MPR's Broadcast Journalist Series: Lowell Bergman

You might not know Lowell Bergman's name, but you definitely know his work. For more than 40 years, Bergman has been the investigative dynamo behind some of the nation's most hallowed news sources. During his distinguished career, Bergman served as an associate editor at Rolling Stone in the 1970s, a reporter and executive in charge of investigative news for ABC, and as founding producer of 20/20. From there, the hardnosed muckraker went to 60 Minutes, where he helmed investigations for 14 years. It was during his time there that Bergman made his biggest impact on American journalism. Reporter Mike Wallace and Bergman produced a piece focusing on tobacco industry whistle-blower Jeffrey Wigand. CBS's then-CEO Laurence Tisch asked the two to soften the piece up, which Bergman vehemently opposed. The program ran a weakened version of the story, which prompted Bergman to alert the New York Times, resulting in a black eye for 60 Minutes and, to some extent, American journalism. Al Pacino played him in the 1999 film The Insider. Now, Bergman produces the PBS documentary series Frontline and teaches journalism. Needless to say, Bergman has plenty of stories to tell.
Mon., April 20, 7 p.m., 2009

 
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