Wikinews:Writing a Photo essay

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While Wikinews features a variety of content, the project's mainstay is the classic news article. However, wiki tools are ideally suited to constructing an article with the primary focus on photographs instead of text. This short essay is intended to guide people through the process of creating such an article. There is considerably less need to be intimately familiar with the style guide. Perhaps most critically, it is no longer required to write out the three paragraphs usually viewed as the minimum for an article, although you must still explain the context in which the photographs were taken as readers are not expected to know, regardless of how 'big' the event might be.

Key points from the more generalised essay on article construction still apply, namely:

  • Articles must be timely. They are never backdated to match an event, and the event they cover should be within the last few days.
  • Articles go through three stages, {{develop}} while the piece is constructed and formatted; {{review}} when the article is, in your opinion, good enough to be published; lastly, {{publish}} when the article has been checked by a contributor who the community has granted review privileges to and passed.
  • The neutral point of view policy is non-negotiable.

Examples[edit]

Before starting, it might be helpful to look at some already published photoessays on wikinews (keeping in mind, older articles may not meet current review standards, including image copyright policy):

There are currently 57 articles in Category:Photo essays.

(Refresh)

Headline[edit]

All articles need a title. For detailed instructions on how to choose a title, see the style guide, but in general there are a couple of key points to remember:

Remember, titles can be changed. If you have a problem renaming an article you are working on, leave a note on the talk page with the {{flag}} or {{editprotected}} templates to call in help. Do explain what your preferred title is.

Lede[edit]

All articles start with a date template. This date reflects when the article is published (which may or may not be when the event took place). Generally:

  • {{date|April 19, 2014}}
  • {{date|{{subst:#time:F j, Y}}}}

The second form will automatically get turned into the first form when you save the page.

In most normal articles an infobox is used. These can interfere with the presentation of a photoessay, best to avoid.

You should write your introduction as soon as possible. Since you are writing a photoessay, this need not be the length of a normal article. However, you still must address the 5W and H (Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How) of your story. The introduction should also give context to the photos in your article — for an international audience. Its important that the audience know what the photos are about, and why the photographs are important or noteworthy. The introduction should also tell the reader what news event the essay is focused on. Remember that a photoessay is not just a random gallery of photos; it is also a news article, which must be reporting some specific event.

The photos[edit]

Uploading[edit]

One of the goals of Wikinews, is to allow information to be dispersed, reused, modified, &c. (See the Wikipedia article on the Free Culture Movement for more information on the philosophical underpinnings). To this end, if you contribute to Wikinews, you must allow anyone to copy and modify your photos in their own derivative works. We use the website Wikimedia Commons to host our photos. As long as you have a unified account (See Special:MergeAccount to get one), your Wikinews login should work at Commons too (As well as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and several other sites).

To upload an image at commons visit Commons:Upload and follow the instructions. Please make sure to give your images descriptive names (Dog_at_the_park_in_london_england.jpg is much more useful than picture012312142.jpg) and that you upload the highest resolution possible. If you are unsure if you did this correctly, feel free to ask a Wikinewsie in the chatroom (IRC).

Once your file is uploaded, you should be able to use it anywhere on Wikinews (and in several other places)

Note: if you wish to upload fair use/dealing images (which should not be used in photoessays) see Wikinews:Fair use.

Adding to your article[edit]

See also mw:help:Images

Normal images[edit]

All of these examples will use File:example.jpg. It should also be noted that you can prefix your images with Image: (Image:Example.jpg and File:example.jpg are equivalent).

The easiest way to add an image to your article is as follows

[[File:Example.jpg|thumb|right|300px|An example image.]]
An example image.

Which places the image on the right:

The first part File:Example.jpg specifies the image name. Then comes thumb, which specifies it should have a caption. Next is right, meaning it should be on the right of the screen (As opposed to say the left side, or centered). Then comes the size. 300px means that the image will be resized to be 300 pixels wide. Last is the caption. It can contain links, bold text, etc using normal wiki markup. If the image comes from elsewhere, credit to the original author should be added to this caption (if you are the original author, such credit is optional). Credit lines are added as follows (see image on left):

[[file:Example.jpg|thumb|left|300px|An example image.{{image credit|[http://example.com An example photographer]}}]]
An example image.
Image: An example photographer.


Galleries[edit]

Galleries are a way to display several images. Example:

<gallery>
File:Example.png|An example image
File:Example.svg|Another example
File:Example.jpg
File:718Smile.svg|A caption with a [[w:link|link]].
</gallery>


Makes this:

This allows user to see a summary of the images available, and then they can click on them to see larger versions. However since your article is primarily about the pictures, you may want to have bigger thumbnails:

<gallery widths='200px' heights='200px' perrow='2'>
File:Example.png|An example image
File:Example.svg|Another example
File:Example.jpg
File:718smiley.svg|A caption with a [[w:link|link]].
</gallery>

Makes:

widths correspond to the widths of each box a picture takes up, heights corresponds to the height. Note, it is important to set both. perrow specifies the number of images per row. Last of all, you can also specify a caption for your gallery. You might use this to separate your gallery into different sections. (Note: you cannot use wikiformating in your caption with exception to links).

<gallery caption="Some ''Examples''">
File:Example.png|An example image
File:Example.svg|Another example
File:Example.jpg
File:718smiley.svg|A caption with a [[w:link|link]].
</gallery>

image chooser ({{Picture select}})[edit]

This is a method to display the images one at a time. For example

{{picture select|width=210px
|[[File:Example.png|200px|center|An example image (Alt text for blind/text browsers/tooltip)]]
<br/>An Example Image (Caption for everyone)
|[[File:Example.svg|200px|center|Another example]]
Another example
|[[File:Example.jpg|center|200px|]]
|[[File:718smiley.svg|center|200px|]]
}}

makes:

An example image (Alt text for blind/text browsers/tooltip)

An Example Image (Caption for everyone)

Another example

Another example

Example.jpg
718smiley.svg


The overall width parameter is the width of the whole box. This should be a little bit bigger than the image width, or the border will be crunched. This template can support a large number of images. In addition the tabs can change from being numbers to being any arbitrary text. For a complex example see the page source of Wikinews:Picture_of_the_Year_2008/round_1#Candidates. For more information on this template, see its documentation.

Ticker slideshow[edit]

I'm adding this for completeness, but you probably should not use this on your article unless you're really sure its a good idea.

It's possible to create a picture slideshow on your article. For example:

{{ticker|engine=none|speed=1.5|multiple=first
|options=Ticker_strLeft-%00 Ticker_strLinkText-%00 Ticker_strRight-%00
|customSrc=
*[[File:Example.png|200px|An example image (Alt text for blind/text browsers/tooltip)]]
An Example Image (Caption for everyone)
*[[File:Example.svg|200px|Another example]]
Another example
*[[File:Example.jpg|200px|]]
*[[File:718smiley.svg|200px|]]
}}

Creates:


engine=none specifies no transition (other choice is fade). speed=1.5 specifies 1.5x speed (you'd probably want it much slower on an article). Note it's somewhat disorienting if the images change height. To work arround this, either make all the images the same height, or wrap each image in a div that has a specific height set. For example (using the fade transition):

<div style="heiht:230px;">
{{ticker|engine=none|multiple=other
|options=Ticker_strLeft-%00 Ticker_strLinkText-%00 Ticker_strRight-%00
|customSrc=
*[[File:Example.png|200px|An example image (Alt text for blind/text browsers/tooltip)]]
An Example Image (Caption for everyone)
*[[File:Example.svg|200px|Another example]]
Another example
*[[File:Example.jpg|200px|]]
*[[File:718smiley.svg|200px|]]
}}
</div>

makes:

Which, as you'll notice, does not bounce arround the text below it. It should be noted the fade transition is not as well tested. See {{ticker}} for more information.

Sources[edit]

Last of all, don't forget to cite your sources. All information you add to the article must be sourced. If you came about your information through original reporting (for example, by asking people questions at the event), remember to tag your article with {{original}} and add notes to the talk page. See Wikinews:Original reporting for details on procedures involving original reporting.