A top European news magazine fired one of its star journalists after the discovery that he had been fabricating facts and sources in more than a dozen articles over a seven-year period.
Germany's Der Spiegel said: "Claas Relotius, a reporter and editor, falsified his articles on a grand scale and even invented characters, deceiving both readers and his colleagues". The also added that the reporter’s actions were intentional and methodical.
An investigation into a story by Relotius about immigration and the US-Mexican border revealed that he had fabricated information about seeing a hand-painted sign in a town in Minnesota that read: "Mexicans Keep Out." The story was titled: “Jaeger’s Border,” which was a mishmash of mistruths about a vigilante group conducting patrols along the border between Arizona and Mexico. It turned out to be “one fabricated story too many,” and the career of the decorated reporter, once dubbed “a journalistic idol of his generation” will indefinitely come to a halt.
Our assessment is that this discovery is indeed a colossal shock to the world. When governments across boundaries are implementing new and effective methods to curb the spread and birth of fake news, this incident further taints the credibility of global media and news providers. We feel that this discovery will definitely have an impact on global viewership as it is a wakeup call for those who engage in spreading fake news.