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Der Spiegel to run 23-page special on reporter who faked stories

The German news weekly Der Spiegel is to publish a 23-page special report on how one of its award-winning reporters faked stories for years and dealt a blow to media credibility.

Claas Relotius, 33, resigned after admitting making up stories and inventing protagonists in more than a dozen articles in the magazine’s print and online editions.

Since the scandal was revealed by the magazine on Wednesday, other mainstream German outlets including Die Welt and Die Zeit, which once used Relotius as a freelancer, have also begun poring through articles that he wrote for them.

“Tell it like it is,” wrote Der Spiegel on its latest magazine cover page, in an allusion to the publication’s motto coined by its founder, Rudolf Augstein, that also hangs at the entrance of its headquarters in Hamburg.

In its editorial, the magazine said the scam, involving subjects including Syrian orphans and a Holocaust survivor, was the “worst thing that can happen to an editorial team”.

It also apologised for the mistake and promised to “do everything to boost our credibility again”.

Relotius had written for the magazine for seven years and won numerous awards for his investigative journalism, including CNN’s journalist of the year prize in 2014.