Does Digital Media = Delete Media?

delete digital media journalism comments on blogsHere is a snippet from a presentation by former print journalist and now Morgan State University professor Allissa Richardson about online media. Richardson is explaining to a roomful of journalists how to live blog their news. When blogging, Richardson warns, you will encounter your audience in real time. No lag time for the letters to the editor; your critics will show up in the comments. So how do you deal?

One way to deal is to press the delete key. Especially if, as Richardson puts so eloquently, “you don’t want that type of drama on your blog.”

But this brings up a great issue: is digital media delete media? Is it necessarily a good thing to be able to erase the negative comments that we don’t wish to see? I know we all have spam filters on our blogs for people selling products, etc. But what about real people who post comments that are simply opinions contrary to our own?

Politico columnist Patrick Gavin brought this up during the PoliTwitch event back in May. (at 3:35 in the clip)  Since he runs a political blog, he uniformly receives a bevy of partisan comments, so many that he almost doesn’t read the comments on the blog.

But what do you think about digital media, negative comments and the delete key? Should negative comments be kept as a part of the story? Or should digital media journalists and bloggers have carte blanche to “police” the comments?

And another point: Do you consider the comments a valuable part of the story?

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