Marianna in Conspiracyland

Marianna in Conspiracyland

By BBC Radio 4

What happened to the people who fell down the rabbit hole into a world of conspiracy theories during the pandemic?

Episodes

Why Do You Hate Me? Episode 1

When Julia Wandelt posted on social media that she believed she was Madeleine McCann, she became a lightning rod for online anger. In the first of a new series exploring extraordinary cases of online hate and the possibility of forgiveness, Marianna Spring, the BBC's Disinformation and social media correspondent, speaks to Julia about her motives and regrets.Listen to more episodes of Why Do You Hate Me on BBC Sounds or wherever you get your podcasts. For this series, Marianna Spring (one of the most trolled BBC journalists) dives into her inbox and investigates a different extraordinary case of online hate to find out. She meets the people at the heart of these conflicts, and in some cases brings them together, to see if understanding - even forgiveness - is ever possible. Subscribe to BBC Sounds to hear the episodes first.And watch the episodes on BBC iPlayer too.If you have been affected by some of the issues raised in this programme, please visit bbc.co.uk/actionline.Host: Marianna Spring Series Producer: Emma Close Producer: Ben Carter
 Editor: Sam Bonham
Commissioning editor: Rhian Roberts Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell Production co-ordinator: Rosie StrawbridgeArchive credits: Peteski Productions distributed through CBS Media Ventures.
07/02/24·28m 40s

Bonus Episode: Irish Conspiracyland

Marianna travels to Dublin to investigate a court case unfolding against the Irish Light conspiracy theory newspaper. Edel Campbell and her lawyer have been targeted by an extreme campaign of abuse after suing The Light which falsely claimed Edel’s son Diego died from a Covid vaccine, when in reality he had died by suicide. Conspiracy theorists worldwide have used dozens of tragic deaths to spread vaccine misinformation. This case is thought to be the first where a relative has sued. And what is the cost of taking action like this?
06/08/23·18m 57s

Frontlines of Conspiracyland

In this bonus episode, the BBC’S International Editor Jeremy Bowen and Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent Marianna Spring talk about their respective new podcasts: Frontlines of Journalism and Marianna in Conspiracyland. They reflect on the obstacles that stand between journalists and the truth and the conspiracy theory movement that seems to have boomed in the UK after Covid. Exploring the similarities and differences of their journalistic specialisms, they discuss techniques to hold interviewees to account – especially when their position is based on disinformation - and the significance of social media in modern journalism.Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Georgia Catt, Emma Close Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian Roberts
04/07/23·40m 11s

10. A Risk That’s Impossible to Ignore

What will happen next in Conspiracyland? In the final episode, Marianna is back where she started, in the Devon town of Totnes. With the help of locals, she makes sense of the legacy left by the conspiracy theory newspaper and the wider movement all over the UK. Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every Monday. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds.And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
30/06/23·13m 50s

9. People Like Us

Do you know someone who’s fallen down the rabbit hole? During the investigation, Marianna’s inbox has been filled with messages from people sharing their stories about those they know and love who’ve been sucked into conspiracy theories. With the help of social psychologist Karen Douglas, Marianna explores how people find themselves in Conspiracyland, why they stay, and how some managed to escape.Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk, Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Neva Missirian Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsIf you’ve been impacted by any of the issues that have come up in this podcast, please visit www.bbc.co.uk/actionline. And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
30/06/23·14m 10s

8. The Science Of Conspiracy

Could people in the UK conspiracy theory movement ever become violent? Returning to the UK, BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring meets possibly the only person outside of the movement who has read as much of the Light as her: political scientist at King’s College London Dr Rod Dacombe. What insights will he have for Marianna from his years studying The Light and the conspiracy theory movement in the UK? Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Tom Brignell and Neva Missirian Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
28/06/23·13m 31s

7. After An Attempted Coup

What can the UK learn from Germany? In Berlin, BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring meets a whistleblower who stopped writing for a conspiracy theory newspaper in his country because he feared it was becoming more radical. Marianna uncovers more about the connections between the German paper and a failed coup attempt, and unpicks what it can tell us about our own conspiracy theory movement in the UK.Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk, Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producers: Graham Puddifoot, Tom Brignell, Neva Missirian Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
26/06/23·14m 53s

6. German Conspiracyland

Why are journalists being attacked in Germany? Marianna travels to Berlin to meet a journalist called Jorg who’s been covering the conspiracy theory movement in his country. He’s been attacked several times trying to do his job, and he’s not the only one. Jorg says he’s heard from other journalists who’ve experienced something similar. And the latest figures from Germany show attacks against journalists have risen sharply since the pandemic. Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
23/06/23·12m 23s

5. Follow the Money

Who is funding this UK conspiracy theory newspaper? Flicking through the pages of The Light, Marianna is drawn to the adverts that populate its back pages. After the face-to-face encounter with the paper’s editor Darren she has more questions for the people involved in funding the paper. The advertisers. She manages to track down one: Iain, a property developer in Glastonbury. The two of them discuss wizards, goddesses, capital punishment and what motivates him to promote his business in The Light.Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam BonhamNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
21/06/23·13m 58s

4. The Conspiracy Theory Newspaper

Who is the man behind The Light? BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring tracks down the editor of the conspiracy theory newspaper, The Light. His name is Darren and he agrees to meet Marianna in a pub just outside Manchester for a dual interview in which she interviews him for the podcast and he interviews her. What answers will she get about the paper and the man at its helm?Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
19/06/23·13m 37s

3. Trestle Tables for Truth

Where does all the anger come from? As Marianna delves further down the rabbit-hole, she finds herself in the alternative medicine clinic of one of Totnes’ movement’s figureheads. He is one of the people behind a conspiracy-theory group in the town called the New World Alliance who are key to organising monthly rallies in the town and distributing The Light. Curiously Marianna finds herself invited along to one of the rallies to learn more about it and the people within it. Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
12/06/23·15m 7s

2. Down The Rabbit Hole

What do those in the movement believe? And why? BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring continues her investigation into Totnes’ conspiracy theory movement after hearing about one of its prominent members: an artist named Jason Liosatos. Meeting him in his gallery she learns more about some of his beliefs and what that indicates about the movement. Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
12/06/23·14m 28s

1. Entering Conspiracyland

What’s happening in the Devon town of Totnes? The small town of Totnes in Devon is known for its warmth and open-mindedness, gong baths and healing crystals, but a fault line has emerged between the minority who’ve been drawn in by disinformation laced with hate and those who are fighting against it. Some in the town were drawn into a conspiracy theory movement during the pandemic, one whose monthly marches and rallies persist to this day. A conspiracy theory newspaper called The Light seems to have played a key part in the division there. BBC disinformation and social media correspondent Marianna Spring investigates how the theories that dominate its pages are changing the town. Host: Marianna Spring Producers: Philip Marzouk and Olivia Lace-Evans Producer for BBC Radio 4 podcasts: Nathan Jones Technical Producer: Alex Portfelix Series producer: Emma Close Senior news editor: Sam Bonham Commissioner: Rhian RobertsNew episodes released every few days. If you're in the UK, listen to the whole series first on BBC Sounds bbc.in/42x5sO5And please get in touch with Marianna by emailing at: mariannainconspiracyland@bbc.co.uk.
12/06/23·14m 41s

Introducing Marianna in Conspiracyland

What happened to the people who fell down the rabbit hole into a world of conspiracy theories? How far have they fallen – and how far will they go? In this 10-part series, the BBC’s Disinformation and Social Media Correspondent Marianna Spring investigates the legacy left by the rise in conspiracy movements in the UK and the media machine at its heart. She exposes how radical they have become and how action is spilling offline. At the extreme end, we’ve seen conspiracy-theory driven riots at the US Capitol and a coup-attempt foiled in Germany. But what’s happening in the UK?
01/06/23·4m 9s
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