Your paper is posting reader comments after stories, and probably hosts some bloggers who aren't staff members. You're getting calls and emails fairly regularly now asking how the Bugle Intelligencer can possibly allow some of those people to say such things.
It's libelous. It's scandalous. It's ... oh, my God ... inappropriate.
And by now you may also have learned that one of those opinion bloggers once got fired by the politician she's now criticizing, or that the guy co-hosting the Outdoors blog was convicted of hunting out of season 14 years ago, or that .... well, you get the drift.
Are you feeling uncomfortable yet?
If not, I'm worried about you. If you're not squirming in uncertainty from time to time nowadays, you must not be close enough to the edge. In response to a question in the Sacramento Bee newsroom last week, Melanie Sill said, "If you're in a newsroom and the editor doesn't say that change is needed, you should leave." I think that same sentiment applies to our need to loosen up, let go of some control and learn to play by the changing rules of the new game we're in.
Jeff Jarvis (following up on an issue mentioned below) explores two contrasting experiences in this useful post on BuzzMachine.
In Cleveland, a political blogger was dismissed over making political contributions. In Newark, a former politico was allowed to blogstalk a staffer at the Star Ledger. Check Jeff's post and related commentary for some intriguing discussion.