Do Journalists Fear “Comments” on Their Writing?

by Dan Blank on November 20, 2007

Journalism professor Clyde Bentley offers up reasons why some traditional journalists don’t like the idea of anyone being allowed to add comments to their articles online:

  • “[traditional journalists] were shocked at the lack of interest from the blog world when they wrote informative, well-crafted and traditional essays.”
  • “Journalists are steeped in a culture of insecurity. We send our stories through a gauntlet of copy editors. We fact-check the quotes. And we buffer every statement we can with “allegedly” and “according to…”
  • “Many of us grew up in a business where the end of the story was the end of the story. Period.”
  • “The inarticulate sniping of a few know-it-alls adds nothing to the day’s report. Besides, they were embarrassing.”
  • “…the immediacy, personal tone and volume of comments that took them aback.”
  • “Errors are sins. Comments point out errors and therefore damn us to media hell.”

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