New York Times Journalists Take To Quora To Answer Questions

A reporter, editor and columnist from The New York Times will take to Quora, starting today, to answer your questions.

In one of the highest-profile partnerships yet for the nascent question and answer-based social network, Diana B. Henriques, Gretchen Morgenson and Adam Bryant will answer questions submitted via Quora. Henriques will be on today (July 19) from 3 to 4 p.m. ET, answering questions submitted at her page.

On his Quora page, The Times‘ Jim Schachter explains how the idea came about:

About six weeks ago, my New York Times colleague Aron Pilhofer and I visited Quora to brainstorm with Charlie Cheever and Marc Bodnick about how our organizations might work together. One idea we came up with was having Times journalists who’ve recently published books come on Quora to field questions from the community.

At the moment, The Times will not be embedding the sessions on their website, but Schachter did not rule it out in the future: “We want to see how it goes before embedding Quora on,” he wrote.

The paper has been doing Q&As with its staff for some time, but they were not in real time. Another major paper, The Washington Post, has been doing live Q&As for many years. Washington publications Roll Call and National Journal (disclosure: my employer) have done scheduled Twitter chats with their journalists.

Taking to Quora over a service with greater reach, such as Twitter, was an interesting choice. But Quora could be easier than a Twitter chat for a large audience to follow. If The Times‘ experiment—which is how they’re treating it—is successful, then not only more journalists from that paper will participate, but journalists from other publications could start doing the same.