TVNewser FishbowlNY AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Pexton’

WaPo’s Ombudsman Steps Up to Plate

Edwin Chen‘s beef with WaPo for butchering the name of his organization, Natural Resources Defense Council, in last Sunday’s newspaper was another example of just how slow the publication is to issue a correction and make a simple change. The error: National Resources Defense Council. Despite Chen, a former Bloomberg White House Correspondent, sending word to WaPo editors on Sunday morning, they weren’t able to address the issue of “National” Vs. “Natural” for another 48 hours when a correction appeared on A-2. What, it had to go up the chain of command? Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli has to approve the word change before it can happen?

The only thing WaPo can be commended on here is allowing their Ombudsman, Patrick Pexton, to bluntly critique the incident on Tuesday afternoon. Three cheers for Pexton. He wrote, “His mistake may seem minor in the grand scheme of things. But in the context of this town, it is almost unforgivable. The words are similar enough, sure — natural and national — but if you’ve spent any time in D.C., you know that the NRDC is about natural resources, not national resources.” He even got a former colleague to explain how abysmal WaPo‘s copy editing department is. Read the full slashing here.

WaPo to Shutter Nearly All Regional Bureaus

WaPo is reportedly closing most of its regional bureaus minus those located in the state capitals of Virginia and Maryland, FishbowlDC has learned. The information comes from a posting from the WaPo Guild Facebook page which sources tell us visible to only people who have been approved by the moderators. The “Vernon” in the posting below is Local Editor Vernon Loeb. The post below was written by WaPo staff writer and Guild representative Frederick Kunkle (as shown here in a picture taken from his Facebook page).

In explanation, just because the bureaus are closing does not mean the various regions won’t be covered. Rather, there will be no bureaus from which to work, a point some WaPo journalists are contending stems from their ongoing local focus, as tweeted today by NYT Social Media Editor Liz Heron: “News that WaPo closing most local bureaus comes after years of focusing resources on local. Motto was ‘For & about Washington’.”

WaPo Ombudsman Patrick Pexton is reportedly looking into the matter. He tweeted about an hour ago, “Checking on report that Post is closing regional MD and VA bureaus, except Richmond and Annapolis. Cost cutting. More later.”


As some of you have probably heard already — and as has been rumored for some time — the Post has decided to shut down all of its regional bureaus except those in the state capitals of Virginia and Maryland. Vernon, in a telephone conversation a little while ago, said that the Post’s leases on suburban bureaus will not be renewed after they expire, beginning in 2012, except in Richmond and Annapolis, which he said will “never” close. Vernon also says that although this is obviously another sign of the Post’s effort to grapple with the economy and the radical changes in the media business, the closure of the physical buildings does not mean that the Post will reduce its local coverage. He emphasized that the Post remains committed to covering our region as aggressively as possible. To that end, he said he will also do everything in his power to use some of the savings from the closure of the bureaus to invest in better mobile technology for reporters. We’ll try to update you further as we hear more. Please remember as we head into this Labor Day weekend that more than ever, tough times require a strong union, and we are only as strong as you are. As the Post continues to shrink, the Guild needs every person it can to become a dues-paying member.

We’ve written WaPo Publicist Kris Coratti for comment.

WaPo Ombudsman Goes Undercover as Tyra

We expect nothing short of masterful observation from our thriving hometown paper ombudsman here in Washington.

In that case, was Sunday’s piece by WaPo‘s Patrick Pexton a letdown or not?

On one hand, perhaps channeling talk show host Tyra Banks in a column about whether the publication has recently been offensive to first ladies is not the best way to go. And sure, maybe it is not the most highbrow way to reach a tightly wound Washington audience when you’re talking about gender and journalism, which tends to attract a prickly gaggle of women to begin with.

At issue are a recent blog post on first lady Michelle Obama’s 1,700 calorie-jaunt to Shake Shack in Dupont Circle and a story by new WaPo columnist and Jezebel founder Anna Holmes in which she talks about Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush like they were Kardashians. There’s Nancy’s love of astrology and Barbara being “dowdy.” Pexton interviews Holmes for his piece and she says she was being “honest” and declares, “I don’t regret doing it.”

An excerpt from Pexton’s column: “The wives of our presidents walk in a minefield of expectations — the first lady is supposed to be the nation’s unroyal queen, its top hostess, a fashion plate at the same time as a child rearer, a career woman and an issue crusader, plus the eternal earth mother, strong yet nurturing, kind to all yet with a backbone that can bolster her man.”

Really, Mr. Ombudsman. Her man? You mean, her main man, main squeeze, POTUS?

On the other hand, maybe this is a sign of a new, loose WaPo, with the ombudsman flipping back and forth on what’s appropriate. While writing in the voice of Tyra, he declares that Holmes went too far and there were other, ahem, more interesting facets to the first ladies such as Bush’s literacy campaign (Zzzz) and Nancy’s “steely support” for her husband (Zzzzzzz).

After enumerating various complaints from uptight readers about why WaPo editors fell asleep on the job, he concluded that the Shake Shack story was perfectly acceptable. “A little tabloidy, invasive and sexist? Well, yeah. But given Michelle’s child nutrition advocacy, a story not completely out of bounds.”

Thanks Tyra.

New WaPo Ombudsman Takes a Sunny Stance

WaPo‘s new ombudsman Patrick Pexton has only written one column, but so far, at least in comparison to his predecessor Andy Alexander, he’s emanating optimism.

As Alexander was largely sharp in his criticism of The Post, Pexton’s first article is glowing in its praise of the paper’s Egypt coverage. He starts with the story of WaPo photographer Linda Davidson, who was detained and interrogated in Egypt while attempting to take pictures of a Cairo morgue.

Pexton writes: “The Post‘s coverage of the turmoil in the Middle East has been exemplary because people like Davidson are risking their lives to bring readers the images and words of revolution.”

To his credit, he acknowledges the positive nature of his first column: “I’m sure some readers will worry that my first column as the Post‘s ombudsman is positive. But I think good work should be praised. Emulation of the good improves a publication as much as avoidance of the bad, about which I’ll have plenty of occasion to write.”

A note: WaPo‘s Ombudsman Blog still very much belongs to Alexander. The masthead features his picture despite his leaving the position last month and the tagline of the blog still says “Andrew Alexander gives voice to reader concerns about The Post.” The blog hasn’t been updated since January. Get on it, WaPo.

NJ’s Pexton Named WaPo Ombudsman

WaPo announced this morning that Patrick Pexton will become the news organization’s ombudsman. Prior to joining WaPo, Pexton spent 12 years at  National Journal and held the position of deputy editor for the last eight.  Before joining NJ, Pexton was editor at Navy Times, chief Pentagon correspondent for the Military Times, and worked for the Journal newspapers in the Washington suburbs covering Alexandria, Montgomery County, and Maryland state government.

As ombudsman, Pexton will represent readers who have concerns on a variety of topics including accuracy, fairness, ethics and the news-gathering process and will serve as an internal critic for Washington Post journalism. He will respond to readers through columns in the newspaper, the Ombudsman blog and social media.

Pexton’s two-year term with The Post begins March 1.