The Manchester Evening News is among the publisher’s titles that has changed its commenting system to allow people to log-in to post their views using other social media accounts or to just register using their email address.
The new comments platform allows readers who are registered to comment on one title to be able to then give their views on any Trinity Mirror website.
Trinity Mirror’s policy of only allowing members to comment using Facebook logins was introduced in early 2013 when its new-look websites started being rolled out.
Along with the MEN, other titles who have announced the change in comment registration recently include the Liverpool Echo and the North Wales Daily Post and it is expected to be rolled out across all the publisher’s websites.
An MEN story about the changes said: “Manchester Evening News is changing the system we use for allowing readers to comment on our stories. We know this is disruptive but we think the new system we are introducing is worth it.”
The story adds that the new commenting system would allow people to reply directly to comments in the thread and in time, to add links and share multi-media.
Meanwhile, Trinity Mirror digital publishing director David Higgerson has written a blog post about the importance of reader comments in allowing local journalism to thrive online, despite the “vitriolic nature” of many comments.
He wrote: “We do need to find a solution – and it begins with treating comments with the respect they deserve.
“If you imagine a news website as a pub, and the editor as the publican, then you wouldn’t expect the publican to allow any sort of behaviour in his pub.
“He or she would set out to create the right atmosphere, create the right experience for drinkers, and hopefully turn them into diners to get them to spend more time there.
“On websites, that means choosing when to open comments, and encouraging journalists who write the stories to get involved and engage with the comments.
“Time and again, I’ve seen comment threads which are threatening to take a dark turn stay on a positive track just because people realise the journalist who wrote it is reading the comments, and joining in.”