UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism

Black Hole: The Injustice of Wrongful Incarceration Doesn’t End When the Prison Doors Open

Danny Brown was in prison for almost two decades for a rape and murder he didn’t commit, and he has evidence to prove it: a host of eyewitness accounts validating his alibi, a polygraph test he took, and passed, at the prosecution’s request, and DNA from the crime scene matching that of another man who is currently serving time for a factually similar rape and murder.

He was released from prison in 2001 at the age of 45.

From the Winter 2016 Reality Bites issue of California.

New Life: A Documentary on Jazz Pianist Fred Hersch Revives Both Filmmakers and Subject

When filmmakers Carrie Lozano and Charlotte Lagarde approached jazz pianist Fred Hersch about making a documentary, they intended to capture the making of his ambitious new multimedia production, My Coma Dreams. What started as an investigation into the fantastical creations of Hersch’s unconscious mind turned into a sumptuous celebration of his entire musical world.

Poor Journalism: Is Media Coverage of the Poor Getting Better or Worse?

In 2000, Tina Rosenberg, a journalist for The New York Times, pitched a story for its Sunday magazine about the AIDS epidemic ravaging the world’s poorest nations. She wanted to show how pharmaceutical companies had pressured governments in sub-Saharan Africa, where 1 in 12 adults were living with HIV or AIDS, to deny access to generic drugs, making treatment unaffordable.

Her editor’s response: “I cannot subject our readers to another 7,000-word story on how everybody is going to die in Malawi.”

Shooting on the Edge: War Photographer at Cal to Sharpen His Storytelling Skills

When Shawn Baldwin talks about the “discomforts and mishaps” of life, he doesn’t mean the little pebble-in-your-shoe inconveniences that annoy the typical American. He’s referring to the time he was kidnapped by insurgents in Iraq, blindfolded, and had a gun pushed against the side of his head, on and off, for about 12 hours. (A saga also relayed by his fellow captive, renowned New York Times journalist John F.

Antibiotic Overload: Experts Blame Livestock Use for Human Resistance, Even Obesity

Antibiotics were once a doctor’s best weapon against infections, but now some 2 million people a year become infected with bacteria that are resistant to them. On Tuesday, a panel of experts hosted by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism largely blamed the crisis—23,000 people die a year from infections that can’t be cured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—on the livestock industry for overusing these life-saving drugs.

Shooting the River: How Journalist Myintz Zaw Used His Camera to Halt a Dam Project

UC Berkeley is sharing a bit of the glory at this year’s Goldman Prize ceremonies: One of the recipients, Myint Zaw of Myanmar, was a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism from 2007 to 2008. Presented on Earth Day by the San Francisco-based Goldman Foundation, the prize is often cited as the “Green Nobel,” the ultimate recognition for environmental activism. (It also comes with a no-strings award of $150,000.)

Funny And/Or Die: When Did Being a Mocking Wiseass Become Life-Threatening?

Danger is part of the territory for war correspondents. From the U.S. Civil War on, anyone who covered conflict knew that they could be shot just as dead (or, more recently, beheaded) as the grunt walking point on patrol. But now it’s not just the dashing combat reporter at risk—it’s the editor, the receptionist, and as this week’s killings at the offices of the Paris satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo also chillingly demonstrate, it can be the cartoonists.

The Story of Ten Couples Who Fought Costa Rica’s Ban on in Vitro Fertilization

Andrea, a Costa Rican mother, stands in court before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Washington, D.C., testifying against her country’s ban on in vitro fertilization (IVF). Sitting across the courtroom is Martha Garza, a U.S. anti-abortion doctor, arguing for protection of the embryos’ rights. The year is 2008, eight years after Costa Rica became the first country to ban IVF, and the ten couples who have sued their government for violating their right to have a family, have not lost strength or hope.

Ambitious Plan for a Captive Readership: Berkeley MBA Students Advise Inmate Newspaper

It was an early fall day when the gates of San Quentin State Prison clanged shut behind the unusual team of consultants on its way to meet the equally unusual team of clients.

“I was apprehensive,” admits Laura Tilghman, an MBA student at UC Berkeley who had never stepped into a prison before. “It was such different circumstances and territory.”

The clients, most of them serving life sentences, didn’t know what to expect either. Why would students from one of the top business schools in the state want to visit inmates at the state’s oldest prison?


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