Der Spiegel reporter Claas Relotius fabricated interviews and sources “on a grand scale,” the German news magazine revealed. Relotius admitted to “at least 14 articles in question that are at least in part fabrications,” Der Spiegel reported, but now the publication is investigating all of his work.
Der Spiegel said it will have an independent investigation of the matter and that Relotius confessed. “The forgeries were discovered after internal references, own research and finally a comprehensive confession ( here the most important questions and answers to the case ),” a Google Translate of Der Spiegel‘s own article on the matter. “The case shakes the self-image of Der Spiegel. The editors-in-chief and senior management will therefore appoint an independent commission to investigate the facts and analyze the extent of systematic failure.”
iMediaethics contacted Der Spiegel for more information; we were pointed to the site’s news stories about the matter for updates.
According to another Der Spiegel article, Relotius’s colleague Juan Moreno raised a red flag about a Nov. 2018 article that Relotius and Moreno shared a byline on. “Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically and with criminal intent,” Der Spiegel wrote. “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. 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.”
“Several of his articles were about the U.S., including alleged abuse in a Florida reform school, an execution in Texas, a border militia in Arizona and a small town in Minnesota,” according to the Guardian.
It appears Relotius deleted his Twitter account.