[Engaging with reader complaints via Twitter], according to Post management, was the wrong thing to do. The memo demanding Twitter silence said:
“Perhaps it would be useful to think of the issue this way: when we write a story, our readers are free to respond and we provide them a venue to do so.
We sometimes engage them in a private verbal conversation, but once we enter a debate personally through social media, this would be equivalent to allowing a reader to write a letter to the editor – and then publishing a rebuttal by the reporter. It’s something we don’t do.”
I have to say I can’t follow the Post’s logic (well, lack of logic).
Journalism is surely about engagement with readers. In this digital age, debate is easier than ever before. To ban journalists from entering into discussion with critics is a denial of freedom for both journalists and citizens.