Spotlight on investigative journalism for Belfast event

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The role and value of investigative journalism will be the focus of a one-day event in Belfast.

Investigative Journalism - Past and Future will include contributions from Sue Lloyd-Roberts, Michael Crick, John Sweeney and Darragh McIntyre.

The event - organised to mark the 40th birthday of Northern Ireland's Spotlight programme - will be hosted by media commentator Steven Hewlett and RTE's Miriam O'Callaghan.

The day will include panel discussions and interviews; examples of investigative reporting, here and abroad; and journalists' personal stories.

Peter Johnston, director of BBC Northern Ireland, says 'current affairs is a core strength of the BBC's work in Northern Ireland', with Spotlight at the 'heart of our investigative journalism for over 40 years'.

He adds: 'This event will allow us to have a big conversation about why investigative journalism matters. We're delighted to have secured the involvement of so many talented guests and expect to have a series of lively and informative discussions.'

Anyone with an interest in current affairs and investigative reporting can apply for tickets to attend some, or all, of the day's sessions.

The sessions are free, but tickets must be booked in advance on the BBC's tickets website, where there will be details of the schedule.

The current affairs teams in Northern Ireland have been responsible for Panorama programmes about Afghanistan, Russia, Bangladesh, the Amazon, abortion, cancer, tax avoidance and an investigation into Mick Philpott's activities in Derby Fire.

John Sweeney recently presented BBC Northern Ireland's latest network offer, I Want My Baby Back, a Panorama special investigating the secretive world of the family courts, asking whether some parents might have unfairly lost their children forever.

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