June 19, 2014 Last Updated 8:49 am

NYT, Washington Post to partner with Mozilla to build new content and commenting platform

Open source platform will be designed to improve reader engagement and participation, improve commenting and be ‘a publishing platform for readers’

The New York Times and The Washington Post today announced that they would be partnering with Mozilla on a project to build a new content and commenting platform, a project they expect will take two year to complete. To fund the project, the players are getting supported by $3.89 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The new platform will be open source and the goal is to improve reader engagement and participation, which also solving the commenting problem many media outlets face.

NYT-comments-lg“The Web offers all sorts of new and exciting ways of engaging with communities far beyond the ubiquitous—and often terrible—comments sections at the bottom of articles. With this collaboration, we’re bringing together top talent to build new tools for newsrooms to engage,” said Mozilla’s Dan Sinker, head of the Knight-Mozilla Open News initiative, who will lead the project.

“This isn’t another commenting platform for publishers; it’s a publishing platform for readers,” Greg Barber, director of digital news projects at The Washington Post, said in the announcement.

The joint effort set out five goals for the project:

  • Make user-generated contributions easier to collect and package.
  • Help news organizations produce immersive, user-driven narratives typically only seen in large newsrooms.
  • Give journalists a platform to discover unique voices within their communities.
  • Reach experts to increase content quality and create value for readers.
  • Change the way journalists and users interact by shifting the relationship from comments to conversation.

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