Like almost any journalist, I hate anonymous commenting. While we write with our names and reputation attached, people post ridiculous insults and libel without shame or fear because no one will know it was them. But I admit that sometimes, they make sense and actually contribute to the conversation without requiring people to attach themselves to that comment or opinion for the rest of their lives. That’s why the DP, and most other publications, continue to allow anonymous commenting despite it being a royal headache for most of us.
According to the Roanoke Times, the Virginia Tech Collegiate Times was told this week by the Commission on Student Affairs that it was violating the school’s “Principles of Community” by allowing anonymous comments on their site. To make a long story short, they lied out an ultimatum: Get rid of the nameless comments or lose your university funding.
Now the Collegiate Times is not technically owned by Virginia Tech. However, it does accept free rent and 70,000 dollars a year from the school. In this economy, the loss of that funding would likely be crippling. And, apparently, the Commission would also be banning student groups from advertising in the students newspaper.
I get why the school doesn’t like it. Read some anonymous comments on any web site and you’ll understand why someone wouldn’t like them. But you can’t threaten to shut down an entity that you claim you’re letting be independent because they have a policy you don’t like.
Either way, it’s things like this that make me so happy that the DP is an independent corporation that takes no money from Penn.
This entry was posted on Friday, February 12th, 2010 at 2:32 pm and is filed under Journalism/media. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.