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On a topic related to online publishing, I mostly read newspapers online too. But unless it’s a favourite journalist or a really interesting topic, I rarely do more than scan the article itself for the salient points, much preferring to read, and sometimes vote on, the comments from readers ‘below the line’.

If free speech is the cornerstone of democracy, and debate is the lifeblood of that free speech, the below-the-line comments on a typical online newspaper article represent, to me, the market-place, the speakers-corner if you like, where debate actually takes place. It’s really interesting to follow the comments and arguments, and to see how the ebb and flow of free speech actually works.

Love it.

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