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Posted by sawyer on November 13, 2008 at 18:09:01

In Reply to: Re: WP = Good journalism ??????? posted by Peace on November 13, 2008 at 06:34:28:

I think that it is commendable that a newspaper employs an ombudsman, if the paper allows the ombudsman to operate as he or she should. One would expect a paper like the Washington Post to have one, since journalists who supposedly represent a city or region should try to be as honest and balanced as humanly possible. Although the WP has employed an ombudsman for some time (don't know how long exactly), it hasn't appeared to have made much difference during the most recent electoral process. Therefore, I don't see that an ombudsman has a great deal of power when it comes to bias. Now in the case of radio shows like that of Limbaugh, he has never claimed to represent any group other than the political right. One reason that he was so wildly successful during the early years of his program was because there were very FEW voices in the mainstream media other than those on the left. Rush spoke for a huge number of people in this country who were tired of America bashing, and the denigration of this country throughout the MM. (Not that there haven't been voices of reason here and there.) It was a trend that emerged during the Vietnam War and gained strength. It makes no sense for Rush Limbaugh to hire a ombudsman. He doesn't run a program that supposedly represents all voices and views.

This is what the ONO says about ombudsman:

Most of the times, the ombudsman has three functions: listening to the readers, writing a daily a bulletin criticizing the paper (which circulates internally among the journalists) and preparing a weekly column to be published. Some ombudsmen don't have columns for public criticism, as is the case of "O Dia". In these cases, the work of the ombudsman is very similar to that of a complaints department and loses its function, which is to stimulate the reflection main and the debate about the process of journalistic production.

To make their work, the ombudsmen need independence in relation to the direction of the paper. Because of that, some guaranties are given to this professional, as stability during his mandate.

The ombudsman's room far from the editorship, to avoid his involvement with the orientation of the publication. In the case of the Folha, the ombudsman has an office in a building near by.

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