Google adds comments voice to news stories

If he wanted to, the former PM could add comments to these stories gathered on Google News

If you're a regular browser of Google News , don't be surprised to see a new feature nestling amid the neatly packaged news aggregations - comments added by readers.

Google being Google, the comment feature isn't of the straightforward type associated with the likes of YouTube ("You suck" - "No, you suck"). Rather, the company is experimenting with allowing people or organisations featured in particular news stories to add their personal perspective on the subject at hand.

Manual verification

The comments will be published in full without editing or censorship thanks to a labour-intensive system wherein Google staff verify the authenticity of the person submitting a comment. This could include checking that person's contact details independently or even calling them.

According to the Google News Blog , the idea is to turn the site from a simple list of news items to a well-moderated forum for discussion.

The team behind the move wrote, "We're hoping that by adding this feature, we can help enhance the news experience for readers, testing the hypothesis that - whether they're penguin researchers or presidential candidates - a personal view can sometimes add a whole new dimension to the story."

Although the trial is currently only on the US Google News site, there's little doubt that - if it proves successful - it will be expanded to include other countries and languages.

J Mark Lytle was an International Editor for TechRadar, based out of Tokyo, who now works as a Script Editor, Consultant at NHK, the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Writer, multi-platform journalist, all-round editorial and PR consultant with many years' experience as a professional writer, their bylines include CNN, Snap Media and IDG.