The news ombudsman: Lightning rod or watchdog?
(Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands)
ABSTRACT: The findings of this research project on news ombudsmen are mainly based on an overview of the Dutch situation, two surveys (in 2008 and 2011) completed by members of the international Organization of News Ombudsmen, an analysis of more than 400 columns of three Dutch ombudsmen and an analyses of about three hundred comments on the columns. Key questions were: do the ombudsmen and readers’ representatives have an independent position, a statute or a weekly column? What issues are mostly being complained about? What are the main topics of their columns? Do they have the opportunity to adopt an independent and critical stand towards the editorial staff?