[Des Moines now gets few -- even on "most commented"]
This week, two Gannett newspapers started requiring readers to use Facebook accounts to post online comments. The switch is meant to blunt the coarse language that too often comes when readers don't use their real names.
How's it going? The 10 stories now drawing the most comments at the papers are hardly getting comments at all -- even though the stories are about such hot-button subjects as Christian voters, global warming, and labor unions.
- At The Des Moines Register, the top 10 have attracted a total of just 79 comments. A column headlined, "True Christian voters don't politicize the Bible," got only 17.
- At The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., they've drawn only 62. One story, "Court tosses key parts of health care reform law," got only three comments, and two are from the same poster!
Now, consider two other papers with comparable readership: The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky., where the top 10 have drawn a combined 882 comments. And Florida's Pensacola News Journal: 684.
Earlier: first signs of policy impact at the Register.