‘Top’ German reporter caught faking stories
One of Germany's so-called "top" mainstream journalists, has admitted that he faked stories for at least seven years.
Published: December 20, 2018, 8:52 am
Award-winning journalist Claas Relotius who worked for news magazine Der Spiegel had “made up stories and invented protagonists” in 14 out of 60 published articles. Relotius, 33, resigned after he admitted to the fraud.
The reported won numerous awards for his “investigative journalism” – including CNN’s Journalist of the Year award in 2014, The Guardian reported. Relotius has also worked for several other news outlets, including Germany’s taz, Welt and the Frankfurter Allgemeine’s Sunday edition.
Earlier this month, Relotius won Germany’s Reporterpreis for his story about a Syrian boy, but it has emerged that all of his sources were fake and his report was completely fabricated.
A fellow journalist, Juan Moreno, who had worked with him on a story at the US-Mexican border became suspicions when he noticed some peculiar details in Relotius’ reports.
Moreno then tracked down two alleged sources quoted extensively by Relotius in the article, which was published in November. Both confirmed that they had never met the German reporter.
Moreno, who has worked for the magazine since 2007, risked his own job when he shared his suspicions. “For three to four weeks Moreno went through hell because colleagues and those senior to him did not want to believe his accusations at first,” his employer admitted.
For several weeks, the magazine said, Relotius continued lying so skillfully about his fake stories, that he was even considered to be the victim of a cunning plot by Moreno.
Other fraudulent stories included one about a Yemeni prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, and one about the American football star Colin Kaepernick. Relotius also lied about a sign that allegedly read “Mexicans keep out” at the US-mexican border, a follow-up investigation found.
The news magazine that Relotius worked for, admitted to the fraud expressing their “shock” at the discovery. Der Spiegel has an online readership of over 6.5 million and sells around 725 000 print copies per month.
They apologised for their reporter’s “fraudulent quotes, made-up personal details or invented scenes at fictitious places” and added that he had committed journalistic fraud “on a grand scale,” describing the fake news as “a low point in Spiegel’s 70-year history”.
According to Relotius he is “sick” and he “needs to get help”.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Consider donating to support our work
Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
AnkaraThe Turkish president denounced the attitude of the French leader towards Muslims in France and spoke out against the measures taken after the beheading of teacher Samuel Paty.
ParisAfter the deadly knife attack in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, the French are particularly worried about a terrorist risk. So-called "progressives" have contributed to this situation, the Minister of National Education stressed. But Emmanuel Macron is guilty too.
DresdenTwo deaths, two knife attacks, one in Dresden, the other in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine. And while the decent people in France publicly express their solidarity in the hundreds of thousands for the history teacher Samuel Paty, who was beheaded by an Islamic terrorist, the analogous terror murder of a German in Dresden is only worth a marginal note in the "quality media".
Muslim parents at the majority immigrant "priority college" François Villon in Mulhouse in 2015 described the attitude of a teacher as "aggressive" because he had lectured his students on free speech. He was suspended for four months to “straighten things out” according to the rector.
GrenobleMore than two weeks after the discovery of the body of Victorine Dartois, the prosecutor of Grenoble announced the arrest of an individual on Wednesday, October 14, who has admitted having killed the young student of 18 years, according to several media outlets.
BrusselsEurostat announced that imports from China increased by 4,9 percent year-on-year in the January-July period, surpassing the United States. China is currently the biggest trading partner of the European Union (EU).
BerlinOn Saturday, at the invitation of the AfD, the Second Free Media Conference took place in the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus of the German Bundestag. The former mainstream journalist Matthias Matussek (who has written for Spiegel, Welt and Stern) gave a lecture there on the topic of "Critics on the sidelines - the 'quality media' are losing their bright minds".
BrusselsVlaams Belang, the Flemish anti-immigration party, remains at the top of the polls in Flanders. How does one explain the incredible success of Tom Van Grieken's party?
BerlinThe so called “Navalny case” is coming thick and fast and is looking more and more like a smartly prearranged and well-played spectacle. The Russian opposition figure and journalist Alexey Navalny has awoken from his coma at the German Charité hospital - he seems to be back in shape giving interviews, including a two-and-a-half-hour conversation with a famous Russian You-tube blogger Yuriy Dud.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is building a new production facility in the Turkish industrial city of Gebze for 80 million US dollars. The American multinational consumer goods corporation headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, has elevated double standards to a new art.