Listening to the Dot-Commenters (WashingtonPost)

Discussion in 'News' started by Drew Wilson, Apr 24, 2009.

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  1. Drew Wilson

    Drew Wilson AKA IceCube Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I am writing in defense of the anonymous, unmoderated, often appallingly inaccurate, sometimes profane, frequently off point and occasionally racist reader comments that washingtonpost.com allows to be published at the end of articles and blogs.

    Aside from the fact that the newspaper business model is evaporating, there are few subjects more vexing for journalists and many readers of my generation than what to do about those comments. We don't let this happen in letters to the editor. Where are the standards?

    During most of my seven-year tenure as editor or executive editor of washingtonpost.com (I retired four years ago), I kept unmoderated comments off the site, with support for that position from the newspaper's top editors, most of whom were of my generation.
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    I also opposed blogs, although I relented when it became obvious that they had become The Way for disciples of the Internet. Now I write a blog on washingtonpost.com called dot.comments. It is based entirely on the mutterings that emanate from anonymous comment writers reacting to Post journalism -- and to each other.

    More...

    :sucks:

    ...heheh.
  2. 1cooldude

    1cooldude gone into the sunset

    I guess when one tries to put these anonymous,unmoderated comments into perspective, one finds that it's greater than a whole. It measures instantaneous grass-root emotional side to many issues and places those with deeper understanding and knowledge into a common circle.
  3. El Comandante

    El Comandante Merde! Established Member

    This sort of thing goes on everywhere. My hometown paper "herald.com" was plagued with this sort of thing. Now you have to register to post a comment and posts are temp removed if reported.

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