Ribbans will have global oversight of readers’ complaints to Guardian News & Media including for Guardian US, Guardian Australia, and The Observer, ensuring that a fast, fair and transparent complaints process is practised globally, says The Scott Trust.
She will report directly into The Scott Trust, maintaining independence and impartiality for the Guardian’s internal complaints processes.
Ribbans’ appointment follows the departure of the current readers’ editor, Paul Chadwick, who was appointed to the role in May 2016 and who is leaving the UK in January 2020 to return to Australia. Ribbans will take up her appointment in January 2020.
The readers’ editor is Guardian News & Media’s internal ombudsman. The job of the readers’ editor is to collect, consider, investigate, respond to, and where appropriate come to a conclusion about readers’ comments, concerns, and complaints in a prompt and timely manner. Corrections appear on the relevant web page and/or in the newspaper.
Ribbans has a long track record working in senior roles in media and regulatory environments. She is currently director of public affairs for the British Copyright Council, having previously been a member of IPSO’s complaints committee from 2014 until 2017. She was managing editor of the Guardian from 2008 until 2013, prior to which she held a number of other roles at the Guardian and Observer across two periods of employment, including as an associate editor and deputy editor of Guardian Weekly.
Elisabeth Ribbans said: “The independent readers’ editor model at the Guardian is admired by many around the world, and I am honoured to be taking on this important role at a time when trust and accuracy are more important than ever for news media.”
Alex Graham, chair of The Scott Trust, said: “Elisabeth Ribbans will bring a huge amount of experience as our new global readers’ editor, both as a journalist and an expert in media standards, and I am delighted she is taking the job. I know she will bring real rigour and fairness to this vital role.
“On behalf of the Scott Trust and wider Guardian and Observer staff I would also like to pay tribute to Paul Chadwick, who has carried out the role for four years with such a strong commitment to transparency and high standards.”