For your amusement, here's a post on Time.com on this whole subject of how online comments are causing heartburn for all publishers:
Let me be old-media for a minute and tell you what I think before I turn it over to you.
I don't buy the argument that it somehow degrades The New York Times to have obnoxious comments by cornholio264 (or whoever) appearing in a comments section under one of its articles. I think most people who read online recognize that just because someone can use the CAPS LOCK key and hit return does not confer the Grey Lady's imprimatur on their words.
That said, that doesn't mean that more discussion automatically = more enlightenment. When time.com instituted registration on our blogs, I resisted it at first, because I worried that it would stifle discussion. But what it mainly did was keep discussions from degenerating. ...
Since registration, though, Tuned In has become pretty much self-regulating. There are still arguments and disagreements—occasionally someone even disagrees with me!—but it's almost always civil. ... But it seems clear that having some barrier to posting—thus limiting posts to people willing to take the time to sign up—helps reduce the incidences of drive-by 'Net rage.
My only add-on would be that online comments constitute "journalism"...journalism involves aggressive, on-going, impartial reporting of facts, not just comments and opinions.