An Apology

An Apology

Dear Readers,

It has come to our attention that a student reporter on the Gazette staff has engaged in journalistic misrepresentation and the fabrication of quotes on stories that have appeared in three different issues of the Gazette this spring. In some cases, those stories also appeared online on GraniteBayToday.org.

Stories in the April issue about the Extreme Dance Team included fabricated quotes attributed to principal Jennifer Leighton, assistant principal Jessup McGregor and freshman student Charlotte Grahame. Fabricated quotes attributed to assistant principal Mike Fischer appeared in a story about a fake Instagram account started in the name of Mr. Fischer. A photograph of an iHop breakfast that accompanied a food review written by the reporter was actually taken from the internet without credit or permission.

In the March issue, a story about Black History Month included fabricated quotes attributed to Granite Bay High School librarian Julianna Hedstrom and freshman student Jada Harper.

In the February issue, in a story about teachers having to complete grade-change forms, the reporter quoted a freshman girl from Granite Bay High who does not actually exist.

There might be more misrepresentations and fabrications — GBHS administrators and Gazette editors are still investigating.

Journalism requires a certain amount of trust that, when a reporter quotes someone, readers can be sure those words were actually spoken by the person who is being quoted. Unfortunately in this case, the trust we as editors placed in this reporter was violated.

The student reporter has been suspended from The Gazette/GBT.org staff for the remainder of the school year, and will not be permitted to re-join the staff in the future.

We take our journalistic integrity very seriously. We are incredibly disappointed that this incident has damaged the credibility we’ve worked so hard to establish and maintain over our entire scholastic journalism careers. We apologize on behalf of our entire staff for the damage done by this series of decisions, and we deeply regret the publication of these defamatory stories.

Sincerely,

Cole Kahmann, Surina Khurana, Carissa Lewis, Anjali Shrivastava, Hannah Xu

Gazette/GraniteBayToday.org co-editors-in-chief

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