‘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.
"We will soon be short of important drugs" in the fight against the new Coronavirus, Europe's largest hospital warned in a letter to its respective governments.
MadridSpain's health ministry has announced 838 Covid-19 deaths, the country's highest daily increase in fatalities, bringing the total to 6 528.
MoscowPresident Vladimir Putin donned a yellow hazmat suit to explain to the public the emergency measures taken by the Russian government.
RomeAfter a few days of decline, the number of new cases in Italy have increased again. Wednesday's rise in the number of dead were 683, while on Tuesday the rise was 743. The number of confirmed cases in the US has however surpassed China and Italy to become the largest outbreak in the world.
MoscowEurope currently appears to be drowning in chaos and dysfunction when it comes to the fight against the Coronavirus. But how is Russia handling the challenge right now?
RomeIt will no longer be possible to disinfect hospitals, ambulances, public transport and schools. The League has urged the EU to step in. "The government and Europe must intervene as soon as possible."
ParisWhile drastic containment measures came into effect on March 17 at noon in France, carelessness and incivility persist in the immigrant districts of Paris. The police dispatched on the spot are exasperated with the inhabitants.
A virologist twice nominated for the Nobel Prize explains the British strategy of "herd immunity" claiming it may have a logical explanation, but is still too risky.
RomeIt seems that there are no more doubts since the data are clear: The mortality from Covid-19 is higher "for hypertensive patients, patients with cardiac arrhythmias, diabetics and patients with cardiovascular diseases".
RotterdamThe first drug capable of attacking and neutralizing the Coronavirus could be ready for experimentation after a group of Dutch researchers discovered an antibody.