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article imageDigital Journal crowdsources editing as writers become editors

By Chris Hogg     Sep 11, 2009 in Internet
In response to feedback from readers and contributors, we're happy to announce all Digital Journalists are now capable of editing any article on the site. The move was made in an effort to increase quality and accuracy on
First, a big thank-you to all of you who continue to provide feedback to us regarding improvements and feature requests. We're happy to announce another major step in's history -- articles can now be edited by any Digital Journalist.
In a Wikipedia-inspired crowdsourcing initiative, Digital Journalists can now click "Edit" on top of any article to fix typos, grammar or spelling errors. Or perhaps they simply want to add more information to an article. This feature comes as the site works to strengthen its editorial offering and engage its community in the news-gathering process.
If you're a Digital Journalist, you'll want to read about how this works below. If you're not a Digital Journalist and just someone who enjoys reading, this move is a big step for you as well -- this added feature is intended to add another layer of quality control and editorial oversight so the content you read is accurate and well written.

How it works:

If you're a Digital Journalist and spot something that should be corrected on an article (i.e. spelling mistake, missing word), or if you want to add a sentence for clarity, simply click "Edit" on top of an article's headline.
Note: You must be a "Digital Journalist" to suggest revisions to an article (more info on becoming a Digital Journalist).
Once you've clicked "Edit," you'll be taken to a screen that shows a list of suggestions made by others ("pending revisions"). Check this list to make sure your suggestion has not already been made. If your suggested revision is not listed, click on the "Make a revision" tab on top and you'll see fields for the headline, intro and body of the article. From this point, you can make any changes you think are necessary and click "Submit revision" and you're done. It will show you the system has received your input.
Once you've submitted a revision suggestion, the author will then get an email notification to alert them to the recommended changes waiting for their approval. The email will include a link the writer can click in order to go directly to a "Revisions" section where proposed changes are listed.
From this list, the article's author can click "Apply" to immediately implement a suggested change, or "Ignore" if it's a correction that should not be implemented. Once changes have been applied, refreshing the page will allow the revisions to appear.

Details on editing:

- To avoid potential abuse or mischief, we've made it so the author (or DJ admin) are the only ones who can approve suggested changes. If you're the author of the article, remember that no matter how many times someone changes the text in your article, none of the changes will appear live unless you approve them. We encourage you to check your email often after you post articles.
- We don't want to pester you with revision emails, so you'll only be notified once by email about changes that need to be made to your article. We'll keep track of when you next visit the site to review changes. If someone else comes along after and makes another suggestion, we'll check to see if you've been to the site since you got our last email -- if you haven't checked your email yet we won't bother you with another one.
- This feature is intended for people to point out typos, spelling errors, or to add a short sentence to a story. It's not intended for people to suggest entire re-writes, so don't completely change an article (even if you don't agree with its premise). Your changes will not be implemented unless the writer approves them, and they're more likely to ignore you if all you want to do is chop up their work.
- You can block people from making revisions on your articles. If someone consistently suggests changes to your work that you don't agree with, we give you the option to block that Digital Journalist from making future revisions. While reviewing suggested revisions from others, you'll see a button to "Apply" or "Ignore" a revisions suggestion. As soon as you click "Ignore," you will be asked if you want to ban that person from making future revisions on your work.
We encourage you to avoid using the block feature, as edits are important to improving your work (they may find a typo you didn't notice). However, if you strongly believe that a Digital Journalist should be blocked from suggesting revisions on your work, you can do so. To unblock someone, hover over your name on the top right and you'll see a link to "Blocked" which gives you a list of blocked users.
- Revision suggestions can only be made within the first three days after publication. After three days we lock the article so no more changes can be made.
- For now, revisions can't be suggested on blogs and image details.
Thanks again everyone for your continued feedback and input. It goes a long way to making the site your own. We look forward to your feedback in the comment feed below, or feel free to Contact Us.
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