Stars and Stripes ombudsman
Ernie Gates began a second term as Stars and Stripes ombudsman in June 2019.
In the position from 2012 to 2016, he met and discussed Stripes’ journalism with
deployed troops, commanders, civilian DoD workers, dependents and Stripes staff
members in Europe, Japan, Korea and the Persian Gulf.
A journalist for more than three decades, he has been a reporter, editor and
news executive, including 10 years leading the print and digital newsroom of the
Daily Press in Hampton Roads, Va., where news for and about servicemembers,
families and veterans is a key focus. As vice president and editor, Ernie was
responsible for all news, business, features and sports coverage and oversaw the
editorial page. He also wrote a column responding to readers’ questions and
comments about coverage, news judgment, journalism ethics, taste and other
Ernie is a member of the Advisory Board of the Lewis B. Puller Jr. Veterans
Benefits Clinic at the William & Mary Law School and a member of the foundation
board of the non-partisan redistricting reform group OneVirginia2021.
He lives in Williamsburg, Va. He and his wife, Betsy, have three adult
Ernie Gates can be reached at
email@example.com or (202) 886-0003.
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.