The “Süddeutsche Zeitung” is criticized. This is alleged plagiarism by his deputy boss and a house informant.

Alexandra Föderl-Schmidt speaks into a microphone

It's all about the source: Alexandra Föderl-Schmid has been deputy editor-in-chief of the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung since 2020 Photo: Alessandra Schellnegger/SZ Photo/Picture Alliance

MUNICH taz | The mole hunt took place last year. For use in Munich's Zamdorf district, where Süddeutsche Verlag moved into a stately building 15 years ago, it was not the shovels that arrived during the Christmas season, but digital tools. The company's IT department investigated whether there were possible contacts between someone in the company and the branch Media Insider have given. According to the Süddeutscher Zeitung (SZ), only the connection data was examined. The content of the emails was not checked and telephone conversations were not intercepted.

From the editor-in-chief's point of view, the action was necessary because detailed information from an editorial conference apparently ended up in the hands of a member of the media: what happened? size-Vista was clearly pointing to an informant on his own team. “The level of detail and the abundance of quotes gave rise to the suspicion that the entire conference had been intercepted or even recorded and transmitted verbatim to third parties,” states a statement from the editor-in-chief, the works council and published the editorial board, which the newspaper wrote “on its own.”

The editorial team gained little insight; There was no indication of corresponding contacts through mail servers and telephone networks. size. The emotion, however, is great. The organization Reporters Without Borders criticizes that size They want to find the mole in their own ranks. The argument: After all, protecting sources is a particularly important asset in journalism. Confidential communication is essential, especially for research.

The only question that arises is: What if you are not the subject but the object of said investigation? Does a media company have to tolerate and even support investigations against its own company just because it defends journalistic values? Not at all, says the editor-in-chief. size and he wants his action to be understood more as self-defense. Conferences are a protected and non-public environment. Discussions at conferences are subject to editorial confidentiality. For the mockery that has to size Don't worry anyway, especially since it's happening again. Media Insider who made public the until now fruitless search for the escape in his own home.

Did the boss cancel?

But that is only one facet of the current one. size-History. The other deals with exactly what was also the subject of the aforementioned editorial conference, which was reported to the outside world: the question of whether the editor-in-chief South German newspaperone of the most famous German-language newspapers, has a journalist who does not always take his sources very seriously.

Alexandra Föderl-Schmid, 53, has been deputy editor of the newspaper since 2020. The Media Insider and then other media also had the Austrian journalist, who was previously also editor-in-chief of the newspaper Wiener Standards She was accused of frequently taking passages from other texts in her journalistic articles without citing the sources.

Now another accusation has emerged: Föderl-Schmid is said to have largely copied his thesis that he submitted in 1996 to the University of Salzburg. At least that's what communication scientist Stefan Weber claims.

Weber has already earned a reputation as a “plagiarism hunter.” According to a list published on Wikipedia, in addition to numerous works by Austrian authors, he reviewed, among other things, the dissertation of former Bundestag President Norbert Lammert and a book by then-chancellor candidate Annalena Baerbock. While the Ruhr University in Bochum was shouting Mirror Concluding that the deficiencies of Lammert's dissertation, contrary to Weber's demands, did not justify the withdrawal of his doctorate, Baerbock withdrew his book from sale.

As a result of these accusations, the south germans On Monday it was announced that the colleague had asked her former university to review her thesis. “Until these audits are completed, Föderl-Schmid will not be able to conduct daily operations. size withdraw.”

There is still one interesting source: Stefan Weber's source of income. His work is said to come from the right-wing populist milieu. nius of the first Image-Editor-in-chief Julian Reichelt – with a low amount, according to Weber, in the four digits. That's not what he reports. Media Insiderbut Mirror.