Wikinews:Review guidelines

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For more recent policy (as of 2009) see Wikinews:Reviewing articles

In the review process, please comment on any of the following issues:

  • Neutrality: All factual claims need to be attributed or sourced. On-topic information which is relevant to the article should be added. Off-topic information should NOT be added to "balance out" an article.
  • Accuracy: All facts should be verifiable. Factual claims which are attributed to a person or group, but considered false by another person or group can remain in the article as long as the controversy is accurately represented.
  • Legality: Does the article violate any laws of the state of Florida in the United States? Specifically, does it violate other people's copyright, in text or images? Please make sure that no images have been directly copied from a non-free source without permission, and that any brief text quoted from a non-free source is attributed accurately. Use Google News and Google Search and pick individual phrases from the article to verify this.
  • Writing: Is it well-written and understandable?
  • Policies: Does the article comply with Wikinews:Content guide and Wikinews:Style guide?
  • Comprehensiveness: Relevant information on the topic should be included, while keeping in mind timeliness. Given that an almost infinite amount can be said about any topic, objections in this category carry less weight than those in other categories.
  • Referencing: does the article contain references for all of its contents? Do these references point to reports from credible primary sources? (eg. in-the-field correspondents). If not, there is no reason for a reader to believe the contents of the article. Inline references (i.e. using the format [1]) are the easiest way for readers to verify content, and enable the claims made by multi-sourced articles to be linked directly to their sources. It is not sufficient just to put a list of references at the bottom of the article. Use an inline reference after every statement made by the article.

Finding consensus[edit]

Objections have to be resolved before the article is finalized. But how do we stop people from blocking articles they don't like from passing through review? The most important criterion here is "actionability". This means simply that for any objection, there needs to be a way to address it. If you believe an article is irredeemable, list it on Wikinews:Deletion requests. But this is a risky undertaking: If there is no consensus to delete it, it may well be published without your objections being addressed, because you never voiced them clearly. So objecting with clear arguments is generally a better way to get what you want than requesting deletion.

Another important point is topicality. An article needs to stay on-topic. Off-topic material is not to be inserted merely to add "balance". If an individual article leaves an impression which you disagree with, you are free to suggest alternative points of view to be included, for example, but only if they actually relate to the subject of the article. This ties into the actionability criterion: If you request that the article be amended in a way that it becomes a violation of our topicality policy, then that objection is not actionable.

Generally, if you have an objection, you are encouraged to go right in and fix it yourself. You can leave a note that you did so in the appropriate category on the discussion page.