Readers’ comments: A threat to journalists’ credibility or a boon to press freedom?
Unlike in printed newspapers or magazines, most online news sites provide readers a forum in which to comment, ask questions, correct factual errors, or even criticize a journalist’s take on an issue.
Many in the news industry have embraced the trend of allowing readers to comment on – and even add facts to – the news, saying that such comments often contribute to the goal of reporting the full story. Yet others think comments can push readers away and end up hurting the story, especially if they are speculative, crude, or biased.
What do you think? Does allowing readers to post comments run the risk of lessening a news organization's or journalist’s appeal? Or does allowing readers the space to comment – however they wish – ultimately enhance the news and foster a free press?
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