Veteran reporter quits because of nasty online commenters

He isn’t the first journalist—nor PR client—to lament the nasty nature of online comment sections. What are PR pros, and newspapers, doing to confront the problem?

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But one veteran journalist decided he’s throwing in the towel in the new year. He’s finally had enough of the nasty reader comments and the daily grind.

Seattle Times sports columnist Steve Kelley, after 40 years and millions of words, quietly wrote his final column last week.

In an interview with the Seattle Weekly, Kelley blamed covering the same stories over and over, but also said he was driven out by the steady stream of nasty reader online comments.

“The reader comments section, it’s a free-for-all,” Kelley says. “The level of discourse has become so inane and nasty. And it’s not just at the Times, it’s ESPN, everywhere—people, anonymous people, take shots at the story, writers, each other. Whatever you’ve achieved in that story gets drowned out by this chorus of idiots.”

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