Photo of Ben Bagdikian
Ben Bagdikian
Photo by Ted Streshinsky

Ben H. Bagdikian: Journalist, Media Critic, Professor and Dean Emeritus, UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism

Conducted by Lisa Rubens in 2010, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2011.

For more than a half-century Ben Bagdikian was the go-to person to get the straight story on civil rights, poverty and prisons, among a host of other social issues in the United States. Bagdikian’s resume is broad and deep. He is first and foremost a working reporter who started at the Providence Journal in 1947. Along the way he was part of a team that received a Pulitzer Prize for daily reporting, a columnist for the Columbia Journalism Review, a feature writer for many important magazines in the U.S.—including Saturday Review and Time—a fellow at the RAND Institute, and the author of six books. He retired as Dean Emeritus of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism in 1990 and then continued to write and publish—opinion pieces, introductions to books on media and journalism, updates and revisions of his classic book Media Monopoly (first published in 1983), and led the charge against corporate takeover of journalism. He has been the recipient of numerous prizes and a leading figure in organizations dedicated to freedom of the press. Mother Jones magazine sponsors an internship program in his name.






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