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was a longtime USA Today
USA Today is a national American daily newspaper published by the Gannett Company. It was founded by Al Neuharth. The newspaper vies with The Wall Street Journal for the position of having the widest circulation of any newspaper in the United States, something it previously held since 2003...
reporter and nominee and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
The Pulitzer Prize is a U.S. award for achievements in newspaper and online journalism, literature and musical composition. It was established by American publisher Joseph Pulitzer and is administered by Columbia University in New York City...
He is perhaps best known for his professional downfall in March 2004, when it came out that he had long been fabricating stories, going so far as to write up scripts so associates could pretend to be sources during an investigation of his actions by others at the newspaper.
The newspaper conducted an extensive review of Kelley's stories, sending investigators (including reporter and former mid-level editor Mark Memmott) to Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...
, and Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...
to check his work and sift through stacks of hotel records to determine if Kelley was where he claimed to be when filing stories. Kelley resigned but denied the charges. The USA Today
publisher, Craig Moon, issued a public apology on the front page of the newspaper. The scandal led to the resignations of two key staff members at the newspaper, top editor Karen Jurgensen and News section managing editor Hal Ritter in April 2004.