Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Germany: Weekly Der Spiegel says top journalist faked stories for years

The German news weekly Der Spiegel has stunned the media world by revealing that one of its award-winning reporters falsified stories for years. Claas Relotius “made up stories and invented protagonists” in at least 14 out of 60 articles that appeared in the magazine’s print and online editions, Spiegel said, warning that other outlets could also be affected. Relotius, 33, resigned after admitting to the scam. He had written for the magazine for seven years and won numerous awards for his investigative journalism, including CNN Journalist of the Year in 2014. This month he was named German Reporter of the Year for a story about a young Syrian boy.The falsification came to light after a colleague who worked with him on a story along the US-Mexican border raised suspicions about some of the details in Relotius’s reporting.The colleague eventually tracked down two alleged sources quoted extensively by Relotius in the article, which was published in November. Both said they had never met Relotius. Relotius had also lied about seeing a hand-painted sign that read “Mexicans keep out”, a subsequent investigation found. Other fraudulent stories included one about a Yemeni prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, and one about the NFL star Colin Kaepernick.

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