Mark Glaser has a long column at the Online Journalism Review on the issue of including reporter’s e-mail addresses with published articles.

At large newspapers, that can result in hundreds of e-mails (particularly when the reporter writes on a controversial issue), not all of them filled with sweetness and light. It takes time to go through it all and, as some report, it takes willpower to stop yourself from getting involved in a nasty e-mail exchange with readers.

At the same time, input from readers can help keep reporters more fully informed, more open to alternate views, etc.

There’s no question that e-mail occupies a tremendous amount of time, if only to deal with the spam and viruses. But regular contact with readers is a good thing, isn’t it?