The New Canaan News in Connecticut announced last Friday that they had fired award-winning reporter Paresh Jha after it was discovered that he had fabricated sources and quotes in at least 25 stories he wrote in the last two years for the paper.

“We have found 25 stories written by Paresh Jha over the last year and a half that contain quotes from nonexistent sources,” David McCumber, editorial director of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, said Friday.

McCumber said that Jha was exposed when editors attempted to fact check “unusually spelled names” and that when confronted Jha admitted to the fabrications.

He also apologized  to readers for the “gross violation of our standards.”

The paper is now checking the validity of every story Jha wrote in his 22 months at the News.

Jha isn’t the first reporter to have been caught fabricating sources or quotes, USA Today’s Jack Kelley comes to mind for having fabricated major stories he wrote for the paper while overseas.  And that was 8 years ago when the internet was still in its infancy, and didn’t serve as the repository of information as it does today.

While Jha deserves the bulk of the blame for lying to the News’ readers, the editors are also at fault for accepting his work at face value and not doing the necessary fact checking.

No wonder the public distrusts the media so much