WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 22.07.2014


ombudsman

The suspension of New York Times columnist Andrew Goldman after posting offensive comments on Twitter has once again focused debate on the practicality or otherwise of social media ‘codes of conduct’ for journalists. Goldman, a freelance writer who regularly contributes the ‘Talk’ feature of the NYT magazine, found himself in hot water after he responded intemperately to criticism of his line of questioning to the Hollywood actress Tippi Hedren in a previous article. The subsequent altercation on the micro-blogging site with novelist Jennifer Weiner and others did not, to echo the Emperor of Japan in 1945, necessarily develop to his advantage.

Ironically, the initial question posed to Hedren – whether she had ever considered sleeping with a director in order to advance her career – might be reasonably defended as cheeky yet not entirely inappropriate, particularly since she was famed for having rebuffed the lecherous advances of Alfred Hitchcock, to the considerable detriment of her career.  His tweeted response, however, proved to be what some are already calling the ‘Tippi point’ vis a vis giving him the benefit of the doubt:

Author

Frederick Alliott's picture

Frederick Alliott

Date

2012-10-18 15:15

The New York Times Company announced yesterday that Margaret M. Sullivan would take over as the newspaper’s fifth public editor – and become its first female "ombud" – on September 1, 2012.

Sullivan, 55, is currently the editor and vice president of The Buffalo News, her hometown paper, where she has held various positions since 1980. She will succeed Arthur S. Brisbane, who assumed the role in the summer of 2010.

Like her predecessors, Sullivan will report to the company’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, and will serve as the “readers’ representative," addressing their comments and concerns directly, and promoting “transparency and understanding about how the institution operates,” according to the Times' statement.

Digital Plans

While Sullivan will keep up the tradition of writing a bimonthly print column for the Sunday Op-Ed pages, her role will have a stronger digital emphasis than those of her precursors.

Author

Emma Knight's picture

Emma Knight

Date

2012-07-17 15:27

The Globe and Mail, Canada's largest newspaper, has announced the appointment of its first ombudsman.

As Craig Silverman reported for Poynter, citing an internal memo from the paper's editor-in-chief John Stackhouse, Sylvia Stead will be the first Globe and Mail public editor, starting on January 23rd.

Stead is currently an associate editor and has been with the paper for many years, serving in a variety of roles from national to executive editor.

"The creation of this position is a major step for the Globe to make us more transparent and accountable to our readers, and to continue to build our most important asset -- credibility -- in the Canadian market," Stackhouse wrote in the memo reported by Poynter.

Newspapers' conduct has recently come under scrutiny as the rapid changes that technology is making possible and some recent bad behaviour by the media - the UK phone-hacking scandal to name just the most famous example - are posing extra challenges to press credibility.

Accountability is a key concern for newspapers on an ethical level but also on a more profane business one: readers buy newspapers they trust and recognise as a credible and legitimate source of news.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2012-01-18 16:45

In the age of an over-abundance of online information available more or less everywhere, why should readers still rely on newspapers as their news source?

Amongst other reasons, because they are trustworthy and still provide accurate, reliable, and thorough information. And, of course, because they recognize themselves in them.

In the effort to keep readers engaged with the paper, some newspapers are trying to improve their quality of information and underscore their commitment to accuracy and accountability.
That is what The Washington Post and the Register Citizen have done through giving a new way for readers to point out errors and submit correction requests.

As sometimes isn't easy for readers to submit correction requests, The Washington Post recently launched a report-an-error form, with the intention of making the process easier and more efficient, Poynter's Mallary Jean Tenore reported.

The form - the article said - which is displayed on every article page, asks readers to identify the type of error they've spotted and the section it appeared in. It also asks readers, "How can we fix it?" and "What do we need to know to improve future stories on this topic?"

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-04-05 14:08

Earlier last week, the staff of The Arizona Republic discovered some similarities between some of The Republic's articles and others appearing in The Washington Post.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-17 16:44

Publishers of course want their papers to be profitable, but also journalists working for a paper should take the paper's robustness to heart, shouldn't they? If a paper is profitable, it could invest in higher quality reporting, as well as in hiring other journalists.

This prelude is to suggest that a newspaper covering news about itself is not easy at all. Conflicts exist. "Reason of state" exists. How can a journalist cover a story regarding the company s/he works for, especially when this story involves financial and economic aspects of the company itself? There could be biased introduced by the journalist, or perhaps the journalist might report on something counterproductive to the success of the paper.

Arthur S. Brisbane, public editor of The New York Times
, wonders about this very thing, writing about why the paper didn't publish any article (except for an initial story 14-months ago) about The Times' own paywall, which is going to be launched.

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-03-09 13:50

The Washington Post announced that Patrick Pexton will become the news organization's next ombudsman. Pexton's two-year term with The Post begins March 1. He replaces former ombud Andrew Alexander.

"As ombudsman, Pexton will represent readers who have concerns on a variety of topics including accuracy, fairness, ethics and the newsgathering process and will serve as an internal critic for Washington Post journalism. He will also promote public understanding of The Post and the media more generally", the Post says.

Pexton was formerly deputy editor for National Journal, where he spent in total 12 years, of which the last 8 as deputy editor, directing the coverage of foreign affairs, defense, intelligence and homeland security in addition to running the magazine day-to-day.

Katharine Weymouth, publisher of The Washington Post said that "Patrick's respected and accomplished background working in newsrooms for over 25 years makes him ideal for the role of watching over The Post's journalistic integrity and addressing and responding to our readers' concerns".

Previous ombud, Alexander, joined the Washington Post in February 2009 and serve as the paper internal critic since January 2011, publishing his last column on Jan 21st.
He was former Washington bureau chief of Cox Newspapers .

Author

Federica Cherubini's picture

Federica Cherubini

Date

2011-02-23 18:52

Syndicate content

Editors Weblog

The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


© 2013 WAN-IFRA - World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

Footer Navigation