The Empire to police blog posts

Posted: Sunday, January 21, 2007

If you've been a reader of the Juneau Empire for the past several years, you know that our online edition, along with the many other components that are part and parcel of, has grown exponentially.

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Within the past year or so, one online component in particular has grown in popularity, readership and overall scope, and that is the addition of the Web logs (blogs).

In a few cases, we've recently discovered items being posted on our blog sites - one of which was subsequently printed in Hooligan, one of our weekly special sections - that are crossing the line of acceptability. These will not be tolerated.

Empire readers from four and five years ago will remember Word of Mouth, in which anonymous "postings" were phoned in to us, transcribed and printed in the paper. Some came to love the Word as guilty pleasure, but many others came to loathe it as venomous, vitriolic tripe that never should have seen the light of day.

Some comments similar to those in Word of Mouth have appeared in blog postings on our Web site. The Food and Spirits section of has become the object of affection for one blogger in particular whose purpose, it seems, is to run one or more local dining establishments into the ground with claims that can in no way be substantiated.

What's more, the attack on at least one occasion has been aimed at the business owner in a very personal way. Shame on the blogger and shame on us for allowing the level of anonymous discourse to sink to such a depth. That shall happen no more on our Web site or in our newspaper, regardless of what the nature of blogs becomes.

In today's free-for-all world of online content, almost anything goes, but that's not going to be the standard here. We cannot and will not be in the position of posting or running damaging items, presented as fact, but which can't be substantiated.

We will be editing blog postings and winnowing out meaningless, unsubstantiated and useless bloviation. We encourage readers to speak their minds on Juneau Empire blog sites, but ask that you take the high road and aim to be insightful, rather than simply spiteful.

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