Liz MacKean (1964 - 2017)

Liz MacKean, a British investigative journalist and former veteran television correspondent for the BBC, died Friday, Aug. 18, 2017, after having a stroke. She was 52.

As the BBC’s correspondent covering Northern Ireland, she worked for 14 years on the BBC’s “Newsnight” show. She was known best for her child sexual abuse investigation of Sir Jimmy Savile, the disgraced English disc jockey, after he died in 2011. She quit the BBC in 2013 over the organization’s decision not to air her investigation.

“The decision not to run it was seriously flawed,” MacKean said at the time.

MacKean and producer Meirion Jones later won a London Press Club Scoop of the Year award for their work on the story.


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After leaving the BBC, MacKean did investigations for the “Dispatches” program. One of her documentaries, “Hunted,” shed light on the persecution of gay people in Russia. It won an award in 2014 at the Grierson British Documentary Awards.

James Harding, the BBC’s news director, praised MacKean, calling her a “remarkably tenacious and resourceful reporter.”

“In Northern Ireland, she won the trust of all sides and produced some of the most insightful and hard-hitting reporting of the conflict,” he said.

“It was as an investigative reporter that she really shone, shining a light on issues from the dumping of toxic waste off the African coast to Jimmy Savile, the story for which she is probably best known.”

She is survived by her wife and their two children.

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