The BBC’s disinformation correspondent and chief “fact checker” is accused of lying on her CV after giving misleading information about her experience.
Marianna Spring became the state-run’s principal disinformation correspondent, reporting on how social media is used to peddle false information.
But now Spring is being fact-checked herself after allegations she gave misleading information herself to secure work.
Five years ago, Spring was trying to get work as a freelancer in Moscow for US-based news site Coda Story, according to a report.
The New European reported that when Spring applied to the website’s editor-in-chief, Natalia Antelava, in 2018, she claimed she worked with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford on the ‘perception of Russia’ during the 2018 football World Cup.
In her CV, Spring wrote: “June 2018: Reported on International News during the World Cup, specifically the perception of Russia, with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford.”
However, after checking out the claim, former BBC journalist Ms Antelava debunked Spring.
Spring is said to have sent an email apologizing for her “awful misjudgment.”
“I’ve only bumped into Sarah while she’s working and chatted to her at various points, but nothing more. Everything else on my CV is entirely true,’ Spring wrote.
The journalist continued to grovel, writing that she was a ‘brilliant reporter’ and, in their emails, also admitted there was ‘no excuse.’
Spring said her only explanation was her “desperation to report out in Moscow” and thinking it “wouldn’t be a big deal,”
In the email exchange published by The New European, Ms Antelava told Spring:
“Telling me you are a brilliant reporter who exercises integrity and honesty when you have literally demonstrated the opposite was a terrible idea.”
The Coda Story boss, who decided not to proceed with the job application, added, “I am sure if you use this as a lesson, things will work out.”
Spring, who was promoted to her chief disinformation role last year, worked for Panorama and hostes the BBC’s podcast called Marianna In Conspiracyland before being busted for lying.
She is also part of a BBC Verify team, which fact checks and counters so-called disinformation and “explaining complex stories in the pursuit of truth.”