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Moderating Political Debate In The Media

Friday, Oct. 22, 2010

In today's environment, the news story that is published or aired is sometimes not as interesting as what follows under "reader/listener comments."

Increasingly these anonymous remarks are turning into vile diatribes rather than thoughtful commentary, leading some news outlets to suspend or modify the comments option.

Many of the postings appear in the form of irrelevant and nasty remarks about the subject of the story, the reporter, or the news outlet. Most are offensive due to racial, gender, or other types of slurs.

While people in public life know they are subject to the "slings and arrows" of those who disagree or dislike them, some of these attacks are of a very personal nature, and are not appropriate in any context.

This type of ranting does nothing to further civil discourse. Rather than cutting off comments, perhaps it would be helpful to have an on-line moderator to encourage the exchange of ideas, rather than killing them.

 

 

Tags: civility, public discourse

 
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