies in philosophy in 2009, he aspired to be a professor. Little did he imagine that his first job would involve booking Keith Richards for an interview and then stressing about him smoking cigarettes in the recording studio. The pivotal in…

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From the Internet’s Early Days to EIC of Vice News: A Profile of Michael Learmonth

November 9, 2021

Some of us arrived at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism as well-seasoned journalists. Others came here from entirely different academic backgrounds. However, we all have one goal in common: to produce creative, impactful journalism that will make the world sit up, listen, and understand. This is the type of journalism that Michael Learmonth, class…

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Alumni Portrait: Alyssa Jeong Perry of NPR’s “Code Switch”

May 7, 2021

For Alyssa Jeong Perry (’16), the recent wave of anti-Asian violence has underscored the need to report on the diversity within the Asian American community. Perry, who is Korean American, is a producer at National Public Radio’s “Code Switch” podcast, where she feels fortunate to be able to report deeply on issues of race, ethnic…

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Alumni Portrait: Freelance investigative reporter Jimmy Tobias

March 29, 2021

For Jimmy Tobias (’16), investigative reporting is a lot like building a trail. “It’s a slow, deliberate enterprise that rewards experience and attention to detail,” he said. Tobias knows quite a bit about both. Before attending Berkeley Journalism, he worked as a wilderness trail technician for the U.S. Forest Service and the Montana Conservation Corps, which he describes…

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Alumni Portrait: Reporter Parker Yesko of investigative podcast “In The Dark”

March 17, 2021

Parker Yesko (’16) always knew she wanted to be a criminal justice reporter. But she never would have predicted that just two years out of journalism school, her work would help to overturn a murder conviction and set a man free. About a year after graduating from Berkeley Journalism, Yesko landed a job as an…

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Alumni Portrait: Zainab Khan

March 2, 2021

Few people truly understand the way algorithms on the internet work. How they recommend content and draw people in; or how to use them to maximize audience engagement and grow a following. But for Zainab Khan, they’re her expertise. A self-described “student of the internet,” Khan spent years in front of a glowing screen for…

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Alumni Portrait: New York Times Columnist Michelle Goldberg

October 5, 2020

Michelle Goldberg got her first up-close encounter with what she calls “rightwing postmodernism” covering the 2004 presidential campaign in Ohio. Out on the streets, with all his canvassers, it was easy to think John Kerry might have had the upper hand. But Goldberg found “the bones of what the George W. Bush turnout operation was…

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Alumni Portrait: Bestselling Author Terry McMillan

September 10, 2020

At the outset of her undergraduate time at UC Berkeley, Terry McMillan did not have a major. When it came time to declare, she told a school counselor that she wanted to do sociology. “Why?” he asked. “I said, ‘I care about the human race,’” she remembers replying, “‘and how we treat each other and,…

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Alumni Portrait: Berkeley Journalism’s 7 Mastercard Foundation Scholars

August 20, 2020

Growing up in Sudan, Alsanosi Adam knew one thing for certain: “Southern Sudan is a place you go to die.” This was during the Second Sudanese Civil War, the brutal, 22-year conflict between the country’s central government and the south’s resistance forces. In school, no one believed his South Sudanese classmates about their homeland’s peace…

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Alumni Portrait: Rudabeh Shahbazi

May 29, 2020

By Aashna Malpani (‘21) Rudabeh Shahbazi has trudged alone through swamps and braved unbearable heat and cold, laden with heavy camera equipment, just to get a story. She graduated from the J-School in the middle of an economic downturn but was willing to do all that work solo just to make it. “While other Berkeley…

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