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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Just heard it: blogging in the news

I just heard a bit about blogs on the PBS Newshour. Seems that the Washington Post shut down comments on their blog. Here's the Newshour story (you'll need to scroll down to find Tuesday and then the headline "Online Feedback Goes Offline"). To find out more, try searching on Technorati.

Any comments on this story? As up-and-coming bloggers, does it give you pause at all?


At Wed Jan 25, 03:45:00 PM, Blogger Nicole said...

After reading the story I don't think that the Washington Post was out of line in any capacity. They didn't seem to be limiting the freedom of speech of those who wanted to respond, only asking that the debate remain civil and intelligent. Legally, obscenity is not a protected speech to which individuals are guaranteed freedom. Beyond that, name-calling and profanity aren't a productive means of discussion and criticism. The Washington Post does not have to allow readers and others to be able to respond to their stories on the Washington Post site. If the newspaper didn't allow it, it wouldn't be any more of a limitation on speech than not getting a comment piece sent in to the paper printed in the paper. Individuals still have numerous forums for criticism and comment throughout the website. Still, I think the Washington Post seems committed to inviting feedback and criticism as the editor said that the feedback site will be back open soon. The newspaper only requests that comments are civil and productive, which, I think, would be a reasonable request to any normal person. As far as the effects of this incident on blogging. I think it reminds us all that, while blogging is a helpful tool, anyone can use it and not always with identification and accountability. The challenge is to come up with some kind of standard for the healthy and productive exchange of ideas without imposing restrictions and limiting freedom. As new bloggers, we need to keep in mind that if we don't respond intelligently and civilly, they we are abusing the great opportunities that exist in blogging: to broaden the marketplace of ideas and to initiate change when necessary, for example.


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