User talk:Caliburn

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-- Wikinews Welcome (talk) 12:48, 26 July 2014 (UTC)

Star Wars VII trailer released[edit]

Hi. You've started an article, I see. A few miscellaneous thoughts.

  • You've got two mutually independent sources, which is good. We recommend choosing these first, before beginning to write.
  • Most articles are written by a single reporter; sometimes folks start an article expecting others to chip in to help write it, but that rarely works. In fact, it rarely worked even when we've had a lot more active editors; it turns out to be pretty hard to coordinate a news article between multiple writers. Our review system makes every article a collaboration, but it's not a collaboration of users doing the same thing — it's usually one user writing and another reviewing (cf. WN:PILLARS#review).
  • The lede (first paragraph) should succinctly answer basic questions about the focal event, and especially should answer when because that's needed to establish the freshness element of newsworthiness. Here the focal event as named is the release of the trailer, so it should say when that happened (day of the week, likely).
  • We consider minimal article length to be three paragraphs with total content equivalent to three medium-sized paragraphs (though not necessarily evenly distributed). See also inverted pyramid.

--Pi zero (talk) 21:39, 28 November 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback Pi! I can easily expand the article, and split it up into sections. I'm just unsure what would be relevant. Cheers, George.Edward.C (talk) 07:17, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
This item you're writing is, of course, a small one; it gently passes the relevance test (of the three basic elements of newsworthiness), which actually makes it a pretty good item to practice on. Some thoughts.
  • For general guidance, there's WN:Inverted pyramid. (That's part of WN:Style guide, which — unlike Wikipedia's Manual of Style, is seriously meant to be read all the way through, and is therefore kept quite compact.)
The first paragraph — the lede — should be quite short, using a few words to answer the most important basic questions for the current story without getting bogged down in details. One or two sentences will usually do it. The next paragraph (or more) provides more detail about the basic questions. Then you move outward to context.
  • For more targeted inspiration, you can look at what other similar articles on Wikinews said, and what the source articles said. Although other news sites may use slight variations on our style, you'll find that much the same basic principles have gone into their articles; we didn't invent these principles, after all, we just have an opportunity to apply them without the distractions of commercial motives (we don't have to use sensationalism to attract readers in order to either sell copies or attract advertisers).
  • When you say something like "There are plans to...", this begs the question, who is planning? News writing emphasizes who says things, who plans things, who has an opinion. This is why active voice is highly recommended in news writing: the grammatical function of passive voice is to omit the subject, and in news writing it's a good habit to systematically include the subject. Attributing claims, opinions, plans, etc. to who said them is also a major part of how we achieve neutrality in news: we take great pains to avoid asserting an opinion, or a controversial claim, as a fact in our own voice, but we can report factually that some certain person asserted those things. We would not say that something a politician did was cowardly, but we can factually report that some other politician said it was cowardly. And so on.
Btw, if somebody gave information exclusively to some particular news org, we also give credit to the news org for the exclusive — as we would expect anyone else to do if they were reporting on our exclusive: "Senator A told Associated Press he considered Semantor B's decision was cowardly."
--Pi zero (talk) 15:23, 29 November 2014 (UTC)
Another thought. One of the particular strengths of Wikinews synthesis is that we can be more neutral than the mainstream media. We've got no profit motive for sensationalism, no product to sell. In this case, a natural question to ask is, is this Disney movie controversial? THe sources appear to be unremittingly promotional; oh, cool, Disney is working on Star Wars movies! If there's controversy, and you can find some form of trust-worthy sourcing about it, and put some information about the controversy into the article in a fair way (whatever that means; one would have to see the material to know what's fair), that would raise the article to a whole new level.

I'll point out (since I can't actually tell, just glancing at things) that cited sources should be used for the article; we actually have it written into policy (somewhere; I'd have to hunt for it) that unused sources should not be listed. That's because a reviewer has to read all the sources, so the more sources there are, the more labor is required for the review; we're generally fine with the extra effort when justified, but we do want it to be justified. --Pi zero (talk) 16:06, 29 November 2014 (UTC)