PBS has a new public editor, Ricardo Sandoval-Palos.
Sandoval-Palos told iMediaEthics that PBS and public media has almost always been a part of his life.
“I have loved public media for most of my life, starting as a young immigrant to this country (I was born in Mexico),” Sandoval-Palos told iMediaEthics by e-mail. “I learned the comedic nuances of English with the help of after-school cartoons and public television. Later, as I realized I was going to become a professional journalist, I studied the PBS approach to news and public service broadcasting and appreciated how much more sober, comprehensive and accessible it was than commercial broadcasting, which seemed (and seems) shrill and truncated by comparison.”
“Combine these factors and you’ll understand why I was convinced that taking on the role of public editor for PBS was an irresistible step,” Sandoval-Palos explained, adding he sees the need for “an independent source of inquiry” to handle questions and concerns.
In a May 14 press release, PBS announced Sandoval-Palos’s appointment, saying he “will offer an independent editorial perspective on PBS programming, including matters raised by viewers.”
He will report to PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger. His term doesn’t have a set limit, but he will meet with Kerger after a year to “assess where we are and what PBS needs,” he told iMediaEthics.
iMediaEthics wrote to PBS, which provided us a statement from president and CEO Kerger which reads:
“Earning and preserving the public’s trust is our top priority at PBS. We are thrilled to welcome Ricardo as our new Public Editor. He is a journalist of the highest integrity whose deep experience and passion for an independent press make him an ideal fit for this important role.”
PBS’s last public editor or ombudsman was Madhulika Sikka who was appointed in Sept. 2017. A year later, Sikka left for a position as an executive producer for the Washington Post.
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