Where are the Reader's Advocates? Newspapers cut trust when cutting lifeline for readers

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"Hey Buddy, you got a Ombudsman job?"

EditorsWeblog’s Lauren Drablier posted a recent report about the rapidly disappearing “ombudsmen,” “readers’ representatives” or “public editors.” Newspapers seeking budget cuts are chopping off a lifeline between their intermediaries for readers and  newsroom management that, too often, fall short of ethical standards. See Joe Strupp, Editor & Publisher.

Drablier wrote : “Around ten newspapers have dropped their ombudsmen in the last twelve months. Since January the following papers have dropped their ombudsmen: The Sacramento Bee, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, The Sun of Baltimore, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Orlando Sentinel, The Hartford Courant, and The Palm Beach Post. According to Gina Lubrano, former ombudsman at The San Diego Union-Tribune and executive secretary of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, ‘ This is unprecedented, this dropping of ombudsmen left and right.”

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