Commenting has been touted as both an advantage and a disadvantage of the web for news organisations. It can be used to bring readers into a discussion – they can be great for finding stories and building relationships. However they can often descend into madness and require constant attention and guidance if they are to be an asset.
Comments tend to appear at the bottom of every article (unless the news desk were afraid of contempt and turned them off), however it seems silly to us to always ask readers to comment (or turn them off and have no alternative)
Assuming you have a reader’s attention at the end of an article – what do you want to do with it?
What if, instead of commenting you’d rather they shared a particular article, or made it easy for them to write to their MP, what if you want them to rate somewhere you have reviewed or answer a polling question? Or upload a picture of their own experiences?
If you’re thinking of tackling this category at Build The News, you need to think about:
- When you have an engaged reader, what do you do with their time and energy?
- How do you make it easy for journalists to engage with readers further?
- How do you improve quality, how do help readers find comments that interest them?
- Can you tell if your readership agree with a columnist?
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