Letter to the Editor: The impact of anonymity in editorial comments in NewCastleNOW
January 28, 2011
by Hildy Sheinbaum
Dear Editors of NewCastleNOW,
I have been a strong supporter of NewCastleNOW since its creation. Without a doubt, this electronic news forum has given us up-to-the-minute information and has truly transformed its readers into a more informed citizenry. That being said, I have become increasingly disturbed by the way in which many now choose to use the comments section of this website. Freedom of speech is a basic right of all Americans, true, but the cloak of anonymity that pseudonyms allow for can encourage a lack of civility, as well as an incomplete, and perhaps even unsubstantiated analysis of issues.
We live in a small community where individuals take pride in personal opinions and often possess the desire to be heard. We should all welcome and embrace this. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to read the anonymous comments without feeling terribly disconcerted.
So, I ask that you consider that all names of writers be revealed before printing any comments. We can be an engaged, participatory community while remaining respectful and considerate of our neighbors, teachers, and public servants. Let’s take ownership of our opinions and our comments in order to have a more productive civic discourse.
Related articles in today’s edition of NCNOW:
“NEW: Editorial: Will I put my name on this, and if not, why not?”, January 28, 2011, by Susie Pender, Editor, NCNOW.org
RERUN: Op-Ed: Where everybody knows your name, January 28, 2011 [Reprinted from June 2010], by Olga Seham