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 evolved from a single seminar to encompass a nonprofit newsroom, an annual symposium, multiple courses and a post-graduate fellowship program, among other initiatives. Through its teaching-hospital model, students gain practical experience in breaking major stories for some of the nation’s foremost print and broadcast outlets. The IRP also works closely with students to develop and publish their own work.
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. The program’s work has made it a model for nonprofit journalism based at a college or university that has been replicated around the world.
Recently, Bergman and IRP Director John Temple developed another innovation, Investigative Studios, a nonprofit production company. Formally affiliated with UC Berkeley, Studios is designed to exploit the opportunities created by the new digital landscape. It enables the IRP to diversify its revenue. While still relying in part on philanthropy, Studios’ goal is to infuse the new world of documentary film with the values of cutting-edge journalism.
The IRP’s core class, a seminar taught by Bergman, 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 IRP has produced and contributed to dozens of groundbreaking stories for broadcast, print and online outlets. 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.