Hearst Communications last week dismissed its lead New Canaan reporter Paresh Jha after it found some of his stories contained fabricated quotations and sources, according to a New Canaan News online report. Many of Jha’s stories have been featured in the Darien News, another Hearst publication.
The two newspapers share an office and an editor in New Canaan.
The newspaper’s website, newcanaannewsonline.com, reported Friday, June 22, that 25 stories Jha had written in the past year and a half contained quotes from nonexistent sources. The paper’s editorial staff discovered the problem while it was verifying unusually spelled names in Jha’s reports. Jha had worked at the newspaper for nearly two years.
The company is checking the validity of sources from every story Jha has written during his tenure at the paper, according to the online report. The stories containing concocted material have been removed from the newspaper’s website.
The Darien News, formerly the Darien News-Review, is the oldest newspaper in Darien but has been owned by various corporations for the past couple decades. It closed its offices in Darien a few years ago after it was bought by Hearst, which also now owns the Stamford Advocate.
The Darien Times is the last newspaper and news website still based in Darien, on the third floor of the downtown Corbin Building. The Times is owned by Hersam Acorn, which is based in New Canaan and Ridgefield.