PBS.org blogger Dan Schultz published an article on the ways to distinguish online journalists from online citizens and the roles that each one plays in a media system such as a newspaper site.
According to the article, the system should:
Active and responsive users with clear judgement and insightful and valid contributions may be further categorized as corresponding to journalists or citizens, depending on what role the system associate him or her with.
"There are a few risks you need to keep in mind: make sure the system isn't overcomplicated, make sure the rewards don't get in the way of journalistic ideals, and make sure users can't ever get unfairly powerful," Schultz said.
Schultz pointed out that even if a site may not care about classification, weighing a user's history could make the site "more intelligent" "more responsive" and "more rewarding".
Newspaper sites could use these tips to help understand what users' participation benefits them and possibly study the ways in which interaction may be improved.