7. Take part in the debate!

Moderators, journalists and editors ought to take part in the debate.

Frequently, online comments can lead to development in news stories. Due to this, it is important to encourage moderators, journalists and editors to take part in the discussion. Media outlets that have made this a priority have experienced that this helps calming the most extreme commenters, and that it contributes to keeping the debate on topic.

Journalists and editors may find participation challenging, because one easily crosses into sharing one's opinions on the underlying issues. Keeping thoughts sorted is essential. However, it should be possible to discuss the journalism in itself, and also questions related to its content or relevance, without segueing into partiality through asserting one's opinion.

The tone one uses in entering the discussion can influence the debate culture. The representatives of the media outlet ought to use a polite, but unequivocal tone. To take part in dialogue with commenters can contribute to keeping the discussion well founded, and to a shared understanding of the topic.

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