To the editor:

Regarding a recent editorial “Don’t Hide Behind Anonymity,” the Cody Enterprise’s decision to end anonymous postings, I for one am quite pleased of the decision. 

As the authors state, “Anonymity creates a lack of accountability.” More so, the hosting platform for these comments, the Cody Enterprise is a business endeavoring to sell space and newspapers. As a paying subscriber I believe subscribers should have input in what they are paying for. Note the words “paying subscriber.” 

As a subscriber I would expect the host, the Enterprise, to abide by the principles of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ):

• Seek truth and report it.

• Minimize harm.

• Act independently.

• Be accountable.

Instead, the comments section of the online paper has taken a trip down the road of social media:

• No accountability.

• Fake news.

• Group think.

• Anonymity.

Thus, the value of the news has been cheapened, and lacks in credibility despite the best efforts of the reporter and the staff of the publication to abide by the principles of the SPJ. Albeit, constructive criticism is important to continuously improve. The anonymous content has cheapened that criticism.

Furthermore, moving to abolish anonymity from the comments section is a checkmark in the win column for the journalists at the Enterprise. That is not censorship, nor a violation of the freedom of speech or of the press. It is just backing up your comments with your name. As a paying subscriber I expect nothing less. Otherwise, if you feel anonymity is that important, entrust your story or comments as a source to the journalist. 

(s) vincent vanata


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