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Ombudsmen Association Rejects CPB Applicants

Ombudsmen Association Rejects CPB Applicants

The two new ombudsmen from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have been rejected for full membership in an association of news ombudsmen.
The group questioned the independence of the CPB ombudsmen, according to the New York Times, which saw the action as a rebuff to CPB Chair Ken Tomlinson. He created the positions to bring balance to non-commercial programming.
The group, called the Organization of News Ombudsmen, voted to change its by-laws to only offer full membership to those who work for news organizations, reported the Times.
“I was worried about the political nature of the appointment and I was worried about the precedent,” Jeffrey Dvorkin told the Times. Dvorkin, ombudsman for NPR, was president of the ombudsmen’s group until his term ended last week.
CPB grants federal dollars to non-commercial station news organizations, but does not produce programming.
The CPB ombudsmen would be eligible for associate membership, but cannot vote in the association.
Ian Mayes of The Guardian in London and incoming president of the ombudsmen’s group told the Times all organizations adjust their membership rules to maintain integrity.