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Der Spiegel reporter who faked stories returns awards

from The Guardian,

Claas Relotius apologises, as far right says exposure calls all German news into question.

The award-winning German journalist who admitted falsifying stories on a large scale over several years has voluntarily handed back four prestigious press awards and been stripped of others. As the German media world reeled from the revelations about Claas Relotius, who worked for Der Spiegel, rightwing populist organisations claimed that the scandal was proof of their longstanding claims of widespread fake news in the mainstream media. Relotius, 33, has gone underground, rebuffing attempts by colleagues to reach him. But he texted the organisers of the German reporter of the year prize to apologise and say he was returning his awards.

The US broadcasting network CNN stripped him of the two journalist of the year prizes it had awarded him and at least one further leading German prize-giver said it was doing the same.

A commission is now reviewing all of Relotius’s work including during his years as a freelancer, when he wrote for many respected German and Swiss newspapers.

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