LONDON – Two journalists who worked on a report for the BBC flagship news magazine Newsnight investigating sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile that was never broadcast have been nominated for a London Press Club plaudit, according to The Guardian.
BBC journalists Liz Mackean and Meirion Jones are nominated in the Scoop of the Year category despite the fact their report was shelved by Newsnight‘s then-editor, Peter Rippon.
An internal probe into Rippon’s decision to not air the report on late former BBC stalwart Savile, which contributed to the public broadcaster’s crisis in the fall, criticized him.
The pair’s report could have broken the Savile story nearly a year before ITV finally aired the allegations against the former child entertainer.
Mark Williams-Thomas, whose documentary for ITV’s Exposure revealed the truth is up for the same prize at the press awards.
ITV’s coverage secured two Royal Television Society awards in February this year.
According to a report in The Guardian, Mackean left the BBC earlier this week, taking voluntary redundancy while Jones now works on BBC1’s news investigation program Panorama.
Another journalist Miles Goslett, who wrote about the Savile allegations and the shelved Newsnight report for the Oldie magazine in February last year, is also nominated for the award.
Also nominated for the awards, which will take place May 22, is John Humphrys, the veteran BBC journalist and one of the main presenters of the news program BBC Radio 4 Today whose interview with BBC director-general George Entwistle is credited with playing a key role in the public broadcaster’s then chief’s resignation over the handling of the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal.