Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Vox’s healthcare newsletter (with ads sold out) is filling a role beyond “articles on the Internet”
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Oct. 2, 2015, 12:34 p.m.
Audience & Social

News organizations must treat reader comments with the same level of consideration that they treat their own stories, New York Times community editor Bassey Etim said today speaking on a panel at this year’s Computation + Journalism Symposium at Columbia University.

“We have to treat comments as content,” Etim said. “We can’t cede the social world to large companies.”

Etim, speaking on a panel about comment moderation and community building, discussed the Times’ attitude toward commenters and shared the results of a Times survey that asked commenters why they comment:

Only 5 percent of Times commenters said they comment on stories to actually communicate with other, and Etim said that most readers prefer the comments that Times editors choose to highlight. News organizations, he said, need to make building community around news more of a priority. (Though, of course, that’s easy for an editor from the Times to say when, unlike most news organizations, it has a full-time staff dedicated to moderating comments.)

The symposium is sponsored by Columbia’s Brown Institute for Media Innovation and it continues through Saturday. If you’re not in New York, you can follow along on Twitter using #CJ2015 or you can watch a livestream, which we’ve embedded below.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
 
Join the 35,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Vox’s healthcare newsletter (with ads sold out) is filling a role beyond “articles on the Internet”
“I’m keeping in mind that there are actually people reading these stories who are relying on us for information.”
News apps are making a comeback. More young Americans are paying for news. 2017 is weird.
The Reuters Institute’s annual report on digital news contains some surprises.
Using social media appears to diversify your news diet, not narrow it
“The central fear, as Eli Pariser has put it, is that ‘news-filtering algorithms narrow what we know.’ This, at least, is the theory.”