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Column: Readers comment online, join in on conversation


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People love to comment on the news. Nothing wrong with that.

In fact, people across the land have been talking to each other about the day’s printed news ever since our country’s first newspapers started publishing more than 300 years ago.

Here in Columbus, well inland from the eastern seaboard where the first newspapers were launched, that daily occurrence has been going on a mere 136 years since the start of the Daily Evening Republican, forerunner of The Republic.

Today, the published debate over news of the day certainly comes at a faster clip than in earlier eras because of the tools that technology has provided.

Today, Republic readers expect to be able to post their online comments to Web-published stories instantaneously. And most of them are able to do exactly that.

Occasionally, obstacles get in the way. Here are a few examples of when and why that happens.

Questionable language. We have a long list of words deemed to be unsuitable for publication in a family newspaper. If you use one of them while commenting online, your post is going to be routed to our moderation queue.

Besides the profanity clause, our commenting-tool provider has its own preset controls that flag some comments. They, too, route your posts to the moderation queue before they are published.

Third, if you have registered as a commenter but didn’t reply to an email verification prompt, your post also will go to the moderation queue.

If your comment — among the 600 or more that are made each week — gets snagged for one of the above reasons, you are not alone. But our moderators work to approve reader responses as quickly as they can, upholding our standards as they do their work.

If you haven’t yet joined the online debate and may not even know what I’m talking about, I invite you to take a look. Here is a sample of actual comments posted with recent Republic stories.

Meth-lab bust: “I normally don’t comment on these types of things, but I am a recovering addict myself and it is unfair to say they don’t care about people. Addiction is more complex than that! We are not bad people, we are sick people. But, yes, they do have to want help. And jail is NOT recovery.”

City employees getting a minimum 2 percent cost-of-living pay increase: “Only after the city loses more than one of its most-talented professionals to the private sector and only after learning the hard way that Columbus can’t attract such talent without paying for it does the illustrious City Council concede and let go of enough to actually pay city employees more.”

Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s $62,000 profit after struggling to stay afloat: “Congratulations to the CIP! The CIP has done what many big orchestras, not to mention smaller orchestras, has not been able to do over the past several years ... stay financially solvent. I hope Columbus truly recognizes what a gem the CIP is to the community. There are very few towns the size of Columbus that can boast of having a professional orchestra of this caliber.”

What’s your take on the day’s news? I welcome you to join the conversation.

Tom Jekel is editor of The Republic. His column appears each Sunday. You may reach him by phone at 379-5665 or by email at tjekel@therepublic.com.

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