If there ever were doubts about whether the public has opinions about the news, the arrival of online reader comments has dispelled them. They do, and they aren’t afraid to post them online, usually anonymously. Sometimes those views are insightful, but sometimes they’re insensitive and occasionally they’re downright offensive.
How should media outlets manage this new forum and where should they draw the line on what’s allowed?
A group of experts will discuss the brave new world that is “story comments” at a luncheon and forum, sponsored by the St. Louis Chapter of SPJ, at noon Thursday, Jan. 14, at Lucas Park Grille on Washington Avenue. Lunch is $10, which includes drink and tip.
Kurt Greenbaum, assistant city editor and online editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he has worked since 2002. Kurt’s been involved in online journalism since 1996 and has been a reporter and editor at the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale and dbusiness.com, an online business news start-up.
Jim Shrader, publisher of The (Alton) Telegraph. Jim, a native of Madison, began his newspaper career in 1979 at the Granite City Journal. In 1980, he joined the Belleville News-Democrat as an advertising account executive. In 1989, he became advertising director for The Telegraph. In 1992, Jim became publisher of the The Times-Reporter in Philadelphia, Ohio. In July 1998, he became publisher at The Telegraph, which recently was involved in a court battle over revealing the identity of online comments.
Dr. Musonda Kapatamoyo, who teaches writing and design for the Web, multimedia use in mass media, advanced multimedia, new technology and media, and information technology and society at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. His research interests include use and impacts of information and communication technologies; creation, use and impact of Web 2.0 for ubiquitous learning; and political economy of media.