Announcement

Philly.com, Inspired by ENP, Makes Changes to Comments

phillydotcom-default-logoPhilly.com, the website for the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News, recently made changes to its comments section that were inspired, in part, by the Center for Media Engagement.
Based on our research on journalists’ involvement in comments, Philly.com began having some of its reporters and columnists get involved in the comment sections of their stories.
“(Center for Media Engagement) put out a study that showed that having writers moderate and comment on their own stories improved the tenor of comments overall,” Erica Palan, audience engagement manager for Philly.com, told Poynter. “A handful of reporters for the Inquirer and Daily News have started to do this and anecdotally, we feel it’s been pretty successful.”
Jessica Parks, county reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer, said she comments on her stories if a reader asks a question or if she needs to correct false information being shared in the comments.
“I’ve had a really positive experience getting involved in the comments. It encourages me to look at the comments section more,” Parks said in an interview with the Center for Media Engagement. “The readers respond well when I go in and comment. They generally will thank me for my response.”
Other changes Philly.com has made to its comments section include adding a note reminding readers of the commenting policy and creating a click-through button so readers can decide for themselves if they want to see the comments. To learn more, visit philly.com.