Wikinews:Opinion articles poll

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Regarding: Controvery over whether a non-neutral, personally-written "column," "editorial," or "opinion piece" should be "published" on Wikinews and, if so, how.

Requirements: Logged-in user on Wikinews. One vote per user per question. Voting ends January 21, 2005 at 00:01 UTC.

Voting ended January 21, 2005 at 00:01 UTC.[edit]

Question: Should opinion pieces be allowed?[edit]

Yes, WITHOUT requirements, disclaimers, or separate listings from news articles[edit]

Yes, WITH requirements, disclaimers, or separate listings from news articles[edit]

1. I think we should allow opinion articles, but keep them separate from the rest of the news. It would give exposure to people trying out their hand at opinion pieces, it would be clear to anyone that the article is not subject to NPOV, and because I think most people enjoy editorials and reading other opinions, it would make for a very interesting section of the site. After all, every newspaper and magazine has a section specifically for this... The opinion pieces should always have the full name of the author --Shana 14:17, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

2. Opinion pieces should be allowed - most news sites provide them as editorials, and they can be a valuable addition to inform and educate. However, there should be a review process, to ensure that articles presented as argument or opinion are at least supportable by facts. It would be a disservice to allow a forum for people to spread, for example, hate speech. I'm not opposed to allowing editorials from only pre-approved authors, but wonder how that would work? jkrusky 22:17, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

3. Yes, yes, yes. As long as the column is checked before displayed on the main page, and verified to be of good quality, I completely support this. We don't want people to make columns when they have no grammar or spelling skills. We also want to be sure that they actually are better than the news articles themselves. Cap'n Refsmmat 00:28, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

4. Yes, definitely allow editorials. We need to develop an editorial policy and establish a review process for editorials. Kuro5hin is a good model to base this on - the site allows anyone to submit an article. Although they don't really have an editorial policy or a style policy, the community (in theory) polices itself because all the users can make editorial suggestions about a submitted article, and vote on whether to post it. Kuro5hin does suck now, but that's becau se it was overrun by trolls in the absence of a real administrator. We won't have that problem, right? We clearly need an editorial policy against hate speech, libel, etc. I'd also suggest a remove personal attacks policy. I do not think that columnists should be required to give their real name. Rhobite 15:13, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

5. Editorials have their place in news sources. Andrevan 19:59, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

6. I agree. Every major newspaper has editorials and so should Wikinews. Andrew pmk 22:15, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)

7. If Wikinews is intended to be like a newspaper, and there are newspapers listed on the Reference desk, then it must have editorials.--AliceCrypto (Talk|Contributions) 17:44, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

8. YES! We should have monitored and structured opinion writings. They should not be allowed to be irractial, but informitive with a person's view. cafzal 15:37, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Note: this poll ended in January, 2005. The items below appeared later. Pingswept 05:13, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

9. Yes, wikinews should allow well written editorials.

10. YES ! free expression. Greudin 12:25, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

11. Yes, as long as the editorials are coherent.--Cjc244 16:31, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

12. Yes, as long as it is obvious that it is not a NPOV. Peterbb 03:53, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, for authors that have been voted acceptable by the community[edit]

1. Would this not be classified as an editorial? Opinions of respected journalists and editors appear regularly in the mass media. I think that opinion pieces should be permitted, so long as the author attaches their full real name to the piece, and they are able to express themselves well. Neolux
2. Wikinews has established a life as it's own. It needs to move beyond 'beta', and try being a news community that is self-reliant. -Edbrown05 09:09, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, in user namespace[edit]

1. If you want to express opinions, stop talking about it and start doing it. The question is not whether to express opinions, but how to present them. Vote on presenting opinion articles when there are such things. If opinions relevant to the news and to the wiki turn out to be a bad idea even in user namespace, they can be removed. --merriam 09:13, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

2. IlyaHaykinson 17:59, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC) (I am leaning towards the Delay option, but I feel that this is a good compromise until then, and allows content to be created that can later move to the main namespace)

3. User: Tem Noon It should be clearly different than the news articles, but to not permit it excludes valuable perspective on what that writer will contribute to news articles. And, inevitably, if there were no place to "let your hair down" on the site, it will soon show up in articles. Even if the job here is to keep those articles clean, it would be making extra work. It is valuable for people to clearly separate the news, from their opinions on it. To not allow expression that people want to post would diffuse valuable productive energy into some other community. Erring on the side of inclusivity, there may be good reason for their impulse to post.


  1. Maybe later not now.---Carlosar 02:14, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. Get a blog! -Fennec 16:57, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. I agree, get a blog. This isn't a niche that wikinews needs to fill. --wikt:user:eean 04:39, 27 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. Davodd | Talk 23:18, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  5. Agree with Fennec. This should be a platform for news, not opinions. Dan100 12:10, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  6. the value of Wikinews is that it is *news* NOT opinion. once opinion is permitted it will creep inexorably into news articles until Wikinews becomes indistinguishable from all the other mainstream, so called news media. 3 Jan 2005
  7. No, Not now. Maybe someday we can start a site named "wikiwars", but not yet. ChrisW 06:41, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Not on Wikinews. Simeon 15:40, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  9. As someone else already stated; Get a blog Anth 23:32, 10 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  10. Yep, this is better placed on a blog. I like have the NPOV here because it's unique in the web world, AFAIK. There's plenty of other places to editorialize. MikeEdwards 18:16, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  11. Not here, it's the great novelty of Wikinews versus mainstream media. It's hard to follow this rule of the wikinews' gameplay but i am feeling it as something very important for our future. Jacques Divol
As for the options?
1. No requirements, disclaimers, or separate listings from news articles.
This will help the readers to confuse news material from opinions. It will appear as the Official Formal Opinion of Wikinews and/or the Foundation. Libel, anyone?
2. Yes, for authors that have been voted acceptable by the community.
Cliques, factions, Stifling The Truth, 'a Secrect Cabal that controls the WMF behind the scenes via IRC' accusations.
3. Yes, in user namespace.
Already possible, isn't it? Like Merriam said, this is a matter of presentation. However, I object to opinion pieces. The namespace doesn't matter. You know at least one person that'll get confused by this. What would you think of opinion pieces, written by journalists that contribute to 'YourFavoriteOnlinePaper', published on their personal pages in ''? Newcomers to Wikinews are more likely to make that mistake, and Wikinews strives to get out there, right?
Wikinews has been in Beta for a few weeks now. We haven't seen the current model succeed and we haven't seen it fail. We haven't seen if the realization of a peer-reviewed, NPOV news source works. Why end it here? Why allow non-collaborative, POV material? Does wikinews have the manpower to review both news pieces and opinion pieces?
Can you picture a peer-reviewed opinion piece?
Also, am I missing something or does 'personally-written "column," "editorial," or "opinion piece"' sound like it also applies to album, movie and book reviews? If Opinions get voted YES, make sure they only apply to Current Events.
This will open up new possibilties for trouble. Edit wars, accusations, external links to opinion pieces that'll be confused with official news. No matter how conspicuous the disclaimer will be, you know some will look past it.
WMF is most known for Wikipedia. Wikinews is and will be thought of as a related venture. Wikinews opinions' reputation will carry over to Wikinews, and from there to Wikipedia.
Wikiopinions makes no sense in the Wikimedia context. I thought the logic behind the wiki medium is collaboration. The hope that a collaboration of anyone's contributions can create an information source that matches up or exceeds existing, traditional sources.
This sounds like Wikiblogs to me.
However, if this votes through, I'm making a 'Crossfire' like opinion page. Who's up for playing antagonist/protagonist? --Jill St. Crux 19:12, 7 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Just a note: "Can you picture a peer-reviewed opinion piece?" Obviously, the opinion pieces would NOT be peer reviewed. People could discuss them, but not edit them. That would be just plain dumb if they were supposed to edit them. Cap'n Refsmmat 00:55, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)
My usage of 'peer-reviewed' applied to both peer edits (grammar and spelling) and peer moderation (which opinion pieces get published/authorized and which do not). Again, I stress my opinion that both review processes will lead to feuds and that the latter will lead to 'factionization', as opinion pieces are inherently POV.
How will the quality of opinion pieces be judged?
Keep in mind that if content isn't moderated nor supervised, contributors will have de facto carte blanche. --Jill St. Crux 17:54, 8 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In itself, Wikinews 'explicitly allows original reporting, making it somewhat similar to Indymedia, while adhering to a strict Neutral Point of View policy'. Opinions, on the other hand, are not original reporting and are not NPOV.


  1. I think opinion pieces should wait until the rest of Wikinews has stabilized, including a policy for original reporting.When that happens, say, 3 months from now, we should think carefully about how to best guarantee a neutral approach to handling opinion articles. This could be done by having a phase where we solicit pieces from different "factions" on an issue, and not publishing the articles until this time has elapsed (longer for timeless issue, just a day or so for time-critical ones).--Eloquence 02:11, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  2. I don't think that we're ready for this right now. I'm especially concerned as to how we would handle these in a neutral way (since opinion articles are POV by definition). Once we get other things sorted out, we might be in a better position to answer this question. Lankiveil 05:18, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  3. I feel like this is a matter of "let's get the regular news settled, then take on new challenges." Lyellin 21:18, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)
  4. I'm leaning towards the "No, get a blog" crowd, but that would also rule out if someone actually comes up with a way the community can deal with them. I definitely feel now is not the time for them.--Herda05 01:01, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  5. I also kind of lean toward the "Get a blog" crowd, but I can also see potential benefits. I think this is something we should do after Wikinews stabilizes as well. Then, we will have a better perspective, and also a better awareness of the specific needs opinion pieces could fill. Samrolken 08:43, 15 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  6. I think we should have them, but i dont think we need them yet. Lets work on NPOV articles first before we start with all the trimmings. The bellman 00:34, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  7. It is too early to decide on it. Radouch 15:54, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)
  8. Guaka 17:09, 20 Jan 2005 (UTC)