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Why change website commenting

During the past several months we have shared our views regarding the lack of validity of anonymous commenting by those who hide behind screen names while spewing their venom.

Now, we are taking steps to curtail what is often vile and sometimes rises to the level of being legally libelous.

When people can cloak themselves they tend to say things they would not dare say in public.

We believe elected officials should be held accountable.

We strongly believe that citizens should speak their mind.

We believe that an open free forum is critical to freedom itself.

We staunchly defend the First Amendment.

We encourage all our readers, both in print and online, to “discuss” articles on the website and to send us letters to the editor for publication.

Ironically, it has been suggested the elimination of anonymous commenting is an act of cowardice on the part of the newspaper.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Which takes more courage, taking ownership of your own words, signing your name, speaking out openly about public policy or hiding behind a screen name and taking cheap shots?

We sign our editorials.

Reporters attach their names to the news articles they write.

People in the community send us letters to the editor, often about controversial topics and they sign their real names and provide verification information.

This is not to say there is not some merit in some comments made anonymously.

However, even the insightful comments are somewhat compromised when you do not know the source.

Furthermore, when comments are totally anonymous they can amount to little more than hearsay or gossip.

Too often, the blind comments turn into personal attacks, assaults on character or just plain stupid accusations.

Now readers will still be able to comment on news articles, columns and editorials that appear at www.news-daily.com.

However, in order to do so they will need to access the commenting section through their Facebook account.

The process is not arduous and those who already use the commenting section of our website will find the new system will be rather self-explanatory once they click on the “discuss” option.

It is rather seamless.

Yes, we know the system is not fail safe.

We also know it is better than the completely unfettered system that newspapers across the country are now abandoning.

In some ways, that is a piece of irony because it seems the more we tinker with the bells and whistles of new media, the more we gravitate back to the core principles of solid journalism and traditional values of credible newspapers.

— Editor Jim Zachary

Comments

MD 7 months, 1 week ago

I have no problem with this policy, however I wonder how much pressure the News daily receives from certain officials in county government, since they have allot of control on the papers revenues through it being the legal organ in the county. I have not seen these "venom" posts recently. What is meant by the term "venom"? Questioning public officials performance? Questioning things that do not seem just right in county business? Please give us some examples.

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Robert 7 months, 1 week ago

I say that is discrimination against people who do not have and do not want a FaceBook, Inc. website. Guess it doesn't matter though, this county is a lost cause anyway with its small fish in a small pond mentality.

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OscarKnight 6 months, 3 weeks ago

...This blog has a stink that we have been witnessing in this county for far too long. We have every right to question our elected officials, the misconduct of our Government Officials, and the last thing we need to read or hear, is from an outsider.

....For every post, I provided the source and most of these sources was from the Reporters of the Clayton News Daily

You will probably delete this post too.

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OscarKnight 6 months, 3 weeks ago

,,,If anyone has been keeping abreast of our National News Political front, you would know the name of California Senator Dianne Feinstein. Well; it seems that she "has proposed an amendment to the Media Shield Law that would ignore the protection afforded by the First Amendment and would limit the law’s protection only to “real reporters,” not bloggers and other upstart alternative media types". .....Quote : Feinstein: "First Amendment Is A Special Privilege, Not A Right!"

......Please show us these "Bill Of Privileges" in our U.S. Constitution.


http://www.westernjournalism.com/feinstein-first-amendment-special-privilege-right/

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