A survey of Road Safety GB members has highlighted the popularity of the road safety newsfeed but also confirmed concerns which had been expressed informally about the tone of some reader comments and discussion threads.
The newsfeed itself came out very well in the survey, with all 60 respondents rating it as ‘very’ or ‘quite’ interesting and 95% giving the same rating in terms of ‘usefulness’. The newsfeed is widely used, with the vast majority of respondents (88%) visiting it at least once a week.
When it came to reader comments, the vast majority of respondents (89.5%) believe that readers should be able to comment on stories, and that it should remain in the public domain.
The ‘like/dislike’ facility is popular with the majority but there is support to amend the terminology to ‘agree/disagree’.
Respondents were asked to rank a series of possible modifications to the newsfeed, and there is strong support (75%) for disallowing repetitive comments and/or those which stray from the topic in the news item. There is even stronger support (86%) for withdrawing the invitation to post from anyone who regularly posts excessively hostile or aggressive comments or transgresses the house rules.
Speaking on behalf of the Road Safety GB web & comms team, Nick Rawlings, newsfeed editor, said: “It is very pleasing to have confirmation that Road Safety GB members find the newsfeed useful and interesting. We’re also delighted that members want to retain the reader comments facility, and that they want everyone to have the opportunity to contribute to discussion threads.
"However, it is clear that members are keen to ensure that discussions remain in line with the item they relate to, and that they do not want threads to degenerate into slanging matches. We all want a civilised debate, in keeping with a professioanl newsfeed, and the editorial team will be keeping a much closer eye going forward to ensure this in the case.
“We will also be introduing a ‘report comment’ facility to enable readers to flag up posts that they consider inappropriate."
For more information contact Nick Rawlings on 01379 650112