Edward Schumacher-Matos

Edward Schumacher-Matos is the ombudsman for NPR. His column can be found on NPR.org here.

Having spent more than three decades as a reporter and editor in the United States and abroad for some of the nation's most prestigious news outlets, and having founded his own newspapers, Schumacher-Matos has a deep understanding of the essential role that journalists play in upholding a vital democracy. He also intimately understands the demands that reporters and editors face every day.

Immediately prior to joining NPR in June 2011, Schumacher-Matos wrote a syndicated weekly column for The Washington Post and was the ombudsman for The Miami Herald. Earlier, he founded four Spanish-language daily newspapers in Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley; served as the founding editor and associate publisher of the Wall Street Journal's Spanish and Portuguese insert editions in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal; and reported for The New York Times as Madrid Bureau Chief, Buenos Aires Bureau Chief, and the paper's NYC economic development reporter.

At The Philadelphia Inquirer, Schumacher-Matos was part of the team that won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident. He began his varied career covering small towns for the Quincy Patriot Ledger south of Boston, and as a "super stringer' for The Washington Post, in Japan, South Korea, and New England.

For nearly the last four years, while writing his Post and Herald columns, Schumacher-Matos was also at Harvard University. He was the Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor in Latin American Studies at the Kennedy School of Government; a Shorenstein Fellow on the Press, Politics and Public Policy; and director of the Migration and Integration Studies Program. He is a member of the International Advisory Board of IE University Graduate School of Business in Madrid and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute at the University of Southern California. He also is active in the Council on Foreign Relations, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, and the Inter American Press Association.

Schumacher-Matos received his Master of Arts degree in International Politics and Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Politics and Literature from Vanderbilt University. He was a Fulbright Fellow in Japan.

Growing up in a military family, he volunteered to join the Army during the Vietnam War. His service in Vietnam earned him the Bronze Star. He was born in Colombia and came to the United States as an immigrant child.


Thu January 17, 2013
NPR Ombudsman

Bringing The President Down A Notch: NPR Ends Calling Him 'Mr.'

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 9:42 am

Preparations continue on the U.S. Capitol for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 17, 2013.
Jewel Samad Getty Images

The newsroom has confirmed that the president puts on his pants like most of the rest of us: one leg at a time.

I make light. What it did today was change its stylebook and dropped referring on-air to the president of the United States as "Mr." in second references. Beginning with the inauguration of President Barack Obama for his second term next Monday, "Mr." Obama and his successors will be called by just their last names on second reference. "Obama," for example. Just like the rest of us.

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Sat October 6, 2012
NPR Ombudsman

That's 'Mister' To You, Buddy

Originally published on Mon December 3, 2012 3:15 pm

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets supporters during a campaign rally on Oct. 5 in Abingdon, Va.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

What's in a title? Political suspicions, for one thing.

"I hear NPR's correspondents refer to President Obama as 'President Obama' or 'the president' all the time," wrote Christopher Kluth, of Wauwatosa, Wis., "yet when it comes to former Governor Mitt Romney, NPR's correspondents refer to the former governor as simply 'Mitt Romney' or 'Romney'. I consider the contrast in the two approaches disrespectful, unprofessional, and, actually, evidence of partisan bias."

Lois Callahan-Moore from Fairhaven, Mass., heard different titles and suspected a different bias.

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Thu October 13, 2011
NPR Ombudsman

Why Do You Call Him Mr. Obama?

Originally published on Thu September 20, 2012 2:54 pm

Alex Wong/Getty Images

A number of listeners have written in recent weeks complaining that NPR reporters refer to President Obama as "Mr. Obama." Since the mid-1970s it has been NPR's policy to refer to the president as "Mr." instead of "President" on second reference. Below is an explanatory column slightly updated from 2009. We invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Why Do You Call Him Mr. Obama?
Lori Grisham, Assistant to the Ombudsman

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