Comment is Free…but is it the best way to generate your content?


Is CommentIsFree on the Guardian the best place to get your work submitted? Although it is open for anyone to contribute opinions, the articles that are submitted are carefully selected by the editor and therefore must be of a very high standard to be posted on the website.

George Monbiot is a well-known author. Click here to see the full article on the Guardian’s website.

Richard Seymour is also an author and political activist. Click here to see the full article.

What they both have in common is that they can both write and are well-known for their ability to write well. For our fellow journalists out there desperate to publish your own content, perhaps this isn’t the best way to get your ideas across to other journalists. I have picked out some of the best comments from which the articles have prompted to show that perhaps this is the way forward – to get involved in commenting and contributing that way.

You can see the comment here.

You can see the comment here.

. Here is where you can see the comment.

These are both informative and detailed responses that could easily be contributed and generated by any journalist and will be seen by many.

Here are what two journalists said about CommentIsFree:

Jess Parker @markerjparker- “I think Guardian Comment is Free is quite a regulated form of user generated content. I believe you have to submit articles to the editor, meaning it’s not a ‘freeforall’ like youtube or photbucket or flickr. Also I think people often use it to perhaps pursue journalistic ambitions so in a way it’s a top down run and a slightly niche form of user generated content. I submitted one about a year and a half ago, and recieved good feebback from the editor but it wasn’t topical enough to publish at that time.  i think its impressive if young journalists can get work published on there but the quality is not as high as those articles published in the Guardian and the Observer.”

Emily Lingard @EmilyLingard- “I think it would be naive to assume that having an editorial presence contradicts the fact that CommentisFree is User generated. Whenever anyone posts anything online, they either edit it themselves or someone else will look over it or retweet it or comment on it. These are all forms of editing in their own right. I think the kind of articles they select are usually people who have invested interests in the written word and therefore the content is more manufactured but at the end of the day it offers a wide range of opinions.”

And remember,

Comment Is Free …but facts are sacred – CP Scott 1921

By Linzi Kinghorn

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