The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.

To: Mother Jones -

From: Doug Skoglund -

Date: 19 Apr 2016 10:00 CDT

Subject: Comment Policy...

I am posting this page in response to a fundraising appeal from Monika Bauerlein.

I am sorry, but I am not an active reader of motherjones -- that, of course, may be 100% my fault -- so I have been doing a little investigating. Obviously, my ultimate reaction to MotherJones will depend upon your reaction to this email.

The Science of Journalism (see archive listing below) boils down to the handling of reader input as expressed in your Comment Policy, and I quote:

Mother Jones encourages civil, engaged conversation. Our moderators have broad discretion to remove comments that violate our Terms of Service.

1) No spam please.

2) Dear trolls: No ad-hominen attacks, repeat posts, off-topic rants, user identity theft, death threats, or hate speech.

3) We reserve the right to remove or edit comments.

4) Need help on how to post a comment or change your comment settings? Try this page or go to the Disqus site.

5) Please help your hardworking moderators by flagging comments that violate our policies. But please use your flagging powers wisely.

6) Our writers and moderators alike love your thoughtful responses to less well-informed commenters.

7) Have ideas on how to make the MoJo commenting experience better? Email web-feedback [at]

8) Please note that your use of the commenting feature is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

We want to actively include readers in the journalism we produce. Yes, we'd love to have you leave more comments on our website; but beyond that, we're taking very seriously what you have to say. And we want you to be able to interact with and inspire each other.

Investigative journalism can shed light on a problem, but where do we go from there? We hope that the people who read our investigations have an inherent desire to solve problems-to be the whistleblowers, the people on the front lines, the idea makers. Collectively, you can do far more than we ever could.

Now, that is what I would call bass-ackword organization -- the last two paragraphs are the meaningful part and should be expanded -- the rest should be scrapped, the only thing they do is signal the thinking of the management of MotherJones, particularly what you think about your readers.

Journalism must lead the problem solving process with the help and support of the readers -- which, of course means that journalism must understand the process of problem identification and solution -- which of course means that journalism must understand the process of democracy and the process of science.

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system for individuals -- and I sure could use some help. Please see, a work-in-process.

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