My Monday column is about the challenges facing news organizations trying to maintain conversations with readers while keeping the discourse civil and thoughtful.
Consider what happened recently when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s weekly magazine, Go!, ran an article about the best places to smooch and featured a picture of an interracial couple kissing on the magazine cover.
Kurt Greenbaum, who moderates the Post-Dispatch’s online blog “A Conversation About Race,” told me that readers’ comments about the black man kissing the white woman got so ugly—- for example: “Haven’t read the story but dont (sic) like to see blacks and whites kissing”—- that editors decided to close the article’s comment board and move the ‘discussion’ to the race blog. You can take a look at the blog entry here. The Poynter Institute also has an online story regarding the uproar.