November 9, 2018

FROM THE SALENA ZITO SCHOOL OF JOURNALISTS:

Following investigation, Houston Chronicle retracts eight stories: Action follows external review of former staff reporter accused of fabricating sources (David Wood, Correspondent Nov. 8, 2018, Houston Chronicle)

On July 31, the Houston Chronicle published a front-page story with a provocative headline. "'We've moved on': Political anger after Harvey has eased," it declared, adding: "Experts believe disaster response is unlikely to be a factor in November."

It was a significant story by veteran reporter and Austin bureau chief Mike Ward. It asserted that Houston residents initially fed up with the uneven government response to Hurricane Harvey actually weren't going to blame politicians after all. The story began with West Houston resident Betsy Scheer, whose anger had faded. She was going to vote Republican.

"My friends are mostly the same way now," she was quoted as telling Ward.

But in the weeks after the story ran, questions were raised about the sourcing in Ward's story. No one could find Betsy Scheer. And no one could find three others quoted in the story -- Tran Ng, Martina Racelli and Jack Nito.

Quality Press outlets police themselves in this manner.

Posted by at November 9, 2018 4:06 AM

  

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