Welcome to Wikinews
Getting started as a contributor
Welcome! Thank you for joining Wikinews; we'd love for you to stick around and get more involved. To help you get started we have an essay that will guide you through the process of writing your first full article. There are many other things you can do on the project, but its lifeblood is new, current, stories written neutrally.
All Wikimedia projects have rules. Here are ours.
Listed here are the official policies of the project, you may be referred to some of them if your early attempts at writing articles don't follow them. Don't let this discourage you, we all had to start somewhere.
The rules and guides laid out here are intended to keep content to high standards and meet certain rules the Wikimedia Foundation applies to all projects. It may seem like a lot to read, but you do not have to go through it all in one sitting, or know them all before you can start contributing.
Remember, you should enjoy contributing to the project. If you're really stuck come chat with the regulars. There's usually someone in chat who will be happy to help, but they may not respond instantly.
The core policies
Places to go, people to meet
Wiki projects work because a sense of community forms around the project. Although writing news is far more individualistic than contributing to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, people often need minor help with things like spelling and copyediting. If a story isn't too old you might be able to expand it, or if it is disputed you may be able to find some more sources and rescue it before it is listed for deletion.
There are always discussions going on about how the site could be improved, and your input is of value. Check the links here to see where you can give input to the running of the Wikinews project.
Find help and get involved
Write your first article for Wikinews!
Use the following box to help you create your first article. Simply type in a title to your story and press "Create page". Then start typing text to your story into the new box that will come up. When you're done, press "save page". That's all there is to it!
I note your criticism of my response to Peter1's efforts to remake this project's Style Guide is you second edit to the project; let me throw your own words back in your face, that is not helpful. This is not Wikipedia, there are not thousands of contributors. One person's jihad to change a policy they, apparently, never intend to put to use - by writing in the main namespace - is taking up the time of three or four _real_ contributors. It is borderline disruption, and your response is unwarranted. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:11, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks for responding to my post, however I must observe that you have made no attempt to address the concern I raised. HWV258. 09:23, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
- I will also note the following about Brian's post:
- I'm guessing that "Peter1" should be "Tony1".
- To offer to "throw your own words back in your face" is an unhelpful and combative approach.
- "Jihad" refers to a religious duty by Muslims and is therefore a poorly selected word in this context.
- "...they, apparently, never intend to put to use..." is an assumption.
- As to "unwarranted": on the contrary, anyone has the right to ask polite questions, and to expect relevant replies on a wiki site.
- HWV258. 10:02, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
- You are correct, I meant Tony1 - it was early. Let me, once again, use the link I pointed Tony1 to, and the one I pointed you to wikt:meritocracy, and WN:NOT. With a community of less than 30 regular contributors, entangling over 10% of that base in debate over policy is disruption.
- Do you intend to make main namespace contributions here? Do you, or Tony1, have relevant journalistic experience? What have either of you written in a news style? It is fundamentally different from encyclopedic work. Tony's edits to both WN:SG and the guideline template demonstrated a 'lack of clue' in that regard.
- As to not responding on the SG talk - check the page history to see why I refrained; there is so much excess verbiage that it exceeds the limits of my 3G device. Oh, and I assume Amgine's above sarcasm is lost on you? --Brian McNeil / talk 10:34, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
- Brian, I have not yet responded to your comments on the SG talk page, but a few things you've said here warrant an immediate rejoinder.
- Actually, sarcasm is inappropriate on a wiki, and one would expect a bureaucrat and ex-arb to be discouraging it, not reinforcing it with another negative comment.
- I see you have linked to WN:NOT. Could I point out that you have seriously breached No. 5 in your recent posts on the SG talk page and my user talk page: "Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement." You have done all three to me, yet we look to you as an example.
- I see no rules about eligibility to contribute to Wikinews—in particular whether a user has contributed to mainspace, or intends to, or has journalistic experience. Wikinews, like other Foundation projects, requires input from users with a range of skill profiles, and the notion that there is some hoop one must jump through before daring to discuss a style guide is not helping the project.
- You have made it abundantly clear at the SG talk page, and no doubt elsewhere, that you hold en.WP in contempt. This is very damaging to WN, since WP is where most English-speaking wiki users are based, and you'd think it would be the ideal source of budding journalists you'd hope to attract here. You are right: 30 editors is far too few to run WN; why has the community remained so small? Dictating to editors what they will or will not contribute to, and insulting and denigrating them at the same time, is an odd way to recruit WN users you so desperately need. Labelling WP editors who come here as incompetent, or insisting that they write or copy-edit journalistic pieces before they dare to encourage the improvement of a style guide, is self-destructive for this project. Clothed in a notion of "meritocracy", you appear to discount that journalism is not an island unto itself, and requires a complex set of skills, or "merits".
- You leave open the suspicion that you feel your personal power might be threatened by an influx of en.WP editors (or even a slow trickle of them). That is my impression of the situation, and it is very sad. Please rethink your attitude to newcomers: I arrived as a friend to the project, and to its editors; not a threat; yet I have been treated as a criminal.
- The SG needs to be copy-edited, and others have said this too. I believe you, and Amgine, have a perfect opportunity to collaborate in this, imparting your particular knowledge and skills, rather than to slap down with abuse people who are willing to contribute, creating hurdles wherever you can. I will disregard the insults and put-downs, except to say that you have re-introduced several problems into the template text—things I note you introduced without consensus, unilaterally, only a few months ago. Yet you used my edit there to denigrate me further at SG talk.
- Yes, as it happens, I do have journalistic experience, but that is not the business of anyone here. Where I want to contribute first to this project is neither anyone else's business. Tony1 (talk) 14:05, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
- Thanks Tony1 for covering this. Yes, the lack of "assume good faith" at WN is an eye-opener. Like other newbies, whether I remain to help a project depends on my initial impressions and reception.
- Brian, your arguments hinge on a foundation of "disruption", and you claim that the basis for that "disruption" is that there are not enough established editors to handle the issues being raised. Please don't mix your perception of the need to address the well-intentioned actions of editors such as Tony1 with the inability of this project to attract sufficient numbers to handle the daily workload. Have you considered why there are (by your own admission) too few editors on this project? With respect, the ownership issues I've witnessed within the first day might be a clue.
- Tony1's point about there being different dimensions of skill is important. Article writing, administration, clean-up, policy-setting, policing etc. are all different dimensions required for a successful collaborative project. Few can claim to be good in all areas, so editors should apply their skills appropriately. It is not healthy when one editor feels it is their duty to roam freely over all areas of a project. The tighter you squeeze a handful of sand, the more grains will fall out. Brian, perhaps it's time to take a deep breath, take a step back, and wait to see what experienced editors such as Tony1 and Greg L have to contribute? WN won't implode because of edits to the Style Guide, so why don't we all take the time to evaluate what is being proposed?
- Regarding "Oh, and I assume Amgine's above sarcasm is lost on you": Brian, I've responded to Amgine's comment as I intended.
- HWV258. 20:54, 25 September 2010 (UTC)