Jeffrey Dvorkin, the Executive Director of the Organization of News Ombudsmen, will soon publish the Handbook for News Ombudsmen. On his personal blog, Dvorkin provides a short excerpt that explains why Ombuds are important for media outlets.
A news ombudsman is not there to confirm the worst suspicions of the public, neither to placate management, nor to support the newsroom.
An ombudsman is there to act as a counterweight or antidote to the natural assumptions of any organization that everything that happens is usually for a good reason or is done for the best of motives.
An ombudsman is there to ask simple questions: “Are you sure?” “How do you know?”
The handbook is supported in part by the Open Society Institute and will be avialable soon from ONO. (Now the Details.)