The search for a new PBS ombudsman, or public editor, is on again. Madhulika Sikka, who had been in the role for about a year, has left the position to become an executive producer for the Washington Post.
PBS spokesperson Aparna Kumar told iMediaEthics, “The job has been posted, so the search is active.”
Sikka told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “During my time as Public Editor at PBS, I was most struck by the fact that most people don’t understand the system, how it was set up, how it works, the fact that PBS is not a network and doesn’t produce content, and the fact that each station is locally run in order to serve the community it is a part of.”
She added, “My approach was to try and explain some of this in order to make the audience better informed. I also tried to look at the media world writ large and how PBS has to adjust to new realities, from heavy competition in historical drama from cable and streaming, to the challenges of rights clearances and new initiatives like Passport. It is a turbulent world in media right now and I think it is vital to examine the role of PBS in it.”
After a several month search, Sikka was appointed PBS ombudsman in Sept. 2017. Sikka replaced Michael Getler, who resigned in the spring of 2017 after more than a decade in the role.
PBS’s job opening is posted here.