Don't Turn Them Off: How to Improve Online Comment Sections
- Hours of Effort
About This Course
Creating digital discussion spaces that yield quality commentary has proven elusive for many newsrooms. Trolls, spam, incivility, misinformation – the list of problematic content appearing in news comment sections could go on. Politics, in particular, seems to bring out some of the worst in discussions.
How can online political discussion be improved?
This Webinar will present research recently conducted by the Engaging News Project and the National Institute for Civil Discourse that will present strategies for improving online discussion.
As a bonus, you can download the full research reports to use in your newsroom.
What Will I Learn:
- Tips for using methods that enhance respectful conversation
- What leads people to comment
- Tools and strategies that lead to more productive comment spaces
- Ways to incorporate research findings into comment sections
Who Should Take this Course:
Social media directors, editors, reporters and anyone working on engaging audiences on social media.
Raquel Goodrich is the Director of Digital Communications for the National Institute for Civil Discourse. Raquel holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Maine and a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Unity College. Raquel manages the Institute's digital communication platforms, and seeks to use virtual technologies to strengthen American’s roles in our democracy. Raquel also helps to spearhead the Creating Community Solutions Initiative, part of the National Dialogue on Mental Health. Her work with CCS includes leading the Communications strategy and developing Text, Talk, Act, a text-massaging platform that leads participants through a meaningful dialogue via their cell phones.
Raquel’s work focuses on providing online platforms where Americans can engage in civil discourse around the issues that are most important to them. Recognizing a lack of safe spaces in the online environment, she utilizes technology and best practices to encourage people to take responsibility for their democracy.
Natalie Jomini Stroud
Natalie (Talia) Jomini Stroud (Ph.D., Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania) is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Assistant Director of Research at the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at the University of Texas at Austin. Since 2012, Stroud has directed the grant-funded Engaging News Project, which examines commercially-viable and democratically-beneficial ways of improving online news coverage. In 2014-15, she was a fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Politics at Princeton University. Stroud is interested in how the media affect our political behaviors and attitudes and how our political behaviors and attitudes affect our media use. Her book, Niche News: The Politics of News Choice (Oxford University Press) explores the causes, consequences, and prevalence of partisan selective exposure, the preference for like-minded political information. Niche News received the International Communication Association's Outstanding Book Award.
The Democracy Fund aspires to the highest ideals of the American republic — government of, by, and for the people. We invest in organizations working to ensure that our political system is responsive to the priorities of the American public and has the capacity to meet the greatest challenges facing our country.
Nonpartisanship is a cornerstone of the Democracy Fund's work. We believe that creating a vibrant, healthy political system is in the interest of all Americans and that finding achievable solutions to the complex problems facing our democracy will require voices, expertise, and ideas from across the political spectrum. Our board, staff, advisors, and grantees include Republicans, Democrats, and Independents.
A catalyst for change, the Democracy Fund supports risk-taking ideas and strategies that shift the incentives driving political behavior. We value evidence-based learning both in developing and reflecting on our work. As a collaborative organization, we endeavor to be transparent and to build the capacity to provide our partners with a broad range of resources to support our shared goals. Our approach is further distinguished by our commitment to work across the aisle to find common ground on issues of national concern.
The Democracy Fund was created in 2011 by eBay Founder Pierre Omidyar as an initiative of Omidyar Network. In 2014, the Democracy Fund became an independent private foundation.
This $30 course is free thanks to the generous support of the Democracy Fund.