Cynthia Jardon, the editor of the editorial page of The Town Talk, recently blogged about her frustrations with the paper’s online forum, also known as StoryChat.
StoryChat is a function of all of the Gannett papers in the State, and although some of the forums may be slightly more informative than others, it’s hard to disagree with Ms. Jardon’s assessment of The Town Talk’s forum.
Our forums get an “F” for intelligent, meaningful conversation.
Most of what goes on is attacks and arguments between posters.
And she asks what can be done to improve the discourse.
Unfortunately, not a whole heck of a lot.
It’s sad that the forum has devolved into a series of ad hominem attacks and petty arguments between posters. And as a faithful reader of the paper, I’ve also noticed.
It reminds me of the brief and ill-conceived SoundOff!, a regular feature in which callers could express anonymous complaints and observations, which would then be published in the paper.
It began as a fun novelty but quickly became somewhat out of control.