World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

The 2016 Global Report on Online Commenting: Conclusion and tips

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The 2016 Global Report on Online Commenting: Conclusion and tips

There is no single best way to manage comments. Each news organisation faces a distinct audience and culture, different business challenges, and varying legal and societal constraints and expectations. Yet as the online world fills with trolls, news organisations do have a role and an opportunity to create a space that is conducive to civil conversations and will contribute towards business sustainability.               

As news organisations find the balance between strategic priorities and cost, it is important that each continues to try to re-engage directly with their audience and maintain control of user data, which is increasingly valuable. In the age of social media, user behaviours change rapidly and the urgency for news organisations to adapt and change is ever present.

“Given all the anxiety we all have about the extent of engagement across our platform and the loss of relationship with our audience, I do think we as publishers should come back to thinking about comments more strategically,” said the Hindustan Times’ Dawes. “Let’s try again. That’s my own thought, but I am not particularly confident what the answer would be. The audience might have moved on.”

Comment Management Tips for News Organisations

  • Think about how you want to engage your audience, decide where commenting fits into that strategy and dedicate resources.
  • Publish commenting guidelines and update them as necessary
  • Only allow commenting where you are able to properly uphold your standards
  • Encourage good commenting behaviours through section design, community self-policing, rewards and editorial participation
  • Continue to look for technology solutions that can increase productivity, allow you to distinguish between different types of commenters and help you to use the comments to produce journalism at a lower cost 


Chia Lun Huang


2016-10-17 08:06

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