As part of my day job, I was reading a post on Comment is Free by Jonathan Freedland about the proposed blogger code of conduct following the threats against Kathy Sierra.

One commenter responded with some force and more than a little eloquence:

Must have been so nice to be a journalist or commentator in the old days. Just lock what you say in print and damn the masses. Times have changed. You can lock the doors, but then there’ll just be you.

Brilliant. Certainly there are risks to opening up and engaging, but this comment succinctly highlights the risks of doing nothing.

And just to be clear, this isn’t me having a go at a colleague on my own blog. I’d do Jonathan the professional courtesy of responding on Comment is Free, either in the comments or most likely in a proper post. This is just one of those brilliant comments that sums up some of the changes in media these days. It’s as if, suddenly journalists have been transported into the kitchens and lounges of our readers and viewers as they scream at the paper and swear at the telly.

There are some great comments on that post highlighting the range of opinion about blogging and freedom of speech online. If you’re running or considering running a site like Comment is Free, it’s well worth the effort to read.

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