Lowell Bergman is the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught investigative reporting for more than 25 years. He launched what has become the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) in 2006.
Bergman began his journalism career a half-century ago as an editor and investigative reporter with the alternative press. He then freelanced for Ramparts magazine before becoming an associate editor at Rolling Stone. In 1977, he co-founded the Center for Investigative Reporting and soon after joined ABC News. An original producer of its first news magazine, 20/20, he was responsible for the program’s first Emmy Award. After a stint as the executive in charge of investigative reporting at the network, in 1983 Bergman joined 60 Minutes as a producer/reporter for Mike Wallace. Over the next 14 years he produced scores of segments on organized crime, wrongful prosecutions, arms and drug trafficking, terrorism and corporate corruption. His 60 Minutes investigation of the tobacco industry was dramatized in the feature film, The Insider, which was nominated for seven Academy awards.
In 1998, Bergman forged a unique collaboration between The New York Times and PBS Frontline to co-report stories for print and broadcast with the participation of graduate students. He reported and produced stories on corruption in Mexico, the East Africa bombings, Enron’s role in the California energy crisis, the credit card business and a series on the roots of 9/11, as well as subsequent stories on the terrorist threat in the United States and Europe.
The New York Times received the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for “A Dangerous Business,” a collaboration with PBS Frontline and Canadian Broadcasting’s Fifth Estate that included two journalism graduate students. The print series and the documentaries detailed a North American foundry company’s egregious worker safety and environmental violations and resulted in more than 100 felony charges nationwide. The print/broadcast versions received every major award in broadcasting and investigative reporting.
Multi-platform presentations of long-form investigative stories became an IRP innovation in the news industry. In more than 30 special reports, Bergman and the IRP have worked with a wide range of collaborators, from The Guardian to Univision and NPR to ProPublica, as well as a variety of local outlets.
Bergman has won numerous Emmys, seven Alfred I. duPont Awards, three Peabodys and many other awards, including the Robert F. Kennedy Award Grand Prize. In 2009, he was named one of the “30 most notable investigative reporters” in the last century by the George Washington University Encyclopedia of Journalism.
During the last few years, Bergman has turned his attention to a new journalism innovation. With IRP Director John Temple, he launched Investigative Studios, a nonprofit production company formally affiliated with the university. Studios is designed to produce new revenue streams for the IRP. It provides a vehicle to turn the IRP’s research and reporting into films and other long-form, multi-platform stories, and then distribute and monetize them. While still relying in part on philanthropy, the company’s goal is to bring to the world of documentary film the values of cutting-edge journalism.
Bergman graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1966 and was a graduate fellow in the history of philosophy at the University of California, San Diego until 1970.
Bergman, a New York native, has lived in Berkeley since 1973. He is married to Sharon Tiller, herself an award-winning documentarian and broadcast executive. The couple has five sons and seven grandchildren.
John Temple oversees the editorial projects at the IRP, as well as its business and educational operations. He also teaches a course on investigative reporting at the Journalism School. Before joining the IRP, Temple was president of audience and products at First Look Media from 2014 to 2015. Prior to that, he was a senior fellow in the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships program at Stanford University. He has also served as managing editor of The Washington Post and editor and general manager of Honolulu Civil Beat, a news service launched by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. In addition, Temple was editor, president and publisher of the award-winning Rocky Mountain News and vice president of news of the newspaper division of the E.W. Scripps Co. before it closed the Denver paper in 2009.
Chris Bush is operations director at the Investigative Reporting Program. He manages the program’s finances, operations and facilities, as well as supports productions, programs and events. Before joining the IRP in 2017, he was the CEO of Monarch Media, Inc., an educational technology solutions company. Prior to Monarch, he worked in Silicon Valley for Saba Software and for Sybase. He started his career as an editor for legal industry trade magazines, including Corporate Legal Times. He received an MBA from the University of California at Davis and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Director of Special Projects
Janice Hui is director of special projects at the Investigative Reporting Program. Among other things, she oversees the Logan Symposium on Investigative Reporting, which the IRP hosts each spring. Prior to this, she served as the IRP’s managing director for two years and events producer for four years. Before joining the IRP, she was a senior producer at CBS Interactive in San Francisco. She also worked as a producer at CNN’s Washington DC bureau and a producer at Associated Press Radio in Washington DC. She received her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley.
Zachary Stauffer is a staff producer and primary director of photography at the Investigative Reporting Program. His first feature documentary, the award-winning “Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn?”, has screened at film festivals across the country and was adapted into a podcast for Reveal. Since joining the IRP in 2009, he has contributed to a number of films for PBS Frontline, including “Money and March Madness,” “Murdoch’s Scandal,” and the DuPont award-winning “Rape in the Fields” and its follow-ups, “Rape on the Night Shift” and “Trafficked in America.” His short documentary, “A Day Late In Oakland,” about the murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, was nominated for two IDA awards.
Garrett Therolf worked for the Los Angeles Times for a decade, focusing on stories about children and families living on the margins. He also completed assignments for The Times in Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein and Egypt during the Arab Spring. Prior to that, he worked for the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times), The Tampa Tribune, The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call and the Associated Press. Therolf received The Times’ award for best explanatory reporting, the Price Child Health and Welfare Journalism Prize three times, and recognition as a Livingston Award finalist twice. He is a graduate of the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Jason Paladino serves as a reporter and researcher at the IRP and is the office FOIA guru. His investigation into a troubled Navy and Marine Corps helicopter program led to the grounding of the fleet and won a variety of top journalism honors across broadcast and print. That reporting laid the foundation for the IRP’s first independently produced documentary film, “Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn?” Paladino teaches new investigative techniques, public records and internet research skills to students at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. Paladino completed an IRP fellowship in 2015.
Loi Ameera Almeron
Loi Almeron is an associate producer at the Investigative Reporting Program. She started her journalism career with the award-winning Probe Productions, pioneer of the longest running investigative documentary program in the Philippines, where she associate produced and co-edited at least 25 documentaries for national and international broadcast.
After two years of covering stories all around the Philippines, she moved to the United States to pursue her master’s in Journalism at University of California, Berkeley. She has since worked for various hyperlocal news outlets, independent documentaries and non-profit organizations focusing on social justice, diversity and current affairs in the Bay Area and in Asia. Recently, Loi was video editor of the short biographical documentary, “Hale,” which won the Student Academy Award for Documentary in 2017.
Patricia Lavow-Davis is the office manager for the Investigative Reporting Program. She carries out the administrative functions of the IRP and assists in event planning. Lavow-Davis brings a range of experience, having worked in various positions at UC Berkeley for more than 25 years.