Voice of the people’s rep

There are ombuds, and then there are ombuds.

Alicia Shepard once had an outburst of anger that she’ll never forget. Shepard, the ombudsman for NPR at the time, was attending a board of directors meeting for a group of news ombudsmen. She was one of two women in the room and was years younger than everyone else.

“The executive director, another older white male, was explaining something,” Shepard recalled. “I raised my hand to ask a question, indicating I wasn’t sure what he was talking about.”

“It’s on the website, dear,” he said.

Without a beat, Shepard responded, “Don’t call me dear, fuckface.”

The retort went over well. Everyone in the room laughed. And at a reception that evening, the executive director apologized to Shepard.




No comments so far.

Leave a Reply
  (will not be published)