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Veronica asks: "What is the role of a public editor for a newspaper? Thanks in advance."


Hi Veronica,

The public editor takes on all the complaints and comments that the newspaper generates. He or she is the go-between, explaining what the newspaper is trying to do, how the paper corrects errors, addresses concerns of bias or under-reporting and the like.

The public editor is the human face of the newspaper and reaches out to the public in a much more direct way.

Sometimes they are called ombudsmen. A couple of recent cases would be instructive. The Sacramento Bee ran an editorial cartoon and it raised the hackles of firefighters so the public editor was called on to defend the cartoon. The Baltimore Sun had taken down some features and there was a storm of protest directed to the public editor. The features were re-instated.

Go to their official organization website to learn more.


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