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Thursday, March 21, 2019
HomeAlaska NewsReport to readers: 11,000 comments and counting

Report to readers: 11,000 comments and counting

Dear Must Read Alaska Nation,

I just approved the 11,000th comment on this site, which seems like a good time to write about what this editor looks for when approving comments on stories.

But first, a moment for gratitude: I truly appreciate that people comment on the stories on this site, which has been an independent news source for Alaska for the past two and a half years. Must Read Alaska is now read by more than 10,000 people a day (except Saturdays), and the comments make it an even better place for readers.

All sites are subject to attacks by harassers and spam, and this one is no different. That’s why Must Read Alaska has a spam filter — and it usually catches the unsavory spammers automatically.

Sometimes, however, the spam filter snags a legitimate comment. But with the volume of spam, that valid comment may end up in the trash. If you didn’t see your comment posted, that could be the reason, because there are not enough hours in the day to go through all the spam. It has happened to some of you, and I apologize. Send me a note if that happens to you.

Each comment is reviewed before it appears. Little grammar errors will get a helping hand, when there’s time. Occasionally a writer will suggest that a politician needs to be “tarred and feathered,” and he or she will run into Must Read Alaska’s subjective “good taste” filter. That type of phrase, even if meant as an idiom to indicate humiliating criticism, may get edited out. Writers with a colorful way with words don’t always realize that a term like that can be interpreted as a threat, and Must Read Alaska doesn’t allow threats, even when they may have been simply an expression of frustration.

Also not allowed are vulgarities or hateful language, all of which are subjective. If you’re writing about transgendered folks (and the topic is a hot one these days), calling them “trannies” is demeaning, (in the same way that when they speak of heterosexuals, they sometimes say “breeders,” which is an unnecessary label). With all the gender-bending these days, this is an area that is especially difficult to adjudicate as an editor, as the accepted usage is always changing.

Most of all, I want you to know how gratifying it is to read the informed, smart, caring, sarcastic, lively, tart, and well-crafted comments that Alaskans send. Some regular commenters really know their stuff, and it’s apparent that Must Read Alaska is reaching non-conservative readers, and they are responding to stories with their own opinions. That’s a trend that has developed over the past year, and this site values civil contrarians.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for writing. I’m so very grateful.

– Suzanne

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Your editing is your right but looks to me you are pandering PC instead of calling it like it is! Tar and feathering is exactly what the Founders would have done to the political party of today and would have hanged most for their treasonous actions and crimes against the American people. Transexuals and homosexuals or what ever you call them are Abominations in action based on scriptures! These people are the very ones who show up in little girls bathrooms with their perverted life style preying on innocent children and then some PC editorial will deem them with some PC excuse for their actions at a cost of a child’s life of mental duress . You can not hide the truth!

    • Wow. Your ignorance is shocking. I can guarantee you that it’s not Transexuals & Homosexuals who are showing up in little girls bathrooms preying on innocent children. Again, if you weren’t so ignorant you would see the absurdity of that statement and realize that it’s actually perverted HETEROsexuals that prey on the little girls you speak of.

      Also, by calling “these people” abominations u are also contributing to the suicide rate of innocent little girls and boys everywhere who hear people like you spewing hateful words all in the name of God. What kind of God would say the hateful things you just did? Not any God that I know.

      I would also like to believe that if the founders of our country were here today, they would have learned by now that no man has the right to take another person’s life. I guess you skipped over the part about murder in the scripture you read!

      I am sad for you that you have such hatred in your heart. If you have children, I pray that they never have to encounter someone like you in their life. Judging others is also something you must have missed from the scriptures.

      • Thank you, AJD. That is close to what i would like to reply.

    • AJD, hate flows both directions and it is rearing its ugly head in your own writings…..which Suzanne allows you to do. I really do not believe in my heart that straight people or Christian’s have hate for transsexuals or homosexuals. Maybe a few, yes, but not many. What they do object to are the tactics that LGBTQ have employed on the communities to try and stranglehold the political process. It is very intrusive and combative and full of invectiveness. That’s what causes the problems.

  • MRA and ADP provide excellent commentary and narrative that otherwise is completely absent in other media venues. I look forward to reading both on a daily basis.
    Keep up the great work.
    THANKS!

  • You have conservatives here Suzanne? I didn’t think Rockerfeller Republicans counted as “conservative”. Anarcho-capitalists cum Gordon Gecko won’t conserve anything as we’ve repeatedly seen.

    .

    I maintain the opinion that it won’t matter if you balance a budget if you don’t preserve the nation and culture in the process because economics is downstream of culture as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and our non-existent border will soon demonstrate.

    .

    It’s been fun commenting here and I appreciate that while we don’t see eye to eye on everything that you still post most of my stuff.

    • Tarred and feathered? I used it within the last week but never checked if it posted. I was probably thinking guillotine but you never know, that could get me on the No Fly List. Would suggesting someone spend time in stocks or pillory clear the filter?

      • Your’s posted. Mine got edited for being too on the nose.

  • Suzanne, YOU are the best! I know that legislators, professionals, and plain ol regular Alaskans read your columns. And praise it. You are a superb writer and investigator. The major daily newspapers in Alaska, and their editorial staffs can’t come close to what you can do. MRAK is the GOLD STANDARD. Congratulations!

    • Couldn’t have said it better myself, Marla.

    • Suzanne prints today’s news yesterday and the comments start rolling in while ADN, FDN, Empire, etc….are still in the edit room. Lucky us!!!!

    • Suzanne can hunt. We should be so lucky. Liberals and Lefties are jumping off the ship in droves. Pretty soon we’ll be upright above the waterline and sailing again. Thanks MRAK!

  • Thanks for all that you do Suzanne! You must have a heck of a team assisting or you are just everywhere at once. I don’t know how you get done what you do in 24 hours. Impressive. Whether you disagree or agree with what is found on these pages, one thing is for certain: you will always provide content that is not covered anywhere else. Thanks for keeping us informed!

  • I echo the sentiments! Looking forward to you meeting AMAC members in May!

  • F@#@%^&*@!!!!

    Just kidding!

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