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Reynolds School dean selected as keynote speaker for global conference


Al_StavitskyRSJ NEWS — The Organization of News Ombudsmen recently selected Al Stavitsky, dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies, to be the keynote speaker at its 2013 Annual General Meeting and Conference in Los Angeles, Calif., Sunday, May 19 through Wednesday, May 22. Stavitsky will address conference attendees at 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 20.

A news ombudsman receives and investigates complaints from newspaper readers or listeners or viewers of radio and television stations about accuracy, fairness, balance and good taste in news coverage. He or she recommends appropriate remedies or responses to correct or clarify news reports.

“The number of news ombudsmen is growing worldwide, but declining in the United States since the recession,” Stavitsky said. “So this is an important juncture for ombudsmen. It’s an honor to speak to this distinguished group. I hope my remarks might spark some creative thinking about new approaches.”

Stavitsky’s keynote speech is titled, “Pundits in Pajamas: The Changing Face of U.S. Media Criticism.” The recent decision by the Washington Post to eliminate the position of ombudsmen after more than 40 years highlights the continuing decline in the number of ombudsmen working for U.S. news organizations since the 2008 economic recession. Some news executives say ombudsmen are no longer necessary given the proliferation of independent news analysis on the Internet, as well as the ready accessibility of journalists to news consumers through email. Stavitsky’s presentation tests that claim by looking at social media response to news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, and suggests a revised role for ombudsmen in the new-media environment.

WHO: University of Nevada, Reno’s Reynolds School of Journalism and Center for Advanced Media Studies Dean Al Stavitsky to present keynote speech at Organization of News Ombudsmen conference.

Other presenters include: Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, London; Ed Wasserman, Dean, University of California, Berkeley School of Journalism; Flavia Pauwels, University of Buenos Aires; Paul Chadwick, former director, Editorial Policies, Australian Broadcasting Corporation; and Karen Rothmyer, The Star, Nairobi and many more.

WHAT: Organization of News Ombudsmen Annual General Meeting and Conference

WHEN: Monday, May 20; 9:30 a.m. PST

Los Angeles Times
Chandler Auditorium
Fifth floor
202 W. First St., Los Angeles, CA, 90012

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