The first is a good question; the answer to the second is: we did.
The Wikinews Research Desk aims to be the Original Reporter's best sidekick. It can also be a place to start; to peruse and check out the press releases of influential organizations. Why do they think it is important the public knows that information, and how have people responded to it? Or look for something light to write! For instance: What were the top grossing films last month? Did the takings run-counter to serious reviews? BoxOffice Mojo's numbers are used by many major media outlets. Was your favourite television program cancelled? Did a million people cry out, sign a petition, and then there was silence? What are the headlines from around the world about the Presidential election? (Hint: It need not be a U.S. Presidential election, other countries have presidents too.) You can write a story by clicking on their coverage below. What is the latest climate change news? What is the difference between British, American and Canadian public health advisories? What, if anything, has replaced Avian Flu as a major threat to humanity these days? What are people protesting, where, and why? Who is INTERPOL looking for, and what did he or she do?
You can find answers to all these questions, and come up with your own, by exploring the links below. Happy writing.
Have a story? Stuck for ideas? You are in the right place
Need a little "wind in your sails"?
Place to find ideas for articles
Government Statistics News in Selected Countries
Locations chosen by availability in English language
English News Sources From Around the World
This is a collection of a few English language sources for various countries and organizations. For even more sources by region, including native language resources, please see Wikinews:Global Networking.
Africa and Middle East
International English language
Economy and business
International organizations data
Government business/economic resources
Military, Defense and War
Media, culture and entertainment
Journalism and media
Major Global Cities: Press Releases
Journals and Scholarship
Deaths, Medical and Health
Environment, Science and technology
Protests and media releases
Advocacy groups and activists
Wikimedia Research and Tools
Accredited Reporter's Corner
Your rights as a reporter and photographer
Language Translation Services
You need images for your articles
Images, such as the one in the opening paragraph courtesy of the French Wikinews, or the current English Wikinews Picture of the Year, are as important as the text. When an image is present in a story, no matter how good the prose the image can make or break a reader's impression. A good Wikinews reporter will contemplate aspects of their story, and find free media (or fair use) to illustrate their story. For instance, on Wikipedia there is an article about Mark Barnes, a notable attorney some readers might find uninteresting. But on that page you can see how media can be used to make a subject dynamic; for instance, a letter written by the subject's students and a portrait of his ancestor, Daniel Boone, are incorporated. Look for the interesting, relevant angle when you choose media.
Where to find images
Your first stop for stock photos. The easiest way of finding freely licensed images is to search the Wikimedia Commons project. All images on Commons are freely licensed and can be used in articles as if they are hosted locally.
Another option is to look at any relevant Wikipedia articles and see if any appropriate images are available there but note that not all images on Wikipedia are freely licensed and if that is the case then their use here must also comply with fair use. In theory Wikipedia editors have come to consensus as to the best photos to illustrate a topic, although the surest judgment is to search the Commons. Still, Wikipedia, or another Wikimedia Foundation project, may be organized in a manner that makes it easy to find a good stock photo for a news article you can freely use.
If a freely licensed image still cannot be located then it may be possible to find one on an external website which you can upload to Commons. It is important that it is explicitly stated that the image is released under a compatible licence, see Commons:Licensing for information.
There are likely to be exceptions but the websites listed below are known to host some freely licensed image files. If after searching a freely licensed image cannot be located then consider asking a photographer to release an image under a compatible licence, see Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission for advice on doing this.