CNN’s 2014 Journalist Of The Year Resigns After Admitting To Falsifying Stories

Der Spiegel and CNN (LEFT: Sean Gallup/Getty Images RIGHT: Christopher Aluka Berry/ Reuters)

Mike Brest Reporter
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A reporter at the German news magazine Der Spiegel — who won CNN’s Journalist of the Year Award in 2014 — resigned on Wednesday after admitted to making up stories.

Claas Relotius “falsified articles on a grand scale and even invented characters,” Der Spiegel admitted in a statement.

It went on, “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.” (RELATED: The List Of CNN’s Bungled Reporting Is A Sight To Behold)

They also acknowledged that the fraud was discovered when Relotius worked alongside another reporter, Juan Moreno, in November. Moreno was suspicious following a story they co-bylined about a vigilante group that patrols the Mexican-U.S. border. Moreno proceeded to report his concerns to Der Spiegel and went to report on another story with Relotius to see if he could find out more information.

Since 2011, Relotius published just under 60 articles and by his own admission 14 of them “are at least in part fabrications,” their statement included.

He was awarded CNN Journalist of the Year for the story “Murderers as Carers.” The story centered on the U.S. prison system’s inability to provide care for long-term inmates suffering from dementia.

“The report takes a poetic and interesting approach to a major social problem. Claas Relotius paints pictures in the reader’s mind that unfold like a film,’ said Franz Fischlin, chairman of the judging panel, according to a CNN recap of their award ceremony.

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