WIUM Tristates Public Radio

News Reporting & Public Input

Feb 10, 2015

Some news organizations have decided to drop their on-line comments section because of rude and/or offensive remarks.But in doing so they risk eliminating direct feedback from their audience.

Shop Talk panelist Rich Moreno said interactivity is one of the Internet’s greatest strengths.  He said an on-line comments section gives the audience an easy way to engage in conversation with news outlets, and sometimes it can provide reporters with story ideas.

Jasmine Crighton said shutting down comments is a disservice to the audience. She said an on-line comments section lets the media know what its audience is thinking, and it can be used by news outlets to directly explain to the audience why certain stories were covered.

Rich Egger feels comments sections should remain intact at the bottom of news stories on media websites.  But he acknowledged few people seem to comment directly on websites anymore – they use Facebook or other social media to opine on stories.