1. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    German Journalist Claas Relotius of "Der Spiegel" who previously won awards such as "CNN-Journalist of the Year" has admitted to falsifying and making up large parts of his pieces. This all came to light when his co-author, working with him on a piece an Arizona militia, started investigating him for making up facts as he went.

    I'm currently trying to find english news sources on this, the story broke just a few hours ago.

    EDIT: Der Spiegel has published an english version of their writeup regarding the case. http://www.spiegel.de/international...o-the-most-important-questions-a-1244653.html
    EDIT2: Posted a bit prematurely, it's not the full writeup, I hope it will be translated as well

    From his Wikipedia Page:
    For context (from my perception):
    • "Der Spiegel" is a left leaning magazine, I read a bunch of its online content and political bias seems to depend heavily on the author, more moderate Authors tend to get a lot of flack in the comments, their feminist writers definitely went off the deep end years ago and they also get flack in the comments
      • it may be worth noting that I get the feeling that whenever they publish articles that are clearly biased they disable comments, but that may just be my perception
    • During the 2016 Democratic Primaries my perception was that their publications were heavily biased towards Hilary Clinton, all the criticism of the media wrt disadvantaging Bernie Sanders applied to spiegel.de as well
    • I would say their youth magazine "bento" is definitely far left publishing articles trying to explain away that 31,4% of all convicted criminals in 2016 in Germany have been non German.
    • The co-author who investigated the fraud was made out to be a villian at his workplace leading up to the uncovering because no one believed him (according to the Article published on spiegel.de)
     
    Last edited by supersonicwaffle, Dec 20, 2018
  2. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    On the positive side:

    - this is a story the Spiegel broke
    - hes also fired by now
    - his motives where more in accordance with those of a typical youtuber, than "hoodwinking society at large"

    - its a horrible story nevertheless.

    Then - journalists are no angels either, but at least they have a code of conduct and a reputation to loose. Which is why this guy got fired by now.
    I'll link the Seymour Hersh Interview in here again, where he talks about his early years as a local reporter in Chicago.

    Where he got told not to push a story about police corruption in a murder case, "write down a death" of a black family, ... and in the end he still became one of the most important journalistic figuereheads of the country.



    This gets worse, not better - If you only find one journalistic outlet that you trust wholeheartedly (lets see, in germany currently that would be Deutschlandfunk Hintergrund and WDR/ARD Monitor on the center/left.. ;) ).

    Also - newspapers/regional news, and then vetting - is still the model you get all your news from. Everyone is copying them at a certain point. (If they arent making up a story from a twitter feed, or out of thin air...)

    Now the Spiegel was a weekly, and maybe the most prestigious one germany had (or so old people think.. ;) ), so this is bad still.

    Whats worse though is to seek a "deeper truth" in the "fake news" meme. Fake news always were there, fake news always happen, stories get redacted, corrected, pulled, denounced... with blogs and facebook its just gotten worse, because no one has an idea where the thing they are taking as truth is coming from - and they'll also never read the redaction, because they are get fed with clickbait by feeds and by chance. Alternative media also hasnt got "the truth" in their pocket for grated, they usually are worse informed. And everyone has one thing in common, they rely on newspaper work to get checked upon stories at all. And it still would be great if this gets financed by the public en large.

    Because the advertising market has crumbled, since Facebook and Google can make their users "buy stuff" much more efficiently. And you all like it.
     
    Last edited by notimp, Dec 20, 2018
  3. DBlaze

    DBlaze I don't know what i'm doing.
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    I wish I could be surprised about any of this, but in the end everyone has an agenda they want to push, even those that say they don't.
    Some are just more obvious than others.
     
  4. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    Oh don't get my wrong, there's definitely positive sides to it.

    Regarding funding for news outlets, I agree that a publicly funded model is favorable to ensure independency although I would say that the way it's run in Germany is deeply flawed and is currently failing hard for multiple reasons.
    • The scale is too broad it's not only there to ensure funding for programs wrt tradition, education or arts that struggle to fund themselves. There's heavy investment into entertainment and reruns that have no need for public funding.
    • WRT to news you would have to question its independency from gorvernment as a lot of the power within those stations lies with politicians (Fernsehrat). This has been critzied quite often.
    • The publicly funded Youtube MCN "Funk" has been under constant fire for having a lot of channels that:
      • Are massively left leaning to the point you would have to say they're radical
      • Channels that are pretty much just entertainment in massively popular industries such as gaming that just don't need public funding
     
  5. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Read the writeup in Die WELT (Springer) - which is also affected (same guy). Its bad.

    One of his journalistic colleagues researched his research and brought the scandal to light. Hes not even named in the reporting of the story - and of course at first he was dismissed, ignored, ... It was a darling reporter that he confronted. A "hero" of his generation and the editorial office of the Spiegel... 33 years old.

    It concerns 55 articles (reports mostly) some of which were rewarded with "journalistic prices" for their authenticity...

    It basically was tearjerky, poetic meaning in human interest stories stuff he made up. Together with the entire rest of the story. Talked to a doctor about two suicide bombers. Nope. Interviewed a young orphan women in Aleppo. Nope. Reported from the frontlines of an american paramilitary group in Arizona. Nope.

    Was a gifted writer though.. ;)

    This is bad.

    Also - those journalistic price committes in germany. Apparently do no fact checking either.. ;)
     
    Last edited by notimp, Dec 20, 2018
  6. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    The colleague is named by Spiegel in their piece, it's Juan Moreno ( http://www.spiegel.de/kultur/gesell...t-betrug-im-eigenen-haus-offen-a-1244579.html )

    They also talk about a suspicious story about him just wandering into a turkish underground sweatshop with a girl who fled from syria.

    Implications are huge, people have been alleging mainstream media made up stories like this to further acceptance of immigration for a long time, now they're proven right. Mainstream media in general has lost a lot of trust, now stuff like this comes to light.

    I'm really unsure what to make of this. I don't have time to fact check every article I read but at the same time it's hard to trust any outlets at the moment and this is just the tip of the iceberg, we haven't even touched on deliberate framing by omitting parts of the story which is also rampant in German mainstream media.
     
  7. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Thank you.
     
  8. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    Thank you @notimp for sharing the Seymour Hersh interview. A bit off topic but theres some things that personally spoke to me

    1. Working as a freelancer to be able to do what you think is right. I have so much respect for people who do this, it's tough but at least you'll be able to look in the mirror.
    2. He mentioned young people outside of America being much more interested in news. I've worked on a project with Americans for a few years and whenever we were on a roadtrip we would ask our American colleague to be quiet for a few minutes every hour so we can listen to the news on radio. He was aboslutely fascinated by young people to be that interested in news, to us it was the most normal thing in the world.
     
  9. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Thats an overgeneralization at least to some extent.

    I'd say, that most people dont especially care about the news-news and that if you'd take the "its part of the next days water cooler talks" aspect away (that could be netflix now), and the "you pay for at least one newspaper if you reached a certain social class", and its not needed for entertainment anymore...

    In my case I recall a moment when a program director from a "partly publicly financed" (öffentlich rechtlich) TV station let students pitch in on his momentary quarrels with having to decide, if he should keep the same "big" daily newscast at 8pm on two channels, or if he should go for different audiences, and split them into that, and a "news light" version, and an additional headlines only variant on one channel, because it would reach more viewers. And it did. So the shortlist version won. :)

    Also - at least in past years, there was the programming done for the stay at home house wives, that were the only ones watching before noon, and the audience flow that never quite managed, to get people to stay for in depth stories - and those notable german news outlets I mentioned above - one is a radio program (öffentlich rechtlich), the other one is basically the "media watchdog" organization within the biggest TV network in the country. (Watched by hardly anyone.) ;)

    People always wanted to spend maybe their 20 minutes a day listening to a newscaster, and then they had their fill. :) (Usually they dont remember 90% of the stuff that got reported 5 minutes after the format ended, but thats just the format. (Usually lack of context.))


    And to be extremely honest - I can look at an RT clip of Mrs Clinton and John Kerry "smile for the camera" haming it up at a billionaire donors wedding and have a rough understanding of what this is, without resorting to "narrative shortcuts" (conspiracy theories). But does that really benefit me in my life? Not much, particularly. :)

    I even might be a more somber and maybe even blue person because of it, and if I write my best guess version of what the heck those "strange" green social movements are supposed to achieve - in their view, in societies view - pick a viewpoint... ;) I might loose a potential retreat to a "I havent really thought about that - aspect" standpoint. ;)

    It is what you do with it. And if you can make a small amount of difference - as a reporter, hey its worth it. People always want to listen to stories. And some of them really are worth to be told. And there the right person can make a difference.

    Its not black/white not in media, not in life. :) Americans, other nationalities, .. doesnt matter much. (From my experience.)

    Media that at least is primarily publicly financed (öffentlich rechtlich, NPR, ...) helps.
     
    Last edited by notimp, Dec 21, 2018
  10. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer
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    Wow, what a dumbass. Got everything he deserved.
     
  11. Flame

    Flame Me > You
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    you are telling when trump shouts fake news, he might be telling the truth.

    *mind blown*

    in other news. Santa Claus is real.
     
  12. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    Of course it is, I was just sharing a personal experience :)

    ZDF has an entire channel that in large parts does nothing but put on reruns all day but when the olympic games are on all public TV stations only broadcast on a single station and tell you to use live streams which are barely able to keep up, buffer all the time and make you watch at terrible bitrate for most of it even though nation wide public TV has a combined total of 6! stations. You have to question their spending at some point.

    Sure but as you said yourself, they do hold responsibility. I'm even fine with some political bias. What I don't like is deliberately taking things out of context, suggesting alternative facts by omission, etc. And this does happen. In other words: There's a difference between being a journalst or reporter and being an activist. I'm fine with either from all over the political spectrum just don't masquerade your activism as journalism or reporting.

    We're in agreement here. Although I do think we need some sort of reform over how things work here in Germany.

    Any Youth Formats just need to be killed with fire. I would say I understand comedy but publically calling for doxxing campaigns on NEO MAGAZIN ROYAL that is funded by everyone is just a step to far for my taste. Funk does have a few channels I enjoy like MrWissen2Go or Kurzgesagt but Game Two has no place there and I won’t even touch on the number of radical left channels.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    Yes, I specifically mentioned the prize awarded by CNN because of the irony. :D
     
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  13. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Oh fake news exists, he's just never honest about where the majority of it comes from. The vast majority of network and paper news outlets will issue a retraction whenever they've published something false. For Fox and talk radio, the entire point is publishing falsehoods in order to muddy the waters for real news, so you'll never hear them retract anything.
     
    Last edited by Xzi, Dec 21, 2018
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  14. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Funny thing - the first thing the Spiegel did (ok, about the fifth - in the second third of the article..) is to look up other cases where that happened before. They arent common. But they found two. ;) One of them american, if my memory serves me well.. ;)

    The thing with fake news is not that they dont exist - its rather their narrative (I'm using this word too much.. ;) ) framing.

    First and foremost. If you are in the business of reporting stories, and your "best" tool of the trade is to "have at least two independent sources that are congruent on a story" - which you also don't always adhere to in some cases - because that thing was made up by an american news outlet decades in the past. You are also reporting false stories.

    In other astonishing news, youtubers almost never know what they are talking about.

    Set aside - that in this version of the story fake news - that are actually entirely imagined - from a journalist (!!) nonetheless is different and more problematic in nature--

    - what "fake news" actually transports is almost a sense of betrayal - that strangely enough I've never seen from people towards commercial influencers, who do that every freaking day, because its their "not really a job". ;) (Where is the outrage against "Hey - I bought this product because of fake news?" - oh it doesnt exist. How strange...)

    Journalists are actually supposed to tell their perspective of the truth, if the circumstances permit it. They are supposed to research a story, they are supposed to fact check, they are supposed to pick up the telephone or get out there and talk to people.

    They also didn't betray anyone "in bulk" "in general" at least not as far as I've seen. ;) The worst things that you could accuse them of doing - is underreporting rightwing sentiments of people in Europe (in the US they weren rectified in the least, so I'd not call them sentiments, I'd call them something different.. ) towards migration. Being too close and too cosy to established power structures (thats why you read different media outlets - but not "everything"), which (feeding them exclusivity for tameness) is pretty much the entire relationship of people in power with the press since - idk, the french courtsystem? (I picked something.. ;) ) - And not telling people what they wanted to hear, mostly politically. Also because you've gotten political shifts that media wasnt anticipating.

    And now - every second word out of everyones mouth, when talking to a - or about a journalist is "fake news". Boy - you all learned a new word, didn't you.

    Also the far right uses it distinctly to discredit almost the entire media system. Which people already weakened, by thinking, that social media would "replace it anyhow", because they didnt know what they were talking about, and their days were long.

    So if you some how can - please dont use this phrase lightly. You are certainly doing no one a favor - and probably are only doing it to feel better about you not caring much about media at all. And no, youtube doesnt count. Podcasts maybe. But only If I'm having a good day. ;) (Mostly commentary, not research.)

    In this specific case - use it, because this needs "embelishment" and overdrawn analogies - and also for once, the fake news sentiment actually fits.. ;)


    But then at least think further. In science reporting, for example you had the problem for years, that journalists didn't understand the actual studies (almost regardless of field), and if they did - in many cases they embellished the findings for a good headline. No one knows how to tackle that (they are now teaching actual "press relations for scientists" in high profile universities. ;) ). And your question, if this is also "fake news" doesnt help either.

    The question if "fake news" journalism is responsible for the current status quo - or can be seen as a big structural issue in society - still gets an emphatic and all encompassing - NO. Not at all, not even in the slightest.

    Its just that most people - for the first time ever - noticed on facebook, that there is more than the major channels newsanchors perspective to the world out there. And it probably scared them. But then they thought, that now they "were in the know", because of some outlet of questionable repute - and that all journalists where lying to them. Or most of them. Whatever. ;)

    And because journalism thanks to your advertising platforms of your choice, had a little bit of a financing problem by then (what craigslist is not in "the papers" anymore?), they couldnt tell people that they didn't care about you if you thought that way. You had them by the balls. And now you will "fake news" comment on or question them until they are dead. (Overembellished image.. ;) )
     
    Last edited by notimp, Dec 22, 2018
  15. As the saying goes; Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story. And that he did.
     
  16. WiiUBricker

    WiiUBricker News Police
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    Fake News are a thing, no matter the reputation of the author. That’s why it’s important to not always believe what’s written and always pay attention to the provided (or not provided) sources.
     
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  17. notimp

    notimp Well-Known Member
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    Here is another good analogy. People crying "wolf" all the time, so when something actually happens, they are "not surprised" anymore.

    What a wonderful crisis prevention strategy.

    Although this time, you should actually care. Because this was a reputable source. And they had a fact checking department. But it happened anyhow. Until someone within the magazine researched more.

    Now if you could all please stop armchair coaching, or do your "I always knew it" bit (Funny thing, that "dont let get facts in the way" story? Google lists irishamericanmoms.com as the top web source for that quote.) - the actual impact of this could be felt a little more.
     
    Last edited by notimp, Dec 22, 2018
  18. Glyptofane

    Glyptofane Death Dealer
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    Faux News is a fake conservative operation designed by liberals to appeal to conservative boomers. With the exception of Tucker Carlson, who is under attack by advertisers, it's a total shitshow front.
     
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  19. Xzi

    Xzi GBAtemp's Resident Plok Expert
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    Unfortunately there's no good alternative for conservative news, either. It has all lost completely lost touch with reality in order to protect the fragile egos of its consumers. There will have to be a reckoning eventually of course, and I imagine they'll try to distance themselves from Trump when all is said and done, just as they did with GWB in the later years.
     
  20. supersonicwaffle

    OP supersonicwaffle GBAtemp Regular
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    Thanks for you post. We're in agreement over a lot of things but I'd like to get your perspective on some of it.

    I guess it would be worthwhile to try to define fake news. I would agree that making up entire stories like it is the case with Relotius is not all too common but I would also classify extreme framing as a type of fake news.
    I would say framing is VERY commonplace in mainstream media. I tried laying out examples but it was way too long. Copypasta may have something to do with it but at best it's extremely sloppy reporting.

    Here's an article that I take particular issue with. https://www.bento.de/politik/sind-e...utsche-a-f34e6279-e321-4d88-ab22-68204994eec8
    It basically drops the truth bomb that 11% of the population is convicted for 33% of the crimes and then does the mental gymnastics to say when it comes to sexual violence that the problem is males not migrants. No shit Bento, how about mentioning that migrant males are still extremely overrepresented going so far as to make up the absolute majority (not just overrepresentation) in gang rape suspects?

    Hmm, do you have any examples? I found some youtubers to be quite reliable for fact checking. Others (some of them publicly funded) are outright fabricating stuff like Rayk Anders for example (Lösch Dich documentation is in large parts nothing but a misrepresentation, )

    Maybe I'm misunderstanding. Are you saying that media IS underreporting on rightwing sentiments? Would you have examples or arguments for it, because I have a completely different impression.
    They're very much overreporting on stuff like Chemnitz to the point where they just run with things (hunts / Hetzsjagden of migrants) that could never be corroborated on the ground and driving guilt by association for everyone at the protest, yet OTOH they're always mentioning that a violent left wing minority at protests is an insult to all the peaceful protestors and their cause.
     
    Last edited by supersonicwaffle, Dec 22, 2018
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