Maya Jama is a successful TV and radio presenter, and she’s just 25. Originally from Bristol, she was the youngest person ever to have hosted the MOBO awards, and has a two-days-a-week show on BBC Radio 1. And it was after finishing her show last Saturday that she got herself not only snapped, but in Mail Online later.
That is not an unusual occurrence: Mail Online runs a succession of showbiz-meets-fashion posts every day, telling readers who has been seen where, and what they are wearing, thus promoting both stars and brands. But it wouldn’t be the Mail without a little nudge and wink: what the article on Ms Jama did was also to suggest a connection between her and Stefan-Pierre Tomlin - for which they had no evidence whatever.
“Single Maya Jama leaves Radio 1 with Tinder’s most right-swiped” was the original headline. But Ms Jama hadn’t left with him, and said so. “Surely there’s laws against this?! this is pathetic, you’ve photoshopped me leaving my JOB today at Radio1 alone with a random person leaving separately???.. how is that allowed??” It’s allowed because the Mail gets away with it. But Ms Jama was not finished yet.
“Recently these papers have been obsessed with linking me to guys I haven’t even met or spoken to, They really can paint whatever narrative they like with or without the truth. Didn’t think they would go to lengths of photoshop though it’s disgusting”. Mail Online must have then had second thoughts; the article has been amended since Ms Jama objected.
One Tweeter noticed the difference: “If you click the link now it goes to a different story! If that's not an admission of guilt I don't know what is!”. Worse, the original story had committed the unforgivable sin of mistaken brand identity - “LOL and they think your LV backpack is YSL” - so that had to be amended, too.
So now the original 4 January article has been toned down to a 5 January version simply headlined “Maya Jama looks edgy in a bodycon dress teamed with an aviator jacket and a beanie as she leaves BBC Radio One”, and stressing that “The presenter was seen chatting on her phone as she strolled along in her all-black ensemble with Stefan-Pierre Tomlin, 29, following on behind her”. None of that “with” this time.
But why did Mail Online even bother amending the article? Ah well. That would not have been caused by any threat to take them to press non-regulator IPSO - which would have taken months and probably got Ms Jama nowhere - but because this latest casual smear has been brought to the notice of campaign group Hacked Off.
“Sorry to hear about this Maya - we offer advice and guidance to victims of press abuse. If you need any help at all, please do get in touch” was the HO advice. And Danielle Hindley, whose business and personal life was seriously harmed by a Mail on Sunday hit job, as Zelo Street regulars will know, added “100% contact Hacked Off babe. Having personally been a victim of the Mail they helped me so much”. Quite.
Maya Jama needs to make an example of Mail Online, by whatever means she chooses. Because if she doesn’t, they’ll just carry on smearing. It’s all they know.
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