Jay Rosen and Dan Gillmor have some good talk on the Washington Post decision to take comments off post.blog in response to a flood re Deborah Howell’s recent writing–Dan succinctly says: “Comments are definitely worth having, even when they cause problems. Listening and responding are as important in tomorrow’s journalism as speaking.”
Jay talks with WaPo exec ed Jim Brady and says “I also understand why Brady did what he did. If washingtonpost.com lets stand extreme charges aimed to maximize rage at Howell, and some of the charges contain ugly personal insults, then Brady’s position becomes impossible if the staff of the Washington Post objects, and demands to know:
–Why are we giving Post.com space to people who wish for our destruction and call for our heads?
–Jim, it’s not like there are’t other spaces online where that can and will be said robustly.
–Does transparency really mean making room for: death to the Washington Post, and down with their ombudsman too? ”
Jim Brady weighs in with a sensible comment I like: “As a site, we’ve decided there have to be limits on the language people can use. I’m getting a lot of e-mail saying, essentially, that I need to accept the fact that profanity and name-calling are part of the web DNA. That may be true for the Web as a whole, though I hope not, but I don’t run the Web as a whole, I run washingtonpost.com, and on our site, we get to make the rules. Readers can reject those rules, and post elsewhere. That’s their right. There are plenty of blogs that will allow commenters to say whatever they want; we’re just not going to be one of those.”
Susan sez: I think this is just great on Jim’s part–he does get to make the rules, and there is always another diner down the block if people don’t like’em.

Jay Rosen and Dan Gillmor have some good talk on the Washington Post decision to take comments off post.blog in response to a flood re Deborah Howell’s recent writing–Dan succinctly says: “Comments are definitely worth having, even when they cause problems. Listening and responding are as important in tomorrow’s journalism as speaking.”
Jay talks with WaPo exec ed Jim Brady and says “I also understand why Brady did what he did. If washingtonpost.com lets stand extreme charges aimed to maximize rage at Howell, and some of the charges contain ugly personal insults, then Brady’s position becomes impossible if the staff of the Washington Post objects, and demands to know:
–Why are we giving Post.com space to people who wish for our destruction and call for our heads?
–Jim, it’s not like there are’t other spaces online where that can and will be said robustly.
–Does transparency really mean making room for: death to the Washington Post, and down with their ombudsman too? ”
Jim Brady weighs in with a sensible comment I like: “As a site, we’ve decided there have to be limits on the language people can use. I’m getting a lot of e-mail saying, essentially, that I need to accept the fact that profanity and name-calling are part of the web DNA. That may be true for the Web as a whole, though I hope not, but I don’t run the Web as a whole, I run washingtonpost.com, and on our site, we get to make the rules. Readers can reject those rules, and post elsewhere. That’s their right. There are plenty of blogs that will allow commenters to say whatever they want; we’re just not going to be one of those.”
Susan sez: I think this is just great on Jim’s part–he does get to make the rules, and there is always another diner down the block if people don’t like’em.