When reading the article “Newspaper Website Design: Trends and Examples” by Smashing Magazine
(http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/11/11/newspaper-website-design-trends-and-examples/), the main thing that caught my eye was their opinion on the importance (or unimportance) of having reader commentary on the site.
According to the article, audience commentary is more important to blogs than it is to news websites. While I agree that commentary helps blog writers know what their readers respond to the most, I disagree that commentary is not important on news sites. Reader commentary allows people to express their thoughts and opinions on various issues as well as gain more insight into topics. It is true that news sites don’t decide which stories to post that day based on reader commentary; however, editors could use the commentary as a basis for which stories their readers find most important on the site, as well as to gauge the gender, race, age group, and income levels of their readers.