I am disappointed and discouraged by the direction the Chronicle is taking. In the past, I have found it to be a valuable resource for local information and a forum for community dialogue. With the recent removal of comment sections, The Chronicle has removed an important community resource.
Although the public comments were often hostile and reactionary messages from trolls, this forum also allowed for important community dialogue from all political backgrounds. At best, I found the feedback forum to be extremely informative on issues that I was unfamiliar with and unlikely to be exposed to in the normal course of my daily life.
These days, it’s all too easy for us to hide in our protected bubbles, avoiding information or opinions that conflict with our own. I find this tendency in me and I have to make active efforts to hear points of view that differ from my own. Feedback was one of my most important resources in this business.
Sometimes I would be exposed to knowledgeable and articulate people that I wouldn’t normally meet except in the comments section. I would also witness firsthand the voices of racism, misogyny, homophobia, willful ignorance, hypocritical religiosity and wanton hostility. And I finally took advantage of it all. I got to witness the full range of views and enjoyed it all because it was direct evidence of who we really are here in Lewis County, for better and for worse.
As someone who leans left in my political views, I’ve also found the comments section to be a hugely important counterbalance to The Chronicle’s distinct – and growing – right-leaning. Since the local Democratic Party went away long ago, The Chronicle’s comments section is one of the few forums where a range of political views, including those on the left, can enter our dialogue. regional policy. Without the comments section, no one would even know that there are liberals and progressives living in Lewis County.
I encourage owner Chad Taylor and the editors of The Chronicle to restore online commentary and return this resource to its readers.