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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Finding the story 'beneath the surface'

“You can have all the information you want in the world. If you don't have the people raising questions and looking beneath the surface, and people being paid to do this, you're not going to find the answers. “ – Lowell Bergman

Bergman, born on July 24, 1945, has had one of the most prestigious careers in American journalism, working 5 decades in both print and television news, earning almost every major journalistic award, and now also teaching journalism at UC-Berkeley. 

A native of New York City, Bergman studied at the University of Wisconsin and UC-San Diego, starting in journalism by co-founding the San Diego Free Press.  After stints at the San Francisco Examiner and Rolling Stone, he moved over to TV as a producer, reporter and then executive in charge of investigative reporting at ABC News.  An original producer of 20/20, he joined CBS News as a producer for 60 Minutes, where over the course of 14 years he produced more than 50 stories, many Emmy winners.

His investigative story into the tobacco industry, was later chronicled in the multiple Academy Award–nominated film The Insider, a gripping I highly commend as one of the all-time best films about investigative journalism.    Since leaving CBS he has combined his love of print, broadcast and teaching, including working 10 years as an investigative correspondent for The New York Times – where he won a Pulitzer Prize for the series “A Dangerous Business.”   And he is both a producer and reporter for the PBS series Frontline.            
  Named by the Society of Professional Journalist for its James Madison Freedom of Information Award for Career Achievement, he continues teaching and mentoring young journalists from around the world and serving as a conduit between student projects and their publication in some of the top media outlets.   “I tell my students that if you have enough preparation, you can handle the big interviews,” he said. “You won't be intimidated.”

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