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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 17, 2013

Reynolds School dean selected as keynote speaker for global conference

University of Nevada, Reno Dean Al Stavitsky will give Organization of News Ombudsmen conference keynote speech May 20, 9:30 a.m.

RENO, Nev. – 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 

WHERE:        

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

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 About the Organization of News Ombudsmen:
Formed in 1980, ONO is a nonprofit corporation with an international membership of active and associate members. It maintains contact with news ombudsmen worldwide, and organizes annual conferences, held in a member’s city, for discussion of news practices and a wide range of issues connected with ombudsman work.

Nevada’s land-grant university founded in 1874, the University of Nevada, Reno has an enrollment of 18,000 students and is ranked in the top tier of the nation’s best universities. Part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, the University has the system’s largest research program and is home to the state’s medical school. With outreach and education programs in all Nevada counties and with one of the nation’s largest study-abroad consortiums, the University extends across the state and around the world. For more information, visit www.unr.edu.

Media Contact:
Jill Stockton
Communications Specialist
The Reynolds School
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno, NV 89557
775-784-4783   phone
jbstockton@unr.edu
Media newsroom: http://newsroom.unr.edu

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