WASHINGTON -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has named a communications scholar and former journalist to serve as ombudsman for the group that channels federal funds to public media.

The nonprofit corporation said Monday it has named Joel Kaplan to the post. He is currently associate dean at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University. He developed a new graduate curriculum on multimedia storytelling and new media.

Previously, Kaplan was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune and The Tennessean in Nashville, Tenn.

Kaplan says public broadcasting has shown a commitment to editorial independence. He says he will work to improve transparency throughout the public media system.

The three-year appointment comes as some in Congress have threatened to cut off funding for public media.