REPOSTING: TheGazette.com commenting has changed

Commenting welcomed on Daily Conversations, Reporter Notebooks

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March 31, 2014 | 11:59 pm

Editor's note: We blogged Sunday about changes to TheGazette.com and The Gazette that launched this week, but there's been some confusion around the online commenting piece. So we're reposting that part of the explainer for those who may have missed it.

Previously posted: Also on Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2012, we’ll launch major changes to online commenting at TheGazette.com. The new Daily Conversations section will feature three fresh conversations a day on topics of local interest that we believe people are or will want to talk about. Conversations will remain active for 72 hours, and then commenting will be closed. By the end of the week, we’ll have nine daily conversations at a time to choose from.

We’ll provide a little background and links to information on each topic to help users familiarize themselves with the conversation so they can offer insightful commentary. All comments will be moderated, meaning no comments appear until a moderator approves them. Moderation will be staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., so you’ll likely see a batch of comments post each morning from the overnight hours.

All comments are subject to The Gazette’s rules of engagement, which are not changing. They are, in brief:

  • Be truthful. Cite your sources. Comments should be on topic, accurate, timely and fair. Share your eyewitness accounts, background, observations and history. Ask about what you don’t know.
  • Be civil. Do not monopolize the conversation. Do not make personal attacks on others. Do not use ALLCAPs; no need to shout. The same goes for imperatives, such as “Wake up, people,” or examples of Godwin’s Law (Nazi comparisons).
  • Be responsible. Refrain from using obscene, vulgar, lewd or sexually oriented language; statements that convey racism, sexism or terminology that degrades another person or class of people; and attacks on others that range from being against someone’s character to threatening someone’s physical safety.
  • Own your words. Use your real name.
  • Leave the trolls alone. Don’t be a troll, either; they are not welcome at TheGazette.com.

You don’t have to agree with these rules, but to comment in our digital spaces, you’ll have to follow them. Comments that don’t will not be approved for posting. Because of the volume of comments we get each day, you may not be notified when and why a comment is rejected.

We invite you to explore our new Reporter Notebooks feature at TheGazette.com as well. Each of our topical content areas — business, government, public safety, education, sports and living — have this feature. It’s where the reporters blog about what they’re doing, reading, learning or talking about each workday. The goal is transparency around the reporting process. It’s not where you’ll find our completed stories but where you can see the bits and pieces of what reporters are working on. You’ll also find reporters’ Twitter streams on the notebooks.

Reporters will take comments on the notebooks as well. Rules of engagement apply. So if you’ve ever wanted to offer your expertise to a reporter, offer a news tip or ask a reporter a question, the notebook is the place. It’s a chance to have an impact on the reporting we do every day.

There will no longer be comments on completed articles, but again, you have the Daily Conversations and the Reporter Notebooks as options for engaging with us.

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Is there other feedback and/or ideas you want to share with us? Tell us here.

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