by Special Topic:

Video Journalism

The Secret History of the Credit Card

In this award-winning year-long investigation led by Prof. Lowell Bergman, FRONTLINE and The New York Times joined forces to investigate an industry few Americans fully understand.  “The Secret History of the Credit Card“— which received a great deal of attention as Congress debated legislation to overhaul the bankruptcy system—uncovered the techniques used by the industry to earn record profits and get consumers to take on more debt. It also featured the television debut of Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren prior to her entrée into politics.

UC Berkeley undergrad Robin Stein and IRP investigative reporter and associate producer Marlena Telvick were reporters for the New York Times. Josiah Hooper (’98) provided additional camera work.

A team of Berkeley Journalism students produced the website for “The Secret History of the Credit Card,” under the direction of Marlena Telvick.



The Secret History of the Credit Card won the 2004-2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism and the 2006 duPont-Columbia Award's Silver Baton.

Production Staff & Crew

Andrew Becker2 ( 2005 )

Reporter, website

Lowell Bergman

Reporter/Producer – faculty/lecturer

Steven Bodzin ( 2005 )

Reporter, website

Mark Chediak ( 2005 )

Reporter, website

Scott Den Herder ( 2006 )

Additional Reporting/website

Josiah Hooper ( 1998 )

Additional Camera

Nathanael Johnson

Reporter, website – faculty/lecturer

Joseph Mullin

Reporter, website – faculty/lecturer

Shadi Rahimi ( 2005 )

Reporter, website

Snigdha Sen ( 2005 )

Reporter, website

Marlena Telvick

Reporter/Associate Producer

Jun Wang ( 2006 )

Additional Reporting/website

Sarah Wiener-Boone ( 2005 )

Production Assistance

Gosia Wozniacka ( 2005 )

Reporter, website