Wikinews:Aims of Wikinews

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Thoughts about the aims of wikinews, in response to this question from Talk:Main Page :

I think its obvious that we don't want this to just be a cut-and-paste of CNN.com. There is a real danger of people wasting their lives just to recreate existing news sites.

So I just wanted to promote discussion on what we're really trying to acheive. The things I'd like to see:

  • News compilation: many stories progress over time, and it is useful to compile all the angles and history so it can be read all at once.
  • Alternate perspectives: freedom from big media and controlled news sources. Also see news from perspective of people throughout the world.
  • True citizen journalism: the best journalism is from eye-witnesses and participants. Once wikinews is well known perhaps every news event will have several contributors who "were there". Imagine aid workers contributing articles on what is happening in Africa and such.
  • Free press: especially useful for those in regions of the world where the press is highly controlled. If we do it right, this could become the most reliable news source in the world!
  • Investigative stories: People working for governments, corporations and other institutions often have access to a wealth of information that may interest the larger public.

Thoughts?

Yes, I believe that there was an citizen journalism website. A few months ago, anyways, finally this wiki went up. I was waiting like a ______ (fill in whatever you wish).

I'm a bit skeptical about this enterprise, I'm afraid.

News is current and topical, but wikis are collaborative and accretive-- their value comes from a give-and-take between people with interest in a topic that results in the progressive refinement and elaboration of an article over weeks or months.

News has a greater reliance on an authoritative source-- the reporter whose reputation is built with each story, who you are inclined to trust because you know their track record. This helps with breaking stories as there's less opportunity for a reader to compare sources. With a wiki, you don't have this author and track record (in general).

Blogs (in the aggregate) already serve several of these functions. Some topical blogs serve mainly to point to news stories in other sources, they provide the up-to-the-minute aspect. Reporter's blogs can provide a personal take on events and a greater level of detail that can be a useful adjunct to their official published work. Eyewitness accounts can also be found in blogs. Blogs already meet many of the goals listed above, and address some of my concerns as well.

So my question is, what would wikinews provide that is missing from other sources of information about current events? What does a wiki approach mean to news reporting, and how can the strengths of a wiki best be leveraged to create something new and valuable? I'd like to see more discussion about that.

See m:Wikinews/Vote 119 18:26, 2 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Is "internet news" (news of happenings taking place entirely on the Internet, as opposed to the politics/social/cultural of most news organizations) an appropriate candidate for inclusion in Wikinews? When does news become too trivial? There are undoubtedly many niche stories that Wikinews could fill, but some line has to be set to keep the wiki in the range of "organized clearinghouse" rather than "spam site." 169.233.6.98 01:53, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

As a wikipedia user I am quite enthused about the wikinews concept. In the long term I believe that it will hold up and create the authoritative sources questioned above. That said, I note that most of the articles I have looked at so far are pretty much rehashes of AP/Reuters/other major media sources. I think the true payoff will be when we see grainy 20 second videos from [insert event here] taken on cell phones integrated with written facts, low on the polished language of a professional reporter. How can the power of the wiki be leveraged into the news concept? Place an emphasis on multiple _human_ sources for articles, not existing media entities. Cheers to all involved on a great step forward by allowing people to find a media source without a corporate bias.

Is there a way that we can give priority/emphasis to articles written by first-hand witnesses? I think citizen journalism should be rewarded in wikinews. The end result could be quite impressive: imagine an article on a political demonstration that included many points of views from people that were there. --jabelar 15:08, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Can we do an promotion where demonstration organizers can make people aware of wikinews, then create an article on their next demonstration with many contributers? --jabelar 15:10, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Yeah, you'd need to raise attention for wikinews on sites such as Indymedia, etc. Write articles on topics the demonstrator organizers care about (such as about things being discussed on Indymedia), then post links there to here. Best thing to do would be to provide detailed coverage about protests in action. The planned Jan20th demos would seem to be an ideal opportunity. BryceHarrington 09:35, 31 Dec 2004 (UTC)

One value add of Wikinews that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is that Wikinews continues to be open source after the news has passed. Many for-profit news sources provide free access to current news but charge for access to their archives. So while Wikinews may struggle to report the latest news quickly, its long-term value as a news archive should not be underestimated (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Samw)24.101.45.71 00:51, 28 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Whilst I applaud the values mentioned in this article, I really don't see it happening on the front page yet. Ok, I'm a relative newbie, but from an outside perspective it certainly doesn't have the dynamism and enthusiasm you can see on Wikipedia. I am by no mean being critical, but perhap a more clear statement of the intentions of Wikinews on the front page, encouraging opinionated/subjective articles (clearly marked as such) and especially 'local' news. Once wikipedians and visitors realise this, they will lose their fear of writing a review or report which could get panned!

I appreciate that the community is still small, but a more open attitude than currently exists on the strictly NPOV Wikipedia - which frankly is where most of the writers will initially come from - could really accelerate growth

Thanks for listening, ML