CPB charters a single ombudsman

CPB’s website, as of February 2013, carries this document, “Revised February 1, 2011,” redefining the assignment of its ombudsman. Kenneth Tomlinson, past chair of the CPB Board, had prompted controversy by hiring two ombudsmen in April 2005. Charter Establishing the CPB Office of the Ombudsman

The founders of public broadcasting saw a clear need for a “system-wide process of exerting upward pressure on standards of taste and performance.” (The 1967 Carnegie Commission Report, p.36) In addition, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was expected to become the “center of leadership” with a “primary mission…to extend and improve . . .

New ombud office met with smiles and suspicion

Are CPB’s new ombudsmen promoters of healthy journalistic discussion or unwelcome monitors now peering over reporters’ shoulders? It depends whom you ask. As longtime journalists Ken Bode and William Schulz last week issued their first reports, observers both inside and outside public broadcasting questioned their appointments (earlier story). CPB officials, among others in the system, said public broadcasting will benefit from the new oversight. Bode’s and Schulz’s first missives had only minor quibbles with recent NPR reports on Iraq.