Is ‘conversation management’ a core newsroom function?

There a good bit of continuing discussion about comments and how to manage them (see the link list below). One camp, of which newspapers and TV stations seem to be moving toward, are trying to find pain free ways to manage comments (technology solutions) or to elminate them. The problem: They’re just so darn messy. Technology solutions alone are unlikely to be successful.

The other, mostly Internet news organizations, are putting more bodies (theirs or their users or both) to managing comments as a content resource. Whether they can create conversations instead of flame wars remains to be seen.

It is possible both strategies will succeed, at least in the sense of meeting the objectives of the people putting in the policies. Those that find comments altogether too messy will find ways to minimize or hide them. Those that want to use them to feed audience interest may be successful as well.

The question is whether “conversation management” is a core function of news organizations and their newsrooms or if they are still at heart one-way communicators?

While not just about comments, this piece on “The Princess and the Trolls” is a fascinating read.