Howell’s Out, Alexander’s In As WaPo Ombudsman

Boy, what a long, strange trip it’s been these past few years…

But Deborah Howell’s term as ombudsman of the Washington Post is up soon and, today, Katharine Weymouth announced that Cox Newspaper’s Washington bureau chief, Andrew Alexander, will be the paper’s ombudsman for a two-year term beginning on Feb. 2.

Full internal memo, obtained by FishbowlDC, after the jump…

    I am very pleased to announce that Andrew Alexander, currently the
    Washington bureau chief for Cox Newspapers, will become The Washington Post’s ombudsman for a two-year term beginning Feb. 2. He brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the news industry and will be an excellent advocate for our readers.

    Andy joined the Cox Washington bureau as a reporter in 1976 and became its foreign editor (1989), deputy bureau chief (1994) and bureau chief (1997). Earlier, he was a reporter for the Melbourne Herald in Australia and the Dayton Journal Herald in Ohio. He grew up in Urbana, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio University with a degree in journalism.

    In Washington, Andy has been a leader in promoting open government. He is a member of the board of the American Society of Newspaper Editors and a former chairman and current co-chairman of the organization’s Freedom of Information Committee. He also serves on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.

    As ombudsman, he will be the readers’ representative and an internal critic of Washington Post journalism, whether it appears in print or online. He will write a column and engage in online forums. His contract guarantees him editorial independence.

    Please join me in welcoming Andy to the team.

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