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Sorry I'm slow to respond. I was traveling Sunday back from an Associated Press Media Editors board meeting in New York. Thank you for the feedback.
Re your question, EdithAnn, the ethics board reads this blog so consider the issue raised. If you're asking my personal take on the question, I'd say the editorial board exists to offer opinions, so I think it's perfectly appropriate for the board to do that in the online forums, too.
On a related note, our weekly editorial board meeting, which is at 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays, is now being webcast. We hope people will tune in or stop by the Advocate's Internet Cafe.
Here's an item I'd like to see your ethics board take on--
Does a newspaper cross a line in regard to either publicly or privately chastizing readers and commenters when opinions differ?
An example would be found on the recent editorial about the Film Festival. "Rather, the opposition seems to come from the usual online suspects who are against every city action. Those who oppose any government spending are at least consistent in their position."
The steps you listed are excellent, particularly the thirty day waiting period and serious consideration of the placement of an article. I would agree that you are frequently in the position of damned if you do and damned if you don't; I guess it comes with the turf.