February 17, 2008 in City

Doug Clark: Omdougsman knows some, tells all

Doug Clark The Spokesman-Review
 

With the Spokesman-Review newsroom taking a flying leap into the radio business, the moment is right for another exciting installment of The Omdougsman.

This forum answers those nagging reader concerns that the newspaper’s official “omdudsman” wouldn’t touch with a forklift.

So let the enlightenment commence!

Q: Why in the name of Paul Harvey would you print journalists start producing news reports for local radio stations?

The Omdougsman: The editors felt shoving the newspaper into the tar pits was not enough challenge anymore. We need a new media to destroy.

Q: What will you do once the radio thing short-circuits?

The Omdougsman: This summer at Riverfront Park, reporters will perform a series of one-act plays based on the news.

Q: How exciting. Do you have any scripts finished yet?

The Omdougsman: “A Midsummer Night’s Spokane Valley Meth Bust.”

Q: Any others?

The Omdougsman: “My Fair Larry.”

Q: Is that a musical about Sen. Craig?

The Omdougsman: Yes. It’s a real toe-tapper.

Q: I see that the paper has hired a brand new ombudsman. How many does that make now?

The Omdougsman: I think we’re at 412.

Q: What do the ombudsmen think of The Omdougsman?

The Omdougsman: Opinions seem to vacillate between two journalistic camps.

Q: And what are those?

The Omdougsman: Revulsion and rancor.

Q: Do you have any advice for the current ombudsman?

The Omdougsman: Yeah. Get outta town or I challenge you to a Truth-Off at 20 paces.

Q: Will your editors ever finish that newsroom code of ethics?

The Omdougsman: I don’t give a rip. I operate under my own code.

Q: And what’s that?

The Omdougsman: The Columnist Manifesto.

Q: What’s the Columnist Manifesto?

The Omdougsman: Never enter an editor’s office without garlic and a wooden stake.

Q: How’s the Accuracy Watch doing?

The Omdougsman: Great. Just the other day, in fact, we published one of the most entertaining corrections we’ve ever had.

Q: Was that the one about the two young sons who attended the Inland Northwest RV show with their father?

The Omdougsman: Yep. The correction said, “Because of a reporting error, they were identified as daughters.”

Q: Does that sort of gender mix-up happen very often?

The Omdougsman: Only with Republican legislators.

Q: Speaking of mistakes, did you see that weird headline the other day?

The Omdougsman: Are you talking about the one that said, “Lawmakers target rules that allow imates to seek massive quantities of records”?

Q: That’s it. So what’s an imate?

The Omdougsman: Apple’s new digital condom.

Q: Is it like the iPhone?

The Omdougsman: Kinda. But it not only downloads music and movies. During sex it downloads your …

Q: Hold on, Omdougsman. Not even you can get away with putting that in a family newspaper.

The Omdougsman: Good point.

Q: How’s the newsroom coping after all of the layoffs?

The Omdougsman: We’re all still pretty bummed out, although the janitors haven’t been happier.

Q: Why’s that?

The Omdougsman: There are so many fewer desks to clean.

Q: Your editors talk all the time about transparency. It’s transparency this. And transparency that. What do they mean when they say transparency?

The Omdougsman: It’s a circulation thing. It means if The Spokesman-Review gets any skinnier, you’ll be able to see right through it.


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