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Sun-Times Web editor writing in vain

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by FishHack76, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. FishHack76

    FishHack76 Active Member

    Saw this today ... Like many people, my question is "Why not just disable all comments?"


    Do 90 percent of readers' comments add anything to the discussion? Not really. Guy also takes a rip at Deadspin, which I found humorous. I can't remember seeing stuff like this (the start of his column/editorial/parental-like warning) on there:

    "Lock this monkey up in a cage next to Bubba. Go get the other monkeys in his gang and lock them up as well."

    "Blacks are far too lazy and co-dependent on whites to ever change -- if they did who'd pay for their babies and food?"

    "If it happened on Mars, I'd say he was a Martian. But it happened in Logan Square, so I said he was an illegal. Wanna bet?"
  2. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    We have a story on our Web site about a boy who was bit by a beaver. Unfortunately, the boy's father beat the beaver so severely, that there's not enough brain tissue left for a rabies test.

    More unfortunately, for our reputation, the comment function is on. It's a field day for every junior high kid and the mental equivalent. Perhaps, we'll never learn.
  3. leo1

    leo1 Active Member

    as a former journalist who has been out of the business for more than 5 years and no longer thinks like a journalist, i can't for the life of me figure out why newspapers allow comments. having a forum is fine. allowing comments after articles, as in Oggiedoggie's example is just stupid.

    there is no rational argument for allowing them. period.
  4. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    On the chin?
  5. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

    Actually, he was bitten on the leg.
  6. Rumpleforeskin

    Rumpleforeskin Active Member

    I know we've been cut to the bone as journalists, but to force us to write in blood? That is the last straw!

    Oh, you said vain.
  7. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    Ad impressions?
  8. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

  9. Exactly. People post a comment and then check back, many times, to see what others have to say. The more comments, the more people who check it out (and then check back). It makes the hit numbers go up.

    Not saying comments are good or bad, but that is a big reason for it.
  10. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Their comments add a definable field for targeted ad placements.
  11. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    We sold our souls for clicks.
    Why do newspapers allow anonymous reader comments when letters to the editor in the print edition must be signed?
    For money, clicks. Such hypocrits the publishers are.
    We allow racist reader comments, we allow people to trash the dead, heaven forbid some high school student die in a car crash. Somebody will post that the parents did a poor job of raising the child or the child had to be drunk, etc.
    We allow rumors to be printed in our reader comments even if they are personal rumors about athletes or coaches that need to be verified. We allow commentors to criticize high school athletes and the coaches of course. We allow people to mock athletes' looks and heaven forbid they mention God in a quote. That athlete will be trashed and anybody who is a believer will be thoroughly trashed.
    We do however somehow filter the f word out of the comments.

    Two things that have completely ruined the reputations of newspapers
    a.) vulgar reader comments in the pursuit of clicks/money. Makes this business so sleazy.
    b.) printing of anonymous sources in the desire to be first. From what I can tell, many (most?) newspapers are now allowing anonymous sources to "break" news on coach hirings; athletes' injuries, etc. So lazy; so sleazy. These anonymous sources really crop up when ESPN breaks the story first and the newspapers immediately cite some anonymous source to try to get the story up right after ESPN.
    The desire to be first online truly has turned once respectable newspapers into trash.
    If I'm an advertiser I go nowhere near publications that allow racist reader comments and such mean spirited reader comments that appear in my publication's website daily
  12. fishwrapper

    fishwrapper Active Member

    Really? All you got is "a" and "b"?
    Kind of ignoring the elephant in the room, aren't ya?
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