Friday, September 26, 2008

Newspaper ombudsmen not worth warm bucket of spit?

Was John Nance Garner talking about the vice presidency or newspaper ombudsmen when he said the office wasn't worth a "warm bucket of spit." It's appearing more and more like he was talking about your friend the ombudsmen, aka the person who takes phone calls from cranky readers complaining about how lousy today's newspaper was. Unfortunately, ombudsmen are losing their jobs. So says Editor & Publisher:
    Newspaper ombudsmen have often been among the first targeted for cuts. But since the start of 2008, the axe appears to be falling more than ever on these public editors and reader representatives, who contend their work is as important as any staff writer or editor — perhaps more so as the industry faces some of its toughest challenges, prompting a need for someone who can handle reader concerns.
Since the start of the year, the following newspapers have lost their ombudsmen to cutbacks: The Sacramento Bee, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, The Sun of Baltimore, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, the Orlando Sentinel, The Hartford (Conn.) Courant, and The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.

Where will cranky readers turn?

No comments: