German news magazine Der Spiegel sacks journalist for fabricating stories

Der Spiegel says top journalist faked stories for years

According to Der Spiegel: "Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent".

In 2014 he was given the CNN Journalist of the Year Award, but now his reputation lies in tatters.

Almost everything else, including a coal plant employee named Neil Becker, who doesn't actually exist, or quotes from a restaurant employee, who was falsely called the owner of a restaurant and whose son was given a fictional illness, was made up. "The rest is uninhibited fiction (even as sloppy as citing an incorrect figure of citywide 70.4% electoral support for Trump, when the actual number was 62.6%), which begs the question of why Der Spiegel even invested in Relotius' three week trip to the USA", wrote Fergus Falls resident Michele Anderson in the Medium article.

What steps is DER SPIEGEL taking in response?

Juan Moreno, a journalist who reported on a story about an American vigilante group that patrols the United States-Mexico border with Relotius for Der Speigel, brought his concerns to editors after the story was published in November.

The man then tracked down two alleged sources Relotius quoted extensively in his text, only to find out that none of them ever actually met him.

Relotius admitted at least 14 of almost 60 articles he has written for Der Spiegel were at least partially fabricated.

Earlier this month, he secured the German "Reporter Preis" (Reporter of the Year) for his story about a young Syrian boy, which the jurors praised for its "lightness, poetry and relevance".

"I am sick and I need to get help", he reportedly told the magazine.

It's unclear whether Relotius fabricated stories for other major German outlets that published his work, including Cicero and the Financial Times Deutschland.

It cited Relotius as saying that at least 14 of the articles he wrote for Der Spiegel, some of which won awards, did not meet journalistic standards.

"It wasn't because of the next big thing".

The magazine said Relotius resigned Monday after admitting some of his articles included made-up material from interviews that never happened.

One of Germany's most popular papers, Der Spiegel, has found itself at the center of a scandal involving one of its top reporters who was caught fabricating elements of his stories. Claas Relotius paints pictures in the reader's mind that unfold like a film, ' said Franz Fischlin, chairman of the judging panel.

Anderson and Jake Krohn, who co-authored the Medium piece, are receiving global praise for their rebuttal article exposing the fraudulent Der Spiegel story.

"The management of DER SPIEGEL will set up a commission of experienced internal and external persons to investigate the indications of falsification", the magazine said.

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