This article brings together two separate strands of media research: Online comments and media design. Online comments have long been a topic of much concern, both among scholars and the public at large, fearing negative effects from phenomena such as echo chambers, filter bubbles and hate speech. This paper reports on a project by the Danish public service broadcaster Danmarks Radio, aiming to develop a system for online comments in line with the broadcaster's public service ideals. Through interviews and observations, I explore the challenges encountered by the project team as an empirical case study of cross-disciplinary design work intersecting the fields of design, journalism and new media. I discuss the challenges encountered by the project team in light of Domingo's model of audience participation, suggesting that the broadcaster's strategy represents a development from the "playgrounds" model to a "salon" model. Building on Löwgren and Reimer's work on collaborative media, I suggest some of the broadcaster's struggles point to a lack of adequate methods for balancing interaction design concerns with the concerns of mass communication and journalism.