Do you care if the Washington Post has no comments?

About: Panel: Ethics & Interactivity

source: about above
Last Thursday, washingtonpost.com turned off the reader comments feature on post.blog, a blog dedicated to sharing news by and about The Post and washingtonpost.com. The move came after several comments containing personal attacks, profanity and hate speech were posted on an item about Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell's recent column about the Abramoff scandal: Getting the Story on Jack Abramoff, (Post, Jan. 15). At the time, washingtonpost.com Executive Editor Jim Brady wrote, "We're not giving up on the concept of having a healthy public dialogue with our readers, but this experience shows that we need to think more carefully about how we do it." Brady discussed the decision in a live discussion last week.

To open the discourse about how reader-submitted comments should be handled, washingtonpost.com has invited several prominent bloggers to join us Wednesday, Jan. 25, at 1 p.m. ET to discuss the evolving nature of Internet commentary and ethics.
Dave Winer started a conversation:
source: Dave's Wordpress Blog  Comments and the Washington Post
Frankly I understand what a nightmare it must have been maintaining a centralized cesspool of hate and irrelevant immaturity. Why should the shareholders of the Washington Post fund that? Couldn't those people post their nutty ideas on some other site?
... hmmm ... when a media channell is very popular, me thinks that it needs to start allowing for the tagging of comments.  Give the conversation some extra dimension .. let it spread out ... let people tune into the area of the conversation that interests them.  Turning off comments is just going back to Media 1.0 ... remember, when you had no voice.  Also as we do it here at fastblogit, the group (in this case the Washington Post staff), always has the right to delete comments that are off topic or inapporpriate to the forum.  The staff should not shirk from exercising that editorial control. 

Your comments invited ...


Tags

  1. media
  2. washington post
  3. winer
  4. news
  5. conversation
  6. my comments
  7. nausea
  8. blogosphere

Comments


Mark de LA says
source:
So it's not what you want that is the controlling force here.
I didn't say it was. I used this article as the touchstone to express what I do want which is also expressed elsewhere in the header of group UnhackTheBrain. Brown complained, but he shouldn't expect anything else. I say that not only should we vote with our channel clickers (actually it is the Nielson families that vote with their viewing logs), but also with our money by buying from advertizers who support good business & good products & healthy ways of producing them.
& he was still boring to watch.


Seth says
Mark 2006-01-27 04:25:37 2609
Aaron Brown , late of CNN, laments the loss of serious news here I don't. I want the facts - not entertainment. I want reliable information not hype. I don't like any of the cable or network news. I don't want the news to dominate my life I want a resource I can go to to find out what's going on.  I don't want 1,000,000 opinions about it. Network & cable news has become too big a business! What do you expect from that except that the business wants to attract eyeballs. What attracts eyeballs except murders, rapes, catastrophes, wars, scandals, politicians, etc....?  Aaron Brown was boring anyway.

You put a wierd spin on that ... not sure i like it.  For me, these quotes sum up Brown's lament:
source: quoting Aaron Brown
"Television is the most perfect democracy," Brown said. "You sit there with your remote control and vote." The remotes click to another channel when serious news airs, but when the media covers the scandals surrounding Laci Peterson, the Runaway Bride or Michael Jackson, "there are no clicks then," the journalist said.
..
Journalists have fallen short in presenting important news in ways that allow viewers to see how it matters in their lives. But viewers must take up the battle as well, he said. "It's not enough to say you want serious news. You have to watch it. It isn't enough to say you want serious debate. You have to engage in it."
So it's not what you want that is the controlling force here.  What controls is millions of American viewers voting with their TV truners.  I share Aaron's lament.  But my life is not about the the subjects of the evening news, it is more about the subjects of the feeds to which i subscribe. I vote with my subscriptions, not my TV truner.  No that there is any more "Truth" there; no, it is because that is where my attention resides ... it is where the conversation is. 

Mark de LA says
Aaron Brown , late of CNN, laments the loss of serious news here I don't. I want the facts - not entertainment. I want reliable information not hype. I don't like any of the cable or network news. I don't want the news to dominate my life I want a resource I can go to to find out what's going on.  I don't want 1,000,000 opinions about it. Network & cable news has become too big a business! What do you expect from that except that the business wants to attract eyeballs. What attracts eyeballs except murders, rapes, catastrophes, wars, scandals, politicians, etc....?  Aaron Brown was boring anyway.

Mark de LA says
I have lots of training in the shifting sands of society's conversations. I would prefer the NEWS to describe as best as can be the facts about what's so. The difference between a hamburger and a turdburger is not just semantics 


Mark de LA says
seth 2006-01-25 09:55:35 2609
... well in an ideal world facts would be reported with no bias, that would be the NEWS. But we humans cognize what is happening not just by ingesting the raw facts, but by digesting how people we trust react to those facts. There has always been news and news commentary. I don't think that the Washingtn Post is confusing the two. I think that by allowing people to comment on the news, just like the pundits of traditional media, is, as Martha would say, a good thing.
That is what the opinion & editorial pages are for not much has changed there. And, yes the mainstream media does confuse the what's so with opinions just by who they quote & what headlines they generate. See group UnhackTheBrain for some of that conversation.

Mark de LA says
Mark 2006-01-27 06:49:21 2609
7 myths about the Challenger Disaster is another example about the difference between the exact recording of an event including good fidelity to what's so AND the news reporting and the history of the event. I wonder how you might have scored on MSNBC's 7 myths as far as what you believed before their expose.  
If that happens, here's the way the mission may be remembered:
  1. Few people actually saw the Challenger tragedy unfold live on television.
  2. The shuttle did not explode in the common definition of that word.
  3. The flight, and the astronauts? lives, did not end at that point, 73 seconds after launch.
  4. The design of the booster, while possessing flaws subject to improvement, was neither especially dangerous if operated properly, nor the result of political interference.
  5. Replacement of the original asbestos-bearing putty in the booster seals was unrelated to the failure.
  6. There were pressures on the flight schedule, but none of any recognizable political origin.
  7. Claims that the disaster was the unavoidable price to be paid for pioneering a new frontier were self-serving rationalizations on the part of those responsible for incompetent engineering management ? the disaster should have been avoidable
I think I saw it live on CNN. I saw something that looked like an explosion. I knew about the frozen O-rings. Didn't hear about 5. 6-There is always pressure of some kind - a failing launch causes questions on the NASA budget. 7-should is a nice Monday morning exercise. (There should be fewer than 40,000 car accident fatalities nationwide/per-year!

Seth says
mark 2006-01-25 09:33:47 2609
mark 2006-01-25 09:31:29 2609
While I can grok your spreadout I think it deteriorates into "free association" - much like listening to someone on a psychiatrist's couch babble about something or someone on an acid trip try to make sense.
Or maybe even politics - see slashdot article on politics today.
Well sure there is always that nausea we get when we try to comprehend too many voices.  Russell Beattie's expressed it this way on his blog:

source:  Russell Beattie
Have you noticed it too? The past few days have been nuts! It seems every opinion has exclamation points behind it, and every perspective is at the extremes. This company or that is evil or good, or will die or live, etc. No middle of the road, baby. Live! Die! Good! Evil! It?s crazy. I don?t think it?s just the topics lately - it?s definitely a trend. I think its probably a side effect of the increasing numbers of people who are blogging now and participating in the ?conversation? (which is really a shouting match at this point). There are just so many voices, and everyone wants to get their opinions out there, but the reality is it?s getting harder to be heard. Now it?s at the point where people have to write almost nothing but sensationalistic posts on their blog to get any attention. The more extreme, the more likely you?ll be to get links.

Seth says
... well in an ideal world facts would be reported with no bias, that would be the NEWS. But we humans cognize what is happening not just by ingesting the raw facts, but by digesting how people we trust react to those facts. There has always been news and news commentary. I don't think that the Washingtn Post is confusing the two. I think that by allowing people to comment on the news, just like the pundits of traditional media, is, as Martha would say, a good thing.

Seth says
mark 2006-01-25 09:25:31 2609
News Flash! Conversation is not news!  Although the successors to EST and Werner Erhard put heavy emphasis on what the conversations are in society and within the individual & in groups these conversations are still not  NEWS imho.  NEWS is
news Look up news at Dictionary.com1382, plural of new (n.) "new thing," from new (adj.), q.v.; after Fr. nouvelles, used in Bible translations to render M.L. nova (neut. pl.) "news," lit. "new things." Sometimes still regarded as plural, 17c.-19c. Meaning "tidings" is 1423; newspaper is first attested 1670, though the thing itself is much older. Newsreel was first recorded 1916; newscast is from 1930. Newsletter is attested from 1674, but fell from use until it was revived 20c. Newsworthy first attested 1932.News is IMHO something that records an event of some significance to an audience willing to pay attention.  Blogs are conversations about the news & other shit.


News Flash !  Pigs are not Cows !  Things combine ... now some of the news is some of the conversation ... some of the conversation is some of the news.  The point is not what is what,  that is just semantics, the point is what is changeing and whether it is changeing for the best. The point is your voice.  Can you be heard in the media which is broadcast to you.  Do you have a voice in that media,  or do you prefer to just be a non participant in what is going down.  Me, i like the trend .

Mark de LA says
mark 2006-01-25 09:31:29 2609
While I can grok your spreadout I think it deteriorates into "free association" - much like listening to someone on a psychiatrist's couch babble about something or someone on an acid trip try to make sense.
Or maybe even politics - see slashdot article on politics today.



Seth says
One reason the likes the "spread out" solution to distastful things showing up in the wrong context, is because it is very biological.  When cells are stressed, they don't just shut down, they divde.  Animals differentiate to completely fill the niche spaces that  exist.  This is all so very leviathan ... 


Mark de LA says
fbi doesn't tag comments - it just tags the whole pile (item+comments).
I don\'t care whether the Washington Post has comments or not. The New York Times had comments on it's editorial page and opinion columns which WERE MODERATED. Comments don't really belong in the news pages.  If you want to comment write a blog or letters to the editor.

PS your comment software has problems with apostrophes.


Mark de LA says
News Flash! Conversation is not news!  Although the successors to EST and Werner Erhard put heavy emphasis on what the conversations are in society and within the individual & in groups these conversations are still not  NEWS imho.  NEWS is
news Look up news at Dictionary.com1382, plural of new (n.) "new thing," from new (adj.), q.v.; after Fr. nouvelles, used in Bible translations to render M.L. nova (neut. pl.) "news," lit. "new things." Sometimes still regarded as plural, 17c.-19c. Meaning "tidings" is 1423; newspaper is first attested 1670, though the thing itself is much older. Newsreel was first recorded 1916; newscast is from 1930. Newsletter is attested from 1674, but fell from use until it was revived 20c. Newsworthy first attested 1932.News is IMHO something that records an event of some significance to an audience willing to pay attention.  Blogs are conversations about the news & other shit.



Seth says
... sorry, the wiki reference in my last comment was misspelled.
... should be conversation,media

Seth says
mark 2006-01-25 08:42:08 2609
fbi doesn't tag comments - it just tags the whole pile (item+comments).
Yes, but some day perhaps we will have the abitlity to tag comments, and commentors too. Right now we don't have enough traffic or commentors.  But even you have observed that some items have comments that run too long.  Me thinks that one solution to that is to tag comments and allow people to filter their view according to the tags.  I call that "spread out", where there is not enough space for something to happen, you don't need to cut it off, all you need to do is to spread out. Some blogs, eg Shelly of weblog.burningbird.net,  will cut off comments.  I think that is a disservice to  the readership, but it is necessary where there is no ability to spread out.
source:
I don't care whether the Washington Post has comments or not. The New York Times had comments on it's editorial page and opinion columns which WERE MODERATED. Comments don't really belong in the news pages.  If you want to comment write a blog or letters to the editor.
Well apparently you don't care about this new trend in converstaion,media ... oh well.


Mark de LA says
cable news was one of the feeds in my arsenal of feeds - video is more interesting than reading.


Seth says
source: my comment on Dave's wordpress blog
BillG, obviously people?s projections on their blogs serve their own intentions. That applies to the editorial staff of the Post as well as to any other kind of public expression. My point is just that the blogosphere allows us to delve into those persona, in a way that traditional newspaper and broadcast media does not. If you read my blog, you know that i am a liberal and a techo freak and that i am very much into folksonomy ? that is a whole lot more than the string of characters in my name. Comments by real people on articles published by traditional Media on the web are an important emergence in our culture. I hope that the Washington Post will not throw out the baby with the bath water. Hate mongers comments can be easily deleted.



bob says
You are all crazy, and dumb, and you don\'t know what you are talking about. I hate you all...

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