News Daily revamps online commenting

JONESBORO —In an effort to encourage civil public discussions of community issues The Clayton News Daily is integrating the commenting feature on its website with Facebook.

Readers who comment on articles at www.news-daily.com can now do so through their Facebook accounts.

Editor Jim Zachary said this week, “Newspapers have a longstanding tradition of requiring a name, city of residence and contact information for verification purposes for letters to the editor. Online commenting should not be treated any differently.”

Zachary added, “We celebrate the First Amendment, work everyday to protect and fight for the freedom of speech and always encourage public dialogue. In the same way that we solicit letters to the editor, we hope more readers will speak out on local issues and take part in this open, free public forum.”

J.K. Murphy, vice president of content with Southern Community Newspapers Inc., said, “Our papers have always tried to be a forum for public debate. We encourage it. But the editors at all seven SCNI properties thought the anonymous comments had gone too far.”

He added, “Moderating the comments had become a full-time proposition. Using Facebook is not a perfect solution, but it should create a better conversation. If you feel strongly about a topic, you ought to be willing to put your name behind it.”

The process for commenting through Facebook is simple.

When users select the “Discuss” or “Post a Comment” options while they are logged into Facebook their comment will appear on the website.

If not logged into Facebook when users select “Discuss,” or “Post a Comment,” they will be prompted to log in with their Facebook account credentials.

The News Daily continues to encourage readers to submit letters to the editor that can be published both in print and online.

This is done with direct integration with Facebook’s application and account credentials remain secure.