Why you should moderate comments: Editors share their advice 10/24/17

By Penny Riordan, director of digital content partnerships, GateHouse Media

If you ask any editor in a newsroom what one of their biggest issues is, chances are online comments would be toward the top of the list.

Between a Facebook page and a newspaper.com site, readers can leave hundreds of comments a day. And moderating them can take time. The comments themselves can also descend into name calling or unnecessary political debates.

Here is some advice for editors who spend time interacting with readers in the comment section.

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Everyone seems to hate online reader comments. Here’s why I treasure them. 9/6/16

In a recent column in The Washington Post, Margaret Sullivan, media columnist, writes: "I find value in reader comments that can't be adequately reproduced elsewhere. The argument that the conversation has migrated to Facebook and Twitter is flawed. Those are good places for discussion, but they are no substitute for having discussion take place where the story itself lives. I'm convinced that many smart readers with something to contribute will not follow a story onto social media to talk about it. News organizations should fix online comments rather than ditch them."

Read more from Margaret Sullivan.

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