USA Today takes down 23 items and claims the reporter used false sources.
After an internal investigation found that the writer who authored the pieces misattributed statements and, in some cases, may have made up interviews and sources, USA Today pulled 23 news stories from its website on Thursday.
Gabriela Miranda, the newspaper’s breaking news correspondent, quit and was not available for comment. Between spring of 2021 (“TikTok pulls the “milk crate challenge” from its app, citing worries over harmful activities”) and spring of this year (“”This is my land, I stay”: These Ukrainian ladies are among thousands choosing to fight, not run”), she penned over two dozen articles for USA Today.
Inquiry in Miranda
A list of the pieces that were taken down, along with a brief summary of USA Today’s inquiry into Miranda, which the company said started with a “external correction request” a few weeks ago, were both made public. In the end, the audit was expanded to cover a large portion of her reporting, which centred on hot subjects and popular stories.
The publication issued a statement stating that “the audit discovered that certain persons cited were not linked with the organisations represented and looked to be invented.” “It was unable to independently confirm the presence of the other people mentioned. Additionally, several tales contained statements that needed to be attributed to others.
When The Washington Post enquired for further information, a spokeswoman for USA Today’s parent company, Gannett, pointed them to the newspaper’s statement. The news that the pieces had been taken down was originally reported by The New York Times.
Most news companies see fabricating sources, quotations, or anecdotes as journalistic malpractice, which usually results in the offender’s dismissal. As USA Today did, most publications amend the record and inform readers of questionable work.
Scandal has frequently resulted from such events. In 1981, The Post returned a Pulitzer Prize when reporter Janet Cooke knowledge and information fabricating a story about an 8-year-old heroin user. The Times had a similar setback in 2003 when it came to light that reporter Jayson Blair had stolen other reporters work and made up events in pieces that were published under his byline. Reporter Jack Kelley left USA Today in 2004 when the publication was unable to confirm claims he made in articles he reported from all over the world.
Miranda temporarily covered education and Hispanic community-related topics for the Gainesville Times before joining USA Today. Norman Baggs, the general manager of the publication, declined to comment.
When Miranda was a student at the University of Georgia, where she received her degree in 2021, she additionally worked for a student newspaper called the Red & Black.