When I worked at the weekly paper last year we posted our stories online but we were not emphasizing web all that too heavily. At the Daily News web is all we push.
If a story doesn’t seem “clickable” it often times falls to the wayside, which is not a good thing but it’s how we operate. So understand that coming into this job of writing blotters and breaking news I never thought about the readers on the other side… well I never thought of the lack of pure kindness they would display.
Starting out, I would get so excited to see comments on any of my stories and instantly click to see what they had to say. All to quickly I learned that was a mistake.
Our commenters are positively vicious. It started out with snide remarks about the blotters, then it got personal.
They went from making rude comments about the story to actually writing my name and then adding their rude, demoralizing comment.
We’re encouraged to read the comments to see if we’ve made and error, if someone has a tip or perhaps knows anyone we are writing about so that we can continue to get the most coverage possible, but it’s not something I enjoy.
I now dread opening up any of my stories because the commenters seem to be particularly hateful towards my stories. It’s not like I’m a sensitive person.
I work in a field where I get smacked around, trashed and kicked out of places all the time. It comes with the territory and that’s fine. That’s understandable. That’s even tolerable.
What I really cannot stand are the people tucked safely away from the world behind their computer making brazen statements about things they don’t know. It’s so easy to stand behind a mask and say whatever you want – it’s another matter owning what you say.
I’ve learned though, as I always do, through trial and error.
I no longer read each and every comment, or take offense to the one’s that tend to be less than nice to yours truly. Like life, I just take it with a grain of salt.
I mean, how angry can I be about being called mean names when I’m writing a story about a 29-year-old guy that died that same morning. Perspective here is key.
So commenters, I’ve got nothing to say to you – and that’s the way it will stay.
You’re little mind games have no affect on me. None whatsoever! (This is a tad bit of a lie, but you get the victorious gist of it.)