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December 19, 2018

Der Spiegel Has a Stephen Glass Problem: Its Star Reporter -- and a CNN "Journalist of the Year"!!! -- Has Committed Journalistic Fraud "On a Grand Scale," Fabricating Interviews and Whole Stories

Trust Your Media Betters, the International Version.

Lugenpresse (add your own umlaut), says JEM:

German weekly Der Spiegel says one of its star reporters has left the publication after committing journalistic fraud "on a grand scale" over a number of years.

The magazine published a lengthy report Wednesday following an internal investigation into the work of Claas Relotius, a 33-year-old staff writer known for his vivid investigative stories.

Very much like Stephen Glass.

Spiegel reported that Relotius, who previously worked for other publications and won a CNN Journalist of the Year award in 2014, has resigned after admitting to inventing interviews.

Now, here's the original source for the story, Der Spiegel.

In recent years, DER SPIEGEL published just under 60 articles by reporter and editor Claas Relotius. He has now admitted that, in several instances, he either invented stories or distorted facts.

Inventing whole stories was a Stephen Glass specialty.

Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues. This has been uncovered as a result of tips, internal research and, ultimately, a comprehensive confession by the editor himself.

...

The first suspicions emerged following the publication in November 2018 of the article "Hunter's border" about an American vigilante group that patrols the border between Mexico and the United States.

Juan Moreno, who reported the story together with Relotius for DER SPIEGEL, grew distrustful of his colleague. Moreno also reported his concerns to DER SPIEGEL. He didn't relent, and he took advantage of a trip to the U.S. for reporting on another story to gather incriminating information about Relotius -- and also in order to take steps to protect himself, given that his byline had also appeared on the article.

After initially denying the allegations, Relotius finally confessed at the end of last week. It has emerged that he invented entire passages -- not only in the article "Hunter's border," but also in a number of other articles.

What did Relotius fabricate?

Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent. For example, he included individuals in his stories who he had never met or spoken to, telling their stories or quoting them. Instead, he would reveal, he based the depictions on other media or video recordings.

That was the technique used by the New York Times' fabricator, Jayson Blair.

By doing so, he created composite characters of people who actually did exist but whose stories Relotius had fabricated. He also made up dialogue and quotes.

Blair did that too. But Blair mostly made up anodyne quotes that wouldn't cause anyone to sue or even complaint that much. His fake quotes were things people might actually say, so when they saw themselves being fake-quoted, they also said, "Meh."

Some of them would later report to other reporters they didn't complain because they sort of assumed all reporters did that. Which I don't think is as far from the truth as the media would like.

...

Among the articles in question are major features that have been nominated for or won journalism awards. For example:

"The last witness," about an American who allegedly travels to an execution as a witness. The "Lion Children," about two Iraqi children who have been kidnapped and re-educated by the Islamic State. And "Number 440," a story about alleged prisoners at Guantanamo.

More at the link.

Anyone want to bet that the made-up stories appealed to his editors' leftwing and anti-American biases, as Steven Glass' stories appealed to his editors' leftwing and anti-GOP biases?

Too good to check.

Oh -- apologies. Thanks to JEM for this!






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