User:Vanished user adhmfdfmykrdyr/Wikinews course

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Welcome new Wikinews reporters. This is a non-academic course designed by Wikinewsies to familiarize new reporters with Wikinews, explain how the writing and reviewing process works, and guide new reporters through the process of successfully getting articles published.

People who enroll in this course will get more detailed feedback from Wikinews's reviewers, and be pointed at resources to better assist them in getting articles published. Getting articles published allows reporters to share stories they feel are important with a more global audience, to increase awareness on issues they feel are important and to reach out to new people. Some Wikinews reporters have been able to use their reporting experience to travel to different parts of the globe to cover news events. Some have had their work republished with Wikinews credit in print newspapers in Africa and North America. Other Wikinews reporters have leveraged their reporting work in getting a job.

While laid out on a week-by-week basis, all activities are self guided and the course can be finished much sooner.

Week 1: Familiarizing yourself with English Wikinews[edit]

Every article on English Wikinews is reviewed prior to publication. This is to maintain minimum quality standards, standardize writing styles, insure accuracy and neutrality, and prevent copyright infringement and plagiarism. Because of the review process, many new reporters find it difficult and challenging. The first news story for most new Wikinews reporters will not be published.

The three most important pages for new reporters to read to understand the basic writing and content guidelines for the project are:

Please read or skim through the above documents. You will probably need to consult these when you write your first article. The style guide is always easily findable on English Wikinews because it is located in the left-hand column under the Wikinews menu. It is the fourth item down.

When reading stories on the main page, look to see how they follow the inverted pryamid

After you have read the style guide, content guide and about neutral point of view, please visit Wikinews's main page and read all the items published under "Latest news" and "Wikinews's best work". Reading these articles will give you an opportunity to get a feel for Wikinews writing by having you read samples that have passed Wikinews's review process.

When reading articles linked in the "Latest news" section and the "Wikinews's best work" section, look for things like relative dating, how sources are formatted, what infoboxes are used, what categories an article appears in, what pictures are used and how they are credited, the ordering of the paragraph, what things are attributed to sources and what are not. Look to see what type of article it is. Is it an original report, interview, photo essay or synthesis article? How does the type of article it is impact how the article is laid out and organized? After reading an article, ask yourself if the first paragraph informs you of the who, what, where, when, how and why this is news.

After reading the "Latest news" articles, consider creating a quiz about these stories to demonstrate that you have read them. Also considering leaving a comment on a recently published article to express your opinion about the story. You can find the link to comment on the bottom of a news article where it says "Have an opinion on this story? Post it!" or by clicking on the "Opinions" tab. The Opinions tab is one of the few places on English Wikinews where you are allowed to be non-neutral.


Self-guided reading[edit]

Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

Supplemental reading[edit]

Wikinews writing guides, policies and why contribute
Featured Articles - Synthesis reporting
Featured Articles - Original reporting
Featured Articles - Interviews
Featured Articles - Photo essays

Week 2: Familiarizing yourself with English Wikinews reviewing[edit]

Getting an article published on Wikinews is a two step process. The first process is writing the article. The second is having the article be reviewed. If an article is not able to pass the review process, it will not get published. The unpublished article will either be deleted or moved to the reporter's userspace after a time period where no edits have been made to the article.

Reviewing is a collaborative process

On English Wikinews, the review process is treated as partnership, where both the reporter and reviewer are working towards the same goal: Getting the reviewed article published. Both the reporter and reviewer desire the article complies with the style guide, is neutral, verifiable, newsworthy and contains no copyright violations or plagiarism. Please read all the content linked in the previous sentence. The partnership aspect is very important. When reporters and reviewers argue, it often delays an article's possible publication. If the delay takes more than a day or two, the article will become stale and not newsworthy. It will never become published. Successful collaboration between reporter and reviewer is one of the most important things for Wikinews success, both for the individual reporter and the project.

Wikinews reviewers generally have demonstrated through successful publication of articles that they understand the review criteria. The community votes to give some one the privilege of reviewing. A list of reviewers can be found here.

Review criteria

Reviewers look for five criteria when reviewing. They are 1) compliance with the style guide, 2) neutrality, 3) verifibility, 4) newsworthiness and 5) lack of copyright violations or plagiarism.

Wikinews:Reviewing articles is advice for reviewers on what to look for. Please read it to better understand the reviewer perspective. The screen the reviewer looks at can be seen on Anatomy of a Wikinews review. It is viewable once the reporter clicks the submit button on their article draft.

Each reviewer handles reviews a bit differently and will evaluate some criteria before others. For copyright and plagiarism, the reviewer will read the source material and read the submitted article. They may look for similar phrases. Sometimes, if an article does not look like it complies with Wikinews's style guide, a reviewer may go to Google News or Google or another online news source and search for key phrases found in the article to see if they can find a match. Some reviewers may use a tool like duplication detector to look for matching phrases. It is very, very, very important for reporters to avoid duplicating content from other sources. Reporters should not copy and paste phrases from a source into their article and then change a few words here and there because it creates a greater potential risk for copyright violations and plagiarism. Reviewers will also look at images on an article to make sure they have an acceptable copyright tag. They will also look to see if any images used in the article properly credit the photograph. If there is a minor fix, the reviewer may fix it themselves. If there are bigger problems, the article will be not readied on this criteria. If there are unfixable problems, such as the article was completely copy and pasted from another source, the article may be deleted on sight. If there are no problems, they can give the article a pass for this criteria.

Due to the time-limited nature of news articles, every piece of information in a Wikinews article must be referenced and verifiable.
Wikinews:Cite sources

For citing sources, the reviewer looks to make sure the sources are properly formatted in compliance with the style guide. The reviewer will make sure there are no Wikipedia style inline sources. The reviewer will then attempt to verify every fact in the article. If the article is a synthesis article, this will be done by reading the cited sources to make sure every fact checks out. If the article is original reporting, the reviewer will check the talk page to find out where the information is that can be used to verify the article text. This information is found in a section the reporter put on the talk page called "Journalist notes". It may say that the original reporting uses the sources found in the article. It may say the information is verifiable by listening to an audio file found on the talk page. It may say information is verifiable by the text provided. The reporter may provide multiple types of information to verify the article. If the reviewer finds information in the article that is not verifiable, they have three options. The first is to remove the information if they think doing so will lead to the article getting published quickly. The second is to leave a comment on the article's talk page saying the information is not verifiable. This may delay publication of the article if the reporter does not reply promptly. The third option is for the reporter to not ready the article, citing the inability to verify the article. If there are no problems, they can give the article a pass for this criteria.

What a review screen looks like to a reviewer

When reporters look for compliance with the style guide, they have a few places they can start. One of them is to check the overall look of the article. Does it have an infobox, categories, a picture, properly formatted sources, properly formatted wikilinks and at least three paragraphs? Does the article have a well formatted, unique title? Some reviewers may check for this first and if most of these are done incorrectly just mark an article not ready and go no further with the review. Another place looking for style guide compliance is done is the first checking that the article uses relative dating, and attribute facts correctly to sources? Does the first paragraph answer who, what, where, when, why and how? Does the article primarily use act voice and shorter sentences? Does the article use the inverted-pyramid style to relay facts? Is the article written in past tense or the present perfect? Depending on the severity of any potential problems, the reviewer again generally has three options. They can make minor fixes. They can comment on the talk page. They can not ready the article based on this criteria. If there are no problems, they can give the article a pass for this criteria.

Neutrality is another thing reviewers look for. Wikinews:Avoid weasel words provides a list of phrases that can negatively impact neutrality. When reporters are writing, they should always be careful to attribute opinions in the text. If facts are unclear, they should attribute the facts. For instance, if the Associated Press and Reuters are reporting different death totals, the death total should not be presented as a fact. Rather, both sources should be credited with the number they are reporting. Words like terrorist and freedom fighter, pro-life and pro-abortion should be avoided unless they are attributed because they are inherently non-neutral. Reviewers look for problem words and phrases that imply neutrality problems. They also look at the overall tone of the article to see if it is inherently non-neutral. Reviewers have the same three options if they identify a problem. If no problems exist, they can give the article a pass for this criteria.

Ensure your reporting is timely and the story is at most a week old with sources in the last 2–3 days. Facts don't cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news.

For newsworthiness, reviewers generally have two immediate ways of checking this. The first is to look at the sources. Do the sources date from the past 48 hours? If not and the article is not original reporting, the article is probably not newsworthy. The second way to check for newsworthiness is to read the first paragraph. Does the article establish in the first paragraph that the event described in the article occurred in the two days? If not, then the article may not be newsworthy. In some cases, the reporter may have simply failed to answer when or answers when in a later paragraph. In these cases, if the reviewer only has to make a minor change, they can do so and pass this criteria. Otherwise, the reviewer can leave a comment on the talk page or not ready the article on this criteria. If there are no problems, then the criteria can be given a pass.

Every Wikinews article needs to pass each of the five described criteria. If articles do not pass them all, they are not readied and the reporter has a small window to make changes and resubmit. Most reviewers try to leave detailed comments on an article when they not ready it to assist the reporter in making necessary changes to get it closer to being published ready.

One Wikinews reviewer has made a few screencasts of reviews she has done to assist students in understanding what reviewers are looking at when reviewing. These screencasts only provide one reviewer's thoughts while reviewing an article. They were not necessarily created to assist the reporter in improving the article. Please watch at least one of the screencasts in this categoryto better understand what reviewers are looking for.


Self-guided reading[edit]

Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

  • Go to Category:Review and/or Category:Developing. Find an article. Compare it to what you know of the review criteria. Leave a comment on the talk page for the article. Explain why you think the article meets or fails to meet one or more of the review criteria. If you are explaining why an article does not meet the criteria, offer advice to the reporter on the talk page on what they might consider fixing.
  • Go to Category:Developing or Category:Disputed. See if you can address any problems you think a reviewer would not ready an article for or that a reviewer has already identified the article has having as a problem. If you think you have fixed all the already identified or potential problems, submit the article for review. Please list any article you submit for review on the very bottom of this page in your student section.
  • See if there are any articles on this list. These articles have been identified as having copyright violations. See if you can spot identified the copyright violation. Comment on the talk page to provide additional information regarding potential copyright violations, or to confirm that you too found the violation.

Supplemental reading[edit]

Supplemental watching[edit]

Week 3: Writing a synthesis story[edit]

The most common is the synthesis article. These draw on media reports from several independent sources which must be cited. Multiple reliable sources are required for verifiability and neutrality.
Wikinews:SYNTH#What Wikinews articles are

There are primarily two types of writing on English Wikinews. They are synthesis reporting and original reporting.

Before writing your first Wikinews article, identify a news story covered by two other media organizations that you want to write about. This can be difficult sometimes if the story you want to cover is not getting covered. Easy places to find multiple articles on the same topic include Google News and Yahoo News. Make sure you identify a news event that occurred in the past 48 hours. Before choosing a topic, please read Wikinews:What Wikinews is not to understand what your article should not be.

Once you have identified what you want to write about and have two sources to verify the major fact of the story you want to write about, go to Wikinews:Writing an article. Put the title of the article you want to write in the box. The title should be a unique sentence written in active voice that will be understood by an international audience. For example, "Real Madrid wins" is a sentence but it is not unique. "Real Madrid beats Barcelona 4-0 in Champions League Final" is unique and preferred. After you have decided on the title, click create article.

Your local newspaper may also provide ideas where you can start searching Google News for a story to write about

Using all the information you previously learned about Wikinews, start writing your article. Please also read Wikinews:Writing an article and Wikinews:Article layout in a nutshell for additional information on writing your article. Your goal with this lesson is to write a three or four paragraph story using two or three sources. The short length and few sources should make your first article easier to write. If there are issues identified during the review process, this should also make the article easier to fix.

Remember to include an infobox, pictures, categories, and wikilinks. Make sure your article answers who, what, where, when, why and how in the first paragraph. Include your sources and insure they are properly formatted. Check to make sure you wrote your story using the inverted pyramid with the most important facts at the top and least important facts at the bottom. Verify that the article is neutral. Check your use of dating to make sure it uses relative dating and that other dates and times comply with the style guide.

Prior to submitting an article for review, please always make sure you list the article you are working on next to your name at the bottom of this page. This will insure that your article is reviewed by one of the course facilitators. They will try to provide you with additional feedback when reviewing your article to assist you in learning how to write for Wikinews. This feedback will be available on the talk page and or in your article's history. Doing this will also enable us to track your progress as you finish the course.

Once done with the article, submit it for review. Check back two or three times over the course of the next 24 hours to see if the article has been reviewed and if there are any points you should address.


Self-guided reading[edit]

Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

Week 4: Writing a simple original report[edit]

An important part of any online media outlet is their ability to have first-hand access to details, interviews and photographs that haven't already been sifted through other news agencies — allowing us the ability to determine for ourself what is worth reporting about a certain story.
Wikinews:Original reporting

Original reporting is the most prestigious type of reporting on Wikinews. Assuming you have been able to successfully guide a synthesis article through the review process, you should be adequately prepared for writing a simple original report. There are two general additional steps involved with original reporting. They are adding {{original}} to the source section of the article, and creating a "Journalist notes" section on the article talk page, where you explain how you came to be reporting on the event, any relevant who, what, where and when details about doing the original reporting, posting all notes you took while covering the event, sharing any relevant videos, pictures and audio files you created that assist in verifying the text of your article, sending any relevant information that cannot be posted publicly because of copyright reasons or privacy reasons or that aids in verification via e-mail to scooop[at]wikinewsie[dot]org.

Please read Wikinews:Original reporting before going any further. After having read Wikinews's policies on original reporting, you need to decide on event to cover. For most people, the easiest first events to cover are local, pre-planned events such as sporting events, cultural events, rallies and other events announced in advanced. Your first time doing original reporting, you are discouraged from doing interviews and photo-essays as they have different writing requirements. You are also do not want to do an interview if it may not get published.

Before going to the event, determine how you will document any facts you gather at it. Will you use audio? Video? Pictures? Handwritten notes? Typed notes? Documents provided by event organizers? Make sure you have all the supplies necessary to document facts such as a camera, pencil, paper, your iPad with a keyboard.

While at the event, if you talk to anyone for use in the story, make sure you tell them who you are and that you are a reporter. Make sure you comply with any policies regarding restrictions on taking pictures.

After the event, go to Wikinews:Writing an article and start writing your article. Remember to create a section on the talk page in a section called "Journalist notes" documenting everything that is required to verify the facts in the article. Add {{original}} to the source section of the article. Once you have completed all the content and style guide requirements, the same one you used for synthesis writing, link to the article at the very bottom of this page and submit your article for review.


Self-guided reading[edit]

Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

Supplemental reading[edit]

Week 5: Writing an original report based on on-line research[edit]

Data from Australia's 2013 budget used in a Wikinews article

Original reporting encompasses a great deal of different types of reporting. One type involves reporting on reports released by governmental organizations, NGOs, non-profits and transnational corporations. It also includes reporting on research by scientists and academics, or documents recently made public as a result of a FOIA request. The release of these reports is often newsworthy because they contain information not available elsewhere or that will be used in decision making. Examples include government budgets, annual reports, census data, research, and papers published in journals.

Unlike the previous original reporting, this type involves no travel and almost all the research is done online. You merely report in this case the things you think are most important from what you read. Examples of this type of reporting on Wikinews include No surprises for sport in 2012/2013 Australian federal budget, Report finds Canberra and Northern Territory have most expensive cocaine in Australia and 2012 Report on Gender Equality and Development looks at women's issues in India.

Find a recently published report, journal article or filled FOIA request. Following the same guidelines as the previous lesson, write an article about it. Additionally, list the url of the report and any other web pages consulted in the article's sources section. Comment on the talk page to include a "Journalist notes" section, which explains why you covered this and how you found the data. Remember, the report needs to be released in the past few days. Remember to link to it on the bottom of the page.


Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

Supplemental reading[edit]

Week 6: Publish a photo essay[edit]

A guide to publishing photo essays on Wikinews that you may find useful

Photo essays can be one of the most fun types of Wikinews reporting. A photo essay generally includes at least one paragraph explaining the who, what, where, when, how and why this is news. A photo essay also generally includes 5 to 30 pictures appearing in a gallery on the article. Please read Wikinews:Writing a Photo essay for more information on creating a photo essay. After that, please look at photo essay featured articles including Pride in London 2013: in pictures and Thousands take to streets protesting 'ratbag's Bedroom Tax. Look at other examples in Category:Photo essays to serve as models. Please note that Wikinews allows local uploads, so Creative Commons licensed material not allowed on Commons may be allowed on Wikinews. This includes material licensed as CC-BY-NC.

Review again the advice from week 4 on original reporting. The same principles and guidelines still exist in terms of documenting with "Journalist notes" and formatting, though an infobox is generally not requested here.

Find an event you want to cover. It can be something small like locals celebrating a holiday, people attending a festival to something big like an earthquake that makes international headlines, a worldwide protest,a state election, a building collapse or an international sporting competition. The topic is up to you as a photographer.

When covering the event, follow all instruction and observe any license restrictions on photographs. Do not put yourself at risk trying to take photos. After the event, immediately upload the pictures to either Commons or Wikinews depending on your licensing requirements.

After that, find an existing photo essay that has an existing gallery from a published Wikinews article that you can borrow the source code from to create your own. Go to Wikinews:Writing an article, give your photo essay a title and start drafting your article. Include the photo gallery with all images properly credited, appropriate categories and at least one paragraph of text answering who, what, where, when, how and why this is news. Write your "Journalist notes" on the talk page. List your article at the bottom of this page and then submit it for review.


Self-guided reading[edit]

Demonstrating knowledge[edit]

Supplemental reading[edit]