Word of the Day: Ombudsman

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Ombudsman (ŏm’bŭdz’mən) is a term that appeared in Sweden and then was integrated into many other languages. Originally, it used to refer to an official that investigates the complaints from the citizens against the government.

Nowadays, the term can also be used to describe any independent and impartial person used by private or public organizations to watch for administrative abuses. Many mainstream publications, for instance, use an ombudsman to promote journalistic integrity.

The terms of the ombudsman’s contract gives him complete freedom to criticize any way he wants without fear of being canned, but Bill Keller & Co. aren’t under any obligation to answer his questions, other than the pressure of public opinion. (WashingtonPost.com)

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