World in Action

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Publication.png World in Action 
(investigative journalismIMDBRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
World in Action.jpg
TypeTelevision series
Founded7 January 1963
Dissolved7 December 1998
Author(s)Tim Hewat
Producer(s)Granada Television

World in Action was a British investigative current affairs series. It was made by Granada Television for ITV. The series had an effective legal department. It became widely trusted and watched.



World in Action alumni include Michael Gillard, John Pilger, Michael Parkinson, Gordon Burns, Rob Rohrer, Nick Davies, Donal MacIntyre, Ed Vulliamy, Tony Wilson and David Leigh.

Two former World in Action journalists uncovered one of the biggest broadcasting scandals of the 1990s. Laurie Flynn, a central figure in the British Steel papers case, and Michael Gillard revealed that large parts of a 1996 Carlton Television documentary, "The Connection", about drug trafficking from Colombia, had been fabricated.[1][2] Flynn and Gillard's exposé in The Guardian in May 1998 led to an inquiry and a record £2 million fine for Carlton from the then regulator, the Independent Television Commission (ITC),[3] as well as provoking a passionate debate about truthfulness in broadcast journalism.[4][5]


Tony Gosling rated the series highly and has stated that it was closed down in December 1998 because it was effective at exposing high level corruption.

In August 1998, Dr Arpad Pusztai claimed on World in Action that research on rats fed with genetically modified potatoes had suffered immune damage. Dr Pusztai was forced to retire after Professor Phillip James, Director of the Aberdeen-based Rowett Research Institute, said he had been interpreting the wrong data. Dan Verakis, a spokesman for the giant biotech company Monsanto which is pioneering much of the work in the field of GM food, welcomed the decision to suspend Dr Arpad Pusztai:

"We are very pleased that the Rowett Research Institute has publicly regretted the tremendous harm caused by publicising this type of very misleading information in the name of science."[6]

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