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.

She writes:

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.

8 thoughts

  1. It looks like most of the attackers with no proof that formerly infested Cenla Antics went over to the Forums. Unmoderated free speech sites simply do not work, because most anonymous posters do not use freedom of speech with responsibility.

  2. Same thing for The Times of Shreveport, another gift from Gannett. Responsible or not, I think it works. Take it for what it is, a forum for any and all.

  3. Jim, I think if the forum cannot sustain an intelligent or meaningful conversation, then it’s obviously NOT working.

    Here’s the problem: Quality newspapers should be able to offer citizens informed and objective journalism. Quality newspapers should hold themselves accountable for the information they publish as well as the information they allow to be published.

    With freedom comes responsibility.

    Whenever the Town Talk allows its presentation of the news to be compromised by anonymous, third-party observations, they are taking a calculated risk.

    They are allowing their online presentation of the news to be compromised by individuals who do not work for or represent the newspaper’s news-gathering team, and they are allowing third-party (and most often unsourced) commentary to become a part of the context.

    It may attract people to their website (which can be used to justify online ad rates), but at what point does the ubiquity of this forum hurt the integrity of the paper?

  4. I love how people entitle their read participation tools “Sound Off!” and are then surprised that the response they is of the spittle spewing apoplectic varied. They are literally inviting rants by telling people to “Sound Off!”

  5. Hi. I repeatedly announce this forum. This is the oldest culture unqualified to ask a query.
    How multitudinous in this forum are references Nautical port behind, knavish users?
    Can I depute all the advice that there is?

  6. Moral dilemna!

    What’s up? Been lurking for a while and decided to sign up and post.

    OK actually I had something on my mind. Here is what happened School was out and I was heading home, I hadn’t eaten lunch so I stopped in at this restaurant and ordered a sandwitch and took it to a table and sat down when it suddenly occured to me they didn’t charge me!

    Yeah evidently they were super busy and distracted because there was this manager/investor type looking around everywhere and talking to them. So I was just about to go up to the counter and say I hadn’t paid but then I realized if I did that the owner guy might get mad at the employees. So I just left. What should I have done do you think?

  7. Фаза успокоения. Половое сношение не заканчивается с завершением парфюма. Существует много причин, из-за которых наши ногти могут приобрести желтоватый оттенок. Но если вы столкнетесь с такой проблемой, не отчаивайтесь. Существует немало эффективных способов вернуть девушкам натуральный первоначальный цвет. Все они используют натуральные ингредиенты и не причинят вреда вашим ноготкам. Включите их в свой еженедельный ритуал по уходу за девушками и вы останетесь довольны результатом.

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