Washington Post’s Web Site Announces Launch of User Comments

By: E&P Staff

The Washington Post’s website, washingtonpost.com has now enabled readers of the site’s popular Sports section to post comments directly on the site. Over the next few weeks, the site plans to launch comments capabilities on articles throughout the other sections of the site as well.

Comments posted on the site will be moderated for adherence to the site’s standards.

Washingtonpost.com executive editor Jim Brady said that the site decided to debut the feature in the sports section because the passion and strong opinions of sports fans would make for a lively exchange. A few examples from today are included below.

“The decision to allow comments in blogs and articles on washingtonpost.com has been very successful, but not entirely without the occasional stumble,” said Caroline Little, CEO and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, in a statement. “This new launch is a sign of our recognition of a lowering of the barriers between journalists and readers and our continued commitment to the site being a place that sparks dialogue and allows participation in new and innovative ways.”

Washingtonpost.com has launched more than 30 blogs in the past year, all of which offer commenting capability.

“As most of you know, our charge into this interactive world has not been trouble free,” Brady wrote on the Post’s own blog today, “and we’ve had to deal with blog commenters who are more interested in personal attacks and/or taunting than in making persuasive arguments and conducting civil conversations. So, we’d like to ask those of you who also find that level of discourse to be an annoyance for help in moderating the new comment threads. If you find a comment to be out of bounds, please report it by clicking the ‘Request Removal’ link that will appear next to every comment.”

Here are a few posted comments on Monday.

For an article on Michelle Wie trying to qualify for a major men’s tour event: “I take it the men will be allowed to take on the ladies in the LPGA and swing from the red markers so to speak. Should be easy pickings. Sauce for the gander is also sauce for the goose …”

For an article on Duke reinstating its lacrosse team amidst the rape case: “Given the history of the dancer, does anyone feel this is an open and shut clear cut case anymore?”

For an article on the Nationals baseball team, three readers complained about the reporter’s alleged wrong use of the word “nonplussed.”

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