Award-nominated leak of Dame Janet Smith review into the BBC's handling of Jimmy Savile

In 2016, political journalist David Hencke and I obtained and pored through a more than 500 page draft of the Dame Janet Smith draft report into the BBC's handling of Sir Jimmy Savile. The report was leaked to us by a whistleblower concerned at how the Revew of this material was being handled. The draft the whistleblower showed us revealed complaints that senior BBC staff received during the abuser's career, identifying the most concerning stories within the leak - including the BBC's handling of harrowing complaints against another DJ - and the level of knowledge about Savile within the BBC at the time. Our story when it broke was reported world-wide and our publisher, Exaro, received requests for interviews from as far afield as New Zealand. As a result, Exaro News was nominated in the Drum Online Media Awards for 'Best Breaking Story' in 2016. You can read all of our team's reporting of this story in the Exaro archive here: I was paired with David for this project, he is not on the-dots creative network, but you can follow him on Twitter where he has 9.9k followers: @davidhencke I tweet about investigative journalism as @avwinter

Team Credits

Alex Varley-Winter

  • Freelance journalist

Project Tags


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    Exaro News


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    Freelance journalist