USA Today has removed 23 articles from its website after an investigation into a reporter’s work revealed fabricated sources, according to people briefed on the decision.
The internal investigation, which took place over a period of several weeks, began after USA Today received an inquiry related to the veracity of details in an article by Gabriela Miranda. Ms. Miranda was a breaking news reporter at USA Today, according to the people who would speak only on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Ms. Miranda resigned from USA Today in recent weeks, as the investigation progressed, one of the people said. Her most recent article for USA Today was published on April 17.
Ms. Miranda could not immediately be reached for comment.
Michael McCarter, the managing editor of standards, ethics and inclusion at USA Today, plans to notify readers of the investigation in an editors’ note to be posted on USA Today’s website on Thursday afternoon.
“After receiving an external correction request, USA Today audited the reporting work of Gabriela Miranda,” the draft note reads. “The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated. The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.”
Mr. McCarter added that the publication was planning a review of its processes “to prevent a similar incident from occurring in the future.”
During the investigation, USA Today concluded that Ms. Miranda took steps to deceive investigators by producing false evidence of her newsgathering, including recordings of interviews, one of the people said.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.