Dr Eamonn O’Neill is an internationally award-winning investigative journalist and academic who lives in Scotland, UK. He is Associate Professor in Journalism at Edinburgh Napier University.
Born in Scotland in 1967, Eamonn took both his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland, where he was a Lecturer in Journalism and Programme Director of the MSc in Investigative Journalism between 2002-16.
In broadcast journalism he has researched, produced, directed, presented and Exec Produced investigative productions for Scottish Television, Channel 4, BBC and international channels including Discovery, National Geographic and The Crime and Investigation Network.
As an enthusiastic early-adopter and strong advocate of the positive contribution digital technology can make in journalism Eamonn was delighted to learn in 2007 from the American Journalism Review that their research showed he had been one of the first journalists in the world to refer in a published article to having conducted an “interview by email” as far back as January 1996 when covering the US Presidential elections.
In print journalism Eamonn has carried out major groundbreaking investigations for almost every broadsheet newspaper in the UK and numerous international publications. He has held senior positions with GQ and Esquire magazines and his work has been syndicated to a global market on a regular basis with his most recent assignment focusing on nuclear terrorism for the latter.
Eamonn’s articles and documentaries have focused on crime, intelligence, terrorism and miscarriage of justice cases. His work on the latter category includes the 11 years he spent investigating the Robert Brown case which ended with a 25-year wrongful murder conviction being overturned by the Court of Appeal, London, in November 2002.
Eamonn O’Neill’s work has been honoured in national and international awards including: The Paul Foot Award; The British Press Awards; the Scottish BT Media Awards; and The British Film & Television Academy. He was the first British journalist to be awarded an American IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors) honour in the Special Award (Tom Renner Award) category for his lifetime’s investigative work on miscarriages of justice.
Eamonn founded Scotland’s first campus-based Innocence Project at the University of Strathclyde in 2007-8 and chaired the Miscarriages of Justice Organisation conference in Glasgow City Chambers 2008, the UK’s United Against Injustice Conference 2009, the Innocence Network UK’s 2010 conference, London, the MOJO-organised ‘Whatever Happened to the Birmingham Six’ event at the Glasgow Film Theatre and the March 2011 Innocence Network UK’s Spring Conference. Eamonn also hosted the International Network Street Papers Awards in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Glasgow in July 2011, in front of an audience of invited guests, dignitaries and delegates from scores of countries representing publications aimed at, featuring and written by the homeless.
Eamonn was hounoured in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016 in the Strathclyde University Teaching Excellence Awards in a range of categories including Most Supportive Teacher, Most Passionate Teacher and Most Enthusiastic Teacher, in these annual accolades which seek nominations from staff and students. He was also nominated for a Teaching Excellence Award following his first academic year in Edinburgh Napier University 2016-17 and nominated/shortlisted again in 2018-19.
In April 2013, Eamonn O’Neill was invited to give expert evidence about investigative journalism to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. He spoke on the subject of the possible impact of new press regulation to the Parliament’s Education and Culture Committee. He also gave expert evidence to the House of Lords Media Committee on Investigative Journalism. He also participated as an Expert Contributor to an EU funded report on Investigative Journalism across all 28 nation states.
In May 2013, Eamonn O’Neill presented a landmark 1-hour network documentary on BBC Radio 4, ‘Heroes and Hacks’ broadcast to a worldwide audience examining the legacy Watergate had for investigative journalism.
On campus, Eamonn is also researching projects in fields of academic interest including: Digital newsgathering techniques and use of multi-platform presentations in News, Features and Investigative journalism projects; Investigative Journalism and Miscarriages of Justice; the application of investigative journalism practices and techniques to other inquiry-based disciplines. He has given visiting lectures recently at UK universities and at a number of campuses in the USA including Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh..
Eamonn contributes regularly on BBC Radio Scotland on a range of topics. He has also acted as consultant on a number of occasions to news organisations throughout the UK and beyond on the use of new technology in investigations and the development of new investigative models and platforms.
In June 2017, Eamonn organised the conference ‘State of Play’ at Edinburgh Napier University looking at the investigative journalism landscape in the UK media. Guest speakers included top journalists from The Ferret platform, Mark Daly from BBC Scotland, financial journalist Ian Fraser and the keynote was delivered by legendary BBC Panorama investigative journalist Peter Taylor.
Eamonn O’Neill is currently working on a major new academic book related to Investigative Journalism for Routledge, the world’s leading academic publisher in Humanities and Social Sciences, which will be published in the next 18 months.
Eamonn is married to an American artist and they have twin 10+ year-old sons.