Der Spiegel Humiliated as Reporter Discovered to Have Engaged in Widespread Fabrication of Stories

The next Stephen Glass

Honestly, I’m surprised this is such a scandal. I really thought they all did this. Maybe it’s just that Relotius was dumb enough to get caught:

Europe faces its largest journalistic scandal in years after Der Spiegel, the continent’s biggest-selling news magazine, said one of its star reporters fabricated facts in his articles for years.

The magazine’s disclosure, which came after a colleague raised concerns about a recent piece on supporters of President Trump in rural America, was made as Europe’s established media faces attacks by populist forces at home and abroad.

Claas Relotius, an award-winning journalist, resigned from the magazine last week after admitting to making up parts of his reporting in the past decade, Der Spiegel said late Wednesday.

According to the magazine, Mr. Relotius, 33, invented characters, dialogue and events in his coverage of subjects ranging from a Guantanamo inmate who no longer wanted to leave the prison to civil war orphans in Syria.

Stefan Niggemeier, an independent media blogger in Berlin and a former Spiegel journalist, said some of the articles at issue appeared to confirm certain German stereotypes about Trump voters, asking “was this possible because of an ideological bias?”

A spokesman for Der Spiegel said that the magazine is investigating what if any role potential bias may have played.

The affair cast doubt on the effectiveness of Der Spiegel’s renowned fact-checking department, once described as the largest in the world by the Columbia Journalism Review. The magazine, which said it employs around 70 fact-checkers, said its system had failed.


Written by Doomberg

I am Doomberg, one of the original founding members of Sparta Report, and have been here since the beginning. I am an insatiable news junkie and enjoy reading and writing about the US territories, the Caribbean, video games, smartphones, and of course conservative politics in general.

I also really like pictures of gas stations and claim full responsibility for the silly gas station motif. I'm presently trapped behind enemy lines in a blue state with no hope of escape! The ride never ends.


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