Why the WSJ limited comments on its articles
Lucinda Southern of Digiday writes about why The Wall Street Journal decided to limit comments on its articles.
Southern writes, “The publisher has claimed a higher number of subscribers now reading and writing comments, from a broader demographic than previously.
“The Dow Jones publisher introduced a number of changes last month: the first, making commenting for paying members only. Previously, all articles were open for comments by default, but that has now tightened to around 30 major news stories and opinion pieces, roughly 40% of daily output depending on the news cycle. These stories that are open for audience posts are clearly marked. Conversations from each audience post-enabled article are kicked off with a question from the journalist.
“The number of people reading the comments has increased by 5%, according to the publisher, though it wouldn’t reveal from what base. The number of people posting, liking or replying has also gone up more than 5%. Meanwhile, the people who comment are younger and more female-skewed than before, although it wouldn’t share specific numbers.
“‘Broadly speaking, in the news business, we need to understand what the audience likes to do and reflect that,’ said Louise Story, WSJ editor of newsroom strategy. ‘You have a public that really likes to participate in the conversation. They are looking for a more thoughtful place. That was the opportunity we saw. We’re increasingly focusing on our members — two-way interaction with our audience — and what that means.'”
Read more here.