NPR selects Edward Schumacher-Matos as ombudsman

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Edward Schumacher-Matos, a journalist, educator and columnist, is the new NPR ombudsman, the pubradio network announced today (April 29). He begins a three-year term on June 1.

Schumacher-Matos has been ombudsman for the Miami Herald since 2007. He founded Meximerica Media and Rumbo Newspapers in 2003, launching four Spanish-language daily newspapers in Houston, San Antonio, Austin and the Rio Grande Valley. He is also founding editor and associate publisher of Wall Street Journal Americas, the business newspaper’s Spanish and Portuguese insert editions in Latin America, Spain and Portugal. Until recently he also wrote a syndicated column for the Washington Post.

Since January 2008, he has been at Harvard University as a Robert F. Kennedy visiting professor in Latin American studies; a Shorenstein Fellow on the press, politics and public policy; and a lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government.

Schumacher-Matos succeeds Alicia Shepard, NPR’s ombudsman since October 2007. She agreed to extend her two-year appointment in 2009.

  • It’ll be interesting to see what Schumacher-Matos does with the position.

    Let’s hope he doesn’t have the haughty pro-journalist style of Shepard, who was insufferably superior in her thinking about lowly new media and community engagement and the untrustworthy masses. We were all just rubes to be civilized, from what I saw.

    Sounds harsh? You should have seen her hold court at the first PubCamp and speak down to anyone that suggested that maybe — just maybe — the public should be part of public media. Classic professional journalism attitude.

    Don’t get me wrong — she’s smart. But in an age where media is being democratized more every day, NPR needs a more participatory approach, not a style that disregards the public.

  • Don’t hold your breath for a big change. From the new ombud’s bio: “He has worked for newspapers as ideologically diverse as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.” This kind of narrow range of perspectives is PRECISELY the problem with the programming itself! I nominate (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting founder) Jeff Cohen for the next ombud opening at NPR or PBS.