NPR names Shepard new Ombudsman

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NPR announced today that Alicia C. Shepard has been named the new NPR Ombudsman. In a memo sent to Jim Romenesko, NPR President Kevin Close said, “Lisa brings a strong portfolio in analyzing and explaining journalism and media policy. She is currently teaching a graduate-level course in Media Ethics at Georgetown University and writing a chapter on the media for the Center for Public Integrity’s forthcoming book, The Buying of the President. She has also served as a journalism instructor at American University and the University of Texas.” Shepard recently published the book Woodward & Bernstein: Life in the Shadow of Watergate and is co-author of Running Toward Danger: Stories Behind the Breaking News of 9/11. For nine years, she was a principal contributor to the American Journalism Review, where she received the National Press Club’s top media criticism prize three times. She has written for the New York Times, Washingtonian magazine, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Newark Star Ledger and Washington Post, and she was a staff reporter with the San Jose (CA) Mercury News. “As we sought to fill this position now,” writes Klose, “we also wanted to advance its role and duties within our organization to reflect how both the media and media criticism have changed in only seven years. … Among her first duties, Lisa will work with the NPR News, Digital Media, Communications and Member and Program Services Divisions to deal with the increasing number of letters we are receiving, which are the result of everything from the public intensity over the upcoming elections to improved technology available to drive advocacy campaigns.”