Marianna Spring

A dive into the misinformation cesspool: Marianna Spring's debut book

“Disinformation Correspondent” is surely a top contender in the Orwellian job title stakes. The BBC’s Marianna Spring has “and Social Media” tagged on, but that’s not her focus. Social media, as she explains in this disturbing book, is just the vehicle for spreading unfounded scare stories, half-baked pseudoscience, racist bigotry and unadulterated hate.

Spring, winner of the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2023 Innovation prize, has delved deep in the cesspool of disinformation and unearthed some of the mad, bad and sad characters who inhabit the cyber underground.

Ear Candy: Why Do You Hate Me?

Logo for podcast series Why Do You Hate Me?

She wasn’t exaggerating. The same profile noted that, of the 14,488 messages marked for review by the BBC’s online abuse monitoring system (between 1 January and late June in 2023), 11,771 were directed at the broadcaster’s Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent.

It’s a tragic irony of the job that, by investigating cases of online hate you inevitably become the victim of one. And yet Spring refuses to back down from this new virtual front line, ie, her inbox.

The serious world of podcasting

Ways to Change the World: Krishnan Guru-Murthy talking to Jameela Jamil (credit: Channel 4)

Podcasts are not all about comedy, true crime and self-help – increasingly, news and current affairs are fuelling the boom in the audio format.  

At the beginning of this month, the BBC’s Global News PodcastThe Economist Podcasts and The Rest Is Politics, which is hosted by New Labour spin doctor Alastair Campbell and ex-Tory minister Rory Stewart, all featured in the top 10 most popular UK podcasts.  

Making Podcasts: A Mini Masterclass

With so many podcasts on the market, how do you make yours stand out? And what are the essential tips and tricks that will help you make your mark?

In this session, we hear from the brains behind some of the best podcasts of the past year:

Marianna Spring, BBC Disinformation Reporter & host of The War on Truth and Death by Conspiracy

Nina Hodgson, Senior Podcast Producer at Channel 4 News for The Fourcast and Ways to Change the World

Hosted by Ed Gove, Channel 4 News

Marianna Spring on disinformation, conspiracies & dealing with trolls

BBC News's first ever specialist disinformation and social media reporter Marianna Spring talks about the stories that have shaped her journalism career so far and what inspires her to continue her work despite abuse from online trolls.

Marianna was nominated alongside Noel Phillips and Mickey Carroll for the Young Talent Award at the RTS Television Journalism Awards 2022.

Industry experts share their insights into how to break into TV at the RTS Student Masterclasses 2021

The RTS Student Programme Master­classes drew a crowd of more than 300 in early November to hear four of the industry’s top talents talk about their careers and offer first-hand advice on how to make a start in television. 

Kenton Allen, one of the biggest names in British comedy, offered the masterclass in scripted entertainment. The CEO of Big Talk is the producer of countless award-winning shows, including The Royle Family and Friday Night Dinner.  

BBC's Marianna Spring on creating your own path in journalism

At just 25, she has reported on conspiracy theories and online abuse for the BBC’s news programmes, Newsnight and Panorama

“I was one of those slightly weird kids that, aged eight, [watched] BBC World News on holiday because it was the only channel in English,” Spring recalled. At school, university (Oxford, studying French and Russian) and during a year of study abroad, she wrote for local and student papers, and, post-university, worked shifts at the Guardian.

Fake news: The broadcasters’ dilemma

From left: Naga Munchetty, Marianna Spring, Matthew Price and Deborah Turness (credit: Richard Kendal)

The infiltration of fake news in today’s society isn’t just a scourge for those in the newsrooms – it affects the authority of whole media brands on one side and the public’s well-­being on the other. Since the term “fake news” was made Collins Dictionary’s word of the year in 2017, it has only become a bigger issue. 

To prove how convincing fake news can be, attendees at this session were put to the test. Chair Naga Munchetty showed a series of viral images, with the audience deciding if they were real or fake using the poll function on the RTS Cambridge app.