Don’t have a cow over Chick-fil-A, man!

My post on the unlikely friendship between Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy and Campus Pride executive director Shane Windmeyer prompted GetReligion reader Joel to comment:

I’ve seen it pointed out that these days, the real story is to be found in the comments on a story. The comments on the HuffPo piece seem to bear that out depressingly.

I replied:

I don’t know about that philosophy, Joel. My motto is: “Never read the comments.” Except on GetReligion, of course.

I was half-joking but half-serious.

The journalism website Poynter.org noted this past fall that NPR and other news organizations were tightening comment moderation to improve conversation.

In a survey of readers, NPR received this feedback on comments:

How quickly should we handle moderation when comments are made on an NPR site?

  • 37.5% of respondents selected: Comments should appear instantly. Only problem comments should be moderated.
  • 50.8% of respondents selected: Comments should be moderated before they appear, even if this causes a short delay.
  • 11.7% of respondents selected: Comments on news stories should be moderated more heavily than other kinds of comments.

Here at GetReligion, our comment policy requires that readers engage the content of a particular post and notes:

This is a journalism weblog. Please strive to comment on journalism issues, not your opinions of the doctrinal or political beliefs of other people.

Trust me, enforcing that policy is a challenge at times. But in the best-case scenario, it results in a substantive dialogue such as the one that occurred this week on Mollie’s post titled “We don’t have a free press. Discuss.”

Meanwhile, back to the original point of my Chick-fil-A post, I asked whether newspaper reports buried the lede on Cathy and Windmeyer getting together and finding common ground.

Elizabeth Tenety, The Washington Post’s @OnFaith editor, interviewed Windmeyer and came up with “Five Simple Lessons from Shane Windmeyer’s friendship with Chick-fil-A’s Dan Cathy.”

Tenety even managed to ask about Windmeyer’s own faith background:

Windmeyer was raised Catholic, but although he still defines himself that way, he no longer attends church services regularly. “I don’t want to not feel welcome anymore,” he says.

Anyway, the Post piece is worth a read.

Image via Shutterstock

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About Bobby Ross Jr.

Bobby Ross Jr. is an award-winning reporter and editor with a quarter-century of professional experience. A former religion editor for The Oklahoman and religion writer for The Associated Press, Ross serves as chief correspondent for the The Christian Chronicle. He has reported from 47 states and 11 countries and was honored as the Religion Newswriters Association's 2013 Magazine Reporter of the Year.

  • Chris

    I’m still trying to figure out why this didn’t get more main stream play. Given all the coverage (albiet delayed and a bit slanted) of the failed boycott and the huge Eat at Chick Fil A response, wouldn’t this have been an interesting piece?

  • http://derekjohnsonmuses.com DerekJohnsonMuses

    Thanks for reminding me who I can trust.


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