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The Agony and Ecstasy of Online Comments

Image by Dee Teal/Creative Commons via flickr

Wednesday on RadioWest, we're talking about the value of online comments. Some see listener or reader comments as the great democratizer of journalism. Others feel more like Bob Garfield of NPR's "On the Media" who calls them "frustrating, maddening and extremely discouraging." Appropriately enough, we're hoping to hear from you: do you read online comments? Do you throw your opinion in the mix? Do you learn something when you read the comment section or are you spoiling for a fight?


Bob Garfield is co-host of NPR's On the Media and a columnist for both MediaPostand The Guardian.

Bill Readeris an Associate Professor in the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University who has written extensively on various forms of audience feedback.

Jack Hitt is the author of the book Bunch of Amateurs and a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine. He also is an occasional contributor to the public radio program This American Life.


Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.