Houston Chronicle Retracts Reports, Issues Corrections Due To Fabricated Information

An outside investigator reviewed reporter Mike Ward’s notes and lists of contacts and found 44 percent of people quoted in his stories didn’t appear to exist.

The Houston Chronicle building is on the Southwest Freeway.

The Houston Chronicle has retracted eight reports and issued corrections in multiple others, saying they were based on fabricated information.

The retractions came after a months-long investigation revealed a reporter allegedly made up some of the people in his stories.

An outside investigator, with a team of researchers, combed through veteran politics reporter Mike Ward’s reporting notes and lists of contacts.

They also cross-checked names quoted in his articles for the Houston Chronicle with public databases such as LexisNexis.

The team found 44 percent of people quoted in Ward’s stories didn’t appear to exist. For example, one story about changing demographics in West Houston quoted 10 people, six of them could not be found.

Ward resigned earlier this year while the investigation was underway.


Laurie Johnson


Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. Laurie has covered a wide variety of topics for HPM, including the crash of the Space Shuttle Columbia, Hurricanes Katrina and Ike, and numerous elections. She is a frequent contributor to NPR and has been...

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