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July 18, 2008 - Pat Beck
I was reading the latest edition of Presstime and came across an article that I felt was very timely. One that I believe some of our on-line readers will find interesting. The Web site for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News was shut down last year because the system that was used had little to no ability to monitor comments. They relaunched commenting in February with the feature “report abuse” buttons and registration that requires a valid e-mail before comments can be posted online. This should sound familiar to those of you who take advantage of The Leader-Herald’s online comment section. It is pretty much a blueprint of how we manage our site. In reading the article I also found some comfort in knowing that I am not the only publisher who is struggling to find ways to keep offensive language off boards. The decision I don’t want to have to consider is to not allow comments at all, something that many newspapers have gone to. An interesting statistic was that only one-third of the top 100 newspapers in the United States in 2007 allowed comments at all. •FYI as of May 23, 2008, there are 1,422 daily newspapers being published in the United States The NAA (Newspaper Association of America) has put out a report titled “The Online Community Cookbook- Recipes for building audience interaction at newspaper Web sites.” It’s only twenty-one pages so I think I will add it to my nightstand reading stack. Now, if I can only stay awake long enough to read it.
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