Stars and Stripes ombudsman
As a journalist for more than three decades, Ernie Gates has been a reporter,
editor and news executive, including 10 years leading the enterprising print and
digital newsroom of Tribune Co.’s Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va.
News for and about service members, families and veterans has always been a key
focus in Hampton Roads, where every branch of the armed services has a
As vice president and editor, Ernie was responsible for all news, business,
features and sports coverage and oversaw the editorial page. He also wrote the
daily Feedback column, responding to readers’ questions and comments about
coverage, news judgment, journalism ethics, taste and other issues. Representing
the paper as a public speaker, he focused on News Values and Credibility.
He is a past president of the Virginia Press Association and a past chairman of
Virginia Associated Press Newspapers.
Since leaving the Daily Press in 2010, Ernie has stayed active in public
affairs. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Lewis B. Puller Jr.
Veterans Benefits Clinic at the William & Mary Law School. He is also serves on
the Coalition Partners Advisory Panel of the Virginia Coalition for Open
Ernie and his wife, Betsy, live in Williamsburg, Va. They have three adult
Ernie Gates can be reached at
firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 761-0587.
Congress created the post in the early 1990’s to ensure that Stars and Stripes journalists operate with editorial independence and that Stars and Stripes readers receive a free flow of news and information without taint of censorship or propaganda.
The ombudsman serves as an autonomous watchdog of Stars and Stripes’ First Amendment rights. Anyone who fears those rights are imperiled should alert the ombudsman.
The ombudsman is also the readers’ representative to the newsroom. Readers who think a journalistic issue or event was misrepresented or ignored or who feel complaints were not properly addressed by Stripes reporters or editors should contact the ombudsman.