Help the Cornwall Free News Form Its New Comments Policy! November 18, 2011

CFN –  Boy this week has gone by in a blur!   It’s been crazy since Monday night when Cornwall City council tabled their report calling for a cease to advertising on media that have anonymous comments.   I think we’ve all learned a few things and we’ve been inundated with comments, calls, and emails of all sorts.

I’ve heard from many on both sides of the discussion.   I completely understand the gut response of many against anonymous comments even though you really can’t implement such a system, and I’ve heard from many about the importance and validity of anonymity.

The one current I’ve heard that’s common, and what upsets most;  is content and that being said there does seem to be an abundance of comments on the net that upset people from anonymous comments.

As a media outlet, and a very young one; we only turn three in February; I think it’s important to evolve and improve how we do things and constantly define and redefine what works best for you our viewers.

So we are going to initiate a process of what our comments policy should be.   We are going to not budge on anonymity.  I think that based on the realities of the internet that’s not going to change; however I feel it important to respect you our viewer as much as possible.

We in the media can do better, and I think that we at The Cornwall Free News can do better to truly inform and entertain without crossing certain lines that as rarely as they get crossed here do get crossed.  We’ve had over 13,600 comments on our site since February 2009.   That’s a lot of opinion!

So our most valued viewers now is your turn to tell us and the world what you think should be policy when it comes to online posting.   Please share your comments and ideas below and of course feel free to email us at or call our hotline at 613 361 1755.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

Choose Cornwall


  1. I am all for good natured ribbing and enjoy many comments made, I do not want to lose that home town feel.
    I would like to see more staying on track, commenting on the ideas not the person writing. Many of us can remember “fuddle duddle” from PE Trudeau and that style of word choices would be more creative at least than some, however CFN is pretty clean
    I doubt we need limits on how many times a person can post per article, since sometimes a clarification may be neeed.

    People need an outlet, sometimes that can spawn other ideas and I thank you for continuing to allow that.

  2. I think only a few rules are really needed.

    1: No hate speech / bible thumping and nasty crap like that.
    2: No slanderous or personal attacks on any individual or group (see rule #1).
    3: No extreme obscenity of a sexual nature.

    Now if your news outlet depends on the government for advertizing revenue…..

    4: Never print or post anything critical of that government.

    If you have to apply rule #4, you might as well shut ‘er down and find another career.

  3. Hello Jamie,

    I have read your comments, and decided to respond to them. Thanks.

    I don’t usually post comments on any media site. And, if I have something that I wish to say, I do not mind signing my full name to those comments, but some news sites prefer posters refrain from using their real names.

    I do read posted comments from the public on various websites, including national news sites, and it seems each news site has its own policies with regard to “comments from the public.”

    Some new sites require posters to register before any post can appear. When registering for the first time, proper identification has to be provided such as full name, address, phone number, etc.

    Some news sites act as a “moderator” reading comments before they are allowed to be posted. Some posts can be blocked at that point if in the opinion of management they are not in the best interests of public airing or if they stray from the subject.

    One does have to be careful that, although certain subjects can generate heated discussions, the postings must be kept in proper taste. One can make a point with courtesy in mind.

    I do not know the legal “ins and outs” for a news site accepting every and all comments from posters. From your CFN discussion, it is obvious you are truly trying to do the right thing here, but I can imagine it is not an easy task at all.

    A news site would find it difficult being responsible for every comment made by posters, unless the news site has some control over what may arrive from posters at your CFN desk. And, I suppose some would say under those circumstances the news site would be posting only comments they want readers to hear.

    However, I think it is up to you, the owner of CFN, to determine what is necessary for you to safeguard yourself as a news site, especially with legalities in mind.

    As a photographer and author, I know there are laws and copyright laws one must be familiar; and I am sure you wish to protect yourself and the CFN from any backlashes. Free speech is wonderful, but proper “respectful” etiquette and courtesy toward each other, toward the subject being discussed, and to the CFN is very important. Comments do reflect upon the integrity of the news site even though they may not be comments being made by the news site itself.

    I am sure there will be a lot of input on this subject from readers, and I felt I would drop you a note.

    Wishing you all the best in your endeavour Jamie. Thank you. Best regards.

    Calvin Hanson

  4. 1: “No hate speech / bible thumping and nasty crap like that”. – that leaves out the spaghetti god – right!

  5. Hi Jamie,

    I totally agree with Calvin and Eric. We need to stay on track and NO personal attacks. I think you do a relatively good job of that Jamie.

Leave a Reply