Oh dear. Could things get any worse for the fledgling BBC Verify, launched to combat the scourge of fake news? The fact-checking service has already faced criticism for failing to spot the BBC’s own blunders – such as the Corporation’s misfired reporting on Nigel Farage and Coutts. Now though it looks like the service’s star reporter could be in a bit of hot water.
According to the New European, the BBC’s disinformation correspondent Marianna Spring was allegedly caught embellishing her CV when applying for a job in 2018. The paper alleges that five years ago Spring wanted to work as a Moscow stringer for the US-based outlet Coda Story and wrote on her CV:
‘June 2018: Reported on International News during the World Cup, specifically the perception of Russia, with BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford.’
But, according to the NE, this reportedly fell apart when Coda Story checked with Rainsford and found out the pair had only met a couple of times in social situations.
The New European says it has seen Spring’s emails insisting that she was a ‘brilliant reporter’ but apologising for the blunder:
‘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…
There’s absolute no excuse at all, and I’m really sorry again… The only explanation at all is my desperation to report out in Moscow, and thinking that it wouldn’t be a big deal, which was totally naive and stupid of me. I’m really sorry again for this awful misjudgment on my part.’
This apparently did not land well with Coda Story’s editor in chief who reportedly replied:
‘Telling me you are a brilliant reporter who exercises integrity and honesty when you have literally demonstrated the opposite was a terrible idea.