Does the mainstream media need to bring back the ombudsman to restore credibility and trust?
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Despite a slight increase since2016, the public’s low level of trust in the mainstream media is of deep concern for the future of journalism. Nearly half the people surveyed recently indicated that inaccuracies, bias and fake news as factors in their low confidence. A general lack of credibility and the perception that reporting is based on opinions was also cited for the loss of trust. But the Gallup poll did offer a glimmer of hope. Nearly 70 percent of all respondents said they felt trust could be restored somehow (Gallup, 2019). In response, the author will investigate the role and impact of the ombudsman. The purpose of this paper is to discover if the return of ombudsmen will improve public trust in the mainstream media and if so, what changes in the traditional ombudsman role could make its use even more effective. A qualitative study using in-depth interviews with eight former ombudsmen was conducted, with the results then analyzed and summarized in this article.
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