The position of "ombudsman," as I explained in an August 2003 column, has historically been limited mostly to monopolies, government bureaucracies, and overstaffed media outlets. So it should probably come as no surprise that the latest organization to embrace this walking advertisement for staff bloat is none other than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which oversees PBS and NPR. In a novel twist, CPB is hiring two ombudsmen, even though NPR already has one, and "PBS was in the process of hiring one before yesterday's announcement." From the Washington Post story:
CBP president and chief executive Kathleen Cox said in an interview yesterday that the ombudsman appointments were part of an effort "to raise public broadcasting's ability to address [public] concerns about issues of journalism."
How about first raising public broadcasting's ability to not waste our money on wholly unnecessary jobs?
Meanwhile, the Cleveland Plain-Dealer has jumped on the bandwagon.