Here are some tips for reporters about how to deal with story commenting.
Engage. Online behavior always improves when responsible adults are present.
Answer. Respond to genuine questions.
Listen. Keep an eye out for story ideas. Discover whether your reporting is informing or confusing people.
Clarify and correct. When people are confused or misinformed, post clear and accurate information. Link to authoritative sources whenever possible.
Debate. Avoid argumentation.
Opine. Your role is to "shed light and not to master." (Extra points if you get the reference.)
Feed the trolls. Some people are best ignored.
When in doubt, consult a supervisor.