By JULIE KRIENKE
Many of us would like to think that our credibility as a writer matters to those reading our work, would we not? However, in today's day and age, the seemingly endless amount of anonymous postings on news articles throughout the nation have shown that the knowledge and reliability writers have is becoming less and less important.
On news websites such as duluthnewstribune.com, anyone can post comments to news articles expressing their opinions without even specifying their name or taking credit for the statements they have made. This means that the comments being posted could be extremely unreliable since people with no knowledge about the subject matter may be acting like they know what they are talking about.
A person's identity is crucially important when readers decide whether or not they will trust the information that has been provided and accept the details of the article as facts. For example, many people probably believed what was said in John Hatcher's editorial simply because he is a journalism professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Creditability clearly matters when it comes to readers' acceptance of facts.
Why do newspapers allow people to post anonymous comments on their websites if the information provided is not valid? It would make more sense that news outlets would want the information provided on their websites to be accurate, identifying the news corporation as a reliable source of up-to-date news.
What's more, the comments that are posted on news websites are clearly unreliable because many of them are unconstructive statements from anonymous people who simply make personal opinions that are not based on facts. These statements are going to give the news outlets that allow them a bad name because many of the comments could be offensive to readers since they are based solely on personal opinions.
The comments posted in response to John Hatcher's editorial in the Duluth News Tribune may do nothing more than prove his point that anonymous postings are cowardly statements. If someone is not willing to take credit for the words that they have written, why should readers waste their time trying to understand that person's opinion?
It may be possible that some people anonymously post comments on news sites because the option is available to them. However, let us raise our standards and take credit for the words that we right, ensuring that we put our best effort into forming our opinions based on facts rather than ignorant judgments.