USA Today to remove 23 stories after investigation into fabricated sources

USA Today said Thursday it removed 23 stories from its website after an investigation into a reporter’s work revealed sources that appeared to have been fabricated.

The internal investigation, which took place over a period of several weeks, began after USA Today received an inquiry into the veracity of details in a story from USA Today breaking news reporter Gabriela Miranda.

Ms. Miranda recently resigned from USA Today as the investigation progressed, according to a person briefed on the investigation. His most recent article for the journal was published on April 17.

“After receiving a request for external correction, USA Today audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda,” the memo reads. “The audit revealed that some of the individuals quoted were not affiliated with the claimed organizations and appeared to have been fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. Additionally, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.

The memo added that the publication would review and strengthen its processes to prevent similar incidents in the future.

USA Today held a meeting with employees via video conference Thursday to discuss the investigation. The meeting, led by USA Today editor Nicole Carroll, included a briefing on some of the issues uncovered in Ms. Miranda’s articles and a question-and-answer session.

During the investigation, USA Today concluded that Ms. Miranda took steps to mislead investigators by producing false evidence of her newsgathering, including recordings of interviews, according to the person briefed on the investigation. One of those involved in the investigation disputed that finding during Thursday’s meeting with staff, saying people reviewing his work couldn’t verify the identity of certain people in the recordings.

She previously covered education and the Hispanic community for The Gainesville Times, according to his website. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2021.

USA Today had a separate story-making scandal in 2004, when the newspaper accused Pulitzer Prize finalist and correspondent Jack Kelley of fabricating stories and plagiarizing the work of other media outlets. Mr. Kelley resigned and later apologised.

Isabelle Simonetti contributed report.