Wikinews is a profoundly collaborative project. Our collaboration is different from the sort most familiar on Wikimedia sister projects, in which multiple users collaborate on a work by division of labor within the single task of authorship. Authorship of a Wikinews article is typically due to a single author — but without exception, every article we publish is a collaboration between author(s) and reviewer(s). There seems to me to be a very high correlation between contributors who embrace the collaborative author/reviewer relationship, and contributors who succeed on Wikinews. Those who see review as a bureaucratic stumbling block on the way to publishing the author's contribution are missing much of the essence and richness of the Wikinews experience. Even in the most straightforward review, the reviewer adds immense value by assuring the work has been carefully vetted by someone well versed in project standards and independent of the authorship of the article. The reviewer's copyedits and review comments on a passing review are tools for the enterprising author to apply to self-improvement. Feedback on a not-ready review can be, if anything, even more valuable — at least for future articles, but some of the most all-around rewarding collaborations on the project can be articles that were found not-ready, industriously improved by the author(s), and ultimately were published as distinctly stronger articles than they started out. To say nothing of the personal growth any review experience affords to the reviewer.
Structural improvements to Wikinews get done in time spared from the primary activity of the project, and that can easily push them beyond the time horizon for automatic archiving of the water cooler. Here are some things I have in mind. The ordering of the list has nothing to do with importance.
- Plagiarism. Key challenge is how to illustrate effectively, so that authors understand at a deep level what it means to not piece together passages from different sources. Have been struggling with a draft at User:Pi zero/How to use sources without plagiary, but there is also a problem with people understanding why. See proposals water cooler, plagiarism talk, policy water cooler, Wikipedia Signpost, Wikibooks.
- Upgrade of behavioral infrastructure.
- Current replacement for WN:AGI is WN:Never assume. See proposals water cooler, user talk.
- Past notes from which to glean some value:
- May require two branches, one pessimistic (how to get past problems) and one optimistic (idealistic inspiration, the lifeblood of all WMF projects, to motivate contributors to get past problems). AGI, which doesn't work on the pessimistic side, isn't even in the running on the optimistic side.
- As part of the overall solution, WN:Etiquette needs to be overhauled.
- Also, look at the overall network of such pages and consider what to do about Professionalism/NPA.
- Make page moves of published articles subject to peer review. Was discussed here.
- Upgrade portals. Was mentioned here.
- Resolve the questions surrounding Category:Wackynews.
- Clarify the responsibilities of reviewers. Obviously this is entangled with article lifecycle.
- Provide a quick-reference checklist of things to remember to consider when reviewing. Also entangled with lifecycle. This is mostly what I'd envisioned for WN:Tips on reviewing articles.
- Work out a proposal for how to deal with the outstanding userbox whitelist remedy. old proposed policy; DR for that; motion to overturn remedy; from the 2010 arbcom
gauntletelection, my own (somewhat hyperbolic, but still interesting) comment.
- Look into SG guidance on single quotes versus double quotes.
Notice of Appreciation
To Pi zero, for his tireless copyediting and reviewing of articles. You're perhaps the best reviewer we've got and, by some measures, one of the only perpetually active ones. Keep up the great work--it's very much appreciated. Tyrol5 (talk) 19:45, 28 June 2012 (UTC)