Shanghai-based Dutch journalist leaves as newspaper concedes fabrications

By Liu Caiyu and Shan Jie Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/20 22:33:39 Last Updated: 2017/9/21 3:43:56

A Dutch journalist who reported on China for 10 years has left his company after being shown to have fabricated news.

Oscar Garschagen, Shanghai correspondent for NRC Handelsblad since 2007, made serious errors of journalistic rules, harming the trust of editors and readers, according to a statement published on the Dutch newspaper website on Wednesday.

The mistakes have been publicized by the internal research of NRC Handelsblad in recent weeks. Garschagen, 64, has left the organization, the statement read.

Garschagen's news assistant Zhang Chaoqun posted an article on WeChat Ain early September, accusing Garschagen of inventing places, people, facts and quotes, and even borrowing content from other media in his news reports.

Zhang, who resigned Monday morning, said he could not stand seeing any more "fake news" from Garschagen after allegedly catching him out the first time in 2015.

"I'm happy that NRC chose to face the facts after its first irresponsible feedback."

"They made the right decision, confirming the accusations I had made about the Dutch reporter," he said.

Garschagen could be sued for fabricating news, as well as his company, Wang Sixin, a law professor at the Communication University of China (CUC) in Beijing, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Garshagen may have made up fake news that fed negative stereotypes of China, Wang noted.

It was "intolerable," said Wang Jun, another professor at the same university."No matter who he interviewed and what kinds of stories he wrote, the reporter broke fundamental journalism ethics."

"It damages the credibility of the NRC and abuses the sympathy of interviewees. If fake news written by the reporter causes property losses or he profits from it himself, that might constitute a crime," Wang Jun said.

NRC's editor-in-chief, Peter Vandermeersch, initially defended Garschagen.

"We will not comment on the way Oscar Garschagen and NRC are separating," he told the Global Times on Wednesday night.

Julie D'Hollander and Xiong Jiayi contributed to the story

Posted in: SOCIETY

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