The Business This Week section of today’s Irish Times carries an advertisment (on page 18), under the heading used as the title to thise post, seeking applications for the position of Press Ombudsman. The advertisment is available online here (from Grant Thornton‘s recruitment arm).
The Press Ombudsman is a crucial part of the press industry’s Press Council package, and will be critical not only to the efficient working of the complaints system but also as a consequence to the public legitimacy of the entire project. According to the Press Council website [update (3 January 2008): the website has been redesigned and this link is no longer active]:
The Press Ombudsman
The Press Ombudsman will be appointed by the Press Council, is and will be the public face of Irish press regulation; s/he is the person who will receive complaints from members of the public, consider whether they are valid, and then seek to resolve them to the satisfaction of everyone involved. The Press Ombudsman will deal with the majority of complaints by members of the public, however s/he will also has the option of referring difficult cases (or cases where those involved are dissatisfied with the decision) to the Press Council of Ireland.
As I said here when membership of the Press Council itself was advertised in March, the press industry are to be applauded for going ahead with the establishment of these organs even in the absence of the Defamation Bill, 2006 (Department of Justice | Oireachtas (pdf)) which envisaged them.