ESPN Taps The Poynter Institute As New Ombudsman

By Marcus Vanderberg 

In a surprise move, ESPN has tapped The Poynter Institute as the company’s new ombudsman. A panel of Poynter faculty will review ESPN’s content across all platforms and publicly comment on the network’s efforts as part of a new step in media transparency called The Poynter Review Project.

During Poynter’s 18-month tenure, the group will write monthly columns for, starting with an introductory column in March.

“The Poynter Institute’s reputation in the field of journalism is unmatched and we welcome the panel’s scrutiny in this new format,” said John A. Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor. “Our goal is to improve our content through increased accountability, transparency and timeliness. We believe The Review will take the traditional ombudsman role and advance it for the 21st century media world. “

Previous ESPN ombudsmen include Don Ohlmeyer, Le Anne Schreiber, and George Solomon.

“This project with ESPN allows us to join with a major multi-media organization interested in the connection between values and quality news and information, said Poynter President Karen B. Dunlap. “For more than 35 years, Poynter has taught the skills and values on which journalism excellence is based. As media evolve we have new opportunities to promote and learn from best practices – across all platforms.”