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Online comments drive editor to retirement

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MisterCreosote, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Well-Known Member

    anonymous comments should be taken for what they are...worthless.
    If this guy can't handle it, he's doing the right thing, especially if he in fact does have other options more suitable to his personality.

    You have to realize random comments come from a tiny slice of your readership and you must account for the whacko factor.
  2. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    If the editor knew enough about the web, he would have put together a top 10 list on why online comments suck.
  3. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    ^ Wrong, and should be dealt with seriously.

    Online comments about you and the job you do and the place you work? Part of the territory.

    You're allowed to feel a sting now and then, and even bitch about them. Quit over them? In 2011, you're in the wrong profession.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Like a typical football coach, I never read online comments, especially the one the other day that said I wasn't good enough to work at The Plain Dealer.

    Can you imagine?
  5. Spartan Squad

    Spartan Squad Well-Known Member

    I've been told (not direct wording but the implication was clear) that if we ran a photo of an accident he was going to come down and kick our asses. That wasn't fun.
    I've been called up and cursed out for something I didn't even do, except that a bar felt guilty because a woman was attacked outside of their place. They read too much into something we printed about staying safe and thought we blamed the victim (mind you what we cautioned people against can get you arrested).
    I've also had people start their own chat site just to insult me and the paper after I didn't allow them to do silly things like call women skanks on the comment boards.

    I've had days where I've read some things written about me and really wanted to just say fuck it. But when I finally leave this job, it won't be because of some idiotic commenters who have no lives and who are incapable of doing anything but bitch. I can't let the dimwits win.
  6. bpoindexter

    bpoindexter Active Member

    I definitely see where the guy's coming from, especially when you do something, say, on your day off to see to it your readers have an informative story ... and then you get pissed at online for writing, in his/her opinion, a shitty story.

    I don't think I'd ever quit because of it, at this point anyway.
  7. mrbigles01

    mrbigles01 Member

    Isn't twelve years old a little young to retire? Toughen up man, how the hell did he have an entire career when he can't take a little negative commenting. Sad.
  8. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    Here's the thing, and I know I posted this one other time a long time back.

    I can see people commenting about something you wrote, that they disagree with it, even calling you a dumbass for writing it.

    But if they start mocking your appearance, or your family, or something like that, then you notify your paper's management. And if management shrugs their shoulders, then remind them about workplace harassment laws. In online comments, I'd consider that a business allowing its customers to harass its employees. Lawsuit territory.

    And yeah, I know, there's professions in which harassment is expected, such as an umpire. But I don't see how working at a newspaper is a profession where you should expect to be harassed.
  9. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Interesting. John's a friend of mine. He's a terrific person, a terrific journalist. I have not talked to him since I moved to DC. We had dinner together a while back when he was driving through Richmond. He used to be a professor at Washington State and was assigned to our sports dept. in Richmond one summer as part of a "visiting professor" program. I need to get in touch, we're planning a spring training trip together.

    Trust me on this, there has to be more to it. I'm sure the comments were a "last straw" kind of thing.
  10. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    He doesn't come across very well in that column. I wish him the best of luck in a career that has nothing to do with the public, because he can't take it very well.
  11. jr/shotglass

    jr/shotglass Well-Known Member

    This "he can't take it well" stuff ... I kind of take issue with that.

    Hey, maybe we're not supposed to take this shit well. Maybe the people who DO take it well are the unusual ones, the ones who can shut off their feelings.

    If I were more in the public eye, I'd be getting damn well pissed over some of these mouth-breathers taking pot shots at me on comments.
  12. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Yes, but some of the things -- like asking about the weekly TV section -- are legitimate concerns of the readers and as the editor, he's the person they should direct their concern to.

    If it wasn't his call or his idea, it's still his job to deal with it.
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