Inventing Truth – The Relotius Affair

Daniel Andreas Sager / / 2023

The story of one of the biggest media scandals of our time is an epic thriller about deception and psychological manipulation in a world where integrity and credibility are everything - but where the art of telling a good story sometimes weighs heaviest.

The story of the German journalist Claas Relotius is so good that if it was not already true, someone would have had to make it up – and perhaps he would have been just the right man for that very task? Relotius broke through as a young, award-winning star reporter before joining the prestigious magazine Der Spiegel. He was charismatic, popular and wrote like a novelist – which in the end turned out to be the genre his work was closest to. Reporting from hotspots like Syria and the US-Mexico border, he managed to publish over 120 pieces when his colleague Juan Moreno suspected it might all be too good to be true. But Moreno, with great personal consequences, met resistance from a news industry that didn’t want to lose its golden egg, and had to map out the reality behind Relotius’s stories before the house of cards collapsed and Relotius himself became the unwitting protagonist in one of the biggest media scandals of our time.