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Last Updated: Monday, 6 March 2006, 16:47 GMT
John Sweeney, investigative journalist
Investigative journalist John Sweeney gives an insight into his work and invites you to send him your stories for investigation.

One recipe for investigative journalism is to find the largest crocodile in the pond and give it a poke in the eye with a sharp stick and see what happens next.

To that, add a piece of wisdom from God's gift to the dry-cleaning business, the former BBC war correspondent and Independent MP Martin Bell, who said: "go out and see for yourself".

Stir in a bit of seasoning from a South Yorkshire woman who felt she had been diddled by a supermarket: "Who's tha' kidding?".

And then you might have a story worth getting out of bed in the morning. Or then again, you might not.

Taking on the establishment and vested interests takes time and hard work.

Months researching, fact checking and re-checking create a product that tells the story in half an hour.

Investigative journalism is less banana dacquiris in Miami, and more a cup of tea in Rotherham bus station.

And to turn an issue around, overturning what people believe demands strong evidence.

In much of my work, I've been fortunate to be helped by people close to the issues I investigate, people who cared and were powerfully motivated to help undo an injustice or expose some evil.

Few investigations would reach a conclusion without the help of members of the public. And that's why I'm asking for your help.

John Sweeney's investigations

Angela Cannings
Angela Cannings was wrongly convicted of killing her children
Sally Clark, Angela Cannings and Donna Anthony were all helped in their campaigns to be cleared by John Sweeney's investigation into the wrongly jailed cot death mothers.

The judges awarding him the inaugural Paul Foot Award for Campaigning Journalism praised his "battle against apparently insuperable odds and finally the exposure of shocking incompetence and shortcomings in three establishment professions - police, medicine and the law".

His report for BBC One's Real Story on the Anglela Cannings cot deaths case won a Royal Television Society prize for best home current affairs programme.

His report for Radio 4's flagship investigative programme, File on 4 on the case of Sally Clark won a Sony Gold for best radio programme.

For human rights work in Chechnya, Kosovo and Algeria he has won prizes from the Royal Television Society and Amnesty International and was made the What The Papers Say Journalist of the Year.

If you have a story that you feel merits investigating you can contact John Sweeney using the e-mail form below or by writing to him at BBC White City, Room 1127, Wood Lane, London W12 7TS.

E-mail address:
Town & Country
Story for investigation:

Disclaimer: I read all your e-mails but cannot answer all of them. Your suggestion will be treated in confidence. But if I am unable to investigate personally, I may pass on your story to colleagues within the BBC who may be better placed to follow it up. Please state in your email if you are unhappy for me to pass on your idea.

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