The Press: Ombudsman in Louisville

Of all the institutions in our inordinately complacent society, none is so addicted as the press to self-righteousness, self-satisfaction and self-congratulation.

The words are not those of some member of the Nixon Administration but of a working newsman, the assistant editorial-page editor of the New York Times. When A.H. Raskin wrote them three years ago, he suggested that newspapers combat their smugness by appointing ombudsman-like editors to investigate readers' complaints. The suggestion has been largely ignored by U.S. newspapers, including Raskin's own. But at least two papers—the jointly owned Louisville Courier-Journal and Times —have tried it.

Grandfatherly John Herchenroeder, 62, a former city...

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