The Beagle Editor,
Your sudden decision to withdraw the curated comments facility from Beagle articles is disappointing and will all but eliminate worthwhile political debate in Eurobodalla Shire media.
As long term readers of the Beagle and occasional but serious participants in this debate we ask you to consider restoration of an alternative, perhaps more limited, version of this valuable community facility.
We appreciate the legal difficulty you face in having to weed out potentially defamatory and other objectionable comments from a small minority of contributors. But given your long commitment to transparency in government and the very real impact this has had on cleaning up the many excesses and communication failures of the Eurobodalla Shire Council, please don’t give up now.
To reduce the editing workload you might limit the comments facility to particularly important articles. Alternatively, or perhaps as well, you might adopt a policy of ensuring important articles are routinely posted to relevant Facebook pages or to Twitter (using the hashtag #europol)where comments are allowed. Clearly, continued banning of anonymous contributors and well known local loony trolls must continue.
As a result of your hard work the Beagle is the shire’s leading online newspaper, indeed it is now Eurobodalla’s newspaper of record. In our view its continuing success depends on relevant, timely articles complemented by lively, informed community discussion.
Yesterday nine new councillors were sworn in, all espousing better communications with the community. Have any of them expressed concern to you about losing their best source of continuous, relevant community feedback?
Peter Anderson, Batehaven
Paul Bradstreet, Canberra