FORMER Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis has said it is an “honour beyond belief” after it was revealed she will deliver the prestigious James MacTaggart memorial lecture at the Edinburgh TV Festival.

The 51-year-old is recognised as one of the most renowned journalists in Britain and has worked across multiple broadcasters including NBC Asia, TVB, Channel 4 and Sky. 

Her keynote speech at the festival later month, set to be her first major address since leaving the BBC to join media group Global, will explore the “threat to reporting the news and holding power to account across the globe". 

The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture has previously been delivered by a host of notable figures including actress and writer Michaela Coel - known for her series I May Destroy You -, broadcaster Jon Snow and fellow former Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman. 

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Maitlis said: “The list of extraordinary people who have given this lecture before me makes this an honour beyond belief. 

“It is a massive privilege – but also a responsibility. To get this right. The need to hold power to account without fear or favour 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 recognise 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.”

Her flagship address will explore the “complex world of modern journalism where the threat to reporting news and holding power to account across the globe, comes not just with intimidation and outright censorship, but in more nuanced ways with language and normalizing the extraordinary.”

Maitlis has worked for several broadcast outlets throughout her career but is best known for her time at the BBC. 

She joined the corporation in 2001 and presented Newsnight from 2006 until earlier this year when she announced her departure. 

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During her time there, she won a Royal Television Society award for her interview with the Duke of York over the Jeffrey Epstein Scandal in 2019. 

She has also previously hosted the BBC’s popular Americast podcast alongside Jon Sopel, who also left the BBC with her so they could head up a new podcast for Global Player, host a radio show together on LBC and provide commentary and analysis for the station’s website. 

In 2019, she published Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News, which gave a behind the scenes look at some of her biggest news stories and interviews.