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To Comment Or Not To Comment


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How journalists can improve online discourse with the audience. Presentation given at 2015 Excellence in Journalism conference in Orlando, FL on September 18, 2015

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To Comment Or Not To Comment

  1. 1. To Comment Or Not To Comment? Marie K. Shanahan Assistant Professor of Journalism, University of Connecticut @mariekshan
  2. 2. #EIJcomment
  3. 3. Hartford Courant File Photo/Stephen Dunn
  4. 4. I’m using your comment section to…
  5. 5. What happens when we don’t monitor our online comment sections
  6. 6. Deep down, all of us have the potential to be a comment troll. A 2014 survey by YouGov found 30% of Americans admitted to engaging in "malicious online activity directed at somebody they didn't know.” Graphic by D'Andrade, via CCSurvey: Participation inequality study:
  7. 7. Is online anonymity the barrier to civility?
  8. 8. “Civility is emotional maturity.” -Rude Democracy: Civility and Incivility in American Politics by Susan Herbst, Temple University Press, 2010
  9. 9. #Technology #FAIL We need a better box. Is social media that box? photo credit: 4nitsirk via flickr cc
  10. 10. "One of the hardest things to do is scaling openness, whether you run an internet platform or whether you run a country.” -- Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations at Source: “YouTube promises more measures to tame its comment trolls,” The Guardian. June 2, 2015
  11. 11. What do we really want in our comment sections?
  12. 12. Questions to ponder before initiating an online discussion
  13. 13. Denver Post
  14. 14. PRI on Facebook
  15. 15. Connie Schultz on Facebook
  16. 16. “Now that anyone can talk, the public sphere needs fewer authorities and more moderators... seems like a natural role for journalism.” – Jonathan Stray, Tinius Trust, May 2015