User talk:Jimbo Wales

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Administrative action[edit]

A normal administrative action has been taken on this page, by removing content to a separate archive page and fully protecting it. This and similar measures are used on English Wikinews to stop flame wars in their tracks without the need for blocking (as it has been observed here that blocking is both often overkill and often itself counter-productive in various ways).

In this instance, I've moved everything except the Howdy message. User request to restore some other non-warring elements of the page is of course perfectly reasonable, though candidly I doubt there's anything there that's needed. --Pi zero (talk) 13:45, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

It is all needed. If there are specific comments there that you think I should remove, please let me know. But in the meantime, you have inappropriately archived threads that are completely and totally calm, including a lovely thread about my child's birth. I would appreciate such draconian actions not being taken without just cause.
I am going to restore most of the page now - out of an abundance of caution, I'll avoid restoring bits that, in my own judgment, were not very helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:57, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
I also request that I be pointed to the policy page that permits or encourages what you've done here.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:07, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


If you are here to request administrator action, dispute resolution, or you have a question:
Feel free to ask any one of the active administrators listed on Wikinews:Administrators, or post a request on Wikinews:Admin action alerts. For dispute resolution, see Wikinews:Dispute resolution.

WikiVoices #51[edit]

I'm here for that. Yay. :-) --Jimbo Wales (talk) 20:19, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

I am leaving this note here in case people want to look for my appearance on WikiVoices #51. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:10, 25 August 2013 (UTC)


I apologize for this. I felt you were trying to ... have some special treatment for being... dunno, the founder of Wikimedia or something like that. I'm really sorry. Diego Grez return fire 01:21, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


Busy elsewhere? We understand, but this is a notice of privilege expiry!

Note! Your privileges on English Wikinews have been reduced.

Under the Privilege expiry policy (enacted October 13, 2012) the rights held by your user account have been reduced due to inactivity, or lack of privilege use. You can view your user rights log here.
The privilege reduction is in no way intended as a reflection on your past work, or to imply you are unwelcome. The aim in curtailing privileges is to address security risks, and concern that a long period of inactivity means you may not be up-to-date with current policy and practices.

--Pi zero (talk) 00:39, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

Quality of today's journalism[edit]

Cquote1.svg Hi Wikinewsies. Best to talk to me at en.wikipedia, I don't check my userpage here often. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jimbo Wales (talkcontribs) Cquote2.svg

That was December 25, 2007, Jimmy. The below was your initial promise to the project; so, I really am unhappy you're being critical of Jason's sporadic editing via twitter.

Cquote1.svg You are going to see me here and editing far more than you're used to seeing me on Wikipedia, at least in these very early days, because I want to really deeply understand issues that arise. My edits to articles should be treated no differently than anyone else's, of course. :-) Jimbo Wales 12:58, 16 Nov 2004 (UTC) Cquote2.svg

I've not had time to watch your Wikimania keynote - which tends to end-up the case if you end up doing 50+ hours per-week, as one of only two product specialists in the UK (the other here on a visa); and, working on the early days of a five-million pound contract.

All I can comment on there, would be your 'reported concerns' over technical cluelessness amongst the mainstream press. Those, as reported by the Wall Street Journal, told me one thing; you likely never glance beyond the front page of the project.

Take a look at our Featured Articles; read the Water Cooler; and — this is the important bit — if you think we don't know how to do journalism properly, you are quite mistaken. I do the 'hardcore tech reporting, a 'touch' of GLAM; and, the odd "political" piece where I hold "strong opinions". I even have an open invite for tea, with this man - which I am most-welcome to cart my recording kit along to.

The world's hardest-working Wikinewsie? That'd be this guy, not me.

Meet our Iain, who covers disasters when not swamped with his studies. Or, does his homework so well, he's mistaken for someone highly-qualified in the field he chose, at that time, to report upon. You already know Laura Hale, she's a quite prolific contributor who did the sensible thing. She read all the policies, and listened to feedback on her efforts to contribute.

Journalism is a craft, not a trade. Absolutely every single dedicated contributor to this project would agree wholeheartedly with the remarks you made, in a WikiVoices session, when questioning the possible lift of the "Balloon Boy Drama".

We've had several semesters of university students assigned to contribute to the project; and, it has opened the eyes of those prepared to accept Wikinewsies know "The Craft".

The problem? The one we've not worked out — yet — is retaining them until we trust them to review the work of others.

Your page has been reverted many, many, times to a "please dial 1-800-WIKIPEDIA for Jimbo Wales". I would ask one of my fellow Wikinewsies to pick up where I'm leaving off. That, since I'm getting picked up and taken to the airport in under an hour.

Ask people in Wikimedia UK about what else I'm trying to make happen; but, bear in mind that the absolute last thing Wikinews needs is a huge influx of new contributors who are not prepared to concede mainstream media has probably, and in a quite fundamental manner, corrupted their ability to simply 'read' the news. Even, sadly, encyclopaedists.

Our critics within the WMF movement would have you believe we're "useless" because we've not built the same sausage-making machine as the big wire agencies. That, they fail to see, would be completely and utterly pointless.

Wikinews does need help. But, it needs well-understood first. --Brian McNeil / talk 03:38, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Before adding a notice on Jimmy's talk page over in The Other Place, I'd like to invite the other, current contributors — or past authors of OR — to counter-sign my remarks; perhaps contributing a few words of their own on where they believe Wikinews needs help. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:27, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Supporting Wikinewsies[edit]

  • --Gryllida 21:30, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • News contribution isn't something you do for a couple of minutes in the evening while microwaving a frozen dinner. News writing comes in big increments of labor, ranging up to really big increments of labor for high-end original reporting. Many of our valued veteran contributors are gone for months at a time; judging who's "active" that way fails to understand the nature of the project. Just like reporter activity doesn't necessarily create much of a blip in edit count; a big article might be created in one edit, submitted for review in a second edit, and then a reviewer spends twenty edits or so on copyedits during review on a high-quality submission, so that the reviewer comes out of it with ten times the edit count of the reporter. --Pi zero (talk) 21:51, 19 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Wikinews needed to figure out what it could do that was new. Wikipedia was a new concept. Commons was a new concept. A news site isn't. There's lots of news sites, so Wikinews decided to focus intensely on quality. It's a logical expansion on the NPOV policy. That's what everyone here fundamentally believes is worth pursuing: Extremely high standards. Otherwise, we produce something of little value compared to the endless piles of advertising-driven material in national publications. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:59, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

[restoring Tony's comment to its original position in the thread, after it was moved and placed under an insulting heading by Brian McNeil in this edit, taking Jimbo's comments out of their original context. –Neotarf (talk) 06:24, 21 August 2013 (UTC)]

  • Sorry, this thread can't go unanswered. The English Wikinews is of such poor quality in nearly every respect that I can't begin to imagine the leap of faith required to accept these claims. [Warning: they really don't like being criticised, but I have steel armour against the torchings. Someone has to speak the truth.] Tony1 (talk) 09:48, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Brian's hostility is unfortunately all too familiar and, all too familiarly, violates even the most basic standard of decent journalism or decent conversation, and that's to get the simple facts right. "I really am unhappy you're being critical of Jason's sporadic editing via twitter" is to be unhappy about something that is completely and utterly false. I have not been in any way critical of Jason, nor his sporadic editing here. I did note it to him, in a private conversation, as a suggestion that he might agree with me that a new approach is worth trying. As to the rest of Brian's remarks - they are entirely beside the point. I am well aware of and admire the good work done by good Wikinewsies. The hostility towards me is entirely unwarranted.
One of the things I said to Jason in our private conversation is this: "Imagine if wikinews were your job." Pi zero is right - "News contribution isn't something you do for a couple of minutes in the evening while microwaving a frozen dinner." It seems abundantly clear to me that to get citizen journalism from where it is today to having hundreds of quality reporters doing good work, is going to require something more and something new.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 10:43, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Jason has it you directly juxtaposed the concept of a new idea with Jason's present inactivity. Given the amount that user has contributed to making WN what it is xe was justifiably upset.
Your last para implies you have ideas rumbling around about this much-discussed but rarely-elaborated 'new direction'. Pray tell, I for one am intrigued. Provided they don't sacrifice the high standards we have decided to strive for they may well be of interest to the community. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 11:47, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Not only was there nothing that I said that anyone could possibly be justifiably upset about, there is no evidence that he actually was upset. Indeed, we had a lovely conversation in which he expressed support for new innovations and agreed that maybe we do need a big change. He can weigh in here and I welcome the publication of our private conversation in full. The idea that I was somehow nasty to Jason and Brian is taking me to task for it is incorrect.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 12:58, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

I said Jason was "unhappy"; largely because he'd bite your fingers off at the armpit if he could work on Wikinews as a full-time job. You made him feel guilty for putting food on the table, and keeping a roof over his head, rather than doing something he loves; was that your intent? No, nor did I think such. If I won the lottery, I'd put him on a living wage, equip him, and ask where in the world he wanted to go and report from. I'd probably strongly disapprove of where he'd pick, because I really do not want to see him killed because of his sexuality.

Anyway, following your keynote, which raised concerns with me that you've been seriously misled about Wikinews, via The Signpost, I thought it would be foolhardy to attempt opening a discussion anywhere else. No hostility intended, criticism of not being "situationally aware", but that all comes down to choice of news sources.

So, please do not mistake brevity — or curt remarks — as someone being actively hostile. As others note, every WMF project has that problem somewhere. I was not being hostile, nor was such my intent. I apologise if this has, ironically, found you feeling a similar 'twinge of guilt' to Jason's.

Here, on Wikinews, people are far, far, less-tolerant because: we do not have time to discuss things to death. For example, when we say "No" to blindly importing "US Government propaganda" (courtesy of Voice of America) we have very good reasons for saying that. Searching the WN:WC archives is then left as an exercise for the student.

Importing Serbian-language, US State-Department funded, propaganda has seen srWN shoot past English Wikinews article-count wise, but killed contribution and readership.

And, I state that I intend to ignore Tony1, because xe has yet to offer a single point of constructive criticism. Xe has even edited grammatical errors into our Style Guide! And, xe makes no secret whatsoever that xe is sitting down-under going: "Wikinews! Die! Die! Die!" Why? Because xe wants to replicate the Associated Press' "sausage machine".

Writing for The Signpost doesn't make you a journalist. Never will. Merely a, "Commentator with a Conflict of Interest".

As to my hostility? I was at Wikimania, in 2008, to ask for what Wikinews needed; not only did I feel hugely let-down that I got nods, and naught more; I then returned to Belgium, was rushed to hospital, underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood-clot from upper-right thigh whilst fully conscious. (FYI, I really appreciated the Interflora from the WMF — because my partner left for six weeks in Thailand the day after my operation). Now, fast-forward to when I moved back to Scotland; when at my most-irascible, it just-so happened I was homeless and working my way through that horrific system. Ten Months In Hell. I ended up in hostels that'd seen nothing more than a lick of paint in the last 30-40 years. They were, mostly, owned by a family the local paper once-described as "The modern-day Rachmans". I reported ongoing, and pretty damn serious, criminal activity to the police; it was not acted-up in a way that led to any 'real' investigation, the police simply had me moved to another hostel because of death-threats from a couple of junkies (who would've been happier in prison where they could score smack more-easily).

I'm really sorry Tempodivalse got it in the neck; but, he was expecting Wikipedia-style discussion when the Wikinews contributor-pool cannot support that. Whilst homeless, I suffered a Transient ischemic attack when out for a walk with a girlfriend, but I was in a position where English Wikinews would've been the news project that died, not the TOG fork, had the Wikipediaization gone anywhere. AGF, as a perfect example of an utterly inappropriate policy to import, could be wikilawyered into "take, at face value, the lies spewed by some convicted criminal celebrity's publicist." Personally, I really wish more of the fork contributors would come back — we lost some good people there.

I've worked very, very, hard not to go off-the-deep-end at anyone in such a foul-mouthed manner since. But, and this is a big part of the problem, Journalists can't "Assume Good Faith", and trust must be earned.

Now as you know better than most, Jimmy, if you expect hostility, you will automatically see it in critical language where there is no intention to have remarks taken in way.

The precise point in starting this discussion? It rests on one, pretty simple question to yourself:

From the links I provided, and reading some of the highlighted articles: Would you say it appears we know what we're doing?

There's a lot of reading there, and I know you're kept busy, so just try this one. From the 3rd-hand relaying of what you said in your keynote, I believe it addresses all the hot points you bemoaned. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:29, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't have a log of what Jason told me, but from memory the opening was closely along the lines of "I see you have been inactive for some time. Perhaps you agree a new approach is required." The strong implication in that is Jason isn't editing because he feels the current approach is wrong. I'll go poke User talk:DragonFire1024 and see what comes of it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:09, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
"I see you haven't edited since May. Perhaps you agree with me that a new approach is worth trying." That wasn't an approach but in the midst of a conversation. His response to me was favorable. He indicated that he hasn't edited because work interferes with his time (a concern that others in this thread on this page have indicated) and I responded "Imagine if wikinews were your job." He responded very favorably to that and ended up agreeing with me that perhaps a new approach is warranted. There was no suggestion or indication from him that he was in any way insulted or offended by the conversation. (And if he was, he would be unreasonable, since if it isn't even possible to talk about new models without offending, then real progress is not possible.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:42, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I see you have elevated 'upset' to 'insulted or offended'. The lack of comment on any of myriad other points raised suggests to me carrying on this conversation is unlikely to be constructive, especially since I'm trying to ease in fairly gently after a yearlong absence of my own (studies, illness). I shall leave it to others to continue if and as they see fit. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:08, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Was I upset? No. Was I Insulted? Maybe just a little bit, but not offended. I guess disappointed is the word I'm looking for. I have gone above and beyond 'writing' news in my time. Whether I'm paid for it or not is no big deal to be, but would be pretty awesome. My disappointment comes because with the contributions I've made, I'm surprised I had gotten the response of "I see you haven't edited since May. Perhaps you agree with me that a new approach is worth trying." As I said before, my real life job stops me from doing the work I love to do: writing OR pieces. I don't have a lot of time to research the items I would love to research. Me not contributing has nothing to do with the way WN or any other project is going. I am not a developer. I am not a technical expert. My main goal on WN has always been reporting the news or writing in depth pieces. So anything relating to the technical aspect of WN is not my cup of tea and often I feel like a deer in headlights. I guess when we had the conversation we had Jimbo, I was hoping you actually had some ideas. At least by the sound of the conversation I thought that's where it was going...but after I replied to you regarding "what if WN was my job..." and I said "I wish it was," the conversation stopped. I am more than willing to brainstorm ideas for WN as best as I can. But it's not a one man job and if anyone has good ideas, they should be presented instead of ignoring it altogether. As I said I write articles and any technical ideas are not my cup of tea. I guess I got excited over nothing. With that said, I would advise anyone who thinks shutting us down is a good idea, to actually take the time and look at our past works and accomplishments. In my opinion, those who have tried to shut us down, have failed to do so.
Hostility exists on every WMF project. I would even go as far as saying it is most so on Wikipedia. If anything, the project as a whole has nothing but hatred for us and would rather they be the only project to exist. I will also say, and i have before, Wikipedia is an encyclopedia not a new site or a blog. I grow tired of hearing the POV pushing signpost bad mouth us and anyone else they can get their hands on. Wikipedia needs to get their priorities straight as an encyclopedia before Wikipedians/Wikimedians decide to take their frustration out on WN...which is almost a constant thing. And maybe they need to practice what they preach such as not using WMF projects for their own personal theater of war. So lets not point fingers at who...because it takes two to tango and Wikipedia is hardly innocent. Writing news isn't something that's easy. If you don't have it in you, then you don't have it. If you aren't willing to follow policies or take criticism, then writing news is not for you. Taking all those things into account, and then some, doesn't mean every contributor on Wikinews is hostile and mean and it certainly doesn't mean the project is a failure. Just because you don't get your way, doesn't make Wikinewsies bad people. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:44, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
Despite the many Wikipedians of good will, it's sadly true Wikipedia has a very unfriendly vein in its atmosphere. I often wish I knew how to help Wikipedia, which was after all my first love amongst wikimedian projects. Alas, the only measure I've identified that might help if adopted would more likely, if I named it here, be mistaken for trolling (which I fear is already a rampant problem in this thread). --Pi zero (talk) 19:45, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
I believe this thread lost the thought about something new, and got distracted by Jason things. --Gryllida 21:03, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Away for a few days[edit]

My wife and I have just had a baby, so I won't be able to respond in as much detail as I would like for several more days. At least, that's the most likely. But who knows, if I get a surprise afternoon with the baby sleeping calmly, I may be back sooner. I just wanted to let people know that I'm not ignoring this discussion.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 16:43, 22 August 2013 (UTC)

Congratulations, Jimmy!
(In my humble opinion, there isn't any discussion here to ignore; I'd say it's dead, no hope of recovery. Seems to me to have started out with good intentions all around, but the signal has gotten lost in the noise.) --Pi zero (talk) 20:23, 22 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know...and congratulations. That was an interesting censorship tale from the hospital. I will continue to try to follow this discussion as well, after the Signpost publication deadline. –Neotarf (talk) 05:53, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Wiki things should not burden you, I hope; it's a light, interactive and transparent atmosphere.
Congratulations, Jimbo. You all be healthy. :-) Gryllida 10:55, 23 August 2013 (UTC)
  • Congratulations, Jimmy! I hope you, your wife, and baby, are all doing well.

Previous discussion of Wikinews[edit]

There probably isn't anything I could say about Wikinews here that hasn't already been said better, and with greater insight, by someone else. Here are some links to previous discussions.

Discussions on Meta:

  • Critique of Wikinews front page: “Example of failed model: internationally significant stories mixed with stealing toilet parts, postman killed in collision”, initiated by Tony, April 2013 [1]
  • On closing Wikinews: “Close Wikinews completely, all languages?”, initiated by Gestumblindi, 29 March 2013 [2]
  • Analysis: “English Wikinews has serious community problems in addition to the failure of its website model”, initiated by Tony, March 2013 [3]
  • Rejected proposal : "Proposals for closing projects/Closure of English Wikinews" initiated by Adam Cuerdan , November 2012 [4]

Signpost discussions:

  • Op-ed: “It's time to stop pretending the English-language Wikinews is a viable project,” by Adam Cuerden, 10 July 2013 [5] Wikinews editors are invited to contribute to the article in advance, on behalf of Wikinews, but ignore the offer: [6]
  • News and Notes, “German-language Wikipedians spearhead another effort to close Wikinews”, by The ed17, 25 March 2013 [7]

Neotarf (talk) 06:36, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

  • Perhaps why the University of Wollongong has it's journalism students contributing here? --RockerballAustralia c 08:01, 24 August 2013 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you - all of these links are helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:10, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Seeking areas of near universal agreement[edit]

I am trying to gather information about the thinking of currently active Wikinewsies, as well as of people who are critical of Wikinews at the present time. The main thing that I'm interested in here is making sure I understand some major points of universal or near-universal agreement. I think that if we can do that, we can start to look at what could be better. Please indicate agreement or disagreement if you have a viewpoint. Additionally feel free to add more bullet points, even those that you think may reveal a split of opinions, so that we can explore more thoroughly how we are all thinking.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:36, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Initial survey[edit]

Wikinews should continue to strive for very high quality. Seeking to be popular by allowing the kind of fluff we see at mainstream news sites is a bad idea.
  1. Agree --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree --LauraHale (talk) 14:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agree --Pi zero (talk) 15:15, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Agree --RockerballAustralia c 21:53, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Strongly agree --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Agree Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Agree --Wikiwide (talk) 12:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. Agree STRONGLY. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 16:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  9. Agree--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:47, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

One problem faced by Wikinews is that news reporting isn't something you can do in a few moments after dinner. The time commitment to write a good story is inherently higher than the time commitment to chip in to improve an encyclopedia article. Relevant here is that in an encyclopedia there is a plausible claim that (except for severe errors, libel, and so on) there is "no deadline". With news there is always a deadline.

  1. Agree --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree Commitment question is something we are aware of and have polled here. We are in the process of researching and documenting this. --LauraHale (talk) 14:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agree ---Pi zero (talk) 15:15, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Agree --RockerballAustralia c 21:53, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Strongly agree --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Agree Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Mostly agree. There are several points, here:
    • Wikinews is unique, unlike Wikipedia, Wikibooks, Commons, and others: it has a deadline. Agree.
    • Writing news is {longer, harder, ...} than writing encyclopedia articles. Disagree: the current quality and size requirements here are easy to satisfy here, once you've mastered them. (For example, it took me an hour to write a stub, and very strongly under two hours total for 90% of news items I did here (visible at my user page).)
    • There is a steep learning curve; due to the first point, it's not possible to peek 'after dinner' and slap an edit or couple. Agree; due to the deadline, the thousands of articles, books, or media you can edit are absent, instead, there is only a handful or couple of submissions some of which are approaching the deadline while still need reviewer labour (not just yours).
    • For these reasons, a fair share of new contributors may feel writing news is an infinitely long and complicated process. No. It is easy once you're on the right track. (There are development efforts in progress to make documentation more readable and article submission process more interactive, to get people comprehend the ideas easier, instead of reading the WN:SG and WN:CG guides (they are long).)
    • It is possible to note that there may be a need to travel which makes things longer, but I believe that with time local Wikinewsies will be sufficiently spread in the world to do reporting within close distance to their home or work with little additional time.
    There is an outreach potential, and potential of obtaining required information (such as interview) via e-mail, which the digital era imposes, and it does not need to be underestimated or underused. Gryllida 21:36, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. Unlike Wikipedia, Wikinews rarely requires specialised knowledge: once the first reporter has gathered the relevant facts and good-enough sources, other visitors could, in theory, quickly turn it into a high-quality article. The problem is, an article can be 'let through' only by reviewer who hasn't been heavily involved in creation of the article. With small number of people actively editing Wikinews, it is easy to miss a deadline. Maybe, the steep curve can be decreased by creating a category of exemplary news articles, and having a featured article on the main page, akin to Wikipedia.Wikiwide (talk) 12:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    The category you seek would be our Featured Articles. We've a bunch of templates that, tidily, make up the main page ({{Main about}}, {{Main featured}}, {{Main popular}} and so on). Have a go at copying one of them to {{Main Best-of}}. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:47, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
  9. Agree Good points. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 16:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  10. This depends on the type of article written. A short non-original article can take a few minutes. But such an article can easily get a new original spin just by shooting a few e-mails to those involved. Of course, in-depth original and non-original works both take significant time. I would equate an in-depth non-original article with starting a new wikipedia article. The difference is that while the wikipedia article will never go stale, that possibility remains for the in-depth non-original article. An in-depth original article takes even longer to produce, but the staleness deadline is much more lenient.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:47, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikinews is not showing signs of growth and indeed has declined significantly. The current number of contributors is not high enough to create a fully comprehensive news site. This is a problem.
  • Note well that agreeing with this one is not commenting on what the causes or cures might be. I'm just making sure that we all agree that there is a problem.
  1. Agree --Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:35, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree' But I would Disagree that there is a need to be completely comprehensive. No one can do this. --LauraHale (talk) 14:50, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Modified disagree (really trying to keep this short)
    • Signs of growth are here. We're doing some exciting things; honestly, things are moving. Our initiatives are kind of the opposite of our day-to-day operations: We write articles in a very short time, while our infrastructural improvements are grown very slowly and carefully [as opposed to the very intense mix of rapidly and carefully :-)].
    • In volume of output we've declined significantly but that isn't necessarily an important measure. Quality is a priority, and we've only gotten better.
    • A comprehensive news site isn't something we should even be trying for. If something like it were to happen someday in the probably-distant future, that's as may be. --Pi zero (talk) 15:15, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Disagree that this is a problem.--RockerballAustralia c 21:53, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Disagree; a matter of quality versus quantity. Some processes are painfully lacking when it comes to built-in support on the MediaWiki platform. Were reviewing less of a black-art, we might-well start to have more capacity to improve newcomers' submissions. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Mildly disagree I suspect the wording here is unintentionally causing a problem. We don't, at present, have any great desire to transition to a 'comprehensive' news site, but we do want growth (as the addition below demonstrates). Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
    This one is interesting as it seems to be the one around which there is the most disagreement - and in different directions. I'm going to think about this and perhaps we can break this one into multiple questions to explore the details a bit more.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
    I suspect the disagreement scatters in different directions because of different perceptions of how to interpret this point and how to describe the interpretation. Very successful in, evidently, flagging out where to direct further exploration. --Pi zero (talk) 12:00, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Agree However, this problem could be solved by making it clear that Wikinews covers a variety of topics: politics, science, fashion, technology, economics, anything, as long as the news article is high-quality. Then, numbers of both readers and writers would grow significantly. Wikiwide (talk) 12:57, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    • This, if I may say, is an interesting perspective from someone on the periphery of the Wikinews community. We haven't of course yet discussed much here about measures going forward. We may well need active measures to combat the misinformation being spread about out mission; certainly such misinformation was used successfully as a wedge in the campaign to remove the wikinews link from ITN on the wikpedia main page (which feels as if it's reduced the rate of influx of new contributors here, though one would really have to do some sort of careful statistical study to try to quantify that...).
    Tbh, I suspect our readership wouldn't be too much affected by efforts to spread the word about our breadth, since I've always imagined that people find our most successful articles through searching by topic rather than searching by site. New contributors might well be affected, and we're doing some reaching out in that regard. Our biggest damping factor is the difficulty of the two key tasks, writing and reviewing, which is why, for my part, the time I'm able to donate to wikinews infrastructure goes toward the software tools I've envisioned to aid both of those tasks. It's also worth noting, I think, that expanding our review capacity is by nature a gradual process, involving individuals coming up through the system to become reviewers (and, as I said, creating tools to leverage more effective whatever qualified reviewers we have at a given time). --Pi zero (talk) 14:27, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    • [With all other factors constant] this «problem» can be theoretically approached only by being more liberal in approving submissions, or, on the contrary, by having reviewers prioritise submissions on a topic which has no recent news on it. The former is disastrous, and the latter puts editors who specify in a certain area in a horrible disadvantage (they start noticing that their submissions routinely get reviewed after others). This is why I classify the above observation as a meta-problem: it may not be approached alone without approaching other problems, such as increased number of contributors or improved interface for them and reviewers, which are real.
    IS increased readership a problem in the sense of being worked towards? No. It is what easily expands to writing biased, fast, yellow journalism; it is another meta-problem which may be kept track of, but never a thing that affects actual project work. Gryllida 21:28, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    Writing news articles and reviewing or editing them to a publishable level are two entirely different things. You don't have to be good at writing news to fact-check articles, correct grammar and typos, or being a reviewer (though if not writing news we have an obstacle of those who can;t write it and don't, being less trustworthy than those who can). What I am saying is reaching out to Wikipedia for reviewers/editors or other projects is a great idea, which we've tried to do before, but the hate against us usually wins. I guess in a nutshell: We have to be more accepting to those who can edit and review just as we are to those who write. But shutting us out of other projects on personal vendettas isn't an answer. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:43, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. I agree with BRS at 6.--William S. Saturn (talk) 22:47, 1 September 2013 (UTC)

curtness - [...] Wikinews is not showing signs of growth [...][edit]

Some thoughts.
  1. While reviewing is indeed a different skill from writing, reviewing requires a deep understanding of our policies and guidelines (reviewers have to catch the mistakes writers make in these areas), and it's almost impossible to get that without doing a lot of writing for Wikinews. Most demanding of all is reviewing the work of newcomers. We get a lot of folks coming in with no understanding of Wikinews and insisting they know what we should be doing better than we do — both from Wikipedia on one side, and from professional journalism on the other. (It is, btw, kind of expected that wikipedians are used to doing things in ways incompatible with us, but frankly rather scary to watch people who claim to be —and probably are— journalists with a decade or more of professional experience who don't understand neutrality or the importance of fact-checking.)
    • Wikipedia has, in any case, its own problems with recruitment and retention. The challenges of one sister are more than enough without trying to take on the problems of several (said the user who's an admin on both en.wn and en.wb).
    • Although I know what you mean about 'hate' —no veteran Wikinewsie is unaware of it— it seems worth remarking that although anti-Wikinews sentiment is vocal in some quarters, it's not really widespread. Truth be told, the vast majority of Wikipedians are great people. To support this broad claim, I cite the empirical evidence that Wikipedia exists. Without lots and lots of great people, it wouldn't still exist, even if it does have problems. --Pi zero (talk) 22:49, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. This, obviously, is an area where Wikinewsies care deeply. It is, to use Prof Blackall's term - when pointing students at Wikinews - a matter of gathering the appropriate "reputational currency".
    Nobody can walk in the front door and start reviewing, which is the fundamental disconnect many of our detractors seem to have; we simply do not care how "awesome" you are at writing encyclopedia article; news-writing? Prove it, and repeat to prove you didn't manage it by sheer luck alone. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:54, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    • I am mostly here to understand, so please don't take my disagreement here as definitive. Rather, it is exploratory and I'm interested in hearing more. I'll address both Pi Zero's comments and Brian McNeil's. Brian, as someone who takes an interest in these matters, I think you are wrong as a matter of fact about what people are capable of, but what really bothers me is that I think you are wrong in tone and attitude. If a person really is good at encyclopedia writing and wants to help out here, then an in-your-face and aggressive skepticism and attitude of "prove it" is really rude and unhelpful. As evidenced by participation numbers here, most people simply won't put up with being treated that way. We absolutely get that you "do not care" what talents we bring to the table - but it doesn't encourage us to get involved. The very idea that there is no correlation between skill at Wikipedia and skill at Wikinews is highly implausible.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Pi Zero, your comments didn't strike me as aggressive in the same way, but they do strike me as fundamentally wrong - but wrong in an empirical way that can be tested. I think it isn't true that someone needs to write a wikinews article in order to learn how to review. Nor do I think reviewing requires a "deep understanding of our policies and guidelines". Yes, the quality of reviewing is likely to improve with experience, and someone new at it might need some help, but this idea that people can't usefully review without first writing articles is an empirical claim which can be tested. Imagine if a newcomer from Wikipedia (or wherever) were immediately given a sense of trust and responsibility rather than what feels like arrogance and condescension. Doesn't it seem more likely that we'd have 25 or 50 people here in a year's time, rather than 17 (numbers from June).--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:02, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    1. Apologies for jumping in. I would have to disagree about the review. I would ask that if you think it is an easy skill to acquire, that you look at an article for review not published yet, comment on the talk page and assist a reviewer by assessing it against the review criteria. In addition, File:Wikinews Workflow.pdf and File:Anatomy of a Wikinews review.pdf might be useful guides for beginning to grok a Wikinews review. To assist students (in the weird problem of trying to get news published while assisting students in learning about reporting, which are not the same thing), I have screencasted a couple of my reviews so others get an understanding of the process and thinking for at least one reviewer (as each reviewer approaches things slightly differently). File:Reviewing an article for Wikinews about Glasgow para-sport.oggtheora.ogv, File:Reviewing Wikinews China Baby.oggtheora.ogv and File:Reviewing an article for Wikinews about Norwegian politician.oggtheora.ogv. After you've tried to offer reviewer assistance, looked at the instructional materals and watched at least one screencast, I would appreciate new feedback on the review process because until you "grok" it, it is hard to understand Wikinews. Wikinews reviewers are more akin to professional newspaper assignment editors AND newspaper copyeditors, minus the editorial decision on what reporters write, article length for space issues and article placement. Wikinews cannot be understood from a wiki model, but from a journalism model. Indeed, as we seek to professionalize through The Wikinewsie Group, this becomes even more apparent. Our metrics cannot use the same metrics as Wikipedia, but need to use journalism/news metrics. (Viewers are not as important as news reach for instance in a value added proposition when seeking grant funding for specific news funding.)-- LauraHale (talk) 20:53, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    2. Requirement of prior news writing experience for reviewer status is a thing that is done at many Wikinews projects, not just the English version; your thing was tested experimentally in different languages (more than just two) with consistent trouble when reviewers fail to be coherent. Similarly Wikipedia routinely gives out some sort of flag (Wikipedia:Autopatrolled ) to people who created 50 new articles. (While I had this comment in another section, I feel it would help to stick it in here to not lose the thread; such query made me slightly disappointed in the success of the communication above, and I feel that it might deserve a separate section and break-down into subquestions). Gryllida 11:29, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    3. Jimmy, this isn't the first time we've had this difficulty in communicating with you. There's one good thing about that: after the last time, I had lots of time to think about it (of which I'm now reminded). My conclusion at the time was this: Wikinews has a fundamental principle in its very fabric that is utterly alien to the classical mindset on which WIkipedia is built. If I tried to give it a short name I'd call it "trust", but this would be subject to grave misunderstanding. I'll try a different approach.
      A prefacing remark. When I first came to Wikipedia, I was baffled; I couldn't see how it could possibly work, having seen too many subway stations covered with graffiti (including innumerable violations of Tom Lehrer's advice to Boy Scouts: don't write naughty words on walls if you can't spell). I started by guessing I must be wrong about something, so I approached Wikipedia supposing initially that nothing I'd ever learned about social dynamics would necessarily apply. A couple of years later, I was pretty much grokking how it could work. Fortunately, I did the same thing with Wikinews: being by then thoroughly indoctrinated in Wikipedian classical philosophy, I couldn't imagine how Wikinews could possibly work, so I approached it supposing initially that nothing I'd ever learned about social dynamics would necessarily apply, including nothing I'd learned about social dynamics from Wikipedia. It took me another couple of years, at least, to grok Wikinews.
      In the earlier conversation, as I recall, you first didn't see why we were so careful about who we gave the reviewer bit to. Then when we explained how much responsibility we were giving reviewers, you instinct was that we were insane, nobody can be given that much responsibility. Thinking about that, it occurred to me that the missing element was how one could give anyone that much responsibility. Wikipedia basically doesn't ever give anyone that much responsibility. Wikipedia doesn't trust anyone that much, or (in a sense) trust anyone at all. Why can Wikinews do so? Because the entire structure of our project, from the ground up, is oriented toward getting to know users as individual people and learning about their personal strengths and weaknesses (both of character and of ability). This is pretty much diametrically opposite to the most basic organization of Wikipedia. There, people are treated as more-or-less interchangeable parts. I'm not criticizing, or in fact passing any judgement at all in the Wikipedian context, just observing. Look at AGF. What it says is, essentially, don't try to grok people as individuals, just treat them all as if they were acting in good faith. (I'm quite familiar with the philosophical justifications for this in the Wikipedian context — again, those justifications are a complete distraction since we aren't in the Wikipedian context.) Is it clear to you that everything we do involves making individual judgements? When we look at an article in BBC, we have to actively think about BBC's strengths, weaknesses, biases. Ditto CNN, Al Jazeera, a sports team's Facebook page, somebody who just submitted a synthesis article, someone who just submitted original reporting. And somebody we're giving special privileges on the project, like accreditation, adminship, or reviewership. I doubt, even devoting vast time and space to the undertaking, I could list all the ways our project is oriented toward grokking users as individuals, because it's like listing all the ways in which a house is permeated by air. It's everywhere. --Pi zero (talk) 11:57, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    4. (This edit conflicted with PiZ, above) The consequences of handing out the tool to people who've never even seen a published article, let alone worked on one, are horrifying. A user already skilled at writing something else (like encyclopaedia articles), and with quite a bit of time to spare, could satisfy the requirements for review at present in a couple of weeks' solid graft. It's hardly an eternity. A tangentially related point is that this idea of encouraging Wikipedians is nice, but not nearly as nice as it was back when first dreamt up; en.WP has dwindling userbase issues of its own to contend with.
    5. To further explore this issue, we have a Wikipedian newcomer here called Theonesean (talk · contribs). A casual glance at WP shows this is a highly experienced Wikipedian. Sean has submitted three articles and each shows marked improvement on the last; the first came close to being published, the second was published after much revision, and the third was published on the first submission. The user has a bit of work to go yet but is halfway there in the space of about a week. I'm excited to see the next few articles because this is somebody I could see reviewing in a few weeks' time, but obviously they could not have handled this flag on a fundamentally different project when they first turned up. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:07, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
On 'Wikimedia-Style' civility[edit]
Responding to this, which I know many 'more-diplomantic' Wikiniewsies will throw their hands up in-horror at.
Cquote1.svg [...] an in-your-face and aggressive skepticism and attitude of "prove it" is really rude and unhelpful. Cquote2.svg
  1. I have tried particularly hard, for particularly long, and have taken on-board many criticisms in recent years, that I think this tired old meme needs dropped in a convenient memory hole. Or, the justification for it better-understood.
    On that last point, I would have to refer you to here. That is not an isolated example of Wikipedia-centric Cultural Imperialism, just a particularly damning one for one of our most-vocal detractors.
    Not to overly-dwell on specific individuals — particularly when I wholeheartedly agree there are many highly-skilled contributors (present, and past) over on Wikipedia — but making the mistake of assuming "Both projects do articles, Wikinews' policies will be just the same" is a recipe for disaster.
    When I've had a meant-as-gentle remark about "not in Kansas anymore" turned into a rabid personal attack against me for "being ignorant", you're defending the indefensible and taking no consideration of my perspective; and, the reasoning behind why I dismiss suggestions from people who make zero effort to review historical discussions on this project.
    It's curt, direct, and to the point. As you may-well know, that is a distinct part of the Scottish cultural identity.
    Here, I hasten to add Jimmy, whilst written on your talk page, this is not aimed at you. I appreciate the amount of time you are devoting to this discussion, but you're asking for painfully circumspect "Wikipedia-Style" debate. We've not adopted 'these rules', but we have adopted a tongue-in-cheek approach of referring to Wikipedia as The Other Place. I don't know if that's a tradition between Congress and Senate in the United States, it's progression is generally recognised as 'resentment', 'annoyance', 'tradition', 'self-mocking tradition', 'in-joke'.
    Anyway, it does not help that I spent the prior decade-or-so nosing around a lot of the less-travelled parts of the Internet (particularly Usenet). However, that is where I picked up a great-deal of the knowledge I have on secured comms, cryptography, and more-than-a-vague-notion of the capabilities of the adversaries of freedom of speech; both foreign, and domestic - to use a most-USian phrase.
    Somewhere in our collection of little javascript hacks there is (or was) one intended to give slightly different edit template cautions where a user had come from Wikipedia in the last few page views. It's not obvious enough, and we get criticisms like "I clicked some link, thought I was still on Wikipedia, and you're evil un-wiki people because I can't edit a three year-old news story! [...] oh, and by the way, I demand the right to retrospectively write the exonerating follow-up article you missed ten months later".
Cquote1.svg The reviewer who pushes the {{publish}} button on any submitted article is first-port-of-call for anyone with a libel, or defamation, writ. Cquote2.svg
  1. The frustration, being interpreted as hostility, is from the presumption: "such a small project, with so few contributors, can't possibly know what they're doing!"
    I hope this discussion is dispelling that misconception, as well as perhaps explaining why 'being prickly' appears contagious around here; we've all gone through these same, tragic-cum-comedic, reruns. Those might-well be "I know Wikipedia, let's take your roboposted {{Howdy}} template off my talk page, and see what sort of mess the place is."
    • Anyway, a short timeline on some of the bits done to get Wikinews partway to where its potential is recognised.
    Accreditation came first here, but with the WMF unable to in-any way support that.
    More-formal review came later.
    • That followed the perennial complaint that Wikinews isn't listed in Google News. I was put in-touch with someone in Google News, and asked what we needed to do for a listing.
    • It was, again, something that the WMF cannot support; editorial responsisibility.
    • It was an ill-defined process, Flagged Revisions was adopted, we started simply with a manual review template, and having to push all the buttons to flag the article as reviewed, tweak templates, and get it up as a lead.
    • A lot of "burning the midnight oil" work has improved that.
    • I doubt any other news-publishing organisation has given Google (or anyone else for that matter) as-much visibility into their editorial responsibility process.
    That's why we're so hard on ourselves when we get it wrong
    • The reviewer who pushes the {{publish}} button on any submitted article is first-port-of-call for anyone with a libel, or defamation, writ.
    I'm spelling this out in such a blunt manner because many others simply have it there as a 'mildly nagging concern'. If you stop and think — especially when we've none of the insurance benefits professional journalists get — you'd never in your right mind self-nominate for reviewer.
    I think a lot of what's going on here, albeit with a small — and stretched — community, is moving in the right direction.
    1. Our collaborative work with The University of Wollongong is a small, but significant, step in the right direction. I'd love to actually see David give an updated version of his presentation at Wikimania 2014.
    2. Laura's championing of the work to create The Wikinewsie Group could-well lead to associating with globally-recognised journalism-specific professional bodies.
    If its formulation allows us to seek grant funding for dedicated IT resources, or the aforementioned liability insurance, we will attract more interest from academia.
    I'd rather not bring up the fork again; but, many of the disagreements were appallingly articulated. Many of the contributors who went over were a sad loss, and would be welcome back. Much as several of us have done above, they'd echo the sentiment that you "learn by doing", plus recognise "skills atrophy when not used".
    That's a very long way of saying: "I've the common-sense, and respect, not to go stomping all over bits of Wikipedia policy I might think are wrong-headed. I simply expect this project given the same courtesty in return. And, an acceptance that 'just having the time' to stomp all over Wikinews policy, is no qualification to do so." --Brian McNeil / talk 22:57, 2 September 2013 (UTC)
    • The above is, on reflection, excessively negative. The counter, of-which there have been many examples over the year, is Wikipedians "perhaps not in so-good-standing", who've quickly fitted-in and become respected contributors.
    It is the "oh no, not again; you admit Wikipedia isn't a reliable source, please put your credentials/contribution history to one side" - those who've had conflict on Wikipedia take that advice far more-willingly. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:44, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
    "The frustration, being interpreted as hostility, is from the presumption: "such a small project, with so few contributors, can't possibly know what they're doing!"" - I came to this discussion with no such presumption. But on this issue - the need for friendliness rather than rudeness - I do think you've got it wrong, and I do think that it is a very big part of the explanation for these numbers. You appear to interpret far too much through the lens of "Wikipedia versus Wikinews" - a rather unhelpful lens, I'm afraid, and one that may be blinding you to what thoughtful people have been trying to tell you: Wikinews does not make it welcoming to newcomers, and there are well-meaning policies that are part of the problem, and an attitude that is part of the problem.
    You may want to justify those policies and attitudes, and who knows, maybe you're right about them. But please don't ignore completely the wisdom that people are trying to bring you: being mean to people makes them less willing to participate, and Wikinews is mean to people. Perhaps that's the cost. Perhaps Wikinews is doomed to continue as a small club of 19-29 users (a range taken from recent months) because it's so damn hard to write good news and because the only way to cope with newbies who screw up is to treat them in such a way that they feel put upon and tend to leave. If that's the case, ok, well, I'm fine with that. Seriously, I am! I think Wikinews may be valuable as a journalism school or a project to generate occasional in-depth reporting along with a very small flow of routine news articles along with this and that other things we have identified in this discussion as being good.
    I am not here to tell you what goals to choose. But I do think I'm not out of line nor blind in my observation (made by many before me) that the policies and attitudes of Wikinews limit growth. That is, I think, just a fact. If that's ok with you, that's ok with me.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 13:30, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
This entire segment stems from Jimbo's assertion a rhetorical use of "prove it" (so innocuous it's the name of an educational show for children and a popular tool for referencing on enwp (which I intend to look into when I inevitably get back round to editing there)) is somehow indicative of some terrible character flaw. The absurdities the two of you have now degenerated over this initial phrase to suggest to me that, as before, the hopes of constructive conversation are fading fast. A pity; I had felt excellent progress was being made. I shall take no further part here unless this silly distraction is de-escalated. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 14:10, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
I think Brian and Jimmy are both a bit enthusiastic in their negative interpretations of each other. I'm frustrated because we're trying to help Jimmy understand our project better, for which it's essential to identify where he might have misapprehensions — but while Brian afaics wasn't being rude to start with (just blunt, which is quite different), Jimmy's accusation of rudeness which counts as a misapprehension and is therefore part of what we've been looking for led Brian to get defensive and we accelerate down a slippery slope. I agree with BRS about, at least, this subthread: it's no longer useful. I'd tried to address a deeper issue, somewhere above, and perhaps I'll try to start a subthread about that, somewhere in here. --Pi zero (talk) 15:03, 3 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Thank you, Pi zero, for 'playing the diplomat here'. I find your interpretation most-reasonable, with my acceptance of the chiding remarks from BRS over on my talk as beingquite-relevant.
The 'Blunt and Brash' attitude — as I have adopted above — is because I do not, yet, believe we are at a point where, discussing the skill-set(s) non-Wikinewsies may-well be able to bring to bear, is worthwhile. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:13, 3 September 2013 (UTC)

Further survey questions[edit]

Wikinews needs to improve at helping newcomers contribute/learn and at helping reviewers review.
  • [This is a much more specific item than the first three, though far less specific that it could be. No doubt there's room for a significantly more general objective under which this would fit.]
  1. Agree (Some key areas of my own infrastructure efforts.) --Pi zero (talk) 17:51, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree --RockerballAustralia c 21:53, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Qualified agreement, on the basis of this being a known-problem; but, one where importing 'solutions' from other projects (such as W:WP:AGF, versus the local WN:NA) could seriosuly damage the project's ability to function.
    Comment I note the responses are terse; says something. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Agree This is recognised as a key area on Wikinews. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Agree--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Agree Though this is something that is always going to be the case. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:01, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Agreed.
    This is, it must be noted, a journey. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. 'Agree. --LauraHale (talk) 22:50, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  9. 'Agree I think this could be initially treated largely as a technical issue. Particularly in the area of reviewing we could use a lot of work. Our review tool, as awesome as it is, could be improved to make reviewing much easier, as could the edit tool. The time crunch of publication means we have much less time for newbies to learn how to use MediaWiki. VisualEditor could help a lot once it is really ready, but our Wikinews specific tools need attention as well. --Cspurrier (talk) 07:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

The various language editions of Wikinews should find ways to work together more closely and regularly.
  • Efforts are being made via The Wikinewsie Group (TWG).
  1. Agree Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree Expands opportunities across all languages involved. --Pi zero (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agree --RockerballAustralia c 02:36, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. No opinion - sounds plausible but I'm an outsider with no current insight into how productive this might be. --Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
    It was tried way back in the murky past; Meta turned out to be an inappropriate home for that sort of co-ordination. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Agree. Although, extra care is needed for some sorts of work (like interviews). --Brian McNeil / talk 09:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Agree this is necessary to coordinate efforts, to travel less, and to have multilingual coverage; latest Wikinewsie Group newsletter announced a translation helper tool under development --Gryllida 22:35, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Agree however without speaking these other languages, and vice versa, it becomes a little more difficult. I'm willing to learn/try though. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:01, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. Agree: We need WMF or chapter or IEG or FDC assistance in recruiting developers to prioritize us or to enable our own developers to spend additional time on this. (Trade offs of volunteer time. Do we encourage a developer to write articles, code a translator tool extension for cross language deployment, review or do outreach? This is why we are trying to do research and get involved with the WMF's Program Evaluation and Design project to assist in suggesting to volunteers where they may want to prioritize.) --LauraHale (talk) 22:54, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  9. Not sure: In principle I fully support working more closely with other language editions, though it is hard to imagine it as really having much of an effect on article output. Translating an article is as much, if not more, work then writing most. Sharing tools, processes and OR contacts could have very positive effects, though and it is always fun to work with other Wikinewies regardless of language. --Cspurrier (talk) 07:22, 29 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Interesting to note — where I worry over the quality of translation, largely as-it relates to direct quotes, and interviews — others, namely Gryllida, Laura, and Craig, fret over technical issues. I suspect Pi zero would be conflicted between the two points.
    To expand somewhat on translation worries; this is where there likely is ample, appropriate, experience elsewhere within the Wikimedia movement.
    I'll freely-admit to being only vaguely-aware of some of the work done on translation aids; I'd be fascinated to know what Gerard Meijssen's thoughts are on the 'more-vexing' issues of translating literal quotes. Especially, where you're looking at an interview article chock-full of literal quotes.
    • I have strong opinions on "System Problems"; and, one should not instantly translate a job title of Systems Analyst into a 'pure IT' function. IT is simply a tool, and "computer" was once a job title; it still applies — if working from the 'clinical' definition, that — a "computer" is a general-purpose problem-solving 'object'. Simply substitute 'task-completing' to complete the denigration of sub- and copy-editors that mainstream media's cost-slashing has used to allow grammar and spell-checking software to justify making them redundant.
    We are oh-so far from Artificial Intelligence actually replacing the likes of Pi zero, that calling him a "Reviewing Computer" is an insult (but one I expect to raise a wry smile). However, I think we are in an area where there's a lot of common-ground to break-off into Water Cooler-based discussion. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:56, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

Wikinews could benefit from increased readership.
  1. Agree Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:40, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree [though this is something of a gimme: naturally we always strive for more readership. Our readership is actually pretty good already, sometimes as I recall better than that of corresponding Wikipedia articles.] --Pi zero (talk) 01:59, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agree--RockerballAustralia c 02:36, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Agree--Jimbo Wales (talk) 08:53, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. Agree. But, this is where we get into the complexities around the follow-up question. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. Agree But this goes for any news site. You can NEVER have too many readers. More people are comfortable with reading news than writing it. No one is reading us if aren't producing. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:01, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    Disclosure: I've spent approximately £50-£100 of my own money (this year) advertising pieces on Wikinews&squot; Facebook page. £5 got this nearly 5,000 views (yes, I had permission to share via Facebook). I lack the stats-fu to see how that impacts Facebook following, or potential reader/contributor base. But, I'd be happy to add a couple of devs (or WMF staff) to the page's managers.
    That, from my perspective, would allow them to tie Wikinews page-view stats to article publication, and possibly to very modest advertising expenditure.
    Yes, we poorly-exploit social media to increase contributorship; too many other things to do, and I think this is the first one that we can — potentially — say the WMF can take away to think about. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:25, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  7. Disagree: Readership does not correlate to additional editors. Several Wikinews projects do not have page views correlating to output. Would need more research to determine benefit at this time. (Though yes, more readers is desirable. It is the word benefit I have a problem with.) --LauraHale (talk) 22:48, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  8. Disagree; readership is perceived as a nice goal for news sites, but such concept as a goal to work to is killing, as seen, for example, here and the yellow journalism that tops this page. (Mind, currently both bots and non-bots visits are counted by the software together; statistics output is (mostly) meaningless to me.) Gryllida 11:19, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Being comprehensive is a meta-problem not treatable on its own; instead, its roots may be investigated and treated.
  1. Agree, from experience on two Wikinews projects. Gryllida 08:21, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Agree, to the extent that, in the long run, being more comprehensive is likely to draw in more contributors as well as requiring more contributors. As remarked, our output reflects what our contributors submit (subject to what makes it through the review process), for which it matters both what they want to cover and what they're enabled to cover. So yes, any deliberate project-side effort to change the character of our output, such as breadth of coverage, has to be indirect and requires wise planning. --Pi zero (talk) 21:29, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Agree --LauraHale (talk) 22:56, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. Qualified agreement; we are not at a position to even contemplate planning attempts at coverage-expansion. Natural growth is preferable, with the project's reputation (even with sparse coverage) as the best route to attracting appropriate contributors to mitigate this problem. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:19, 4 September 2013 (UTC)

What is Wikinews for?[edit]

Above, Jimbo used the phrase 'fully comprehensive news site' and this appears to be not even close to universally supported. To explore a bit what this means, please fill in your own expression(s). The goal of Wikinews should be...

Lede-sized mission statement suggestions[edit]

Cquote1.svg Should [the aspiration of Wikinews be ...] a fully comprehensive news site, like Huffington Post, or
Jimmy Wales
The goal of Wikinews should be [...]
  1. [...] to be a fully comprehensive news site, like Huffington Post, or (Note that I'm not endorsing this one, just listing it as it was my assumption of what you wanted when I started this discussion. I'm not here to define the mission, I'm here to understand your desires.)--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. present up-to-date, relevant, newsworthy and entertaining content without bias, formally; I could write a book about it, but we seem to be in agreement about what yellow journalism is already. Gryllida 10:42, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. To provide a truly international news site with extremely high standards. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:07, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  4. To provide a venue where anyone in the world (with internet access) can participate in producing high-quality hard news. --Pi zero (talk) 01:05, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  5. "To provide a news source, containing quality journalism that is verifiable, neutral and timely, living up to journalism's highest ideals, that anyone can contribute to." Bit more I could add to that, but neutrality and verifiability are big for me. Ditto maintaining old school journalism standards. No desire to compete with big, expensive news organizations, especially at this stage.--LauraHale (talk) 22:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
  6. to provide a free, high quality news source to which anyone can contribute.--William S. Saturn (talk) 23:05, 1 September 2013 (UTC)
  7. [...] and thereby to provide a permanent record - an archive - of what was publicly known at specific points in time, which shall not disappear behind paywalls. - Amgine | t 03:57, 5 September 2013 (UTC)
    Thank you; a vitally important function we perform, not to be forgotten. --Pi zero (talk) 02:03, 6 September 2013 (UTC)


  • I'm going to defer trying to answer the above — really challenging — query; different contributors pursue their set(s) of reporting interests, but we tend to agree on what is quality reporting. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  1. Brian McNeil (talk · contribs)
    A lot of the 'decor' you'll see on Wikinews articles is indeed derived from the clean, informative, layout adopted in some of the past incarnations of BBC News Online. But, the Huffington Post? Personally, I agree with there having been a point of no return; where, with editorial and news lines being blurred, they lost an enormous amount of credibility.
    We've found the whole process of news gathering, analysing, and production is very labour-intensive. At least, when you're prepared to put quality and verifiability before publishing. There have been a lot of ideas chucked around:
    • A wire service, but only with quality reportage? That's been talked-of in the past.
    • A working school of journalism? When we've been asked, we've tried to support that.
    Apologies for the refactoring; easier to ask forgiveness than permission. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:41, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
    The refactoring was brilliant. The comparison or example of Huffington Post was not about quality or credibility, but about comprehensiveness. As with several other major news sites (CNN, BBC News, HuffPo, New York Times) I could in theory go to the site and expect to see coverage of all kinds of things, every day. As an example, if I want to know the score of last night's game (Manchester United v Chelsea) I can find it there. (Even the New York Times has an AP story about it.) I find it very hard to imagine such coverage being possible for Wikinews. It seems that what I am hearing from you all (or nearly all) is that while a dream of having such things is a "would be nice for the distant future", it is not an immediate goal nor primary consideration.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:19, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
    • I 'picked on' HuffPo because they went down the same well-trodden route to tabloidism as many more-traditional publications chose when faced with, commercial, financial pressures. And, that is what our most-shrill detractors want to do — attempt a full-coverage, mainstream news, competitor.
    Why don't we let them? Competition is, to an extent, a good thing in news.
    If The Signpost's editors feel they can do a better job, offer them (if it does not already exist) and they can go do news how they think it should be done.
    What has to be kept in mind when you look at these sites (CNN, BBC et-al) is just how much of the content is bought-in. Associated Press, Reuters, AFP, and so on. We have a "formula" for synthesis pieces (minimum three paragraphs, two independent sources). That becomes fairly easy — once you get up the initial, steep, learning curve and over the first peak. Along the way, you start to see that some AP/Reuters subscribers are paying more, I guess, for the ability to heavily copy-edit and rewrite stories from the wire into "house style", add a dab of reporting from a stringer, and not credit the wire agency for the final report. It starts to put you off doing synthesis pieces, eventually, and to have that general 'sense of unease' about mainstream media. That, I think, can best be articulated as "their focus is how many eyeballs they can sell to." I'm sure — at least some of — my fellow Wikinewsies will strongly agree with that assessment; it's something I've been struggling to articulate for a long time. (Not just since 8am today!)
    You see similar 'bile and vitriol' directed at the BBC, when they fail to report as others believe they should, as-does Wikinews regarding doing what we can to fulfil the 'mission' we're trying to define here. We know how hard the work is; but, we still make time to do the odd light-hearted piece. That those appear on the main page, is no credible reason to dismiss all our work; these are, for many readers, exactly what they want from the news - a laugh at something like Burgalars raid police station, steal toilets; officers have 'nothing to go on'. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:22, 28 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Taken from here, I've popped in a 'little' quote.
Cquote1.svg It is the job of the Fourth Estate to act as a check and a restraint on the others, to illumine the dark corners of Ministries, to debunk the bureaucrat, to throw often unwelcome light on the measures and motives of our rulers. ‘News’, as Hearst once remarked, ‘is something which somebody wants suppressed: all the rest is advertising’. That job is an essential one and it is bound to be unpopular; indeed, in a democracy, it may be argued that the more unpopular the newspapers are with the politicians the better they are performing their most vital task. Cquote2.svg

--Brian McNeil / talk 23:17, 2 September 2013 (UTC)

  1. Blood Red Sandman (talk · contribs)
    What I mean by 'truly international', above, is a news value that ascribes no priority to any given geographical area. It's unusual because most news sites have a physical base they will end up focusing on, whereas Wikinews is by nature widely scattered. However, with Google News allowing 'floating' (or maybe transient) readership from site to site as they see stories of interest, this can be only a partial offering to the world audience. Wikipedia worked because there was little in the way of direct competition; Wikinews is in direct competition with every site that carries the same story (often including, in cases of synthesis, its own sources!). So the 'high standards' refers to how we've gone about providing something new, which is to enforce vigorous checks to provide top-quality copy on each article submitted.
    'Comprehensiveness' has been a possible future scenario for time immemorial; we have a cat predating myself for local stories that may one day need filtering. But at present there is neither desire nor likelihood to try and become a wire agency factory of bland basic facts. I suppose where we like to think we excel is in-depth original reporting, of which numerous examples have already been provided on this page. Those kinds of detailed reports on given subjects is what we all, I think, want more of. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:07, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
    • Some of what you're talking about even predates my involvement. Such as, Country of the Week. I remember searching for news on many, many out-of-the-way places; that being when self-publish was the norm. It was possible for people to do a little research, find a handful of English-language sources - when lucky - and start to populate country categories. Although only briefly run, it worked; starting from the map on the project page, it would be interesting to see an updated version; maybe running month-long, or semester-long
    Local-only is also mentioned on that ancient Water Cooler archive page; it sits, rather uncomfortably, at the over-the-horizon end of Wikinews' long road to a substantial contributor base. But we want to see that — albeit with perhaps only an audience of hundreds, in a proportionately small area — produced to the same high standards. Local wiki-newspapers, with 'traditional' broadsheet editorial rigour. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:35, 26 August 2013 (UTC)
  2. Pi zero (talk · contribs)
    I don't disagree with Gryllida's or Blood Red Sandman's one-line characterizations of what we're doing; but what we're doing doesn't altogether fit in one line, and I felt some parts of the big picture were being overlooked because we'd started out looking exclusively at the output of the project, which misses the crucial role of its input. This is, in a very profound sense, a wiki.
    • It's been driven home to me, recently, that our newsworthiness criteria are a completely different sort of beast from the "newsworthiness" criteria described at w:News values. The criteria in that article are about predicting what traditional media will want to cover, based on their profit motive. But our criteria are about making sure the things we accept are hard news. Despite the many things we don't accept on the basis they don't meet our standards of newsworthiness, our criteria are exceedingly broad. There's vast room for the reporter to report the hard news stories they want to share with the world, and we will help them do that. If they want to write about traffic fatalities in Scotland or public sanitation initiatives in Australia, genetic factors in mental health or US presidential campaign politics, that's what our output will look like.
    • Writing for Wikinews benefits writers as well as readers. Wikinews asks the writer to adopt a fact-based worldview — to consider information sources critically, and sort out opinion from claim from objective fact both in source articles and in themselves.
    --Pi zero (talk) 02:49, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
    I think your focus on the 'inputs' rather than the 'outputs' is fascinating and very helpful.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:21, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  3. Jimbo Wales (talk · contribs)
    Random observations (about the lede-length mission statement) from Jimbo which I just post here for reflection. Gryllida's formulation doesn't seem to contemplate degree of comprehensiveness at all. (Not a criticism, an observation, since we might conclude that you'd rather produce 5 stories a day without a view towards being in any way comprehensive.) Blood Red Sandman's formulation touches on the question of comprehensiveness in terms of internationalism ("true internationalism" which I interpret to mean reaching corners of the world that most supposedly international news sites ignore). And Pi Zero also touches on internationalism ("anyone in the world") and focusses primarily on the goal of being a place for participation, rather than on what the end result for readers might be. (If I've subtly misinterpreted anyone, I apologize, as that's not my intention. I'm just "chewing" on this to put it in my own words in a way that is a fair representation.)
    What I'm not seeing here is a view on whether it is believed that Wikinews should cover only or primarily what might be termed "front page news" rather than news that is traditionally covered in newspaper sections like fashion/style, sports, weather, etc. Certainly at our current levels of participation (let's be frank: extremely low and not growing, at least according to the numbers, it is fantasy to imagine actually being able to produce such sections on a daily basis, but are such stories discouraged?
    Finally, in terms of thinking about a mental model (imperfect though it will be), is the community's self-conception more of a "weekly newsmagazine" like Time or Newsweek (when they were respectable publications, if they ever were), or a "daily newspaper"? Of course there is nothing 'weekly' or 'daily' about work on a website - that's not what I'm getting at. Is the current (first?) dream more of a smallish team (but bigger than today) of investigative journalists working to produce major exposes and interesting longer form stories, or is the goal to produce timely breaking daily news stories?--Jimbo Wales (talk) 07:08, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
    You certainly interpret me correctly. "[A] smallish team (but bigger than today) of investigative journalists working to produce major exposes and interesting longer form stories" is pretty much where I see us dreaming, and that sort of work is what our featured list reflects. We're making efforts towards that, with The Wikinewsie Group on (meta?) being the next step. We've already had accreditation at the last Olympic and Paralympic Games.
    The inelegant, but, I believe, perfectly accurate, phrase I've occasionally used to describe competing with mainstream media on major stories is "pissing into the wind"; you can do it, but you have to piss hard. My direct attempt at doing just that is here, which I wrote as a direct response to these thoughts (it also helped me solidify them). The issue? The strain on reviewers. Pi zero is making slow but steady progress on forming tools that will significantly reduce this strain.
    There is no discouragement on given types of story. I suppose it might be fairer to say other stories ('hard' news) are quite actively encouraged, but we welcome whatever people want to offer us. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:13, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
    • A nuance: Gryllida's 'formulation' is, in fact, a direct quote of the primary statement of project purpose from Wikinews:Mission statement. Verily, it says nothing about trying to be comprehensive. That phrase has been at the top of the mission-statement page since early February 2005. It may also be of interest that the next sentence on that page implies my "input-oriented" formulation (of somewhat later vintage: June 2006).
    And yes, as BRS points out, it's really hard, though possible, for us to produce an especially worthwhile product on a big story of the day. But where we can really shine, demonstratedly (e.g. our coverage of the London Paralympics), is in covering stories that mainstream media are giving short shrift. (This, btw, is one of the potential values in cross-language cooperation: it's really cool, though logistically challenging, when we can scoop the English-language mainstream on a story they've been shortchanging because it's been running in a different language.) --Pi zero (talk) 14:30, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

On Comprehensiveness[edit]

I leave others to break off, or selectively quote, herein. I can spare another 10 minutes to put in a (albeit old) example of how we've done comprehensiveness in the past.

-- Brian McNeil / talk 12:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

  1. Brian McNeil (talk · contribs)
    • I, as you may recall, had a Thai partner for many years. So, I took quite some interest in their political shenanigans. I got burnt-out on that. I mention it because, from my perspective, as a volunteer contributor, I am aware I volunteer time to the project where I have some conflict of interest; if I didn't, I likely wouldn't devote the time. The journalist's perspective has to be: "I care about the outcome. But, my job is to ensure I present a clear-enough narrative to allow others to make up their own mind."
    And, to give an opinion following the closure of Thai Wikinews, their "citizen-journalists" haven't progressed dramatically beyond blogging factions. The similar, as-I-documented, red-shirts versus yellow-shirts is, likely, still being played out on the relevant Wikipedia talk pages. (Which, in my opinion, is why Wikipedia has - but ignores - a no news/recentism policy).
    There will be other examples, of-which Laura Hale's Paralympics work is an outstanding, boots-on-the-ground, perfect case-study.
    Lastly, I think we're at a point where both David Blackall and Chad Tew should be asked for their input. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:44, 28 August 2013 (UTC)

Re: Restored talk page[edit]

Hi Jimmy, my apologies for archiving your page without first consulting you. As a non-involved admin who has kept out of the current round of drama, I was attempting to de-escalate the situation for all parties. This is standard procedure on English Wikinews, where we are policy-documentation light. The content on your talk page was not deleted, but archived at User talk:Jimbo Wales/Archive 1. I will refrain from archiving your page again without your permission. Sincerely, LauraHale (talk) 14:38, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Apology accepted. I hope that you'll find the conversation interesting and helpful, and will join me in trying to keep it on-topic and focussed on helpful matters.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:49, 25 August 2013 (UTC)
Thank you. I do find this conversation helpful and interesting, and look forward to discussing this further in the coming days and weeks. :) ~--LauraHale (talk) 15:06, 25 August 2013 (UTC)

Where do Wikinewsies live?[edit]

I don't want to intrude on anyone's privacy but I've noticed something that I think may be interesting.

  1. Blood Red Sandman - category 'Live in Scotland'
  2. Pi Zero - can't tell
  3. Brian McNeil - none more Scottish
  4. Gryllida - speaks Russian, possibly is Russian?
  5. RockerballAustralia - Australian
  6. LauraHale - Australian (per linkedin) living in Spain
  7. DragonFire1024 - Maine, USA

I'm sure I've missed some recent/active contributors (especially if they haven't interacted with me during these discussions) but my point is that the editors of this site are mostly not based in the USA. Based on general internet demographics, I think we'd expect around 50% of the contributors to be from/in the US. I don't know if this means anything and the LAST THING I want to do is spark some kind of America-bashing or similar. (I am an American who spends most of my time in Europe, much of it in the UK.)

I'm more interested in it from the perspective of meet ups.--Jimbo Wales (talk) 14:02, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

On the road so not following as well as I like: I am a USAian from Chicago, an Australian PhD student living in Spain. I cover some USA news. There is another contributor from Texas. Gryllida is living in Australia.
On an unrelated/related note, would you mind the conversation being linked to and input sought from other languages? The board of The Wikinewsie Group has a Spanish speaker, and Wikinoticias is making rather good strides. In conversations with them, they have similar issues. A Serbian reporter (living in Canada) also has similar institutional support issues for getting things like media accreditation. (Which I often can get on the sports side, but I need to know in advance and we either need The Wikinewsie Group to be the accrediting body, or the WMF to handle all the paperwork and be responsible for reporters.) It would be good to get non-en.Wikinews reporter input, especially as a goal is to increase quality across all languages and make a more functionally compatible review system across all languages that allows content to be easily translated and appear in another language ASAP. --LauraHale (talk) 14:41, 27 August 2013 (UTC).
A tricky point is what constitutes a "current Wikinewsie". There are folks who haven't contributed in months who I think of as current. It's my understanding that professional reporters may write about one major article a week (with, typically, smaller items during the week leading up to it, whose text is reused as background so that each incarnation of the article is longer and more in-depth — a technique we sometimes use to good effect here, too). Since our contributors are volunteers, that can make things a lot more rarified.
Although I find some anonymity helps keep my wikimedian contributions free of real-world baggage, I don't make a "secret" I'm based in central Massachusetts, maybe an hour from Boston. DragonFire1024 and TUFKAAP are also within range of Boston. Bddpaux and William S. Saturn are both in Texas. Of course, Tom Morris is in the London area. --Pi zero (talk) 15:28, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
I split my time between Oban and near Edinbugh. Oban being within viable, if difficult, traveling distance of Glasgow. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:40, 27 August 2013 (UTC)
  • "none more Scottish" <chuckle>
I started contributing to Wikinews whilst still living in Belgium; early-on I recall a far more-Antipodean bias in the contributor base (which, ironically, led to criticisms we never wrote about anywhere else in the world).
Yes, I'm now based in The People's Republic of Leith. Happens to be adjacent to some place called Edinburgh. I do, at the moment, have to travel on a monthly-basis to near Slough. Next trip that way will be September 9th to 13th. My intent is, for the following weekend, to be in London and do Wikinews first full-length video interview. (expect at least 15 minutes footage post-editing - and need some hackery to bypass Commons upload limits for that at 720p).
So we don't go down the same road again, I'll highlight WN:WORTNET. It was, indeed, recognised early-on that Wikinewsies would have to collaborate internationally. But, that did not work; likely due to the demands in keeping any single language project running. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:55, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

NSW, Randwick. Gryllida 21:38, 27 August 2013 (UTC)

I'm in south east England. I commute to, and work in, London. Being near London has helped me cover a variety of things in London including a couple of protests and a couple of pride marches. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:46, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

In terms of meetups, we had one at the Wikimedia UK offices - I was there, LauraHale was there, a guy whose name I can't remember was there, Marek69 was there, and we got Brian McNeil over Skype. At Wikimania in Haifa there was also a Wikinews session led primarily by Spanish-speaking Wikinewsies. —Tom Morris (talk) 13:48, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

Looking for closer understanding[edit]

I'd had in mind to start a thread about understanding Wikinews, but was unsure how to integrate it into the pattern of the above discussion. Then Gryllida started this thread (with slightly different name). I've tried to factor this, to contain both Gyllida's and my comments, and allow for suggestions in the open-ended style of the earlier discussion. --Pi zero (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

A new (or not so) approach[edit]

Gryllida (talk · contribs)

I just thought that it is pertinent to suggest that you try to write news here, up to a point you publish one or a couple, to interact with the process you have so far only observed from outside. If you can't make it, you might want to invite a few friends to try participating (be that in English or in another language), and follow-up with them if they decide on it.

I imagine such query may look blunt or possibly a bit too persistent for the original purpose, but something tells me the discussion, no matter how much people try, is less complete than (even indirect, by discussion with involved friends) participation. Gryllida 00:20, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

  • Gryllida, I'm conscious of feeling my own remarks to Jimmy may readily be taken as critical; what I see is quite different. There's an old WikiVoices where Jimmy took part in collaboratively producing a Wikinews article. Look for it; yes, it predates Levenson — but, Jimmy already had an inkling of some of the problems with mainstream journalism. It is hubris to say we know better about "what's wrong"; our skills are not aimed at rehashing wire services, we want to be more intelligent about news coverage. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:55, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Depth, and Big Picture[edit]

  1. Pi zero (talk · contribs)
    I had two thoughts to suggest, that seemed possibly useful. --Pi zero (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
    • English Wikinews's infrastructure is deep. Another word for it might be organic. Eight years of Wikinewsies have put tremendous thought into evolving our infrastructure; we've an aversion to red tape, but how we do things has been optimized relentlessly to create a sort of living repository of know-how on citizen news production. I suspect underestimating the depth of our infrastructure is a common cause of difficulty for newcomers from a Wikipedian (or, in some cases, professional journalistic) background. Any element of our infrastructure tends to have multiple reasons behind it, and interact with various other parts of the infrastructure — as I say, organic. --Pi zero (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
    • There's a big picture here that goes to (pardon my scope of vision) the way the advent of the internet affects the nature of the human condition. Wikipedia has fundamentally changed this (and needs to find ways to keep doing so) and Wikinews aspires ultimately to do so too, in a different way than what Wikipedia has done.

      At stake is a struggle between more-or-less three groups: the fact-based (whose impulse is to start with facts), the opinion-based (who tend to rush to an opinion and then base all else on it, including their perception of "facts"), and the agenda-based (propagandists, who try to manipulate others to a biased view without necessarily having any personal stake in that view). The advent of writing, and later of the printing press, seem to have been on balance reasonably favorable toward the fact-based faction, but the internet seems to favor the opinion-based and agenda-based. Wikipedia significantly reduces an advantage of the internet toward propaganda, and has some robustness to usefully assimilate contributions from non-fact-based contributors into a product that tends over time toward fact. It's not clear, though, that Wikipedia does as much as it ought to encourage its contributors toward a fact-based mindset; and opinion-based mindset is arguably the biggest threat to the world today — it makes individuals more vulnerable to propaganda, and causes wars. Wikinews, on the other hand, is at the far end of that spectrum, in that the nature of news pretty much requires contributors to adopt a fact-based mindset. It's not an accident that our most rabid detractors show no signs of being fact-based.

      --Pi zero (talk) 17:36, 7 September 2013 (UTC)
    Brian McNeil (talk · contribs)
    • Well-said! To both Pi zero, and Gryllida. Before my time, David Vasquez created a Wikinews 'virtual newsroom'. It took him weeks, I believe, to render this fictional space with him in it (someone help with finding the video). Sitting in a newsroom, even if it is just your spare room with a wall painted green (or blue), won't work without "boots on the ground". (See my - now approved - WM-UK grant application).
    When people bring up "Wikinews Video, two-point-oh" and say "failed"? It was an enthusiastic new contributor who tried to "run, before learning to walk". Organic may be a good way to describe both how, Wikinews has evolved, and the process/policy changes we've implemented.
    Success here is very-much fact based; policies may have sections mixed between 'American, British, and Australian, English'. You don't correct that; you're expected to get use to writing using the locale-specific spelling(s) etc. and not to correct others' choice; If I, BRS, or Tom Morris wrote anything about - pretty much anything - happening in the United States of America, we'd use British English (first significant contributor's choice).
    That's just the first example I can think of; and, it all hinges around trust.
    Things to do, so that's it from me for the moment. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:04, 7 September 2013 (UTC)

Your account will be renamed[edit]

23:19, 17 March 2015 (UTC)