Since 17 July, Dan Wootton has been the subject of a series of articles published by the independent newspaper Byline Times. The publication alleges that Dan Wootton is behind the alias ‘Martin Branning’ which is reportedly used to catfish former colleagues into sending him sexual content.
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Since the first installment was released more revelations have come out about the presenter. However, numerous people, either from the press or online, have noticed a massive difference in how this scandal is handled by big publications.
Indeed, it is easy to compare as only a week before the Dan Wootton scandal broke, another one came out about BBC presenter Huw Edwards. Publications like The Sun were all over the story but the same publication is surprisingly silent about Dan Wootton.
Dan Wootton and Huw Edwards: difference in media attention
On 25 July, following their third installment on the Dan Wootton scandal, the Byline Times published an article in which they pointed out the silence from publications which would usually be all over this scandal.
Mainstream publications have not extensively reported on Byline Times’ investigation into Dan Wootton.
In the same article, the independent publication draws comparison with the Huw Edwards scandal which was intensely covered by mainstream media. The coverage on the Huw Edwards scandal, which ended with no criminal charges, was on top of newsfeed for days. Publications were speculating, chasing other sources to the point that, after Edwards was revealed as the accused presenter, major news outlets were challenged about their work.
The BBC even had to release a statement defending its coverage after several viewer complaints.
Why is there such a difference?
It is difficult to state with certainty why there is such a stark difference but, looking at some facts, we can speculate.
One thing we know is the fact that Dan Wootton is being internally investigated by his former employer The Sun. Therefore, this could explain the publication’s silence even though they were the one to break the Huw Edwards scandal. They did so in the name of ‘public interest’ which doesn’t seem to apply here.
The importance of ‘public interest’ has been highlighted by MP Dame Dinenage in a letter she wrote to The Sun.
the committee would be grateful if you could set out what investigations are taking place into this matter
I’m sure you will recognise how important it is for the public to have confidence in a newspaper’s editorial standards
Moreover, Dan Wootton is still employed by MailOnline and GBNews who have also not commented on this scandal while they did on Huw Edwards. We know that MailOnline is also conducting an internal investigation which could be the reason why they aren’t reporting on the story.
One final thing to consider is something that Alex Truby, ex-partner of Wootton, said in a tweet published on 12 July. He writes that he was pressured to remove previous tweets about Dan Wootton claiming that he was ‘Martin Branning.’
(I was) scared about the consequences from Dan - because he is TERRIFYING
Dan Wootton is still on air: viewers ask why?
Since the scandal about Dan Wootton came out another stark difference between him and Huw Edwards has been the fact that Wootton remains on air. Indeed every night on GBNews, he hosts his show with no mention of the scandal he is caught in.
Not only that, he launched a crowdfunding campaign on Twitter in order to take legal actions against the Byline. On the other hand, Huw Edwards was removed from the BBC immediately as the first allegations were released and he deleted his Instagram account.
Viewers have noticed the difference and many are wondering why Dan Wootton is allowed to stay on air on a daily basis considering how serious the allegations against him are.
Byline Times: Silence from Dan Wootton’s Employers MailOnline and GB News as Head of Commons’ DCMS Committee Demands Answers from his Former Boss The Sun Over Byline Times’ Investigation
Deadline: BBC Defends Wall-To-Wall Huw Edwards Coverage After Audience Complaints
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