John Sweeney

John Sweeney is an award-winning journalist and author, currently working as an investigative journalist for the BBC's Panorama series. Before joining the BBC in 2001, Sweeney worked for twelve years at The Observer, where he covered wars and revolutions in more than sixty countries including Romania, Algeria, Iraq, Chechnya, Burundi and Bosnia. In 1996, He was sued for criminal defamation in France by the Barclay brothers, owners of the Daily Telegraph, but the claimants lost their case. At the time, Sweeney worked for the rival newspaper The Observer, and had given an interview on BBC Radio Guernsey alleging that they had been involved in corruption. Since the broadcast could also be heard in northern France, the claimants were able to bring their claim in the French courts. Sweeney was ordered to pay €3000 by the appeal court in Rennes, FranceSweeney spent four years investigating the cases of Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Donna Anthony, three women who had been falsely imprisoned for killing their children. Sweeney's investigation helped to clear their names, and led to Sir Roy Meadow, the expert witness whose testimony had proved decisive in their convictions, being temporarily struck off the General Medical Council's medical register. Sweeney received the Paul Foot Award in 2005 in recognition of his work.He has won several awards throughout his career, including:1998: What the Papers Say Journalist of the Year prize for reports on human rights abuses in Algeria.2000: an Emmy Award and a Royal Television Society prize for programs about the Massacre at Krusha e Madhe, Kosovo.2001: the Amnesty International prize for "Victims of the Torture Train," about human rights abuses in Chechnya.2003: a Sony Gold award (2003) for Best Radio News program.2004: a Royal Television Society prize (2004) for "Angela's Hope," a BBC One documentary about a woman wrongly convicted of murdering her three babies.2005: The Paul Foot Award."Scientology and Me", a Panorama investigation into Scientology written and presented by Sweeney, was aired on BBC One on Monday, 14 May 2007. Prior to its airing,video footage filmed by the Church of Scientology was released that showed Sweeney shouting at Scientology representative Tommy Davis during a visit to CCHR's "Psychiatry: An Industry of Death". The clips were sections of a documentary the Church of Scientology's Freedom Magazine TV produced about the BBC Panorama programme. Sweeney remarked that he lost his temper due to days of harassment by Davis and the Church, and a strong personal reaction to the psychiatry exhibit. He had been visited at his hotel by Davis, despite not having shared the address with the Church, and had been followed on several different occasions. Sweeney labelled the clips "attack videos" and others say they were produced to discredit himself and the documentary. The BBC in response aired its own full recording of the incident. Panorama's Editor Sandy Smith explained what happened and how the BBC dealt with the incident in a post on the BBC's Editor's Blog. An internal BBC investigation found that Sweeney's conduct at one point in the filming was clearly inappropriate, but also noted that Sweeney had apologised for his outburst and concluded that as a whole, filming of the documentary had been performed in a proper and fair manner. Later on that same year in the BBC Panorama year in review Sweeney said “..a new generation is making up its own mind, and for that I make no apology”. Only a month and a half later Project Chanology began. This time as a part of a rehearsed joke, Sweeney goes into a similar outburst in January 2009 when being interviewed on Radio 4 about the Tom Cruise film Valkyrie—clearly referring to the episode two years previously. A follow-up Panorama programme also hosted by Sweeney, which at an hour is twice the length of the original one was aired on the 28 September 2010. This documentary contained int

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