The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Editor Seeks Readers' Feedback

To remind you of the position, technically, I'm no longer the intermediary between the newsroom and the readers. I am no longer the paper's chief internal critic.

This summer, if you have a question or comment about the paper, you have no ombudsman to call. You can call me, but this is easy enough only because it is the summer.

During the school year, the DTH is a whole different animal. Writers come and go depending on their class schedules; editors are so busy they're even harder to reach.

Fortunately, we have enlisted a second-year M.A. student from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication to serve as ombudsman next year. Josh Myerov will be an excellent ombudsman.

Here is my concern: When I started as ombudsman last fall, I had very little understanding of the position, thanks to the lack of literature on the subject. The position is rare among newspapers, even rarer at college newspapers. I am aware of only five ombudsmen that worked at college newspapers this past year.

Professional ombudsmen have the Organization of News Ombudsmen to turn to for peer support and discussion.

There is no Organization of College News Ombudsmen.

Josh will have to rely on the examples set by the DTH's previous ombudsmen and the various ombudsmen at professional dailies.

I would like to help him by providing a better understanding of the position.

This is where you come in: I'd like you to email me your thoughts on the position --

Some of you may have filled out our readers' survey. The survey showed that 75% of those who responded thought it was important for the DTH to have an ombudsman.

This time around, however, I'm not looking for numbers. Rather, I'd like your thoughts on the subject.

Please be as thorough as you'd like in your answers and feel free to stray from the questions. This is very informal.

Is it important for the DTH to have an ombudsman? Why or why not?

What differences do you see between the DTH, a student newspaper, and the other daily newspapers in the area?

Are problems like factual errors, spelling mistakes and editorial biases any more forgivable at the DTH because the staff consists of students in training? Why or why not?

Finally, what comments or questions do you have for Josh?

I thank you for your input and I'm sure Josh will, too. I will also share my conclusions with other college newspaper ombudsmen.

Email your thoughts on ombudsmen and college newspapers to

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023