Talk:Israel Journal: The Holy Land has an image problem

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This was absolute rubbish! I heard nothing about Israel the country itself, nothing about Israelis or any interviews with Arabs. Just some blabbering philosophical thoughts? The photographs are lame too, just some photos of some people and an airport (???). I have travelled many places and I have much more interesting stories like getting arrested by Basiji (political police) in Iran :) Wikinews should let me try to write one of these. Genjix 00:12, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

I see some style-problems with the first-hand story-telling nature of this article. And sharing not only what people say, but also personal thoughts ... stylistically it is a huge departure for Wikinews and I think a lot of people will have problems with this as far as maintaining neutrality and avoiding editorializing. --SVTCobra 17:58, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

I think this is good as many people enjoy reading this sort of article, and as long as it is marked as it was I don't mind if the occasional article is like this, although I do not what Wikinews to be an opinion site and I completly understand your concerns
Why? I, personally, don't see a problem with this article. We should make an exception as this will get more attention on Wikinews rather than on the blog. FellowWiki Newsie 18:18, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
Any other time anyone wrote anything remotely close to this style (in my experience), were given the essay tag and either rewritten or deleted. --SVTCobra 19:30, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
I share SVT's concerns. This does read more like a blog entry than a neutral article (a very well written blog entry but still a blog entry). JoshuaZ 20:38, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

Normally I would agree...BUT he is there, reporting for a once in a lifetime chance for us and WMF. So if we have to bend the rules, to get a kick ass article and allow him to write this, then why not? We don't allow this at all if ever, so i think given the circumstances, it should be allowed. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:06, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

NPOV is a Foundation level policy. I'm not sure bending it is allowed at all. This is great material, but there may be a better way for David to present it. (Maybe we could put this on the Wikinews blog since it is in many ways closer to a blog entry and the blog isn't restricted by NPOV). JoshuaZ 01:41, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I see no NPOV concerns here...he states all facts. Although its not in the normal frame of how we write, it follows policy. If you can tell me what is opinion...point that out to me because I see none. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
How is remembering warnings that your family gave you "facts"? --SVTCobra 02:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

To refer to Israel as "The Holy Land" is somewhat POV.-- 22:21, 17 December 2007 (UTC)

It is holy to many religions, it is a land, therefore it is a holy land. I am non religious but have no problem with Israel being reffered to as the holy land. --User:Anonymous101 19:17, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
It is the holy land. Birth of Christ. Highly religious...DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:31, 17 December 2007 (UTC)
What do the non-Abrahamic religions think of that assertion? There are other people than Muslims, Jews, and Christians! --SVTCobra 02:21, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

My first impressions of the very nature of this article is that it damages the internationally-neutral perspective of Wikinews. Why would English-speaking Israeli readers of Wikinews need a report on their own country? -- 04:33, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

My take on this: My feelings are mixed. Its definitly interesting and well written, and its not something that real newspapers don't do, but it is, as SVT said, a huge departure from the traditonal wikinews. So in all honesty, I have no idea what my opinion is. (I think that quite possibly was one of the most useless things I've ever said. I repeated what others said, and then said I didn't know Wink.png.) oh well Bawolff 06:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)


Was there any kind of concesus reached before this was published?--SVTCobra 02:04, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Also, there are no OR notes as of yet. --SVTCobra 02:18, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
There was some discussion on WN:WC. Bawolff 06:42, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I see, so a "Hi guys, I am going on a trip in a little while" at the Water Cooler now qualifies as original reporting notes. Great. --SVTCobra 14:06, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

The bulk of the later part of the article was a bit heavy on technology talk, however considering this is the first of a whole series to come it seems like a good intro. I'm looking forward to it. 07:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I reworded the disclaimer and published. I'd like to see us learn from this and give it a little leeway to develop. We may need notability guidelines for the trip to prevent people coming along and writing about their summer holidays.
David has, in my opinion, stuck to NPOV as closely as can be expected for this type of report. It is very well written and quite, quite readable. I highlighted it on the ComCom mailing list and the key criticism it received was the COO issue being mentioned. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:41, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
That is indeed a little odd, if I may say so. It doesn't quite fit. It strikes me as relatively NPOV- not more so than the wonderful interviews we've been getting of late. It's good. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of this series. 11:57, 18 December 2007 (UTC)(Furius on Wikipedia)


I don't understand the people who continue to say that this fits within WN:NPOV. How many slurs against Palestinians as terrorists does the article need before it breaks NPOV? How about the paragraph that speaks in glowing terms about what a wonderfully "multi-dimensional and pluralistic society" Israel is and how stable its democracy is. I am not attacking David's integrity, but this is the narrowest possible POV of all. A story told and observed through one pair of eyes, led—no less—on a guided tour by the government of Israel. This on-the-go reporting can only tell what David sees and hears, which is being controlled by the government. --SVTCobra 13:19, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

It's clearly not NPOV, because there's only a single POV. This is simply an editorial, which does seem to be banned by WN:NOT#What_Wikinews_articles_are_not. However, I think it would make more sense for Wikinews to allow editorials, which are common in brick and mortar newspapers, as long as they're clearly labelled as such. Superm401 | Talk 06:11, 19 December 2007 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Superm401 (talkcontribs)


The story opens up with what are some common perceptions of Americans, as evidenced by my friends and family, and the warnings being given. Israel is a "multi-dimensional and plurastic society" and if one is going to refute that, perhaps they should have a source to back themselves up... Israel is also a stable democracy. Again, if you are going to say "it is POV to say Israel is a stable democracy" then one should back their own POV up to show that it is, in fact, a POV. Simply stating something is POV does not make it POV, and Cobra, this is something you do quite often. Sometimes, it appears you say something is POV out of your own ignorance (no offense) but if you are going to make assertions, then you should be able to cite to some sources showing that something I have written is not accurate. Not just say it.

All of that said, it is difficult to write details of the "Wikinews in Israel" trip without some amount of perception coming through. WHat I try to do is make it apparent where it is coming from; regardless, most of the article is 1. called a "journal"; and 2. pretty NPOV. I will say it again: provide some sources that show something I have written is POV, and I can tell you that you will fail based upon the examples you provide above. What I am seeing and hearing was a planned trip to highlight the technological sector of Israel, it was not "Come to Israel and we will take you around the West Bank." It's an opportunity for us, not a negative (I am on a trip with Aerospace Weekly; USA Today; Businessweek; Slate Magazine). Where I can pick up odd perspective, such as the Jaffa Market, then I will mention it. If anything THAT is editorializing because Saranga did not say, "I do not think it is important"; although I did not give a reason for his reaction, it still stood out. However, nobody is "controlling" me - I could very well head off to Gaza if I wanted. Nothing is preventing me.

Lastly, this article can be edited. I put it up as "ready" but if someone finds something particularly objectionable, then...well...change it. Just make sure you make changes not out of ignorance since, I am the one here. I am only saying, that if you are going to critique or change something, make sure you have some kind of ability to back your own POV up showing that what I write is inaccurate.

--David Shankbone 17:26, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I can do without the personal insults, David. I just don't know, did your feel you did not need to read WN:NPOV? Right in the introduction is says "an article should fairly represent all sides." You are only presenting one side. It doesn't matter that it is factual. I do correct factual errors as it is open editing. But it is hard to edit out POV that is by omission, for instance you didn't mention that Arabs in Israel "suffer political discrimination based on decades of social exclusion." according to MAR. According to Phyllis Bennis] "not all rights are citizenship rights. Other rights are defined as nationality rights, and are reserved for Jews only. If you are a Jew, you have exclusive use of land, privileged access to private and public employment, special educational loans, home mortgages, preferences for admission to universities, and many other things." Or didn't you know these things about your host? I mean your not just regurgetating what Saranga is saying, are you? --SVTCobra 18:00, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Look Cobra, you are the one who said it was POV to say that Israel is a multi-dimensional and pluralistic society, and one of the stablest democracies in the Middle East. If you are going to make foolish statements like that, at least back them up. This is, in the end, a trip about technology, not the Palestinian conflict. That was the point of the trip, that was how it was framed, that was how I accepted it, and thus, the Palestinian conflict is not a "side", either Israeli or Palestinian, that needs to be discussed. Just like every time someone discusses human rights in the United States one doesn't have to raise the Guantanamo issue, the Jena Six, Sean Bell or racial profiling. --David Shankbone 18:43, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
So why are you painting a picture of an ideal society? Just don't mention it at all if you are writing about technology. If I wrote in an article that the United States has one of the best human rights records in with world, you don't think someone would object and bring up one of those issues, you mention?
I've done no such thing. Frankly, this has more to do with YOUR pov than it does with mine. --David Shankbone 18:53, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with the assertion that David is portraying an ideal society, and the appropriate place to start slinging around that sort of monkey poo is on the Comments page ;-) I added the template on the other day and think some of the people who are concerned about this and where it may be headed have a good old rant there and detail what they see as the crimes of the Israelis. Then, when David gets back from Israel and recovers from being on the go 12+ hours a day, we do a post-mortem on the experiment seeking guidance from the Wikinews community and beyond. I intend to post a link to this story to foundation-l and see if we get the same accusations that it seriously violates NPOV. I expect there to be a couple of people say so, but not the majority. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
I should not have replied to David Shankbone's "Notes", even if he did mention me by name. I got irked by the suggestion that I am ignorant (which may be true, but I will dispute that until I die, I guess I don't heed Socrates' I know that I know nothing). Nevertheless, I should not have engaged in the mudslinging that followed. In doing so, I detracted from my original concerns about first-hand reporting and the Foundation's principle of the Neutral point of view. I apologize, both to David Shankbone and other Wikinewsies. --SVTCobra 01:21, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Arab Israelis[edit]

David, please cite a source for reversing my claim that most Arab Israelis identify as Palestinian. My source is this "today the majority of Israeli Arabs identify themselves as Palestinians by nationality and Israeli by citizenship." from this BBC article. Thanks, --SVTCobra 18:46, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

I already reverted this long before you wrote the above, citing that I misread what you wrote. --David Shankbone 18:54, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

structure more pertinent than content for me[edit]

hi folks,

first a short note to say that I hope this kind of article can find a place on a project like this - the presence of a clear byline means the author can and should write honest reflections without slavish subservience to an abstract concept of neutrality - ultimately it is the author's credibility at stake, and perhaps the 'right' to publish such articles could eventually rest on some sort of community process? hmmmm... (with apologies that these are pretty clearly first thoughts on the matter)

Secondly, I wonder if some discussion may be appropriate as to the structure of the piece. Perhaps it could be broken down into several pages, with an option to view the entire content on a single page? That could be achieved manually if desired - and I would say that it renders the whole thing more readable - and will encourage people to complete the article - I think to immediately have it all on one page is a perhaps slightly too much.

That's my tuppence... Privatemusings 00:24, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

I found it easy to read the entire article in one go; read it several times already. I disagree that such pieces should give scope to wildly deviate from our neutrality underpinnings and don't think this one does. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:43, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

POV? so what[edit]

Most newspapers have something they call "editorials". Wikinews is different from the 'pedia in that it allows original research, so why not editorals. David Shankbone has shown that he writes with an open mind. I think that's what the world needs. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Njaard (talkcontribs) 09:08, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Editorials are not allowed because there is too much room for speculation. David's journal entry does, if you read it in a certain way, highlight that his hosts would rather he avoid what they consider "typical" reporting on the conflict. It is not an editorial, the general point of an editorial piece is to present the opinion of the author and try and persuade you to agree with it. This piece offers a chance to do a first-person report where what you'd expect in an editorial (presentation of arguments and statement of position) is being presented by David to his hosts and he is reporting how they react. Wikinews generally does, and should, attempt to balance within a single article. This does the best that can be expected in the circumstances. It is clearly "Here's what my family thought and said" - the typical perception of the region, and "here I am, my hosts want to prove the stereotype is inappropriate". David is not presenting the Israeli POV as his own, he is accurately reporting that this is what they are seeking to do. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:39, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Print Edition[edit]

I am includiing it in the Print Edition with warnings about its neutrality. If anyone has severe objections tell me so I can see if I can fix the problem--User:Anonymous101 15:55, 19 December 2007 (UTC)


I've read many articles on the guy (in Hebrew) and have never seen him being referred to as "the father of Israeli invention", it seems like glorification to me. Yonatan 21:53, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Not at all. It was how he was described by the tech leader discussing who we are meeting, although I think they said "Entrepreneurs" instead of invention. But, he is intrinsically linked to their tech sector and trying to increase it. His importance to that sector can't be underestimated, and he is a very public and influential guy known for seeding many companies. --David Shankbone 22:02, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Due to my living in Israel and my father being an acquaintance of his, I know all that. :) Granted, this isn't a normal news article that needs to adhere to NPOV but nevertheless my point is that the phrase is a superlative that could be restated as - one of the Israeli tech industry's most prominent figures, something I could more easily agree with. Anyway, if you're around Ramat Hasharon, you're welcome to drop by my house. :) Yonatan 23:15, 19 December 2007 (UTC)
Googling Vardi with either of the phrases "father of invention" or "father of entrepeneurs" (and a few variations) doesn't turn up much except this and the other Israel journal. --SVTCobra 00:23, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Some comments[edit]

I really like this story-telling style David has, and he does it ever so well -it makes me LOL. But I don't agree with "Wikipedia and Wikinews, influential sources of information". --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 13:14, 24 December 2007 (UTC)