Sunday 14 August 2022

Marianna Spring v Mark Dolan

You may have already seen this GB News monologue from Mark Dolan about the BBC's Marianna Spring. 

She's been promoted from being a BBC Specialist Disinformation & Social Media Reporter to being the BBC’s Disinformation & Social Media Correspondent:

Now Mark makes a small mistake. He calls her a BBC “new recruit”. As we know, she's no such thing. 

What's interesting here is that Marianna, being one of the newer intake of more activist BBC journalists, couldn't resist replying on Twitter - and getting her 70.4K followers to rally to her side. She described Mark's monologue as “4 min rant”, adding:
My job isn’t to tell people what to believe. As I’ve done for over 2 years, it’s to investigate the impact of online disinformation, hate and social media harms.

“My job isn't to tell people what to believe” made me smile. I did a post on New Year's Day this very year headlined 'Marianna and Clive tell us what to think'. As a reminder, here's one example from that post:

Marianna SpringI think as well, in, I mean...A lot of the conversation online has been very polarised, and we talk about cancel culture, and we talk about the culture wars, but actually that reckoning, that awakening, that there are things that are wrong and they are just wrong and supporting standing up against things that are wrong, it isn't up for debate. And a lot of the conversation around taking the knee has been about that really.

Back to Marianna Spring v Mark Dolan though, and Marianna couldn't just leave it there. Here's what came next as she responded to a supportive tweet personally attacking Mark Dolan:

Jack Evans wasn't 'spot on' though. Marianna clearly hadn't 'fact-checked' his comment. Mark Dolan didn't used to do The Friday Night Project. He hosted The Last Word, which Jack was probably thinking of. 

I wonder what Tim Davie would make of a BBC correspondent getting into a spat via social media? 

And what would he make of his new Disinformation & Social Media Correspondent discrediting herself - and, thus, the BBC in such a public way by describing a factually inaccurate comment attacking someone else as 'spot on'?

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