Wednesday 2 June 2010

Guardian stops comments on Whitehaven shooting 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?" 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."


Anonymous said...

The Guardian website often does rolling update, blog-style pieces like this on breaking stories - it's a good way of providing a hub for debate about a live topic. As they've now admitted, this particular story was probably not well suited to this format. We live, we learn.

Anonymous said...

Re:Whitehaven shooting.
Following such tragic events, l hope we get a thorough investigation into how the killer obtianed his weapons.If, as has been reported, the killer's brother was a policeman, let's hope the guns were kept legally.Let's not forget the "confusion" over the legality or otherwise, of the guns involved in the Dunblane shootings. Let's have no Masonic interference here.

Anonymous said...

"There are very good technical reasons to cover a fast unfolding story in this way"

It's interesting a form of on-line reporting that was probably developed by Indymedia round 10 years ago continues to be the technical best. Note for major events they rarely had comments - even on an open posting site (!) too much opportunity for causing dangerous unconfirmed rumours.