Popular Science has decided to close its online content to public comments. It explains that its decision was not taken lightly, but believes that even a small cohort of fractious, politically motivated commenters can reshape public opinions about content, which in turn changes perceptions about public policy, which in turn changes which research gains public funds. Mathew Ingram, in a response on paidContent, writes that Popular Science should try to fix comments instead of closing possible avenues of serious debate about science.
Egyptian authorities have raided, seized equipment and closed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood newspaper in Cairo. Al Jazeera reports that this week an Egyptian court ruled that the Brotherhood had fomented violence and terrorism, so the country has moved to suspend its activities and an associations.
The Guardian reader editor examines the newsroom's decision to publish government surveillance secrets leaked by former security employee Edward Snowden. Chris Elliott, in a lengthy account for the Comment is Free blog at The Guardian, notes that readers have raised concerns about the content of the stories but not about the Guardian's decision to publish. He observes that some of the organization's best stories have been about campaigning journalism.
Larry Kramer, the publisher of USA Today, believes newspapers need to be conversation-starters with more original content that permits journalists to have more of their own voice. Unique content and a sense of discovery are keys, with the latter quality also helpful in retaining advertising.