Guardian.co.uk disabled comments on its running story on the Whitehaven shooting today following complaints from readers, including one saying it was acting like Fox News. One post said: "I think having a comment section on this is pretty ghoulish and in bad-taste. It's only going to be strewn with conjecture and potential libel. Best just to let the truth come out properly instead of this rolling, almost certainly erroneous way of doing things." Another asked: "Why does this have a comment section?And why the hell is the Guardian devoting rolling coverage to it Oh wait, you're turning into Fox news, is that it? Just praying for the bodies to start piling up so people get interested?" Guardian.co.uk editor Janine Gibson posted: "There are very good technical reasons to cover a fast unfolding story in this way, which are nothing to do with turning into Fox News but are to do with speed of publishing and being able to correct things quickly. "However, we've discussed it and think the bulk of commenters are correct, it's not a particularly useful way to source information on a story such as this, so we will turn the comments off. Thanks to those who raised it constructively."
I am a freelance journalist based in the UK and was deputy editor of Press Gazette, the journalists' magazine, from 1993 until 2006. I want to give an independent view on media matters.
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