Miscarriages-of-justice reporting back in favour, claims O’Neill

A SCOTTISH investigative journalist is claiming a new enthusiasm to report alleged miscarriages of justice, after a period when it was considered ‘old hat’.

Writing in The Guardian yesterday, Eamonn O’Neill namechecks former colleagues at STV – David Scott, Blair Jenkins and Gus Macdonald – as among those who gave him greatest encouragement when he was starting out as an investigative journalist.

O’Neill continues to investigate possible miscarriages of justice but also runs an MSc course in Investigative Journalism at the University of Strathclyde.

He writes: “I also recently coached a BBC region’s factual team on how to use modern technology to get at the truth in miscarriage of justice cases.

“Progress like this makes me think the wheel is turning again.

“I watch a new generation of journalists now engage with this issue – wrestling with documents, DNA reports and eyewitness testimony to produce original journalism.

“I hope their work is handled by editors who are as sympathetic and knowledgeable as the tough, compassionate journalists I knew. Investigations aren’t as prominent as they once were, but that by no means indicates that the terrible crimes they should be uncovering have gone away.”

This is O’Neill’s 20th year doing investigative journalism.

He is currently developing investigative projects with BBC Radio Scotland and also with director of content, Alan Clements at STV, on projects for Channel 4’s Dispatches series.