The Investigative Reporting Program (Berkeley IRP) at U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism is dedicated to promoting and protecting the practice of investigative reporting.
The Berkeley IRP was established in 2006 by veteran investigative reporter Lowell Bergman, the program’s Logan Distinguished Chair. Evolving from a single seminar, the Berkeley IRP now encompasses a nonprofit newsroom, a seminar for undergraduate reporters and a post-graduate fellowship program, among other initiatives. Through its various projects, students have opportunities to gain mentorship and practical experience in breaking major stories for some of the nation’s foremost print and broadcast outlets. The Berkeley IRP also works closely with students to develop and publish their own investigative pieces.
The seminar focuses on a range of topics including developing sources, conducting research and interviews, collaborative/multi-platform reporting, ethical considerations and instruction on specialized subjects, such as international corruption and corporate malfeasance. Classroom guests include investigative reporters and editors, sitting judges, prosecutors, first amendment attorneys, private investigators, current and former government officials and others whose work is key to developing and reporting investigative stories.
The Berkeley IRP has produced and contributed to dozens of groundbreaking stories for broadcast, print and online outlets. The stories have ranged from a probe into the money behind college sports, the holes in homeland security and the dysfunctional patchwork of death investigation in America. Award-winning stories include exposés of poor worker safety in the metal industry, the hidden history of credit cards, corruption in Mexico, the California energy crisis, and a prescient look at Osama bin Laden.
The Berkeley IRP’s work has appeared on PBS Frontline, Frontline/WORLD, NPR and PBS NewsHour and in publications such as Mother Jones, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Time magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, among others.