LESSON 14 - ombudsman

Word-of-the-week: OMBUDSMAN

Related expressions
1. ombudsman – someone who works for a government or large organization and deals with the complaints made against it

I have sent a letter of complaint to the news ombudsman to express my dissatisfaction with the way the newspaper presented my company.

2. liaison officer –someone who helps groups to work effectively with each other

Our liaison officer will have to work with the community to prevent any complaints.

3. credible – able be believed or trusted

His unexpected confession of fraudulent behavior undermined his credible character within the entire company.

In context
I am a firm believer of dialogue between people. When we voice our opinions we learn to listen to one another and we learn from each other. Dialogues create a community- based culture of cooperation and shared leadership. I also believe that sharing one’s views helps to develop a close rapport with others. There are many organizations that have created job positions that serve as intermediaries, communicating between the organization and the public.

A news ombudsman, for example, is someone who engages in a dialogue between a newspaper and its readers. On one hand, he acts as the readers’ advocate, on the other, the paper’s ambassador, defending the paper’s interests. If readers believe an article to be unfair or in bad taste, they can write to the ombudsman to express their dissatisfaction. Newspapers’ content today is seen as less credible compared to the past. That is why the role of the ombudsman or public editor, as the position is often called, is to explain to the reader why the newspaper chose to present a story in a particular way.

Liaison officer is another profession whose main role is to exchange information between people or institutions. The work done by a liaison officer is very significant, to the extent that the newly elected president, Barack Obama, decided to open a new office called the Office of Public Liaison and Intergovernmental Affairs, whose main purpose is to stimulate a dialogue between the American people and the White House Administration Staff. Free flow of information is vital in any organization. Opening a dialogue allows people, to some extent, to actively participate in a decision–making process.

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