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Comments on your paper's site re: stories

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Rusty Shackleford, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    Does your paper allow readers to leave comments about stories online? If so, what policies do you have in place to prevent harassment, libel, ass-holish behavior, etc.? And who can remove posts that are offensive -- ie readers, any staff, IT staff, editors, etc?
     
  2. Sxysprtswrtr

    Sxysprtswrtr Active Member

  3. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    I like the idea, but hate the way it usually turns out.

    Online comments should be treated exactly like letters to the editor, IMO. They should require verification of a real name and place of residence.

    Sadly, the papers in my area seem to just let them be an anything goes environment with filters for f-bombs and spam URLs.
     
  4. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    My place started doing this a month or so ago. Most of the comments (on sports stories, at least) are as bad as what you see on the fanboy message boards.

    As opposed to classy joints like this one. [/stevebuscemiindesperado]
     
  5. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    our reader feedback used to be totally unfettered and it could get nasty as hell. attacks that had nothing to do with the story, lies and libel, etc. but of course it generated astronomical unique hits for a paper our size. absolutely hated it. we switched a couple of months ago to requiring registration but they can still use an anonymous screen name.
     
  6. Hate them. Ninety-five percent of the people who post on our Web site are know-it-all dopes who usually have an agenda and want people to KNOW ABOUT IT AT ALL TIMES.

    Some highlights:

    a) The person who is upset about a certain race coming in who can't speak English...and writes "now i dont have a Problem with it, but these minoritys dont kno how to talk the langugae."

    b) The one guy who claims sobriety checks are illegal, and then posts about it every time there's a news brief about them. This can also be grouped in with the same people who hate the police.

    c) The group of people who rail against the newspaper just because they're still upset Beetle Bailey was dropped from the comics in 1961.

    And on and on...

    All those comments do is drive up Web hits, which is really all newspapers care about. They could give a shit about what Bill from Podunk writes about the story on the Secretary of State in town. Just as long as he visited the Web site, baby.
     
  7. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    We've got them on our site. I'd love to make them go away, but the Internet folks love that it generates hits, so decency be damned. There's munny tah be made!
     
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