Today, Coral, Vox Media’s engagement platform has announced a new Q&A tool for customers, allowing publishers to host live discussions on their sites with subject matter experts. With the tool, readers are able to join the conversation, ask essential questions, and vote on the next questions that the experts should answer. As part of Coral, the Q&A tool utilizes the platform’s world-class moderation system, making it easy for publishers to identify and remove disruptive contributions – encouraging safe engagement.
While the tool was originally designed before the COVID-19 crisis, publishers including the Financial Times, local Columbia, SC newspaper, The State and The Detroit Free Press are already using the tool for live discussions related to the pandemic. The Financial Times is hosting regular live Q&As with their community, covering topics related to COVID-19 including personal finance and youth unemployment with outside experts and FT reporters. In March, The State hosted a live Q&A with Columbia’s Mayor Steve Benjamin, addressing concerns and questions around the community’s stay-at-home order.
“The Q&A feature is a tool I always dreamed of having access to in my years doing community work, and had given up on the chance of having.” said Lilah Raptopoulos, US Head of Audience Engagement at The Financial Times. “It’s intuitive for our reporters and commenters to use without much instruction. It makes for an excellent user experience for readers, and the way it’s built encourages a very high caliber of comments. This tool has come at the perfect time.“
“We’re always looking for new and better ways for journalists to serve their communities. Our Q&A tool is an easy way to find out what your audience needs to know, and to provide reliable, up-to-date information on your own website and app, away from the toxic practices of social media,” said Andrew Losowsky, Head of Coral at Vox Media.
This week, The Community Listening and Engagement Fund (CLEF) COVID-19 Response Fund committed a portion of its $50,000 fund to support the tool, which will help cover the costs for local newsrooms to use Coral’s Q&A tool.
Coral is now used by more than 140 newsrooms in 18 countries including The Financial Times, Mother Jones, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Sydney Morning Herald.