The German news magazine Der Spiegel was busted spreading fake news when its star reporter, Claas Relotius, (CNN's 2014 “Journalist of the year”) confessed he falsified and made up stories over many years.
Der Spiegels's award-winning journalist Claas Relotius had admitted that he “made up stories and invented protagonists” in at least 14 out of 60 articles that appeared in its print and online editions, warning that other outlets could also be affected.
The other articles he wrote that were not outright fakes included invented facts and details that he completely made up.
Relotius, 33, resigned after admitting to the scam. He had written for the magazine for seven years and won numerous awards for his investigative journalism, including CNN Journalist of the Year in 2014 and the “European Press Prize” in 2017 .
Claas Relotius holding his CNN's 2014 “Journalist of the year” award.
Earlier this month, he won Germany’s Reporterpreis (Reporter of the Year) for his story about a young Syrian boy, which the jurors praised for its “lightness, poetry and relevance”. It has since emerged that all the sources for his reportage were at best hazy, and much of what he wrote was made up.
The falsification came to light after a colleague who worked with him on a story along the US-Mexican border raised suspicions about some of the details in Relotius’s reporting, having harboured doubts about him for some time.
Other fraudulent stories included one about a Yemeni prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, and one about the American football star Colin Kaepernick.
Der Spiegel Headquarters in Hamburg.
Der Spiegel is a German weekly news magazine published in Hamburg. It has a weekly circulation of 840,000 copies, and is considered the largest such publication not only in Germany but in Europe.
It's considered to be is one of Europe's most influential magazines. It was founded in 1947 by John Seymour Chalonera and Rudolf Augstein, a former Nazi soldier who served in the Wehrmacht.
In the past Der Spiegel was notorious for hiring ex Nazis to write articles for magazine like former SS officers Paul Carell (who had also served as chief press spokesman for Nazi Germany's Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop) and Fritz Tobias.