Moderating the conversation: Inclusive dialogue in online news by SHARMILA RAMANATHAN

Today, in this era that we live in there are so many types of online news communication such accessible to us such as social media websites, online news websites, and broadcasting video websites and so on. These mentioned online news communication tools are talking over the traditional media by informing and education the public on the current situation and what is happening around us. Although what should be considered “news” to us should be ethically right whereby it does not disrupt anybody’s life, as it is a humans right to live peacefully. However, in contrary to that, “news” is only newsworthy when its “nasty” and “juicy” else it would be an interest to us.

An example is the story of cyber bullying which cause Ryan Halligan age 13 years old to commit suicide. It started off as a game to his school mates to get a girl close to him so that he would reveal personal information about himself to her, and when he did, she copied and paste what he said as personal messages to her friends for a laugh at Ryan’s expense. Apart from that, when he approached her face to face, she told him in front of all her friends that he was a loser and gay, also that everything she said to him online was a lie. In the end, due to Ryan’s humiliations he decided to commit suicide (John Halligan 2009).

A short example of the conversation:

Student: Hi gay boy

Ryan: I’m not gay; I think I’m going to do it tonight (suicide)

Student: yes, you should, it would only take seconds

Ryan: Yes, you would be able to read it on the newspapers tomorrow.

Personally, I think there should be automatic filtering (gatekeeper) and self-moderation on what goes on in the internet, and when such comments are made to a person, it should be banned, rather than baring the consequences of what they did whereby the damage has already been done and can’t be changed. Hence in this situation, I believe precaution is better then cure, cause at certain situations, there is no cure!


Couldry, N 2009, ‘Rethinking the politics of voice, Continuum’, Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, vol.23, no.4, pp579-582.

Halligan John, 2009. “Case Study: Ryan Halligan” accessed on 29/5/2013 from


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