The Worldwide Leader is eliminating one of the jobs on its staff. ESPN announced the news on Wednesday.
The position, a public editor job, has been in existence for a little more than 10 years. The job was previously referred to as the "ombudsman."
Basically, the goal was for the editor to serve as someone who overlooks the company's operations while, occasionally, chiming in on what was going right and what was going on.
The position is being eliminated because of the Internet, basically. Social media has allowed for instant feedback to be given.
The Washington Post and New York Times recently got rid of their public editor positions, too.
Here's the release from ESPN:
After careful consideration, it was recommended by ESPN’s Editorial Board to discontinue the position of Public Editor (originally begun as an Ombudsman).
In recent years, both the Washington Post and the New York Times eliminated their Ombudsman role in recognition that the position had outlived its usefulness, largely because of the rise of real-time feedback of all kinds.
While ESPN has valued the input and dedication shown by everyone who held the position, we too have seen how access to the Internet and its social platforms has created a horde of watchdogs who communicate directly with us to share observations and questions. Beyond our users, our multi-faceted newsgathering operation is made up of a diverse collection of seasoned journalists who engage in spirited discussion and respectful disagreement to land in the best possible place. No one holds our journalists to higher standards than we do.
Our Editorial Board meets regularly and discusses current journalistic issues and best practices. ESPN’s commitment to quality, impact journalism is as strong as ever and we welcome the continued scrutiny our fans and critics offer and we vow to continue the dialogue.
The final ESPN public editor column was published in late March. You can read it here.