Conflict of interest

Apr 29, 2005

Isn’t this interesting: Samiha Khanna, the reporter who wrote the News & Observer article about the murder of Janet Abaroa, posted a comment to the weblog of Abaroa’s husband, asking for permission to use a photo with the article. That comment indicated Khanna knew Janet Abaroa in high school. But, Khanna’s story didn’t disclose that information. That’s an egregious journalism error, especially in light of the fact that the police investigation of Abaroa’s murder, to my knowledge, is still open, and an acquaintance could be a suspect in the investigation.

I sent Khanna an e-mail message this morning asking after the lack of disclosure. No response, but t [T]he comment has since been deleted. Hmm. [Khanna responded shortly after I posted this; I’ll ask permission to post Khanna’s message, which is reasoned and responsive.]

See a screenshot of the comment here.

This certainly is interesting: Abaroa’s husband posted only one entry to his weblog. That post is quite poignant, about challenges and strengths and personal development. The day after he posted that, his wife was dead.

[Disclosure of my own: I was a neighbor of Abaroa, and Erin, my wife, is a good friend of a woman who was a good friend of Janet Abaroa; more here.]

[Edited shortly after initial posting to include Khanna response.]

Anton Zuiker

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