Ian Sherr

Reporter for The Wall Street Journal and 2014 Undergraduate Research Symposium Keynote Speaker

April 30, 2014

Ian Sherr, '05

Ian Sherr has been a reporter for The Wall Street Journal since 2010, writing about consumer technology with a focus on Apple and the videogame industry. While at the WSJ, Ian has written about a variety of subjects ranging from the patent wars engulfing Silicon Valley, to hackers changing the gender of videogame characters to make the damsels in distress into heroines. He has won several awards, including one from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for breaking news.

Previously, Ian has written about the retail sector as well as microchip companies for Reuters News in its Chicago and San Francisco bureaus. He has also written for the Agence France-Presse about the Mars rover and the latest Bigfoot sighting, among other things. He also visited Beijing to report about social issues as part of a video documentary series for The Washington Post.

A Silicon Valley native, Ian has long been a technology buff, following the ups and downs of the industry while learning some computer coding languages as well. 

During his time at U.C. Santa Cruz and as part of the History department, Ian focused his studies on modern American history, particularly that of World War II, the Cold War and the Civil Rights Movement. He also studied journalism, for which his senior thesis dissected how The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reporters and opinion editors wrote about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. near the end of his life.

When commenting on his motivation for studying history, Ian notes, “The reality of course is that history is rich with amazing stories of triumph, defeat, love, hate and everything in between. I love learning about the little details, and I’ve been amazed how often those things can have huge impacts. Understanding them, to me, is what history has always been about.”

In addition, Ian commented on the value of his undergraduate education by saying, “Everything I learned as a history major applies to my job today. Research is a big part of what I do, trying to dig deeper into a story, piece together what happened and reconstruct it in a meaningful way. I constantly have to write at a high level on a short deadline, and I have to do all of it usually while reading a financial filing, a press release or documents from a source. The basic skills of research, reading and writing have all applied to my job.”

Shortly after graduating, Ian moved to Washington D.C. in an attempt to work for Congress. After a brief stint back on Capitol Hill, Ian was recruited to work as a defense contractor. A year later, he was accepted to U.C. Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

Ian currently resides in San Francisco, with his wife, Laura Sherr, and their rambunctious cat, Diabolique. Ian will be the 2014 History Undergraduate Research Symposium Keynote Speaker.