There was a time when many major news organizations, including The Boston Globe, had an ombudsman — a reader advocate who would report on the inside workings of the newsroom when problems arose.
Well, I’d really like to know what happened with the Globe’s reporting on MBTA managers who live far from Boston. The story was written by Andrea Estes and led Sunday’s print edition. It told a pretty compelling tale of inequity, with subway operators, bus drivers, maintenance workers and others required to show up to work every day while some of the agency’s top executives checked in from distant locales.
Trouble is, the story has now been appended with this:
Correction: Earlier versions of this story incorrectly reported that three MBTA managers live primarily in homes far from the T’s service area. Dennis Lytton, the deputy safety chief, has an apartment in Brighton and says he has not worked remotely since starting the job in February. Michele Stiehler, the T’s chief of paratransit, lives in Boston and walks to work. Jennifer Tabakin, who oversees the T’s South Coast Rail project, also has a home in Boston within walking distance of T headquarters.
Estes is a fine reporter who’s done a lot of important work, and it does appear that absentee executives really are a problem at the MBTA — but not these three. I think the Globe owes us an explanation. An ombudsman could have told that story.