BBC failed to verify CV claims before hiring head of BBC Verify.
The BBC’s so called 'Disinformation Correspondent' Marianna Spring is facing claims that she lied about her experience on her CV, embarrassing enough at the best of times but as the face of their Disinformation Unit: BBC Verify it is likely to damage the BBC's reputation even further.
The Mail Online reports:
"About five years ago Ms. Spring was trying to get work as a freelancer in Moscow for U.S.-based news site Coda Story.
An article in the New European said when she applied to the website’s Editor-in-Chief Natalia Antelava in 2018, she said she had worked alongside BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford on covering the “perception of Russia” during the 2018 football World Cup.
Her CV reportedly bragged: “June 2018: Reported on International News during the World Cup, specifically the perception of Russia, with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford.”
According to the New European, Ms. Antelava, a former BBC journalist herself, is said to have rebuked Ms. Spring after checking out the claim. Ms. Spring is said to have sent an email apologising for her “awful misjudgment [sic]”.
She is said to have written: “I’ve only bumped into Sarah whilst she’s working and chatted to her at various points, but nothing more. Everything else on my CV is entirely true.” The young journalist added that she was a “brilliant reporter” and in their emails also admitted there was “no excuse”.
She said her only explanation was her “desperation to report out in Moscow” and thinking it would “wouldn’t be a big deal”, which she admitted was “naïve and stupid”. In the email exchange published by the New European, Ms. Antelava told her: “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 is understood to have not proceeded with the job application, is said to have added: “I am sure if you use this as a lesson, things will work out.”
Spring, who has a BBC podcast called Marianna In Conspiracyland, became the BBC’s Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent last August and is part of the painfully on-narrative BBC Verify ‘counter-disinformation’ team.
It’s not clear at this stage what the New European‘s source is for the emails. Were they leaked by someone at Coda Story? It’s hard to see how else they got into the public domain. The fact that the BBC failed to verify the facts before hiring Spring to be the head of BBC Verify comes as no surprise to Vision News readers.