Washington Post ends ombud program, ‘will appoint a reader representative’

The Washington Post
“The world has changed, and we at The Post must change with it,” Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth tells readers.

We will appoint a reader representative shortly to address our readers’ concerns and questions. Unlike ombudsmen in the past, the reader representative will be a Post employee. The representative will not write a weekly column for the page but will write online and/or in the newspaper from time to time to address reader concerns, with responses from editors, reporters or business executives as appropriate.

Patrick Pexton left as Post ombudsman on Feb. 28 when his term expired; in a widely discussed column he wondered whether he’d be the last person to hold that title.

Previously: Pexton: Ombudsman can get answers from reporters who won’t answer readers

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  • Gia Phu Pham
  • canardnoir

    Not to worry – the “change” will be virtually seamless.

  • canardnoir

    Right John – It’s “Change you/We Can Believe In”

    And at issue is not “concerns about accuracy, fairness and ethics of print” – the issues surround balanced reporting in light of the prevalent facts…

  • http://www.capecodtoday.com/blogs/index.php?disp=bloggers citizenkane

    Old blog posts never die, they just keep getting resurrected when circumstances warrant; like this one for example:

    http://citizenkaneblog.blogspot.com/2009/11/genesis-ombudsman-by-art-kane-in.html

  • http://twitter.com/JohnHamer John Hamer

    Whatever they’re called — reader representatives, public editors or ombudsmen — many do a good job and provide a valuable service. However, news councils — independent nonprofit organizations that function as “outside ombudsmen” — can also help restore public trust in the media. For a model of how one works, see http://wanewscouncil.org. We have a solid 15-year track record of addressing concerns about accuracy, fairness and ethics of print, broadcast and online media in this state. If we can do it in Seattle, surely someone can do it in Washington, D.C. The media today, with dismal public trust ratings in every survey (Gallup, Edelman, Rasmussen), need all the help they can get.

  • roadgeek

    When will the lapdog start?