Mike Ward Out at Houston Chronicle
Veteran reporter accused of faking sources
Mike Ward, a veteran reporter with decades of experience covering the Texas Legislature, abruptly quit his position as Austin bureau chief for the Houston Chronicle on Sept. 10, after allegations surfaced that he made up sources for stories. Ward, who worked for the Austin American-Statesman before joining the Houston daily in 2014, had been a well-regarded journalist, especially for his coverage of criminal justice issues and the Texas Senate. However, this week Houston Chronicle Executive Editor Nancy Barnes wrote an open letter to her readers explaining that another of her writers had raised concerns about Ward's "man-on-the-street" interviews. She said that Ward stood by his reporting, but so far their in-house staff have failed to find the people he said he had interviewed. As a result, they had hired "an independent, highly respected journalist" to review Ward's work. That'll go on simultaneously at the Statesman, where outgoing editor Debbie Hiott said on Monday that they plan to review Ward's past work.