The St. Louis Post-Dispatch announced Monday morning it was turning off its comments section for the next two months as an experiment in civility.
“Ferguson,” the paper explained bluntly.
“We intend to use our opinion pages to help the St. Louis region have a meaningful discussion about race. So we are going to turn off the comments in the editorial section for a while, and see what we learn from it,” the editors wrote. “Comments might return to the opinion pages. Or we might find that without them, the discussion — through letters, social media conversations and online chats, rises to a higher level.”
The paper has been at the center of the tumult following the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown and the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson.
“It’s not that we don’t want to hear from those who disagree with us” the editors wrote. “Quite the contrary. Every day we publish letters from people criticizing our editorials, and we engage in discussions on Twitter and Facebook about the things we write. We believe those venues offer a safer, more civil place to talk about the racial injustice that dominates the Ferguson discussion.”
[Image via screengrab]
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