DEPARTING POST OMBUDSMAN SEES CREDIBILITY PROBLEM

By: Todd Shields

Shipp Sets Course For Return To Columbia





WASHINGTON – Washington Post ombudsman E.R. Shipp has quit after two years, leaving one of journalism’s most visible jobs to return to teaching.



In her final column, dated Oct. 15, Shipp said credibility remains a serious problem, for the Post in particular and for American journalism in general. Shipp also assigned shortcomings specifically to the Post, including snideness, rudeness, arrogance, and inaccessibility.



“I heard from readers who say that they were treated with disrespect or yelled at by those whose job it is to answer the telephones,” Shipp wrote. She called snideness in editorial columns and news stories “a long-standing complaint.”


As for arrogance, Shipp wrote, “This is obvious in a seeming reluctance to admit fallibility.” Shipp, 45, who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary at the New York Daily News, could have stayed at the Post for a third year. But, she told E&P, she decided to return to teaching journalism full-time at Columbia University.



“I came in telling them I would just do two years,” Shipp said. “I wanted to get back to Columbia.”



Shipp will also return to the Daily News, where she will write a

column twice a week.



Shipp’s successor will be Michael Getler, 65, a former deputy managing editor at the Post. Getler is to return from being executive editor of the International Herald Tribune in Paris, which the Post partly owns, and begin his new job in December, said Post spokeswoman Virginia Rodriguez.







Todd Shields (tshields@editorandpublisher.com) is the Washington editor for E&P.







Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher.

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