The era of the readers’ editor … over before it started

Published in (November 2, 2012)

By Matthew Knott, Crikey media journalist

Readers’ editors were all the rage among Australian newspaper bosses not long ago. Herald Sun editor-in-chief Phil Gardner said an ombudsman was on the way for his paper in 2010; staffers at The Age were told the same thing in May 2011.

Neither paper ever got around to doing it. And the one paper that took the exercise relatively seriously, The Sydney Morning Herald, has now ditched the readers’ editor position and will no longer run a regular column critiquing the paper’s coverage.

The role has been rebadged as a “community editor” and is focused on direct engagement with readers — not publicly holding the blowtorch to the paper’s belly.

Read full story in Crikey back issues: