Make the Pantagraph comments section public or discontinue it.

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As readers and subscribers of the Pantagraph, we are concerned about the tone and misinformation in the comments in The Pantagraph.  As we look for increasing levels of journalistic integrity from our media sources, we find it imperative that there is a level of discourse fitting our community.  Unfortunately a few players are involved in spreading hateful messages of misinformation and commentary that is not in keeping with the pride that the rest of us show for our community.  

In making the comments public, and possibly only open to registered subscribers (as one means of achieving this, and a potential way to gain subscribers), commenters would be held publicly accountable for their speech.  This would serve the additional purpose from a journalistic integrity standpoint of allowing readers to see who the stakeholders are and what they have to gain by making the comments that are made.  Additionally, persons with multiple accounts could potentially be eliminated. Requiring actual names and verifiable contact information would make commenting consistent with requirements for publishing a letter to the editor.

Should comments be discontinued altogether, which we also find to be a reasonable solution given the circumstances, opinions can be expressed through letters to the editor and sharing on personal pages or blogs.  Sharing of Pantagraph articles on personal pages should achieve additional readership and interest.

As community members interested in building a community based on truth, transparency and kindness, we implore Lee Enterprises to consider our request.



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