yodha in Readers’ Editor writes:

Taking inspiration from The Guardian, The Hindu has appointed a readers’ editor (formally known as a news ombudsman). It states that this is a first in Indian journalism. It hopes that this will help maintain journalistic integrity and increase reader feedback. […]

That’s a nice gesture from the side of the newspapers to maintain credibity, and address the reader’s woes. Is this Reader’s Editor (or the News Ombudsman) going to be as effective as the Banking Ombudsman? I guess we have to wait and see the effectiveness of this post, especially in the Indian context.

The difference may well be in that the Banking Ombudsman occupies an regulatory office in the Reserve Bank of India. Thus it might be a good thing for the Government of India to set up a Media Ombudsman through the Prasar Bharati, giving the office regulatory rights over the media. (If there is such a post already, I m not aware of it)

Otherwise, the ombudsman in each newspaper house may just be a fancy name for a Public Relations Officer, a post that already exists in most. Especially in this world where the Advertorials take precedence over the Editorial.

Nakul

4 Comments

  1. Media ombudsman

    How can this post started by the government be free of control from its creator? Also, managing this task (all the newspapers in the country) be too much for a single person or even a small group?

    1. Re: Media ombudsman

      yeah, the big brother syndrome is always going to be a threat. But when it comes to the position appointed by a newspaper itself, I am somehow cynical about the effectiveness of the profile.

      I mean, it is a good initiative, but it’s effectiveness is totally dependent on the person holding the office, and the people who pay him the salary.

      Sorry if I tread over some nerves here, but if TOI tomorrow sets up an office of the ombudsman, I for one would be quick to brand it a publicity gimmick… Just a neutral sounding name for the PR Manager.

      Nakul

  2. having a news ombudsman would make journalism or news posts more customized and as the public likes/wants it. Would possibly bring new dimensions and new ideas. Thus overall journalism excels. This can only happen if that person and the press do thier job effectively.

    Neverthless its always a good initiative, important thing being how well its done.

    1. Agreed. My point moreorless was the same.

      Although I do not know how the news would become more customised. The only thing it would do is add veracity and answerability to the stories… a much needed tonic in the Indian media, especially in the news production segment.

      Nakul

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