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Dublin: 18 °C Friday 31 October, 2014

Announcement: TheJournal.ie opens up its newsroom to readers

Help us to become #IRELAND’S BIGGEST NEWSROOM.

Come on in, the water's fine...
Come on in, the water's fine...
Image: TheJournal.ie

DRUM ROLL PLEASE…TheJournal.ie is pleased to announce that this week we hit one million comments and to celebrate we’re going to start letting you tell the news.

As a reward for your loyalty, from today we are launching a host of new features, opening up the site to users and bringing reading, sharing and shaping the news to the next level.

The changes, which will be rolled out across all platforms over the coming weeks, will see us harnessing the power of the commenters, handing over control to the people who have helped us to get where we are today and making TheJournal.ie into #IRELAND’S BIGGEST NEWSROOM.

First of all, you’ll start to notice some new options popping up underneath stories that will allow you to edit and add to articles with your own information, images and videos.

Here’s how it’ll look:

This could be you…

How it works

Of course we couldn’t just let anyone make changes to the site – we know some of you would go mad with power. With that in mind, we’ll be using the red/green thumb system that you all know and love to rank commenters, so the more green thumbs you have, the more you’ll be able to do.

This ranking system will also control the number of characters you have to write a comment so be careful with your clicking and keep your spats to a minimum – you never know how many friends with busy fingers your online rivals might have.

Another exciting addition to the site will be a new section called Yournal.ie which will include some of the following features:

  • #STORIES THAT MATTER TO YOU: That old cat living in your town for years was rescued from a tree the other day and no one seems to care but you. He could have died. That potato is the image of Pope Francis but the local radio station laughed at you. That ends here. Just log onto Yournal.ie, write the story yourself and share it with the masses.
  • #YOU OK HON? Sometimes the day just gets on top of you and you need to vent. Tell other Yournal.ie users all about it and have a good old cry about it on their virtual shoulders. Commenters will be able to leave their advice and vote on the merits of suggestions left by others.
  • #CAN’T BELIEVE I JUST ATE THAT: Restaurant owners beware – our delicious new reviews section will see contributors filming their entire meal, giving a running commentary on the food, the service and even the state of the loos.
  • #TOP DOG: Submit your pooch’s photo and every Friday readers will vote for this week’s #TOP DOG.
  • #CHOONS: We’ve teamed up with Spotify so contributors can include a playlist as a recommended soundtrack for their articles.

Yournal.ie was officially launched this morning by vice-chairman of Journal Media Ltd, Eric Fallon, younger brother of TheJournal.ie founders Brian and Eamonn, who described it as a “historic moment for the company and for the country as a whole”.

This is something that we’ve wanted to do for a long time. We just love the commenters on TheJournal.ie, they’re our reason for getting up in the morning and coming in here every day so now it’s time to give them something back.

Social media expert Kate Simpson said these new features would “change the face of online news in Ireland”.

TheJournal.ie is really taking the lead here but I think we’ll see other news outlets following suit, allowing readers to get more involved and interact with their news in different ways. We’ve already seen a surge in citizen journalism over the last number of years and this is just the next chapter in that book.

Some of you should already be able to notice the changes today and they will be available in the next update for all versions of the app by the middle of April. Watch this space…

(Images: Shutterstock/TheJournal.ie)

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