TVNewser FishbowlDC AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote PRNewser SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

The New York Times Shortens Reader Comments to 2,000 Characters

For The New York Times, it appears less is more. At least when it comes to reader comments on the website. Today the paper announced that it will now limit comments on article to 2,000 charahcters, down from its usual limit of 5,000. The Wrap investigated this new policy, and this is what Aron Pilhofer, Editor of Interactive News, had to say:

We’ve had one of the highest character limits known to humanity for a long time. We’ve gotten feedback from readers and frequent commenters, as well as internally, that our character limit is too high, that maybe we should force people to be a little more succinct. 5,000 is a lot. That’s not a comment, that’s an article.

He’s right. As you’ve no doubt seen, a lot of the people who leave comments on websites (not FishbowlNY readers, of course) do so with nothing positive to add. The Times is making a smart move by limiting the length of those comments. Now instead of writing a novel about how wrong a writer is, readers will have to write an essay.

Mediabistro Course

Travel Writing

Travel WritingStarting September 23, learn how to turn your travel stories into published essays and articles! Taught by a former Vanity Fair staff writer, James Sturz will teach you how to report, interview, and find sources, discover story ideas and pitch them successfully, and understand what travel editors look for in a story. Register now!