Dutch newspaper fires correspondent in China for making fake news

Updated 2017-09-21 10:30:56 Xinhua

Dutch daily newspaper NRC fired its China correspondent Oscar Garschagen for fabricating fake news, NRC announced on Wednesday.

"Garschagen has made serious mistakes in recent years against our journalistic rules," chief editor Peter Vandermeersch stated. "He thereby harmed the trust of the editors and the readers. Garschagen must therefore leave the newspaper."

64-year-old Garschagen was accused of making fake news by his former assistant. On Sept. 3, the assistant stated his former boss produced fake news, made up quotes, facts, names, committed plagiarism, and wrote about events he wasn't present.

Vandermeersch initially supported his correspondent, and at the same time, started an internal investigation into the issue.

The report of the investigation, which came out on Wednesday, contained 40 pages and showed in detail the several forms of fake news Garschagen committed.

"All his reports are based on extensive reporting, but in the writing it went wrong," the report concluded. "This led to mistakes, quotes attributed to the wrong person, or incorrect quotes, quotes from different persons who have been attributed to one person, details which have been intertwined, and in some cases, plagiarism."

A statement by NRC also contained a reaction by Garschagen, who claimed that one year before his retirement he wanted to show he "still could do it all". He added that he ignored all signals of a burnout and depression.

Garschagen was correspondent for NRC in China for ten years, first based in Beijing and later in Shanghai.

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