Articles about "Ombudsmen"


Washington Post names new reader representative

The Washington Post
Alison Coglianese will succeed Doug Feaver as The Washington Post's "reader representative," the Post announced Thursday. She will "help make sure that reader questions and complaints are directed to the right place and responded to appropriately," the announcement says. "She will also answer questions from time to time on the Ask the Post blog."

Post Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt told Joe Strupp in January that Coglianese may assume the role.

The Post did away with a traditional ombudsman role last March, saying "media writers inside and outside The Post will continue to hold us accountable for what we write." Feaver explained to Poynter's Craig Silverman why he wouldn't be an ombudsman: I’m not [charged with] holding the newsroom accountable,” he said.
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Guardian ombudsman explains decision to remove Keller post

The Guardian | The New York Times | NPR
There were problems with the style and tone of Emma Keller's Jan. 8 piece about Lisa Bonchek Adams, who has stage IV breast cancer and writes about her experiences on Twitter. There were editing problems and some difficulties that, for now, likely won't be resolved, Chris Elliott, the Guardian readers' editor, wrote Thursday.

The Guardian removed Keller's piece from its site Jan. 13, after a wave of reader complaints and a Twitter backlash.
Adams and her family were shocked by the blog post, which she has said completely misrepresented the nature of her illness and her reasons for tweeting, was riddled with inaccuracies, and quoted from a private direct message to Keller through Twitter published without permission. It was a shock compounded by the publication on 13 January in the New York Times of a column by Keller's husband, Bill Keller, a former NYT executive editor, which also focused on Adams's use of social media.
Keller told Elliott that she regretted not giving Adams notice that she planned to quote from direct messages on Twitter. Keller also regretted not giving Adams a head's up that the piece was coming, Elliott wrote. (more...)
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Washington Post’s reader representative leaves

Media Matters for America
Doug Feaver has left his position as The Washington Post's "reader representative," Joe Strupp reports. Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt tells Strupp "the Post is still considering whether or how Feaver will be replaced, saying that Feaver's deputy, Alison Coglianese 'may assume the role.' "

Last March, Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth said the paper would eliminate its ombudsman position: "We know that media writers inside and outside The Post will continue to hold us accountable for what we write," she said. (more...)
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NPR Headquarters

NPR ombud’s latest report raises important questions, but it’s not without flaws

The modern ombudsman has been a prominent fixture in several of the largest American newsrooms since The New York Times instituted its public editor in the wake of the Jayson Blair debacle a decade ago.

While the position itself has … Read more

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NPR Headquarters

Do errors in NPR piece merit an 80-page report?

NPR
NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos' massive report on an investigative series NPR broadcast in 2011 "sets up an unfair challenge to NPR," Poynter's Kelly McBride tells NPR's David Folkenflik.

"Because, if he wants to do a column about why they chose this story instead of that story, then he should do that column. But he essentially does both in this very long report."

NPR's top news management "recused themselves from the preparation of this article about the dispute between the network and the ombudsman over the investigative series," Folkenflik writes. The reporters and editors behind the series "declined to respond on the record to most of the points" in Schumacher-Matos' report, he wrote. "NPR stands by the stories," Kinsey Wilson (who is on Poynter's board of trustees) and Margaret Low Smith wrote in an editors' note.

"It's very possible, in an investigative story, to get certain facts wrong but still have the overall truth be quite accurate," McBride tells Folkenflik. "And I'm not saying that's an excuse because when that happens it's incredibly unfortunate and even irresponsible on the part of journalists." (more...)
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NPR Headquarters

NPR stands by story its ombudsman criticized

NPR
There are six chapters of NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos' epic examination of Laura Sullivan and Amy Walters' October 2011 investigation about foster care in South Dakota.

The series won awards but was also criticized by the state's governor and head of its Department of Social Services. "Many South Dakota residents also have written me in disapproval of it," Schumacher-Matos writes. "My finding is that the series was deeply flawed and should not have been aired as it was," Schumacher-Matos writes. He lists the story's "five sins":

1. No proof for its main allegations of wrongdoing; 2. Unfair tone in communicating these unproven allegations; 3. Factual errors, shaky anecdotes and misleading use of data by quietly switching what was being measured; 4. Incomplete reporting and lack of critical context; 5. No response from the state on many key points.
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Robert Lipstye

New ESPN ombud Robert Lipsyte talks about his role

Ask if Robert Lipsyte is going to be particularly critical as ESPN’s new ombudsman, and he mentions a little piece he penned for Slate magazine back in June 2011. The piece dismantles the 763-page oral history of ESPN, “Those Read more

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Earns Washington Post

New Washington Post reader representative explains why he won’t be the paper’s ombud

Doug Feaver has no illusions about his new job.

“My primary mission is to respond to readers,” says the Washington Post’s new reader representative.

In other words, he is not an ombudsman.

“This is different — I’m not [charged with] Read more

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Reading the newspaper

Washington Post appoints its first ‘reader representative’

Washington Post
Doug Feaver "will serve as an advocate for readers, responding to their questions and concerns," the Post announced today.

Doug Feaver
Feaver was a career Postie -- a reporter and editor for 29 years on the Business, Metro and National desks. He then became executive editor of washingtonpost.com in 1998 and retired in 2005. He stayed involved for a few more years with a blog called dot.comments that responded to reader comments on the site.

The Post just ended its ombudsman program, replacing it with this new reader representative. Unlike Patrick Pexton and other Post ombudsmen of the past, the reader rep is a Post employee (not an independent contractor) and will not have a regular weekly print column.

It seems the primary outlet of expression for Feaver and assistant reader representative Alison Coglianese will be a blog on washingtonpost.com. Feaver is on Twitter (@feaverdb), but has barely used it since 2011.

Related: Washington City Paper writer appoints himself as the Post's new ombudsman

PreviouslyPexton: Ombudsman can get answers from reporters who won’t answer readers
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Washington Post’s new ombud replacement ‘sounds like a customer relations person’

Washington Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth announced Friday that the newspaper would not appoint a new ombudsman, because "The world has changed, and we at The Post must change with it."

The paper will instead appoint a "reader representative" to answer communications from readers. "We know that media writers inside and outside The Post will continue to hold us accountable for what we write, as will our readers, in letters to the editor and online comments on Post articles," Weymouth wrote.

How'd that go over?

The new job "sounds like a customer relations person," NPR Ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos writes.
As often as not, I disagree with complaints. But by taking them seriously, even those made by advocates, I find that it disarms the critics, or at the very least wins their appreciation. Listeners, readers and viewers want above all to know that someone with independent power in the organization is actually listening to them and acting on their complaints.

One, moreover, would be foolish not to listen to an audience as smart as NPR's, and even extremist advocates can be right. Receiving a pro forma response to a complaint, or having your complaint read on air, is a far cry from having someone believable actually investigate your complaint and get to the truth. The online stories cited by Weymouth are at least a public response, which is good, but the stories sound as if they could be written by the public relations department. If they are that way, it is unlikely to win much credibility among readers.
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