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Last Updated: Friday, 8 April 2005, 14:00 GMT 15:00 UK
From the editor's desktop: Your response
Pete Clifton, editor of the BBC News website, takes a look back at a busy week in the newsroom. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your comments:

You tend to post comments which are contradictory, sensational, and the occasional humorous one
Mark, Newcastle
I disagree with your valuation of the comments submitting system. I find that the majority of messages you post all follow similar themes, and they often disagree with my personal thoughts on the matter. You tend to post comments which are contradictory, sensational, and the occasional humorous one. You never however post any of mine, nor the others that must arrive supporting my point of view, (well very rarely)! And no I'm not a nutter with way out views, honest, people around here agree with me.
Mark, Newcastle

Very witty and very funny. I just hope that you are going to give readers further abroad the opportunity to design their own front page, seeing as you seem so hot on it. Great article and really interesting to read. I can see why you're the editor.
Catherine, Suffolk, UK

A few simple web usability issues - text is harder to read on a screen than in print, and blocks of over 4 - 6 lines are taboo on most good websites, unless the piece is an in-depth article equivalent to several pages of print. This is a common convention and it's better to err on the side of too much white space than indigestible chunks of text.
Pat B, London UK

The BBC is great! I've enjoyed watching its programs as a child and I now get most of my news through it's website as an adult. Without you, the world wouldn't know Monty Python and people outside the UK would be short a superb source of British humour. Your approach to world reporting keeps me in the know and shows a pretty clear picture of what is happening elsewhere. Keep up the good work, and don't listen to the snots that tell you the BBC isn't worth anything - you are indispensable!
Robert J. Harder, Moscow, USA

I visit your site many times during the day and night and enjoy its' depth, astounding non-bias and intellectualism (short and sweet). Keep the feedback pages! The Beeb, for the most part, gives us the best what of globalization can be.
Maggie Mandzuk, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Taking Tom Taylor's comment about removing comments from pages, I'd actually go to the extreme. On this column, it's easy to forward your opinion on the story because this very form I write in now is at the base. However, other articles are more complex - you have to find the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page and then feed in your information, including story details.

To make things easier create a link on every page to allow any comments on factual issues for regular news reports (I've done this myself when I discovered an inner cringing when reading horribly misinformed articles), making our lives easier and those of your email teams in targeting comments to the correct individuals.

That said, we don't want BBC News Online receiving hundreds of viewable comments every single article. After all, that requires moderation and can often detract from the news itself. I spend more time on the BBC News Online site than I do watching it on my television set - licence money well spent I think.
Ceri Haddon, Lichfield, Staffordshire

What on earth is the purpose of the right hand side bar? There is at least 15% of duplicated material here
Colin, Brussels
I do get tired of reading stuff that I have already read when a story develops and you issue a 'new story' What on earth is the purpose of the right hand side bar? There is at least 15% of duplicated material here - cuts problem solved! Although the news bar announced that the Pope had died - the 'story' headline was not changed for about an hour. Why? Must have been a tea break!
Colin, Brussels

Good thinking keeping the editor guest spot to just a day - any longer and your job would be in genuine jeopardy.
Mike Hughes, Houston, USA

First up, keep up the good work - as far as I'm concerned the BBC is still the only truly internationally respected news source. So much better than the insular, patriotic American rubbish I have to put up with since I moved over here.

Here's an idea for you that would be very useful for those of us on the other side of the world. Could we personalise our time zones? So that all times (whether it's the time on the front page, or within articles) are automatically adjusted to where we live? So for example the write-up of a football game would say "kick-off at 7am, 3pm local time" or something like that, for anyone looking at the world edition. It's been even more confusing than normal recently with different countries changing to summer time on different weekends...
Stuart Gardiner, Portland, USA

Stop. Using. The. Word. "But". To. Start. New. Sentences.

Or. Paragraphs.


Andy Mabbett, Birmingham, UK

This is great. Showing how the organisation thinks and acts aids understanding of news presentation and gives an idea of what you want to achieve on this site. This is invaluable for all of us who have only a limited idea of how the news works. Keep the column going. Personally one thing I would love would be a guide to media sources like an idiots guide to independent news sites/hot blogs/indymedia. I often struggle to source 'trustworthy' material. Would be great if you could also label sources as 'leftwing', 'green' etc though maybe this could get you in to trouble?
Mark Setchell, Sydney, Australia

If it is vital to retain the "Have Your Say" sections, then please consider exercising a little more judgement. Instead of striving for balance or a reflection of opinion or whatever the present standard is, perhaps the guideline could be to print only those that either add something of value or interest to the topic or debate, or display enough wit to merit attention.
Cathrine, Ottawa, Canada

My pick would be to cut out news on the monarchy
Barbara, Christchurch New Zealand
Love your page and I dread any cuts. Cutting back on readers' comments would be a shame as it is so important for freedom of speech to have a range of views. My pick would be to cut out news on the monarchy - this is the most outdated, unwarranted medieval concept that the media keeps alive and it's time it went.
Barbara, Christchurch New Zealand

Please don't cut out the feedback. It is nice to know what others think and to be exposed to differing views. It also gives me my kick at the cat, even if it is not published.
Greg Pressey, Tillsonburg, Ontario, Canada

I live in Jakarta, where I work as an English teacher, and I almost never watch local TV. Occasionally, I will watch cable TV but my daily dose of news comes from the BBC website and it is the only website that I must visit at least once a day. Friends and students are all directed to the BBC for a clear and seemingly independent summary of the news. Articles are forwarded to Indonesian friends and sometimes translated to reach a wider audience. The BBC has opened many people's eyes and given them a greater understanding of what is happening globally. Please keep it up.
Gene Netto, Jakarta , Indonesia

This all sounds very much like "Feedback". I can almost hear Chris Dunkley's slightly amused voice reading the words to me. Brilliant. Can I join the group hug too? By the way, one of the things I like about the BBC (website/Radio 4 at least) is that I can get ready-made opinions to hold with no effort on my part.
Tom, Guernsey

I would also have to disagree with Mr Tom Taylor regarding audience participation. The fact is that many people will have just read his comments on this debate and the fact that I am willed to write back in argument is testament enough to the fact that it is a fantastic part of this medium! Keep it up!
Matt Blake, Cardiff

Forget the manifestos of the electioneering parties; target clear English and correct spelling and punctuation
Vic Rust, Tunbridge Wells, UK
A pedant? I? Given some of the excoriation received (and largely supported) with respect to poor spelling and use of grammar in some of the filed reports and editorials, I was surprised, therefore, to read in your column that some individuals would receive 'an invite' soon. 'An invitation' certainly; but the prevalent use of participles as nouns should be stopped. Forget the manifestos of the electioneering parties; target clear English and correct spelling and punctuation and there would be a landslide...
Vic Rust, Tunbridge Wells, UK

I am staggered that there are people who would want you to charge overseas readers! It's one of this country's best exports and it is great that there are people all over the globe who benefit from the service and are able to provide their perspective on world events.

On another note, I find the Election Monitor incredibly confusing to navigate. Every day, I dip my toe in and each time, I find myself running away again. I did manage to post a comment about spoiled papers and I knew it had been published (thanks) because it appeared as a "highlight" for a while. To find out where it had originally appeared though, I had to enter my details in your search engine; with all the self-loathing that that entails. Any chance of a site map? Or is there one already that I just can't find? Please bring back the caption competition! Surely an election would provide perfect material?
Catherine O, Maidenhead, UK


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