Veteran journalist Kirk LaPointe has been appointed as CBC’s new ombudsman, effective November 1, 2010, succeeding Vince Carlin, whose mandate will officially expire December 31, 2010.
The CBC ombudsman acts as an appeal authority for members of the public who are dissatisfied with the public broadcaster’s journalistic and information programming. The office is independent of CBC program staff and management and reports directly to the president and, through the president’s office, the CBC’s board of directors.
“Kirk brings to this important position a wealth of knowledge and experience in the news and journalism arena with a strong focus on emerging technologies and the impact they have in the media industry and journalism in particular,” says Hubert T. Lacroix, CBC president and chief executive officer. “Credibility in the eyes of our audience is our most valuable asset and must be protected. The office of the ombudsman plays a critical role in ensuring our transparency and accountability to Canadians.”
"It's a privilege to assume this vital role at what is a very exciting time in journalism, to help ensure CBC continues to be a respected, valued voice serving the world," LaPointe says.
LaPointe will be based in CBC’s Vancouver office but will work from other CBC locations regularly as part of his responsibilities. Most recently managing editor of the Vancouver Sun, LaPointe is an adjunct professor in the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of British Columbia. He is a well-known and respected online commentator and public speaker in the areas of journalism and ethics. He has held senior positions with news organizations including The Canadian Press, CTV News, The Toronto Star, The Hamilton Spectator and was a founding executive editor of The National Post. For six years, he was a host on CBC Newsworld. He has been a member of numerous advisory boards, including the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Media Research Consortium, the B.C. Freedom of Information Council and the Ryerson University School of Journalism. He holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Ryerson University. LaPointe has also been actively engaged in his community, serving with Frontier College in Toronto, the Vancouver YMCA and as a former co-chair of the United Way of Hamilton-Burlington’s annual fundraising campaign.
“Kirk’s appointment at the beginning of November allows for a smooth transition of about two months before Vince Carlin’s departure,” says Lacroix. “I want to personally acknowledge and thank Vince for his tireless commitment to the CBC during his five years as ombudsman. Vince has been rigorous and fearless in his analyses and opinions, especially when the issues have been most controversial. His work has contributed significantly to the respect in which the office is held.”