Edward Schumacher-Matos

Edward Schumacher-Matos is the ombudsman for NPR. His column can be found on NPR.org here.

Having spent more than three decades as a reporter and editor in the United States and abroad for some of the nation's most prestigious news outlets, and having founded his own newspapers, Schumacher-Matos has a deep understanding of the essential role that journalists play in upholding a vital democracy. He also intimately understands the demands that reporters and editors face every day.

Immediately prior to joining NPR in June 2011, Schumacher-Matos wrote a syndicated weekly column for The Washington Post and was the ombudsman for The Miami Herald. Earlier, he founded four Spanish-language daily newspapers in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley; served as the founding editor and associate publisher of the Wall Street Journal's Spanish and Portuguese insert editions in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal; and reported for The New York Times as Madrid Bureau Chief, Buenos Aires Bureau Chief, and the paper's NYC economic development reporter.

At The Philadelphia Inquirer, Schumacher-Matos was part of the team that won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident. He began his varied career covering small towns for the Quincy Patriot Ledger south of Boston, and as a "super stringer' for The Washington Post, in Japan, South Korea, and New England.

For nearly the last four years, while writing his Post and Herald columns, Schumacher-Matos was also at Harvard University. He was the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at the Kennedy School of Government; a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy; and director of the Migration and Integration Studies Program. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of IE University Graduate School of Business in Madrid and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. He also is active in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and the Inter American Press Association.

Schumacher-Matos received his Master of Arts degree in International Politics and Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Literature from Vanderbilt University. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan.

Growing up in a military family, he volunteered to join the Army during the Vietnam War. His service in Vietnam earned him the Bronze Star. He was born in Colombia and came to the United States as an immigrant child.

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NPR Ombudsman
12:46 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Open Forum

istockphoto.com

You're invited to use this space to discuss media, policy and NPR's journalism. We'll follow the conversation and share it with the newsroom.

We have updated the format in order to keep the comments section open until a new forum is posted next month. While we cannot respond to every comment, the ombudsman's staff reviews the Open Forum regularly. Please note that your comments here may be used in a future ombudsman post. As always, please be respectful of your fellow commentators.

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NPR Ombudsman
5:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Asking Bill Cosby If He Is A Serial Rapist

Entertainer Bill Cosby pauses during a news conference. Cosby's attorney said Sunday that Cosby will not dignify "decade-old, discredited" claims of sexual abuse with a response.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon November 24, 2014 10:09 am

Did host Scott Simon unfairly—and sordidly—ambush Bill Cosby by raising rape charges in a Weekend Edition interview that was otherwise about art?

The 77-year old comedian and wife Camille—she was present—were being interviewed on air Saturday about the many pieces of art that they are lending to the Smithsonian Museum when Simon, at the end, changed the subject:

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NPR Ombudsman
9:02 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Open Forum

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 12:46 pm

You're invited to use this space to discuss media, policy and NPR's journalism. We'll follow the conversation and share it with the newsroom.

We have updated the format in order to keep the comments section open until a new forum is posted next month. While we cannot respond to every comment, the ombudsman's staff reviews the Open Forum regularly. Please note that your comments here may be used in a future ombudsman post. As always, please be respectful of your fellow commentators.

Read more
NPR Ombudsman
8:53 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Abortion Or Infanticide In El Salvador?

Christina Quintanilla, a mother of two, was featured in an NPR story about abortion restrictions in El Salvador.
John W. Poole NPR

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 10:51 am

Jose Ballester of Miami, Fla., asked with apparent innocence whether an All Things Considered story about abortions in El Salvador was meant to be a "hit piece" aimed at liberalizing that nation's strict anti-abortion laws.

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NPR Ombudsman
3:55 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Changing Field: A New Guideline On What To Call That Washington Football Team

Washington fans watch their team during the second half of an NFL football game against Arizona on Sunday.
Ross D. Franklin AP

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 10:18 am

And so NPR is pulling back on using the name of the Washington football team after all.

Seven months after NPR editors officially declared that they would continue to use the team's name in news reports, Mark Memmott, the standards editor, issued this guidance to the newsroom Friday:

A Word About The Name Of Washington's Football Team

We have not changed it significantly, but we have added to our guidance on the name of Washington's NFL team. Here's an update:

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NPR Ombudsman
9:35 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Open Forum

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 9:02 am

You're invited to use this space to discuss media, policy and NPR's journalism. We'll follow the conversation and share it with the newsroom.

We have updated the format in order to keep the comments section open longer, at least until a new forum is posted next month. While we cannot respond to every comment, the ombudsman's staff reviews the Open Forum regularly. Please note that your comments here may be used in a future ombudsman post. As always, please be respectful of your fellow commentators.

Read more
NPR Ombudsman
7:26 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Missing The Mark: The Criticism Of NPR's Climate March Coverage

Demonstrators gathered near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon October 6, 2014 8:52 am

As hundreds of emails poured in complaining that NPR was ignoring the People's Climate March in New York Sept. 21, I wondered whether editors were trying to prove their conservative critics wrong about NPR being too liberal.

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NPR Ombudsman
11:22 am
Thu September 25, 2014

On The Uncomfortable Matter Of Beheadings And Executions

This 1587 facsimile of a copperplate engraving shows three beheadings as capital punishments decreed by King Henry VIII against Thomas More and two other Roman Catholics in 1535.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 2:47 pm

Differences in recent weeks over whether to post videos or photographs of the grisly beheadings by ISIS seem to have come down pretty strongly on the side against the postings. But what about the use of the word "beheading" itself in radio stories? Should there be an advance warning for listeners?

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NPR Ombudsman
3:53 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Taking Stock: NPR's Ferguson Coverage So Far

Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol speaks to media during a protest on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Missouri.
Michael B. Thomas AFP/Getty Images

The Ferguson story has moved off the streets and into the grand jury room, which is to say that there is a lull in the reporting in this otherwise emotive story.

The quiet is a good time to take stock of just how well NPR has done so far. The scores of emails that have come in from listeners over these past weeks have mostly dealt with the issues themselves coming out of Ferguson, and not focused on NPR's coverage. By itself, that says something: listeners have found no major problems with the coverage.

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NPR Ombudsman
9:19 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Open Forum

istockphoto.com

You're invited to use this space to discuss media, policy and NPR's journalism. We'll follow the conversation and share it with the newsroom.

We have updated the format in order to keep the comments section open longer, at least until a new forum is posted next month. While we cannot respond to every comment, the ombudsman's staff reviews the Open Forum regularly. Please note that your comments here may be used in a future ombudsman post. As always, please be respectful of your fellow commentators.

Read more

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