Houston Chronicle: We're Investigating Our Own Reporter

Mike Ward resigned after he was accused of inventing sources
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2018 3:35 AM CDT
"In these challenging times for our country, with journalism and journalists often under attack, trust between a newspaper and its readers is absolutely essential," the editor wrote.   (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

(Newser) – The Houston Chronicle says it is investigating allegations of actual fake news—from one of its own journalists. "I want to be completely transparent with readers and tell you that we have launched an investigation into the work of one of our own reporters," executive editor Nancy Barnes writes, explaining that a Chronicle journalist had recently flagged concerns about the work of a colleague, veteran reporter Mike Ward. "Specifically, questions were raised about whether individuals quoted in one of his stories were real people," the editor writes. Ward insisted the quotes were real, but resigned after researchers "had difficulty finding a number of sources" cited in his recent reports.

The resignation might end the matter in a different business, but "as a journalism organization, we owe the public more," Barnes writes. "We owe our readers the truth and to tell you if, in fact, there were inaccuracies in anything we published," she writes. "To help us ferret this out, we have hired an independent, highly respected journalist to review Ward's work ... and determine whether any reporting transgressions occurred." She says the investigation will take time, but a full account of the findings will be published when it is complete. The full statement can be seen here. The Hill notes that the investigation comes amid President Trump's continued attacks on the press and its use of anonymous sources. (Read more newspaper stories.)

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