Andrew Losowsky, Head of Coral at Vox Media, an editorial newsletter tool for writers and publishers, talks to your host Vahe Arabian of State of Digital Publishing about the state of Coral, an open-source project assisting publishers with building better communities around their journalism. Andrew discusses Coral’s premier tool called Talk, the various types of comments that moderators have to look out for, and how journalism and technology are merging together.


Episode Highlights:

  • Andrew Losowsky provides background information on the Coral project and aligning with Vox Media.
  • When did Andrew begin working with the Coral project?
  • What has kept Andrew involved with Coral for so long?
  • Andrew Losowsky answers the question, ‘Who is Andrew?’
  • How was Andrew’s transition from journalism to technology?
  • What does it feel like to be in an incubator?
  • Andrew describes the differences between free and paid-for journalistic sites and tools.
  • How can Coral show other publishers the size and the value of the platform?
  • How is system moderation handled with the Coral project?
  • Get to know your community better by understanding who is engaging and what your relationship is with them.
  • Andrew shares his views on bots launching communication attacks on groups of people online.
  • What are some ways that Coral has assisted publishers?
  • How do moderators ensure objectivity during the approval process?
  • How much does Coral’s advice benefit the strategic undertakings of newsrooms?
  • What is involved in their testing methodology process?
  • What is meant by software as a service in journalism?
  • Which future plans of engagement pursuits is Andrew excited about?
  • How does Coral fit into the Vox Media fold?
  • What is Andrew’s advice for journalists and technology beginners?


3 Key Points:

  1.    Coral began at Mozilla with the Knight Foundation gave the initial grant to create it.
  2.    AI-assisted human moderation is the AI not doing the moderating but the AI deciding what may or may not be held back for a human to moderate.
  3.    The three common forms of comments are: someone saying what they feel, someone saying what they know, and someone saying what they don’t know.


Tweetable Quotes:

  • “We have more than 60 newsrooms in 13 countries using our platform which is called Talk, to help engage better with communities and journalists together.” – Andrew Losowsky
  • “What we are seeing now in the industry as a trend is a lot of sites moving away from the free model because the trade-off is just not worth it. The tools are buggy. The tools are not great.” – Andrew Losowsky
  • “How do you connect your audience to your mission? How do you measure that your mission is succeeding? How do you measure that your audience is helping you with your mission?” – Andrew Losowsky

Referenced links:

  • Advisory Support
  • Insights & Data
  • Content Cluster Strategy Toolkit

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