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Shelley Jofre

Shelley Jofre talks about what it's like working at Panorama

Shelley Jofre was born in Irvine, Ayrshire. After gaining a degree at the University of Stirling, she completed a postgraduate diploma in newspaper journalism at City University, London.

Shelley started her journalistic career in 1991, working for Reporting Scotland, BBC Scotland's nightly news programme.

In January 1995, she became a reporter for current affairs series Frontline Scotland, where she made over 50 programmes in five years and cut her teeth as an investigative reporter.

Shelley Jofre
Shelley began her reporting career at BBC Scotland

Shelley's reports during her time at Frontline included investigating the case against two Libyans who were then accused of the Lockerbie bombing, the threat posed by online paedophiles and a hunt in Pakistan for two young Glasgow girls who had been abducted and forced into marriage by their father.

Shelley covered many Scottish and General elections for the BBC and also worked as a reporter on The Culture Show, the Money Programme and Newsnight.

Her first programme for Panorama was broadcast in April 1999, an investigation into allegations that psychiatric drugs are being over-prescribed to children in the UK and the US.

Shelley joined the Panorama team full-time in August 2000 and has reported on wide range of issues for the programme.

A two-year investigation revealed a catalogue of errors in Britain's oldest branch of forensic science, fingerprinting.

The resulting two films were instrumental in the quashing of one man's conviction for murder and the granting of an appeal for another man convicted of burglary, as well as a reorganisation of Scotland's largest fingerprint bureau and a Scottish parliamentary inquiry.

Shelley Jofre confronting Donald Gibson
Shelley has investigated a number of health stories

A film in 2001 revealed that a million and a half people in Britain were hooked on prescription tranquillisers - a situation the government's Mental Health tsar admitted was a "disaster".

But in a case of history repeating itself, in 2002 Shelley reported on the the mass prescription of newer, supposedly non-addictive anti-depressants like Seroxat.

She discovered that many people who had begun taking Seroxat in the belief they could stop the drug whenever they wanted, had in fact become hooked on it, while others had become suicidal.

The programme sparked an enormous audience response, with a staggering 65,000 people ringing the BBC helpline and 1,500 e-mailing in.

Over the years Shelley has continued her investigations into Seroxat, resulting in four films, which have forced a complete rethink of the drug's safety and effectiveness as well as an overhaul of the way patients report side effects from any prescription medicine.

The films won a Mental Health Media Award for Public Impact and were nominated for a Royal Television Society Award in 2003.

Shelley also won the Bafta Scotland award for Best Current Affairs programme 1995 for her report The Twilight Zone. She was also nominated for the RTS 1998 Regional Journalist of The Year and the RTS 1997 Young Journalist of The Year.

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