11 March 2008

I Want To Comment!

Our colleagues at VOANews.com received an email this month from Shomeir who said:

“I notice that your website (voanews.com) does not allow reader feedback. Are you afraid of having your propaganda challenged?”

Well, setting aside the use of the word “propaganda" which we reject, we want Shomeir to know that readers can email in all the comments they want. And they can send them to the News Blog as well.

But here’s the thing (and what we suspect Shomeir is really complaining about): while anyone can send in comments, they won't appear automatically on VOANews.com.

We know some news sites have a “Comment on this story” feature. Others don’t. Among those that do, some may moderate or preview comments before they appear; others allowed un-moderated comments. Still others may use systems that have certain “screen-out” words to block certain comments and there are those sites that include a “Flag this comment as inappropriate” tag so other users can alert the moderator if there's a problem with the comment.

It can get quite complicated.

VOANews.com is in the midst of an overhaul and upgrade that may provide new comment opportunities. Stay tuned.

But in the meantime, we here at the News Blog welcome all comments (though we, too, will review them before posting. That’s not because we fear anything or want to weed out certain types of comments but to make sure there is no spam, hate or other inappropriate language, personal attacks or things like that.)


BRE said...

Hello Alex,

I just discovered the new VOA Newsblog while reading an article at your main website about the OIC Summit 2008 in Dakar, Senegal. I think that it is great that the VOA News has decided to join us here in the blogosphere, and am looking forward to learning more about your new media strategy.

Not everyone looks at the VOA News as a propoganda instrument of the U.S. government, especially people who are somewhat media literate. I've referenced articles published at your website on several occassions because the reporting was as good as anything to be found in the international press and media. Your excellent series about AFRICOM last year is just one example of great journalism at the VOA News.

Good luck with your new blog in the Sphere and remember to hang loose and write what you think and feel.

capelan said...

Thank you for responding to my message asking that VOA provide readers with the opportunity to comment on the content of your web site. I am definitely on the side of people who perceive VOA as lacking balance and objectivity. Indeed, it's my view that you routinely violate your charter.

In my view, the VOA should reflect basic values of our society relating to freedom of expression and not be an instrument of whatever worldview currently holds political office in our country. Offering readers the opportunity to express their views is a great step in the right direction.

Force Max said...

I am for capelan 's opinion.It's impossible for a media to be completely independant to report some news.For instance ,at least they aren't finacial independant.
Like it or not ,they will partially be affected by the government.Or How can they keep a license from the government to run the media?
All we can pray for is that the news could reflect the truth as largely as they could.
Anyhow, the readers are not all lacking of intelligence.We can tell the truth from the mashes.
One more way to get news,one more way to get to the truth.
Thanks for VOA editors' and journalists' diligent work to keep our vision bright and wide!

Allison J. said...

I sometimes believe in Fairy tales, they Are fun and Imaginative... hehe :)

tornerdinn10 said...
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grot said...
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