Another curious omission is the ability to comment, given Delaney’s opening statements which profess: “We view the creation of Quartz as just the beginning of an ongoing process, and we hope it will be a collaborative one.” Readers are encouraged to email the editors directly or share content via the usual channels at the end of each article, instead. Seward said that Quartz believes social media has replaced commenting as means of response to an article—if you like it, you’re going to tweet about it and post it elsewhere before you’re going to add your thoughts at the end. “A lot of sites will drop a commenting thing in their site, figuring that’s what you’re supposed to do,” he said. “But if that system isn’t well integrated and your team isn’t interacting with it, it’s not adding value.” It also shields Quartz from public criticism in their own pages, of course. Seward said the site is working on ways to integrate comments in the future. But if this is genuinely collaborative journalism, it is a more restrained effort than the Guardian’s crowd-sourced content, for example.

Looking forward

The greatest challenge for Quartz will be attracting a readership away from well-established brands (and much bigger newsroom resources) of places like The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal, especially with the wide-ranging topics its reporters plan to cover. Given that Quartz is unlikely to match its competitors on original reporting, editors are hoping that the site’s visual appeal and personal tone will take them far. “It would be a win for us if Quartz became recognized as a discerning eye,” Seward said.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misspelled Kevin J. Delaney’s last name.


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Hazel Sheffield is a former assistant editor at CJR. Follow her on Twitter @hazelsheffield.