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NPR Dismisses an Ombudsman Report (CJR / Behind The News)
This past Friday, NPR ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos released an 80-page report reviewing an October 2011 Peabody-winning investigation into the South Dakota foster care system’s treatment of Native American children. The ombudsman’s review concluded that the investigation as aired violated NPR’s Code of Ethics. NPR management has vehemently disagreed with the ombudsman’s findings. In an “Editor’s Note” posted that same night as the report, chief content officer and executive vice president Kinsey Wilson and Margaret Low Smith, the senior vice president of news, stood by the substance of the reports. NPR The network stands by the thrust of NPR correspondent Laura Sullivan’s reporting. A number of media figures, such as former Wall Street Journal deputy managing editor William Grueskin, took to Twitter to comment that Schumacher-Matos’ approach was laudable and an unusual instance of rigor and transparency. Poynter / MediaWire Wilson and Smith write that they’ve “spent weeks with our team, re-examining the hundreds of interviews and documents that formed the basis of the series” and say “Overall, the process surrounding the ombudsman’s inquiry was unorthodox, the sourcing selective, the fact-gathering uneven and many of the conclusions, in our judgment, subjective or without foundation. For that reason, we’ve concluded there is little to be gained from a point-by-point response to his claims.”
Posts Tagged ‘ombudsman’
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The Organization of News Ombudsman has launched a newly redesigned Web site, newsombudsmen.org, which promises to be “hub” for the international organization and “a guidepost for news consumers to make sense of both old and new media.”
Explained the org in a statement today:
“As media are changing, so is the role of the ombudsmen (also known as public editors) and the new Web site promises to be an important source for clarity and neutrality. By compiling media criticism and encouraging public interaction, newsombudsmen.org is a necessary companion for navigating the news.”
Before bloggers and citizen journalists took on the mantle of mainstream media watchdogs, ombudsmen were the ones who kept their publications and journalists in check. Can this new site catch on as a place for Web readers to check in on MSM watchdogs?
Read more: Newsobudsmen.org