Tips on crowdsourcing, user-generated content, managing comments and other ways of connecting with communities.

JohnDankosky_ Chion Wolf : WNPR_smallest

How talk radio listens to its audience, provides lessons for online publishers

Colin McEnroe of WNPR. Photo by Chion Wolf

Audience participation hasn’t been an easy undertaking for online news publishers. Thanks to the unruly culture of online commenting and the “sadistic” actions of Internet trolls, every few weeks another … Read more

1 Comment

Friday, Dec. 20, 2013


Poynter experiments with ReadrBoard reader comments

Poynter is experimenting with a new commenting and annotation tool, ReadrBoard, which allows users to chart their reactions by paragraph and leave comments inside a story.

You can tell which Poynter stories we’re testing with ReadrBoard by finding the … Read more


Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013

Newrooms can co-exist with online comments with moderation and a strategy. (Depositphotos)

Can reporters help repair online comment sections?

Several years ago during a seminar at Poynter, we were talking about engaging our audiences.

“We ask our readers and viewers to comment on our stories,” one participant said, “but unless we respond to them, how will they know we’re … Read more

1 Comment

Wednesday, Nov. 06, 2013

Screen shot 2013-11-01 at 9.49.00 AM

Despite complaints, comments broadly allowed on many news sites

With the recent focus on online reader comments — see The New Yorker on “The Psychology of Online Comments” and The New York Times Magazine on “Four Ways to Improve the Culture of Commenting” — it’s a good time to … Read more


Monday, Feb. 18, 2013


5 ways to engage more with your audience — in person and online

Talk about engagement with a journalist these days, and the conversation turns quickly to social media. Who can deny the influence of social media, which now serves as a news source for one-third of adults under 30?

If you … Read more


Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013


Early comments on stories affect what later readers believe, and what they say

A recent scientific experiment demonstrated the importance of intervening in comment sections to cultivate constructive discussion, particularly just after publication.

Scientific American Blog Editor Bora Zivkovic writes about the results, which showed that the tone of pre-existing comments on … Read more


Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012

How to keep social media reaction in perspective when covering the elections

Flip the channel or the page, and you’ll find it: coverage of the social media reaction to news events — and political events like conventions and debates.

Much of it, however, talks about that reaction as though it represents the … Read more


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Assessing Legal Risks and Guidelines for User Comments

By Al Tompkins
Broadcast/Online Group Leader

As newsrooms across the country grapple with online user comments, the discussion often turns to legal implications. I wanted to demystify the matter and sort through the rumor and rhetoric. So I went after … Read more


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Feedback for Thought: Did We Do the Right Thing?

By Scott Libin
Poynter Online Managing Editor

Where I work, the legendary status
of Eugene Patterson is perhaps second only to that of Nelson Poynter
himself. Patterson won a Pulitzer Prize
for his Atlanta Constitution columns
on civil rights during … Read more


Baggy Pants, Drunken Driving and Day Care: Cincy’s Challenges with User Comments

By Bob Steele
The Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values

I recently spent a couple of days trying to help people in The (Cincinnati) Enquirer newsroom come to terms with ethical challenges that affect journalists almost everywhere in this cyber … Read more