Ed Driscoll

Deborah Howell, Former Washington Post Ombudsman, Passes Away

AP notes that the 68-year old Howell was struck by an automobile:

Deborah Howell, a longtime journalist and former ombudsman for The Washington Post, has died. She was 68.

Her stepson Nick Coleman said Friday that Howell suffered fatal injuries when she was struck by a car while vacationing in New Zealand. Coleman spoke by phone from Minnesota.

Howell was an editor for the St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star and also served as Washington bureau chief for Newhouse Newspapers. She served as the Post’s ombudsman from 2005-2008.

She was vacationing with her husband, former University of Minnesota president C. Peter McGrath. She was also married to Coleman’s father, former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Nick Coleman.

Powell described herself as “feisty and aggressive” in a Post article around the she was hired there.

As we wrote late last year, Powell accurately and honestly, if rather after the fact, noted how badly her paper’s coverage of the 2008 presidential election listed to the left, and added:

I’ll bet that most Post journalists voted for Obama. I did. There are centrists at The Post as well. But the conservatives I know here feel so outnumbered that they don’t even want to be quoted by name in a memo.

I doubt much has changed in the Post’s culture in the interim.