Ex-assistant claims to have evidence against Dutch journalist

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/5 23:58:40

A foreign media news assistant who wrote an article claiming a Dutch journalist fabricated news said he had enough evidence to support his accusations.

The article, written by Zhang Chaoqun, accuses Oscar Garschagen, the Shanghai-based correspondent for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, of inventing places, people, facts and quotes, and even borrowing content from other media in many of his news reports.

It was published on Chinese WeChat public account, "foreignmediainchina," on Sunday.

"I have solid evidence to prove Garschagen had violated news ethics by fabricating information in many articles," Zhang told the Global Times on Tuesday.

Zhang, who submitted his resignation Monday morning, said that he cannot stand seeing more 'fake news' from Garschagen after allegedly catching him violating news ethics for the first time in 2015.

Garschagen, however, told the Global Times on Tuesday that the article is "a combination of untruths, distortions, and outright fabrications."

Asked whether he would file a lawsuit against Zhang, Garschagen told the Global Times that he "is considering all options" right now, including legal action. 

"I write hundreds of original articles about China, and I never had any trouble, neither with sources nor with authorities," he added.

Zhang said Garschagen seldom asked him as an assistant to verify the report before publishing, and also refused to show published reports to their interviewees.

Zhang said "I felt deeply sorry for our interviewees. The 'fake news' abused their goodwill," Zhang said, adding some interviewees were shocked and expressed their support to him after he exposed the 'fake news' online.

Zhang said in the article that Garschagen invented a quote from Wang Fu, who was an attorney in a criminal case involving a Dutch citizen. Wang later told the Global Times that it's true that he didn't say "it's obviously not a fair trial" in interviews and praised Zhang for speaking out.

"I would be happy with an independent investigation to the issue," Zhang told the Global Times.

The disclosure has caused a huge outcry online in China, with many questioning the professional ethics of Garschagen.

"What an 'amazing journalist' he is! I'm stunned by his professional ethics. But I'm not surprised because he has readers out there," a net user wrote on WeChat.

On Tuesday, the NRC expressed its support to their reporter in Shanghai, saying the accusation was wrong and also published Garschagen's reply to Zhang's accusations.

Wang Sixin, a law professor at the Communication University of China, told the Global Times that he is also "a victim of fake news."

The professor said a reporter in 2012 fabricated a lead in a story about the Internet status of Chinese teenagers, which is something he never wrote in his written interview.


Posted in: SOCIETY

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