Guide to reacting to news in the digital age

LIKE it or not, we live in a digital age, an era when almost anyone can publish or react to news with nothing more than the click of a mouse or a couple of casual swipes across a phone’s screen.

Not a day goes by that we’re not inundated with your thoughts on and reactions to the stories we post to the Western Advocate Facebook page.

Some of it is positive, some of it isn’t. Almost all of it is gratefully accepted.

In fact some of the comments are actually extremely helpful as they provide more information for a journalist to chase up.

But – and we say this with respect to our loyal readers who take the time to interact with our Facebook content – there are also those who make what really are rookie errors when it comes to posting comments.

It’s those people the following examples are meant for.

The obvious one is the person who wants to highlight some spelling or grammatical mistake in the story, while also making mistakes of their own in the comment.

They might feel really superior about it, but the impression they leave on others is very much the opposite.

The same goes for the good old “slow news day” jibe.

This is one that gets attached to any story the person deems to be not worthy of coverage – even though they just read the story.

You see, newspapers look to have a mix of serious stories and lighter fare – it’s been that way for ages.

So posting a “slow news day” comment might make you feel all warm and smug inside but you actually come across as a little clueless to those in the know.

One mistake would seem to be totally avoidable but happens every day.

That’s the person who leaves a comment on a story which makes it abundantly clear that they haven’t read the story at all.

Surely actually reading the story before making any comments is a completely sensible approach?

Yet time and again, people just seem to read the headline of a story on Facebook and then fire off an angry missive.

We’ve copped criticism for overlooking something when the very thing they claim we’ve overlooked is mentioned in the story – sometimes just three or four paragraphs in.

The irony is that the people who do that will never get this information as it is right down the bottom of this column – and they’ll never read that far.