The readers’ editor: an ignored element of self-regulation

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A readers’ editor can bring greater transparency and accountability to a news organisation. However, says Sumana Ramanan, a former readers’ editor at the Hindustan Times, “a readers’ editor, however, can be fully effective only under certain conditions.”

Ramanan, a former member of the ONO Board of Directors, discusses her experience as a readers’ editor.

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In the News…

A new report from the Committee to Protect Journalists shows that hundreds of journalists have been murdered and more than 1,000 have died in just a little more than two decades.

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Annual Conference

ONO’s 2014 annual conference took place in Hamburg, Germany from May 4 – 7.

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The Conflict and the Coverage

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The New York Times receives numerous complaints of bias in its coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. In the past few months, notes Public Editor Margaret Sullivan, “the positions seem more calcified than ever, and the partisan criticism of The Times harsher than ever.”

“With the situation so polarized and no visible movement toward peaceful resolution, all that Times journalists can do is play it as fairly and straightforwardly as possible, both in covering the news and in engaging honestly and openly with their readers,” says Sullivan.

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Reporting on Jian Ghomeshi demanded great care

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“Reporting on allegations against now-former CBC radio host Jian Ghomeshihim was done with great care,” says Toronto Star Public Editor Kathy English. Some readers thought the Star was on a “witch hunt” against Jian Ghomeshi and simply reported “gossip, rumour and innuendo. ”

Now that that nine women have come forward with what they say are personal experiences where Ghomeshi punched, slapped and choked them without consenting to such violence, English hopes readers understand what the Star shared with its readers was “responsible reporting on a devastating and deeply disturbing story.”

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Ben Bradlee: a Very Special Person

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Former Washington Post Ombudsman Michael Getler remembers Ben Bradlee, the extraordinary and courageous editor who led and guided the Post for 26 years.

Bradlee appointed the first ombudsman at the paper, saying “he wanted to be open with readers and show that the paper could take a punch, when it got something wrong, as well as throw a punch.”

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