After an investigation, the fabrications were “on a grand scale” and his articles contained made-up people and quotes in over a dozen articles, according to the New York Times.
To add even more salt to the wound, the Relotius’s articles went on to be nominated for major journalism awards — some of which he won. Some of the articles included stories about Iraqi children kidnapped by the Islamic State, a Guantanamo Bay prisoner as well as Syrian orphans working in a Turkish sweatshop.
Relotius’s story parallels that of Stephen Glass, who once wrote for The New Republic. During his time at the magazine that was once considered the in-flight magazine of Air Force One, he, like Relotius, invented quotations, events, and people for his articles.
In 1998, H.G. Bissinger chronicled his career of journalistic falsehoods in an article for Vanity Fair which was adapted by Billy Ray into a feature film in 2003. Titled Shattered Glass, the film debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and starred Hayden Christensen as Glass as well as Peter Sarsgaard, Chloë Sevigny, Hank Azaria, Melanie Lynskey, and Steve Zahn.