Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
This tool is helping newsrooms collaborate on factchecking and verification projects
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 45,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
This tool is helping newsrooms collaborate on factchecking and verification projects
Check, created by Meedan, has been used around the world, in projects such as Electionland in the U.S. and CrossCheck in France.
Wyoming regional media nonprofit WyoFile has been diving deep into local news for almost ten years
“Wyoming is a microcosm of a lot of what is happening in America today. It represents a subset of American society that I think we’ve learned you can only ignore at your own risk.”
Chat app Telegram, not much loved by the Russian government, still attracts a loyal readership for news
Meduza, Snob, TV Rain, BBC Russian, and RT weigh in on their publishing and promotion strategies on the platform, which survived a recent tussle with the country’s communications regulator.