Wikinews:Introduction

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Everything you read here is written by volunteers just like yourself. As well as starting your own articles, you can edit any page you see — expand it, fix spelling mistakes, correct facts, make policy suggestions, talk to other Wikinews contributors, and more...

What is special about Wikinews?

Wikinews Help

Introduction
Writing an article
Article outline
Editing help

Article tags
Infoboxes
Article decorations

Policies and guidelines
Neutral point of view
Content guide
Cite sources
Style guide
Naming conventions
Original reporting
Contents

Contact us
Administrators
Wikinews chatroom
Water cooler

Anyone can contribute, and articles are written collaboratively for a global audience. We strive at all times to meet the policy of writing and reporting from a neutral point of view, ensuring our reporting is as fair as possible.

Furthermore, everything we write is cited, to maintain the highest standards of reliability.

Our policy is to omit opinion and commentary in our articles — if you want to tell the world what you think, try blogging.

Wikinews, like its big sister Wikipedia, is run and funded by volunteers donating their time and money, and has no advertising. Decisions are made collectively, and we like to negotiate. Discussion is encouraged, and there are plenty of people around to learn from.

Everything that's done on the wiki can be undone, so it's very friendly to new users. The interface is designed to be easy to use and easy to learn.

What Wikinews articles are

Wikinews has two main types of article:

  • The most common is the synthesis article. These draw on media reports from many other sources (always fully cited). It is rare for other media stories to contain all the available facts, so we provide a more rounded and detailed report. We can also strip out any bias and present a neutral point of view.
  • The other type of articles is original reporting. These are first-hand news reports written by Wikinews contributors on-the-spot of news events. You can read more about this type of reporting at Wikinews:Original reporting.

What exactly Wikinews covers is explained by the Content guide. Some really good examples are available at Wikinews:Featured articles.

Where do I start?

Learn to edit MediaWiki

Some essentials are needed by anyone who would like to work on articles. For one thing, you will need to know how to edit a page. However don't concern yourself too much with that. There are plenty of people willing to help you if you need help in that area. You can also try our wiki sandbox, which lets you try the code however you want.

Start reading, start writing

Published articles appear on the Main Page. You could start off by reading some of those: you might find errors to correct, and get an idea of what others are writing here.

Articles which need work appear at Wikinews:Newsroom. You can find out how to write new articles here.

Like to know more?

Wikinews Style guide

Like most publications, Wikinews has its own style guide, which helps its contributors make their efforts blend in harmony to produce a finished look. The style guide also contains a lot of tips and grammar guides. But you can pick up 99% of what you need to know just by looking at existing articles.

Research using Wikinews Reference desk

If you need to research something for an article, you'll find plenty of resources on our Wikinews:Reference desk. There is also a page on Wikipedia that organises news sources by region.

Communicating with other Wikinews users

A number of facilities exist in order to communicate your intentions, suggestions and questions, with other Wikinews users.

Talk pages

Click on the 'discussion' link at the top of any article to go to its associated Talk page. By editing the Talk page, you can leave comments for other readers. Each user who has edited Wikinews before also has a Talk page for their username, where you can leave comments for that user.

Article flags

Wikinews:Article flags invite people to work on certain aspects of an article or inform them about the state of the article, including a number of common problems which arise.

Water cooler

The Wikinews:Water cooler is the place to discuss general Wikinews issues.

Live chat via IRC

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel #wikinews and #wikinews-en on irc://irc.freenode.net . You will not even need an IRC client, if you use the web interface.

Still confused?

If you're lost, try Wikinews:Contents.

Not quite sure if Wikinews is for you? Or if you are doing the right thing?

Try these:

Or ask someone at the Wikinews Welcommittee!

Disputes

Disputes are inevitable. We are all very friendly here at Wikinews, but it is a little chaotic, and no one can see the whole of Wikinews all at once. We are not mind-readers, and as nifty as Wikinews is, even this is not a perfect communication medium.

Please be patient and polite when you have a dispute.

Tips for resolving serious disputes are at Wikinews:Dispute resolution.

Administrators

Wikinews, like all wikis, tries to be non-hierarchical. However, there are some technical tasks that have to be reserved for trusted users, and for these we have Wikinews:Administrators.

See also