The Center for Investigative Reporting announced today that it has hired Lance Williams as an investigative reporter covering money and politics for CIR’s new California Watch project.
Williams joins California Watch from the San Francisco Chronicle, where he helped break many of the newspaper’s exclusive stories on the BALCO steroid scandal. With Mark Fainaru-Wada, he wrote Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports. The book, combined with the Chronicle articles, prompted Sen. George Mitchell’s investigation of baseball’s steroid era and led to many reforms.
In 2006, Williams and Fainaru-Wada were held in contempt of court and threatened with 18 months in federal prison for refusing to testify about their confidential sources on BALCO. The subpoenas were later withdrawn.
Williams has been a reporter in California for 34 years. He has been recognized for his work by winning the George Polk Award, the Scripps Howard First Amendment Award and the Gerald Loeb Award, among other honors.
Born in Ohio, he graduated from Brown University and the University of California-Berkeley. Before joining the Chronicle, he worked at the San Francisco Examiner, the Oakland Tribune and the Hayward Daily Review.
CIR has received more than 600 applications to the California Watch project. The complete reporting and multimedia team will be announced in early August once final hires are made.
“We are pleased to have a veteran reporter of the caliber of Lance Williams join our team,” said CIR Executive Director Robert J. Rosenthal.
At a time when newsrooms across the state are shrinking, California Watch will produce high-impact watchdog journalism on a range of issues including the economy, health care, the environment, and education. The project is funded by The James Irvine Foundation, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
For further information contact CIR Executive Director Robert J. Rosenthal at 510-809-3162 or California Watch Director Louis Freedberg at 510-809-3168.