The New York Times and The Washington Post will team up with Mozilla to create a new platform that could standardize the way news organizations manage reader comments and other outside contributions.
The platform, which is funded by a $3.89 million grant, follows trends that show "readers spend additional time on websites where they can actively participate," the New York Times said Thursday. The technology for the platform could take up to two years to build, but the goal is to create a new way to engage readers and create stronger online communities for discussion.
The news organizations said that once the technology is complete, it would be possible for other news outlets to download it for free.
Among the many features of the new platform, there would be a highlighting system that would spotlight the strongest reader comments and allows journalists to easily interact with those commenters. The Washington Post's director of digital news, Greg Barber, said that although the new system would not completely get rid of Internet "trolls," it would help eliminate "incentive to be the loudest voice."
“Readers will be able to submit pictures, links and other media; track discussions; and manage their contributions and online identities," the news organizations said in a press release.
Although it's not a usual partnership, this isn't the first time that the New York Times and the Washington Post have worked together. Both organizations took control of the International Herald Tribune in 1967, until the Times took full ownership in 2003.