Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Some midterm polls were on target, but finding which pollsters to believe can be tough
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
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Some midterm polls were on target, but finding which pollsters to believe can be tough
The outcomes confirmed anew that election polling is an uneven and high-risk pursuit.
Can Mastodon be a reasonable Twitter substitute for journalists?
Adam Davidson: “I think we got lazy as a field, and we let Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and, god help us, Elon Musk and their staff decide all these major journalistic questions.”
11 (and counting) things journalism loses if Elon Musk destroys Twitter
Goodbye to screenshotted best bits, DMs, “that tweet should be a story”…