A New Year’s Message from the IRP’s Founder

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This year marks the thirteenth for the Investigative Reporting Program (IRP) and my tenure as the Reva and David Logan Distinguished Chair in Investigative Journalism. For all this time, it has been my honor to hold this half-time endowed position, which has allowed me to teach while also working with outside news organizations. Recognizing that I am in my 70s and ready to “retire,” the University of California, Berkeley has agreed to make this a full-time position for my successor. Ed Wasserman, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism, has formed a search committee and will be issuing a call for applications.

I will become the Emeritus Chair by July 2019. In my new role, I will advise, supervise research grants and do the work I love, investigative reporting. Although I will no longer teach a regular class, I will continue to work out of the IRP.

The symposium, fellowship program and the working newsroom at the IRP will continue without missing a beat. I’m deeply appreciative that recently the Logan family made a long-term commitment to supporting the symposium, one of the most important annual gatherings of its kind.

The IRP has already gone through a seamless transition with Pulitzer Prize-winning editor and veteran news executive John Temple taking over the position of director in 2017. John’s decision to join the program allowed us to create a unique production company, Investigative Studios, dedicated to supporting the IRP. Combined with the university’s growing commitment to invest in public-interest journalism, the company has provided the foundation for my change in status. I’m very proud that all of this has enabled us to turn a “start-up” into an institution.

My stepping down from the chair will allow me to focus on Studios, which already has two documentary series in co-production as well as ongoing work on another with KQED, the “California Corruption Project.” Studios first theatrical-release documentary, “Who Killed Lt. Van Dorn?”, is racking up awards at film festivals and being screened at special presentations in military towns across the country. This masterful work marks a new era at the IRP as we contribute not only to broadcasting but also to the world of independent film.

If you have any questions about this change and my plans for my new role, please feel free to reach out to me either by email at lowellbergman@berkeley.edu or phone at 510-643-1332.

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