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Fake news took on new meaning at a German magazine this week.
Der Spiegel announced Wednesday it had fired award-winning journalist Claas Relotius for fabricating “on a grand scale” while writing his stories, inventing quotes and making up people in more than a dozen articles, The New York Times reported.
Relotius, 33, has won several international journalism awards, including being named CNN’s “Journalist of the Year,” The Washington Post reported. He also won the European Press Prize and was named to the Forbes List of “30 under 30: Europe Media” award, the newspaper reported.
Several articles containing false or fabricated information or quotes included stories about Iraqi children kidnapped by the Islamic State, a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, and Syrian orphans forced to work in a Turkish sweat shop, the Times reported.
In a story Thursday, Der Spiegel editor-in-chief Ullrich Fichtner wrote that the incident was the “low point in the 70-year history of Spiegel.”
“Claas Relotius committed his deception intentionally, methodically,” the newspaper reported. “We have many questions for ourselves.”
Relotius confessed to the deceptive writing after an investigation by Der Spiegel, the Times reported.