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USA Today removes 23 stories by South Forsyth High School alumna following audit into ‘fabricated’ sources
Gabriela Miranda
Gabriela Miranda

A South Forsyth High School alumna recently resigned from her position at USA Today after the publication announced it had conducted an audit into her work and found that several of her sources “appeared to be fabricated.”

According to a statement released by USA Today, the audit began when they received an external correction request related to a story written by Gabriela Miranda, one of their breaking news reporters at the time.

“The audit revealed that some individuals quoted were not affiliated with the organizations claimed and appeared to be fabricated,” the statement reads. “The existence of other individuals quoted could not be independently verified. In addition, some stories included quotes that should have been credited to others.”

Miranda grew up in Forsyth County, attending Piney Grove Middle School before attending and then graduating from South Forsyth High School in 2016, according to records provided by Forsyth County Schools.

After high school, she attended the University of Georgia where she worked for the campus newspaper, The Red & Black, and graduated in 2021, according to a biography posted to the publication’s website.

During that same year, Miranda worked as a freelancer and reporter for three months at the Gainesville Times, a Metro Market Media publication alongside the Forsyth County News.

“Journalists must be held accountable for such poor choices, and I’m glad to see that USA Today is doing so,” said Shannon Casas, editor in chief for The Times. “She has irreversibly damaged her reputation, which is sad to see for such a young reporter. The Times cares deeply about providing accurate information to our community and we hold all of our staff accountable to those standards.”

Norman Baggs, general manager at The Times, said the paper reviewed Miranda’s work and has removed one story from online archives out of an abundance of caution due to a source that could not be immediately verified.

“Gabriela Miranda worked for us for a very short period of time, producing only a small volume of work,” Baggs said.

Along with its statement, USA Today listed each of the 23 articles removed on its website.

See the Gainesville Times original story here.