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Columbia Missourian

DEAR READER: How should the Missourian moderate online conversations?

By Joy Mayer
November 26, 2011 | 4:58 p.m. CST


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*Update: As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, any survey submissions we receive will not be considered toward the report we are compiling. Thank you to everyone who sent us their feedback. Responses might be checked again at a later date.

Dear Reader,

Part of the mission of the Missourian is to foster community conversation, and the most direct way we do that is through the online comments on our website. Our goal, as our policy states, is "to create a space for open dialogue between the many diverse voices of our community, and we hope that you will analyze, comment on and challenge the content you find here."

Regular readers of comments on news sites would probably agree that what happens there doesn't always reflect the goal of open, diverse dialogue. And in fact, reasonable individuals will disagree about what that should look like.

In fact, reasonable editors sometimes disagree about what that should look like!

Our goal today is to ask you to weigh in on what kind of conversation meets your personal standards. We want to fine tune our approach, with better consistency as a goal, and we want to hear from you. Whether you are yourself a commenter or not, I hope you'll take a look at the questions posed below, and let us know what comments you find appropriate.

In making the quiz, two members of the community outreach team (Shaina Cavazos and Rachel Rice) took inspiration from some actual comments left on our site. None of them, though, is an actual comment verbatim.

We're working on improving your experience on our site (read my column from last week about banning the spam), and I hope you take a few minutes to make your voice heard.

Joy Mayer is the director of community outreach for the Missourian. She can be reached at and at 573-882-8182.