Hiding in plain sight: gender, sexism and press coverage of the Jimmy Savile case

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In 2012 – less than 12 months after his death – TV personality Jimmy Savile was revealed to have been a prolific sexual abuser of children and young adults, mainly girls and women. This study advances research on the gendering of violence in news discourse by examining press coverage in the period leading up to Savile’s unmasking. It investigates the conditions in which Savile’s predatory behaviour – widely acknowledged in his lifetime – finally became recast as (child sexual) abuse. Specifically, it challenges the gender-blind analyses of media coverage which have typified academic responses to date, arguing that Savile’s crimes – and the reporting of them – need to be understood in the broader context of everyday sexism: a contemporary, as well as an historic, issue.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1562-1578
Number of pages17
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number11
Early online date3 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018


  • Jimmy Savile
  • news
  • Journalism
  • gender
  • child sexual abuse
  • gender-based violence


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