Matt Lewis

Maybe the Daily Beast should hire an ombudsman?

Photo of Matt K. Lewis
Matt K. Lewis
Senior Contributor
  • See All Articles
  • Send Email
  • Subscribe to RSS
  • Follow on Twitter
  • Bio

      Matt K. Lewis

      Matt K. Lewis is a senior contributor to The Daily Caller, and a contributing editor for The Week. He is a respected commentator on politics and cultural issues, and has been cited by major publications such as The Washington Post and The New York Times. Matt is from Myersville, MD and currently resides in Alexandria, VA. Follow Matt K. Lewis on Twitter <a>@mattklewis</a>.

Over at the Daily Download, Howard Kurtz calls the Washington Post’s (apparent) decision to dump their ombudsman an “awful idea.”

Kurtz (whom I like) makes a compelling case for why an ombudsman is valuable to a newspaper — but most of his arguments would be equally applicable to a news website like, say, Kurtz’s other outlet, The Daily Beast.

This raises an obvious question: If an ombudsman is so valuable to the credibility of a news operation — why not hire him at the Beast?

Of course, the answer is the bottom line. New media outlets survive and thrive by being lean and mean. An ombudsman would be seen as an inefficient luxury by most new media outlets today.

And this is why I think we’re being unfair to the Post. On one hand, we criticize these legacy organizations for failing to adapt to a changing media paradigm, but the minute they shed some overhead, new media outlets are the first to cry foul.

It’s almost as ironic as conservatives bloggers complaining that CPAC won’t give them free Wi-Fi.

A tad hypocritical, too.