Joshua Benton made a great case for new media, and also addressed some other good points about the challenges of new forms of communication in the Q & A portion of his address.
For college newspapers looking to develop intelligent comments around their stories, he gave the following advice:
1) Talk to readers as human beings. This is why blogs, with a more human voice, generate more balanced comments than newspapers articles.
2) Definitely moderate comments. Free speech is not letting readers leave racist remarks all over news stories.
3) Build a community. Focused blogs are more effective than bit-of-everything blogs in developing a dedicated, thoughtful readership.