Channel 4 has commissioned a follow-up to the acclaimed but controversial Sri Lanka's Killing Fields documentary as part of its new current affairs programming drive.
Channel 4's head of news and current affairs Dorothy Byrne has asked ITN Productions to make a second investigation into alleged abuse by the government and Tamil tigers during the final weeks of the country's civil war.
The Jon Snow-fronted Sri Lanka's Killing Fields featured some of the most shocking footage ever aired by Channel 4, much of which was captured on mobile phones. The violent content was so strong that media regulator Ofcom launched an investigation, which ultimately cleared the show.
Sri Lanka's Killing Fields was watched by over a million viewers in the UK this summer, and shown in more than 30 countries via the 4oD on-demand service.
The documentary was also screened at the United Nations in Geneva and New York and shown to politicians at the House of Commons, the European parliament and US Senate.
ITN's new film, under the working title Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, will again be presented by Snow and feature "powerful new evidence" of war crimes. It will also question the apparent lack of international action against the government of Sri Lanka.
"I'm very proud that the new year will see a follow-up to our widely-acclaimed documentary Sri Lanka's Killing Fields," said Snow.
"We believe it shows more evidence of official complicity in war crimes and we will continue to show what we find to the world. I hope this film captures, shocks and educates in the same way as the first did."
Byrne added: "The horrific revelations in Sri Lanka's Killing Fields caused concern across the globe and calls for further investigations so we decided to do just that; to continue the journalistic endeavour to find out the full truth about these terrible events."
Channel 4 has also today announced changes to the way it delivers current affairs, including renewed investment in the next-generation of investigative journalists.
The broadcaster intends to increase the "breadth and depth" of its digital media around current affairs to increase the interaction with audiences.
The flagship Dispatches strand will get a new bespoke website featuring additional content and links to discussions on social networks.
Dispatches will also increase from 30 to 40 programmes per year, including a raft of new half-hour films on a broader range of subjects.
Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt said: "Channel 4 has a young, educated audience who expect us to lead in digital innovation so we're ensuring our award-winning current affairs evolves with our audience's demands and expectations.
"More Dispatches, supported by digital platforms and enhanced access to social media, will enable us to tell more stories and hear from a greater variety of voices."
Byrne added: "We've undertaken research with our viewers and they tell us that their appetite for heavyweight journalism is as strong as ever but that they want faster, more reactive content available across a number of platforms.
"With 40 shorter programmes a year we can expand the range of subjects we cover and increase topicality. We can be fleet of foot, getting to air quickly with an original take on a story. With an increase in the volume of Dispatches we will also have greater flexibility to return to the issues viewers feel passionate about."
Channel 4 said that it will inject £250,000 into its Investigative Journalism Training Scheme to help develop the next generation of specialist journalists. (Source: Digital Spy)