Tuesday, March 18, 2008

News Organizations Need New Rules For Online Chat?

Posted by Teresa at 3:15 PM

Photo source

I thought this article brought up some fantastic questions:
The Organization of News Ombudsmen, a group I admire and to
which I belong, has an e-mail thread right now soliciting input on
how news organizations should handle public comment: Is it to OK
to block anti-immigrant rants, to weed out defamation, to protect
privacy and attempt to enforce some standards of reasonable
expression? What about unsigned comment?

Some organizations argue that they are providing a public space, which
they don't have the right, let alone the duty, to regulate. It will look after

But is the marketplace of ideas self-regulating? Is defamation canceled
out by testimonials, falsehoods by truth? Or does Internet talk promise
another sad case of what the late ecologist Garrett Hardin called the
''tragedy of the commons'': Each individual herdsman benefits from putting
one more head of cattle onto public pasture, and suffers little from
cumulative overgrazing. In time, though, community disaster ensues.
This new online media has made everyone a commentator on news. One of the
main reasons I find ABCNews.com irritating is because every story has comments
attached to them. I don't mind news blogs and opinion pieces having comments on
them, but does every news story need input attached to it?



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