Emily Maitlis, the journalist who made headlines for questioning Prince Andrew about his connections to Jeffrey Epstein in a jaw-dropping “Newsnight” interview, has been tapped to deliver the prestigious James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture at this year’s Edinburgh Television Festival. According to the fest, Maitlis will discuss the international threat of journalistic censorship as well as the importance of holding those in power accountable for their actions.
This will mark Maitlis’ first major address since her departure from the BBC earlier this year. Michaela Coel and Channel 4 News head Dorothy Byrne are among the previous MacTaggart lecturers.
Also an author and podcaster, Maitlis has interviewed politicians, celebrities, and business leaders throughout her career. She served at NBC Asia, TVB, Channel 4, Sky, and, of course, the BBC. She was lead anchor on the latter’s “Newsnight” as well as co-host on its podcast “Americast.” Next, Maitlis will host a new podcast under her exclusive deal with Global.
“The list of extraordinary people who have given this lecture before me makes this an honor beyond belief. It is a massive privilege — but also a responsibility. To get this right,” Maitlis emphasized. “The need to hold power to account without fear or favor is more urgent than ever before. We are good at documenting censorship and intimidation of journalists around the world. But we are sometimes too slow to recognize how and when it is happening in more subtle ways, closer to home. In many places the political actors, their style of communication, and their relationship with the truth, has changed. Journalism needs to respond robustly to that challenge.”
Fatima Salaria, Executive Chair of Edinburgh TV Festival, said, “Emily Maitlis has delivered the news into our living rooms for over 20 years but could never be described as a news reader. Sharper and edgier than was comfortable for her last employer she is happiest when cracking open a story and not just reporting it.” She continued, “Fans not just of her Prince Andrew encounter but ‘Newsnight,’ ‘Americast,’ and her best-selling book ‘Airhead’ will want to hear her take on truth, power, and impartiality in what promises to be a challenging and insightful MacTaggart.”
The Edinburgh Television Festival will be held in-person August 24-26.