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Kirk LaPointe named CBC ombudsman

Veteran journalist Kirk LaPointe, who has worked at some of Canada's top news organizations, has been appointed the CBC's new ombudsman, the public broadcaster says.

Veteran journalist Kirk LaPointe, who has worked at some of Canada's top news organizations, has been appointed the CBC's new ombudsman, the public broadcaster announced on Thursday.

LaPointe, most recently managing editor of the Vancouver Sun and an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, will succeed outgoing ombudsman Vince Carlin.

"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," said CBC president and CEO Hubert Lacroix.

"The office of the ombudsman plays a critical role in ensuring our transparency and accountability to Canadians."

Appointed for a five-year term, the CBC's ombudsman is an independent entity within the public broadcaster charged with investigating complaints and representing audience members concerned about the quality of CBC's journalism. The ombudsman reports directly to CBC's president.

Extensive journalism background

LaPointe's journalism career has included senior positions with prominent Canadian media organizations, including The Canadian Press, CTV News, the Toronto Star, the Hamilton Spectator and the National Post, where he was the paper's founding executive editor.

He hosted a show on CBC Newsworld and has served as an occasional participant on The National's At Issue panel.

"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 said.

He has also served on a number of boards, including the Canadian Association of Journalists and the Online News Association, but noted on his blog — themediamanager.com — that he will withdraw from both the CAJ and the ONA boards to avoid any conflict with his new duties.

Vancouver-based LaPointe's new post begins Nov. 1, with Carlin's mandate officially ending Dec. 31. This "allows for a smooth transition," Lacroix added.

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