Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/19

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SpinSpotter, the tool we should never need[edit]

NYT article

A browser plugin that marks potential bias and conflict of interest language in online news articles based on an internal dictionary and user flags. This would actually be quite useful for Wikinewsies when writing articles, to learn a bit about how to write in an NPOV way, but like my section titles says I hope it doesn't bring up too many red flags on published articles. I haven't looked at the product's webpage yet, but it's probably worth investigating. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 05:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

If someone has a list of evil words, its trivial to make something like this as a js gadget (activatable in special:preferences). Bawolff 07:05, 15 September 2008 (UTC)
I have installed this doohickey, what do I do with it? How can we use it? Can we nail the bozos who plagiarise Faux news with this? --Brian McNeil / talk 20:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • UPDATE: I've been going through some of my older Thailand articles while writing the current one and discovered that some of our readers are using this and applying it to our articles. Some text shows up in red as an assertion by the tagger that it is a biased or otherwise controversial item within the story. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:42, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. I might have to turn mine back on to see what people have been using it on. Is it actual user-tagged notices, or automated "suspected bias" tagging? Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 01:04, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea if it is user or machine generated. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:21, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
It sounds like SpinSpotter could be used to further censor substantive political discussion in America. By searching for "politically incorrect" words, it could quickly detect and ban most articles critical of the government or other sacred cows. Is this really progress? Who decides what is "spin" and what is not in this "Brave New World"? NonZionist (talk) 05:23, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Spinspotter does not censor. It simply highlights certain words or phrases as "spin" (i.e. they have a red highlight and a spinspotter mouseover). I believe the tagging is done by users of the plugin. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:20, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
From my understanding, SpinSpotter highlights language that it detects as being possible spin, which is from a combination of (1) user input (i.e. someone with SS reads the article, activates the tool and marks the spin words), and (2) matching with an existing dictionary of "spin" - similar to if you get an automated peer review of an article on Wikipedia, which will tell you if it thinks you've used weasel words. I'm pretty sure the wordlist is written by the original creators of the tool, but it may be a bit more extensive than that (and if so, would probably allow you to generate your own list). Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:01, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Does SpinSpotter provide a score of the article? Because posting the score on an article's collaboration or opinions page could be useful to readers. Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:05, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikinewsie and[edit]

As anyone who has emailed scoop recently will know, there have been a number of people not checking their email and causing bounces. As with previous times where this has happened I'm dropping them from distribution. The latest are:

  1. sean heron
  2. michael laurent
  3. joshua zelinsky
  4. sam thomas

This leaves the following people receiving SCOOP emails:

  1. brian anderton
  2. cary bass
  3. daniel bryant
  4. eddie ortiz
  5. jon davis ShakataGaNai (talk · contribs)
  6. patrick flaherty PatrickFlaherty (talk · contribs)
  7. iain mcdonald Blood Red Sandman (talk · contribs)
  8. patrick mannion
  9. gabriel pollard Nzgabriel (talk · contribs)
  10. jason safoutin DragonFire1024 (talk · contribs)
  11. craig spurrier
  12. terin stock
  13. paul williams skenmy (talk · contribs)
  14. brian mcneil brianmc (talk · contribs)
  15. joseph ford
  16. martin peeks martinp23 (talk · contribs)
  17. leandro kibisz
  18. michael valentine
  19. ricoccshen BrockF5 (talk · contribs)
  20. tomasz kozlowski
  21. milos rancic
  22. sandy ordonez
  23. zachary hauri Zachary (talk · contribs)
  24. thor malmjursson
  25. caleb williams Calebrw (talk · contribs)

Yes, there are two additions today.

I'd like to open up a discussion on slashing accredited reporters back to just those who can be bothered to keep their mailboxes functional. This may seem like a radical move, but it makes things respectable. There are several things I'd like to see in relation to this:

  1. Every reporter fill in the {{user}} template on the above to note they've seen this
  2. A brief bio from each reporter for use on
  3. A photo (passport-type) from each reporter for use on
  4. Each reporter having the appropriate template(s) on their user page
  5. Moves to de-accredit those who can't keep up with the email
  6. Prior to de-accreditation a chance for people to get their shit together

I am going to email a link to this entry on the Water Cooler to scoop, please feel free to highlight it to those who are no longer on this list but claim accreditation. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:25, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

As an afterthought on this, there are a couple of people who have asked to be dropped from Scoop and are thus not listed. David Shankbone is the most obvious case here. Yes, the address is a spam magnet - it is published several places on the web. If you're not prepared to take the spam I think you should just hand in the press pass right now. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:36, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree. Accreditation should be (and should be the only thing on wikinews) that works on a use it or lose it basis imo. If people can't be bothered to check there accounts, they should definitly loose it. Bawolff 08:41, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


I've updated the copyright message again, last line now reads "Wikinews®, and the Wikinews logo are registered trademarks of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc." The logo has been TM for a while, we just weren't explicit in stating that. This won't impact most people, but if there are queries on reuse of our content it should be made clear that the logo cannot be reused without permission.

The previous change on the copyright message was to highlight that images may not be CC-BY and people should check them.

So, is this pretty much a final (c) message? Anything I've missed? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:14, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Well to be nitpicky, other media can have other terms (videos). Umm should we maybe have some sort of © some entity with the copyright sign on there? Bawolff 08:24, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Add babel boxes to your user page[edit]

Basically, when I have an article using information from a Spanish source, I currently have to ask on IRC if anyone knows any Spanish to get it reviewed. If we started using babel boxes however, this issue would be instantly resolved as I got find a Spanish speaker via categories.

In short, follow the instructions below and add babel boxes to your user/user talk pages today :

{{Babel box|language code (eg. en, es, fr, it etc)|level=1, 2, 3, 4, N or 5}}
{{Babel box|language code (eg. en, es, fr, it etc)|level=1, 2, 3, 4, N or 5}}


{{Babel box|en|level=N}}
{{Babel box|es|level=2}}
{{Babel box|de|level=1}}


en This user is a native speaker of English.
es-2 This user is able to contribute with an intermediate level of Español.
de-1 This user is able to contribute with a basic level of Deutsch.


Anonymous101talk 16:12, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Cool. Definitely a good idea. Bawolff 19:19, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Due to the longstanding rejection of userboxes, we had been using categories for language abilities until now. Boxes are nicer. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:16, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I will personally visit the first person to claim fluency in Klingon and duct tape them to the exhaust pipe of a Ferrari. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
boch ghlchraj! Bawolff 02:49, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

WikiVoices/Wikinews: talk about Wikinews and create an article in a real time environment today[edit]

Hi, Not The Wikipedia Weekly has made its move over to Meta. A new episode for Wikinews is planned today at 20:00 UTC. Have a look over here for details or e-mail me. Requires Skype (a free setup). Microphone optional. If it's your first time on Skype, allow half an hour to work out any technical hiccups. Best, Durova (talk) 18:28, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Update on the episode: several people edited Wikinews for the first time during the session. We created Grandmother of Barack Obama dies at 86 and started Several businesses catch fire in Queens, New York. Information on participants is available at WikiVoices#Editing_underway. An edited version of the Skypecast should be available within a day or two. Special thanks to SVTcobra for assistance. Best, Durova (talk) 02:26, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Election WikiVoices episode. At 6pm U.S. Eastern time (45 minutes) we'll be holding a recording about the election. Wikinewsies are welcome! Durova (talk) 22:13, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

Update on the episode: we updated the voting results as the precincts came in and got a couple of people editing for the first time. Durova (talk) 06:44, 5 November 2008 (UTC)


If you haven't noticed - and you should unless legally registered blind - I've added a banner for the fundraiser. This is in sitenotice and anonnotice.

Yes, it's big and ugly, but anyone who's visited Wikipedia recently will see they have equally fugly banners. I don't know why we don't get the global one but we should be highlighting the campaign. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:07, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Well, at least ours will go away after one reads and clicks. Theirs gets smaller, but stays there. --SVTCobra 10:10, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Apparently you can disable the WP one in your preferences somewhere. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:13, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I revised it again to smooth the text and use the WN logo as well. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:43, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

We are now getting the global message, so we should probably turn this back off. Also, whoever updated the anon-site notice, did something that makes everything center-aligned in Internet Explorer (you have to be logged out to see this). --SVTCobra 05:53, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Someone turned off my message, and I just cleaned up Mediawiki:anonnotice. Seems my DIY job pushed someone to get the official banner tailored to be used by us and up. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:10, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
The entire site is still center-aligned when viewing not-logged-in in IE7. Cheers, --SVTCobra 12:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I do not have this problem, you may need to do a hard refresh. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:27, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Fundraiser banner[edit]

Basically, the fundraiser banner is terrible for Wikinews.

  1. It features the Wikipedia icon
  2. Half the slogans are clearly made for WP not WN
  3. It makes it look like we (Wikinews) need $6 million. We don't.

Therefore, I think that we should go back to the custom Wikinews banner that Brian designed. I would complain now to meta or somewhere but that will achieve nothing unless the Wikinews community agrees now. Anonymous101talk 16:31, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

I don't agree. The banner includes a Wikipedia puzzle-piece icon, which isn't the full-on Wikipedia globe. Also, the version I see says "Support Wikinews" and "Wikinews is there when you need it — now it needs you." I don't see any reason to pick a fight over this perceived slight. --SVTCobra 16:46, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Refresh a few times. I see both banners; I think they rotate. The one requesting 6 million dollars (which, if you believe the wording of the banner, is exclusively for Wikinews) is just wrong. It makes it look like we need 6 million a year to run, which begs the question from the casual Wikinews reader, "WTF are they doing with 6 million dollars? Why am I not getting 6 million worth of content every year??!" That isn't the impression that we want to be giving to people. Gopher65talk 16:54, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree. The current banner was clearly made only for Wikipedia. flrn (talk) 17:02, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I've got nothing against the WN specific site banner. _I_ was the one that took it down. I only did so because we had both banners and it was terrible. If you can turn of the central site noticey one - feel free to turn our banner back on. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 18:28, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I have now also seen the banner that shows a barometer that seeks $6 million. It reads: "Wikinews: Making Life Easier." Again, I don't see a real problem here, and I don't see the need to pick a fight with the Foundation. There is no way, as far as I know, to dedicate donations toward a specific project anyway. Besides, all the money will go towards servers and hard-drives, etc., that serve all the projects. I am unsure what any of you expect to be gained by changing the banner. --SVTCobra 18:56, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
P.S. If anything, the popularity of Wikipedia is benefiting us. --SVTCobra 19:13, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
P.P.S. I just saw "Wikinews relies on your donations: please give today" and again I wonder what the problem is. --SVTCobra 19:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
... you're completely missing the point. I don't want a separate campaign for money for Wikinews. I just don't want a banner that says "Wikinews wastes 6 million dollars a year, but only produces 2 articles a day! We suck! Waste your money here!", which is what this banner implies. I don't have a problem with the generic banner, only with the one that suggests that it takes 6 million a year to run Wikinews. I simply want either: 1)A generic "Donate" banner, or 2)If the banner needs to have a dollar value, I want the banner to specify that the money is going to the Mediawiki Foundation for the good of all their wikis, and is not solely going to Wikinews. Gopher65talk 22:20, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think I am completely missing the point. The Wikipedia banners say the same thing, as do the ones on Wikisource and Wiktionary, etc. None of them say that the money will be spent entirely on that project, or proportionally according to project size, or anything else along those lines. I guess what you want is for the banners to say "Wikinews relies on your donations: please give to the Foundation" or something of that sort, so no one is confused. I just don't see why people would think Wikinews is being 'dissed' over the way the banners are written. That being said, if you think we can raise money better by having our own Wikinews Foundation, and go semi-autonomous like German Wikipedia (yet they carry the same global banners), then go for it. They get government grants and stuff. --SVTCobra 18:32, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
GAAAAAAAAA! You're frusterating me. Where... WHERE do you see me talking about raising our own money? I NEVER ONCE said that. Please stop putting words in my mouth. Nor did I say that Wikinews was being "dissed", or any such thing. It's like you read the first line of my posts, and then just imagine what the rest of the post might be saying.
What I said, once again (and please read this time, instead of just guessing what you think I'm probably saying), is that because the banner just says "give 6 million to Wikinews", it strongly implies that Wikinews burns though 6 million a year in donations. Now use your imagination. Pretend that you are coming here for the first time. You don't know what the Mediawiki Foundation is. All you know is that this is a news site. You see this banner, which implies that this site is run solely on donations. "Cool," you say. You look at the front page. You see 2 stories per day being posted. What would your reaction be? 6 million well spent (~8200 per story, btw)? "Geez", you'd say, "does the CNN website require 6 million a year to run? I doubt it. And they post a lot more than 2 stories a day. Frak this. I'm not coming back here!"
So, once again, the reason I oppose this banner is because it make makes Wikinews (and all the others except Wikipedia, which is big enough that people might believe that it takes 6 million a year to pay for servers and bandwidth) look like we are expending vast amounts of money sipping champaign and eating caviar, since we clearly aren't spending 6 million a year writing news.
And yes, also once again, all I want is either a generic donate banner ("Give to Wikinews", with a donate button), or, if it needs to have a dollar amount, one that say something like what you said: "Wikinews relies on your donations: please give to [our parent] Foundation" or whatever.
Simply put: this banner is offputting to new readers and to potential contributors. (OF COURSE old users know that the six million is going to the Foundation. That's irrelevant.) Gopher65talk 20:11, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I guess I will have to agree with you. Otherwise, you won't shut up. I can't convince you that the average reader is smart enough to realize that we are part of the Foundation. However, if you want to carry on this revolution, you should recruit all the other small wikis. People power! --SVTCobra 20:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
First, could we both take a chill here, as I know both of you are generally people who argue sensibly and are ditors I have a lot of respect for. Secondly, not everyone is aware that Wikipedia is run by the Foundation; in fact, if I went round folk I know I doubt most of them have heard of anything other than Wikipedia. Many users will get it, many more will not. Also, wouldn't the Foundation's logo and a mention of it be more relevent than a Wikipedia puzzle piece? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:27, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
"No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people." - attrib. to H. L. Mencken. In other words, it's perfectly reasonable to assume that there are a number of people who will see that banner, and not realise that it's asking for $6m for the entirety of the Foundation. Can we at least have a banner that has something like "Why do you need $6m anyway?" with a link to (actual wording may differ, e.g. "And not just Wikinews - see where your money will go")? Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 23:26, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

New York City Proposition 8 Protest Photos[edit]

Hey guys - I have only uploaded the Whoopi Goldberg photo so far, but last night there was a *massive* protest outside the Mormon Temple against Prop 8. The Creative Commons photos are uploaded to Flickr here; I was up until 4 a.m. photoshopping and working on them, so I will be slow to move them to WP over the next few days. But if you have any use for one in particular, let me know or feel free to upload yourself. --David Shankbone (talk) 16:15, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, David. Glad to see you still remember us. Cheers, --SVTCobra 16:18, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Of course! Glad to see we got Google News!

Nice photos! Nyarlathotep (talk) 19:52, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews:Great ideas has a live incoming link[edit]

Wikinews:Great ideas has been tagged as {{historic}} since 2006, and was last updated in 2007. Yet it is linked from the Newsroom with:

Have a Great Idea for Wikinews? Tell us

So should we either:

  1. delete the newsroom link, or
  2. remove the historic tag?

--InfantGorilla (talk) 13:36, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Delete the newsroom link. Cirt (talk) 14:30, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
Maybe replace the link to Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 14:44, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

"Message to Scientology" video[edit]

Please see ongoing discussion here: Talk:"Anonymous"_releases_statements_outlining_"War_on_Scientology"#.22Message_to_Scientology.22_video. Would appreciate it if an editor or two could read this and weigh in with their input. Thank you for your time, Cirt (talk) 14:26, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

At the same point as this request was written, I flagged the dispute on WN:AAA. The Water Cooler seems inappropriate for this as only an Admin may make a change to the article. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:38, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
However any editor may weigh in on the talk page. Please also Note: I have reverted myself to last by Brianmc (talk · contribs), pending discussion. Cirt (talk) 14:40, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
It isn't up to admins as to what content can be changed after an article is archived, it is up to the community. Just because only admins can change this, it doesn't mean only admins can discuss it. Admins have to act in accordance with the consensus of the wider community. Adambro (talk) 14:46, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Exactly my point, indeed. Agree with this comment by Adambro (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 14:49, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Here is the discussion from WN:AAA,

Dispute over addition of video to archive[edit]

The linked to discussion on an archived article's talk page highlights a disagreement over the insertion of content (namely a video) into an article on the Anonymous/Scientology saga.

Cirt inserted the video this morning and when I noted the change was to an article which is archived I reverted. My opinion is this is - if not an outright violation of WN:ARCHIVE - certainly an in-spirit violation of it. I have reverted it's reinsertion an additional two times, taking me to the WN:3RR limit (but not over it). Cirt has done the same over his insistance that the video is not text.

I believe that considering "content" (the term used in WN:ARCHIVE) as solely the text of an article is not how the community has generally agreed on this. We have been in dispute with Commons over photo replacement or removal, a video is far more content.

I also dispute the assertion that because Anonymous released the video before our article was published that it is "nothing new". It is new in that it is content not available in the Wikinews article at the time it was on the front page.

I would request uninvolved administrators to comment on this issue and perhaps revert to the originally archived version of this article. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:34, 23 November 2008 (UTC)


Other media publications have utilized a similar embedded-video format when reporting on the same material: see APC Magazine, and Macquarie National News. The video adds zero new text content to the article. In fact, the video is already discussed in detail in the article itself, and directly quoted, and it was given as a very non-obtrusive, defaulted-to-collapsed video option, directly next to the paragraph that quotes from the video itself. It in no way changes the format, layout, content, or substance of the article. There is zero reason not to have it in the article, it helps the reader see and illustrate what is being directly discussed in the article itself. Cirt (talk) 14:45, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Yes, Adambro is quite correct that the general principle of what constitutes an appropriate post-archiving edit is something for the wider community. I highlighted on the article talk that I was raising the issue on WN:AAA; that's mainly because the page could only be edited by an admin and I wished the insertion quickly reverted.

It is quite obvious from the discussion on the article's talk page that Cirt and I are not going to agree on this, so it needs wider community discussion.

I will reiterate that I believe this violates WN:ARCHIVE as it is a content change. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:57, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

I have another change I'm not sure on, this article had an update template added to it, but we never really worked out under what circumstances its use was appropriate. That's mainly just an aside, but it highlights that some work needs done on WN:ARCHIVE so we don't end up in dispute over it.
As to the Scientology versus Anonymous video, I could easily imagine a dispute over using it even at time of publication. It's someone's propaganda and while we may report on it actually directly providing it is helping disseminate their message. That could well fall foul of NPOV. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:33, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

Update template[edit]

Further to the issue of using {{update}} I would like to highlight the previous DR request for this template, here. This was 3 for, 3 against, and one neutral. Questions were raised over the appropriateness of its use in any circumstances but never addressed; I think it's time we cleared that up. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:27, 23 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment: There was a full WN:DR on {{update}}. It lasted for a week. There was no consensus to delete. The template was kept. The matter has been dealt with and the template can be used on articles. Cirt (talk) 23:30, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Excuse me? This is reality calling! Equal votes for delete as for keep is called no consensus. There was no followup discussion on when it is appropriate to use the template. What we had was no widespread support for its deletion. This is somewhat detached from how you are trying to represent this. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:37, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
The facts are not disputed. There was a deletion discussion for the {{update}} template, and the end result was that the template was not deleted, yes, there was no consensus to delete it. It would be silly to have that deletion discussion all over again. Cirt (talk) 23:41, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
If I wanted the deletion discussion all over again, I would have put {{DR}} on the page again. That is not what prompted me to be sarcastic and curt. Your above comment tries to brush off my highlighting that there was concern expressed over when it is appropriate to use this template. I want to have that discussion, and it is easy to take your response as an attempt to deflect any attention from such a discussion.
When should we use a template on an article to notify readers of subsequent updates? My opinion is this should be a very, very rare event. This instance cited does not seem like it; the newer article seems a perfectly expected follow-on to that where {{update}} has been added.
When I look at the list of my contributions and try and apply the same logic as to where {{update}} should be used, I start to wonder where it would actually stop. I could trivially take 20-30 of my Thailand articles and add a copy. I'd probably need to create a fancy new template to list multiple new developments. Let's actually have some limits, and for everything else rely on the wiki's search engine so people can look for more recent stories themselves. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:08, 24 November 2008 (UTC)
My point is simply that the deletion discussion failed to result in a deletion of the {{update}} template. This means it can be used in articles in general. Yes, it certainly could use additional discussion to nail down specifics, but certainly after a deletion discussion that did not result in delete, this means that the template can be used. Certainly we should not put an all out stop on the template from being used at all, or else that would be a case for another deletion discussion. I feel it is most certainly being used appropriately in this case. Please stop reading into what you feel my comments are attempting to do, you are incorrect in your assumptions and it is starting to be detrimental to a polite dialogue. Cirt (talk) 00:12, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Children... Shut up. Here's what I think, and we're going to go with it till we got something better:

  1. All 3 delete votes were because the template was freaking ugly. I made it not ugly (well not as). If you have a thought on how to make it more friendly - be bold.
  2. We'll continue to use the template as editors see fit. BUT MAINLY when there is a follow up to a recent article. EX: A major event occurs, we have an initial article but at 24-48 hours we need to move on to a new one (per our policy). At that point we'll start a new article and tag the old one with this update flag.
    • This assists people who land on our old article by mistake, or have bookmarked it to follow the updates.
  3. Not go stamping this thing on articles that are months old, no one cares about news that is more than a few days old unless they are looking for something from a historical perspective.

Yes - it's a crude solution. Yes - It'll work for now. No - The template isn't used very much. No - I don't see the template being used much. No - I don't really care about the outcome. No - I'm not the most level headed person to get involved - but what the hell - I got paged. Case Closed --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 07:29, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

*Screams in pain* ... my ... eyes. Zee Goggles, Zay Doo Nutting! That's the de-uglified version of that template?
More seriously, I can see where this could be slightly useful, but honestly, isn't this what Infoboxes are for? This is the main reason why I want to make the use of infoboxes mandatory: we need to make sure users who land on an old article have some sense of where to go for new articles on that topic. Now that we can easily use Horizontal Infoboxes in articles where Vertical Infoboxes simply won't work, I see no reason why the use of infoboxes can't be made policy. Gopher65talk 02:16, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Although with an infobox, that changes content over time, so it doesn't necessarily always point to updates. Bawolff 03:25, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

CC-by content science and technology site[edit]

For all you science and technology freaks. I was surfing through unused categories, and I found this in there: All of the content is CC-by so we can us it for whatever. Just thought I would point it out. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:11, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, I've used it a bit before. See Special:Whatlinkshere/Template:SciDev . Anonymous101talk 14:10, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Overview of the year 2008[edit]

As you may know, last year we had Wikinews' overview of the year 2007 and Wikinews:Dynamic quiz/quiz/2008/01 , summarising the events of the past year, and a nice legnthy quiz on the events. However, we were rather rushed last year in getting it readt for December 31, so, I have started Wikinews:Story prearation/Wikinews' overview of the year 2008 in the hope that, if one event (or more) is added every day (or two), by December 31 we will have a nice, complete summary which we can publish, completed, on December 31. The same applies for Wikinews:Story prearation/Wikinews' overview of the year 2008/Quiz (but I haven't got round to starting that yet) . Thanks, Anonymous101talk 13:57, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Australian stats, soon to be CC[edit]

(this message will be cross-posted to the Wikinews water cooler, Australian Wikipedians' Noticeboard, and the Wikimedia Australia mailing list)

This was hidden in a page labelled "Website changes coming soon" on the Australian Bureau of Statistics website, but I figured it's worth bringing out into the open. ABS statistics on its web site have been free-as-in-beer for a while now, but apparently as an attempt to capture the attention of people searching for free-as-in-speech information, "The ABS is poised to introduce Creative Commons licensing for the majority of its web content." From about two weeks from now, apparently almost everything on the ABS web site will be under a CC-BY-2.5 Australia license. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:25, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

And a link - Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:26, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

File namespace[edit]

The image namespace has been renamed to file, so please use [[File:Example.png]] instead of [[Image:Example.png]] for embedding images from now on. Anonymous101talk 18:12, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

As far as i understand it actually doesn't make a difference. I'm under the impression that the plan was to make file: and image: synonyms (or file the canonical version, image the alias, like the relationship between project: and wikinews:) , with either working. Bawolff 02:00, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but a good idea to use File instead for good practice (just because it is backwards compatible, does not mean you should use the old way) TheFearow (userpage) 09:34, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Does this also affect {{image credit}}? Gopher65talk 02:28, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
{{image credit}} and {{image source}} are local templates that are not affected. However, given the general switch, we should probably transition our own templates sooner or later, just to avoid confusion. --SVTCobra 02:45, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Picture of the year[edit]

Redirect arrow without text.svg
Soft redirect
This page can be found at section.

Anonymous101talk 19:45, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Shouldn't voting have opened by now? 12:51, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Voting is now open → WN:POTY08. Bawolff 06:57, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Translated quotations[edit]

I just rewrote the article Turkish physicist challenges General Relativity, which was obviously written by a non-native speaker of English. There is a quote in the article attributed to the subject, set out in quotation marks, which to my mind normally indicates that the text reports words actually uttered by the subject and not a translation of what the subject said. I then looked at the only two sources cited and didn't find the quote present, which makes me think that the quote, which like the rest of the text when I found it was in broken English, was also a translation. I went ahead and edited it, but now I am wondering if it should be taken out of quotes and introduced by some text like, (subject) said in (language) words to the effect that.... Is there any set policy or guideline on these matters?--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 21:07, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Good idea. I agree that the reader should be able to distinguish an original quote from a translated one; it may also provide editors with the ability to improve the English of a quote. A template could solve this as well I think. Other thoughts? Van der Hoorn (talk) 00:16, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
What about this one?
  • Syntax: {{Translated quote|<language code>|<language name>|<original quote>|<translated quote>
  • Example: {{Translated quote|nl|Dutch language|Dit is een quote|This is a quote}}
  • Result: "This is a quote"

((nl)) Dutch language: Dit is een quote

The original quote is not visible to readers, but they know it is translated. The original quote is present in the source, so editors can improve on the translated quote. Let me know what you think! Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 11:04, 16 March 2009 (UTC)

Getting other languages in Google news[edit]

Now that we're settled in to Google news it's time to see if we can get other language projects listed too.

Keep an eye on these discussions, and if you know of any other languages that have enabled FlaggedRevs, let me know and I'll bug them too (if there's a Google news in the language).

I think French is a particularly good one to go for as many French-language newspapers got themselves removed from the news index. Portugese, I just don't know - other than there are a lot of people in Brazil. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:39, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Is Template:Xt obsolete?[edit]

Please reply at Template talk:Xt#Obsolete? --InfantGorilla (talk) 15:13, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Swearing on comments pages[edit]

I have noticed the appearance of what censors in the UK and US would call strong language. Our comments page header says: "avoid swearing, offensive or inflammatory comments"

How do we respond? With reversion, striking out or excising the word, escalating warnings on the user's talk pages? Or should we judge on a case by case basis and let some swearing go unmentioned, just as we do for many (on topic) offensive and inflammatory comments?

--InfantGorilla (talk) 14:06, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Within reason I would allow swearing; we even allow it in the main namespace if it is on-topic. It wouldn't amaze me if I've, say, linked to Fuck Like a Beast (a favorite for getting a reaction) in passing on some of them. I would go for case-by-case, and ignore all but the very worst. Dammit, if we can repeat the fact that a guy we interviewed used an arguably racial name for Obama then we need to show some leeway. I am against stopping it for its own sake; it's a harmless thing in most cases. Even the most extreme of words is only offensive depending on the context in which it is used. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Swearing is allowed, IMO, to an extent. Excessive use of it though, should be removed. It is just the comments pages, but we also use limited swearing in articles, if someone is quoted as saying such. SO I guess it all depends on how much and how bad it is. I would say for users to make their own conclusion. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:54, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree pretty much with what has been said so far. More or less if someone is offended by it then take action. If the swearing is directed at a specific user, perhaps be more strict about it. Bawolff 03:22, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I would say that a main point of evaluation should be what the swearing is aimed at. If someone says "fuck that movie" or "fuck what the president did", then it is ok. But if the person says "fuck you" it is an attack on another user. If it is "fuck those [insert ethic, religious, political, national group]", then it is a derogatory statement that implies bigotry. But the variations could go on forever, and it was one of my main reservations about this namespace. --SVTCobra 03:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Swearing, racial slurs, et-al. are perfectly acceptable in the main namespace - if we are reporting what someone has said. In the comments namespace, a degree of discretion is required regarding policing it. Discussion that is descending into barely articulate name calling probably needs stepped on, but if only one side resorts to swearing at the other then it may be better to let the ad-hominem be shown as intellectually empty by letting those cussed at respond to it. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:59, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Brianmc. I'm for allowing 'most anything, provided that it doesn't digress into a flame war between two groups. I don't even remove racial slurs, provided that they are in a coherent comment. And that, I think, is the key. Anything is acceptable, until it becomes trolling. Two examples: "i dont like obama. That pinko commie nazi atheist fag is going to ruin teh county!11!1iwish Rone Pal had get in" would be permissible, as long as it didn't start a flame war. If someone starts up a brand new comments page on a random article that consists entirely of the phrase "obama is a nigga", then that is a troll, and should be deleted. Very similar words, but two different sets of circumstances surrounding their usage.
Basically I just think that we have to deal with this kind of thing on a case by case basis. I just don't want us to become draconian, but I don't want the comments pages to become WWI trenches either. Gopher65talk 17:26, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Just digging through old stuff on the WC, This discussion reminded me of Stephen Fry on swearing, a short and funny Youtube clip. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:58, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Good news articles[edit]

I enjoyed a business columnist's opinion on how to choose stories:

Cquote1.svg There is plenty of bad news to come and it is the job of journalists to report it. But finding some nice surprises is about to become part of the job, too. Cquote2.svg

--InfantGorilla (talk) 11:53, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews is interviewing the new Icelandic PM[edit]

I have been given the opportunity at a Wikinews second. In writing to Iceland's government on obtaining a photo, I ended up being directed to the secretary of the nation's Prime Minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir. I ended up asking that once she is appointed to PM (if she gets the appointment), if she would be willing to do an interview and with luck, I have been granted one. Please feel free to ask questions and post them here: Story preparation/Wikinews interviews Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Iceland's first openly gay prime minister. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:08, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Wow, that's pretty sweet, our second ever world leader. I wonder though, about the title. While it certainly is of note that she's openly gay, is that the actual main topic of the conversation, gay rights, etc? Otherwise, including that fact in the title seem extraneous to the point of her having to try and save her country in desperate times.
But very, very cool that you got her as an interviewee. -- Zanimum (talk) 16:48, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, I'm not against the gay mention, now that I see she's the first for any country in modern civilization. I thought other countries had at some point, but I guess that was just too much of a presumption. -- Zanimum (talk) 19:08, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Britannica interview[edit]

If you'd like to ask Britannica about its new "Suggest Edit" feature, as profiled in Wikinews article "Encyclopædia Britannica fights back against Wikipedia, soon to let users edit contents". If you'd like to pose a question to Tom Panelas, the media contact for EB, add your question to this story prep page. -- Zanimum (talk) 16:44, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Interview with Jimmy Wales[edit]

Please see Wikinews:Water_cooler/assistance#Interview_with_Jimmy_Wales. Thank you, Cirt (talk) 15:09, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

BBC English test[edit]

The BBC has an English test up here. I would be interested in seeing how people score, I got 18/20. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:04, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

  • 14/20 - (Feeling tad stupid. need to work on my vocab a little bit). Bawolff 09:46, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 16/20. Jolly Ω Janner 14:18, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 17/20. Redvers (talk) 14:24, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 19/20! Mike Halterman (talk) 14:27, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 19/20 - On the one I missed, I went against my first instinct. --SVTCobra 14:38, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 20/20. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 23:51, 3 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 16/20 - I did OK on everything but spelling, which I did terribly on. Anonymous101talk 20:29, 13 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 16/20 I scored the same as A101, and on the same bits, but I disagree that "long lost" needs a hyphen. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 11:10, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 18/20, hyphen and ostentatious were the two I got wrong... Daniel (talk) 11:30, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 17/20 I did better than I expected on spelling - with only 1 wrong, and I am with Blood Red Sandman on "long lost". An apostrophe did for me: I will have to go find a textbook that explains "let's". --InfantGorilla (talk) 20:51, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

BBC Maths test[edit]

There was supposed to be a followup maths test, but I missed that and the BBC search is not helping me find it. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:05, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

BBC Maths test here (I'd be interested in seeing everyones score) Anonymous101talk 12:07, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 18/20 - I wish I'd got a higher score, but at least i know how to do the questions I got wrong, it was just me being stupid, while in English I had no idea how to spell the words. Anonymous101talk 12:21, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 17/20 The ones that I got wrong I could have solved with a bit of paper - and a few of those I got right were educated guesses based on ball-park mental arithmetic. I was much better at this stuff way, way back when I was in school - rarely used the skills since, and only now have a need for it with a thirteen-year old monster in the house doing the same stuff. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:31, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 15/20 My maths is bearable but only good for breif periods shortly after topping it up. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:16, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 20/20. Jolly Ω Janner 13:29, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 20/20 (No calculator, but did use paper. I've determined that I am much to reliant on calculators. some of those question that should be easy, weren't when i didn't have my precious calculator). The sequence question took me a little while. Felt stupid once i finally figured it out. Bawolff 23:39, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 20/20, no paper or calculators but some of them took me quite a while to do in my head, and like Brian I used a few "ballpark" figures to work out which of the four answers was within the right bounds. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:46, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm waiting for the next person to say: no paper, calculator or head :P. Bawolff 02:13, 16 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 19/20 --SVTCobra 22:34, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
  • 15/20. I'm not good at math. Mike Halterman (talk) 04:51, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikimania 2009[edit]

Wikimania 2009, this year's global event devoted to Wikimedia projects around the globe, is accepting submissions for presentations, workshops, panels, posters, open space discussions, and artistic works related to the Wikimedia projects or free content topics in general. The conference will be held from August 26-28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information, check the official Call for Participation. Cbrown1023 talk 18:17, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

Editing the sidebar[edit]

Just wondering, how do I edit the sidebar on the left side of each page (or is it even possible to edit it)? Tempo di Valse 21:58, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

It's at MediaWiki:Sidebar, and of course it's fully protected by the system. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 22:46, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I remember seeing a way to use javascript and/or monobook.css to personalize it for yourself without affecting anyone else, but an onsite and Google search have so far not found what I was looking for. GeorgeII (talk) 23:48, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
I could make js to do that for you if you want. Bawolff 00:36, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Budget voice recorders[edit]

I am looking for a handheld/pocket voice recorder, and seeking your suggestions or experience. I have never used one, but I imagine what I need is something with 30 minutes or an hour of storage (and perhaps 3 or 4 hours of recording from a set of batteries; more if the battery is not removable.)

  • I don't need podcast quality; just something that I can use to transcribe interviews and talks.
  • Is the best value still micro-cassette recorders, or are there useful solid state digital recorders that beat them in price?
  • Are there big discounts online, or will I get competitive prices from stores?

--InfantGorilla (talk) 08:03, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure what country you're in, but if you want a no-frills efficient tape recorder, there are many kinds in the U.S. and there isn't that much competition between prices. I would suggest checking out Target, Wal-Mart or Best Buy if you live in America. Mike Halterman (talk) 12:56, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks! I have found no big differences in prices either. The office supply store seems to have the best prices for Olympus recorders. Today I was encouraged to pay a bit more for a digital one, for ease of organising clips on a computer, and a mic socket, even though the micro-cassette tape is the cheapest. The digital ones are not as pricey as I feared. --InfantGorilla (talk) 20:32, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
I use an Olympus DS-40. They are excellent all around and you can buy an external mike, too. You'll need a lot more than an hour because you have no idea how long an interview or event will last. It also helps a lot with noise filtering, too. I like it because I can use USB 2.0 to connect to my computer. Hours download in minutes. Rklawton (talk) 02:43, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

CallGraph for Skype, and interview transcribing[edit]

A couple of months back I was looking to do another interview with Tony Benn, apart from his heavy time commitment to the stop the war coalition, one of the stumbling blocks I encountered was actually being able to record the interviews. The older app I'd used, HotRecord, simply does not work since Skype has been updated. In asking around I was prompted to check out Call Graph. I had a few problems with it - particularly with what to me was the most important use - Skype to cell/landline. There have been several updates, and Call Graph's long-term plan is to go through the Skype app approval process. Basically, these issues should go away, and we should end up with something we can use - if that is not already the case.

As long as Call Graph continues to progress to that Skype certification, and keeps a free ad-supported version, I think this has the potential to be a very useful application for us. It also offers what I believe could be an invaluable tool to us - interview transcription. Yes, this is a paid service, but as it is done in India the costs are not prohibitive. I'd like to link that into the idea that the Foundation would consider funding a variety of community-initiated efforts to promote projects and content creation.

To me it now seems the time to get interested and involved in this. I see no mention on the Call Graph website of corporate or group accounts, but if the WMF can be persuaded that - in principle - they would pay for such an account, and transcriptions ordered through it, then we have an opportunity to influence the Call Graph developers and site maintainers to make this an option. I would not expect the WMF to pay for the call costs involved in the interview, because separating your Wikinews use of Skype from personal use is not really practical - and you could run to a 2 hour interview for under $10. Are there Wikinewsies who think they could make use of this? What do people think would be the key features a service has to offer us? Can you also see how we can pitch that to the developers as being in their business interests? Is it realistic to pitch this to the WMF as something they should pay for? --Brian McNeil / talk 11:30, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

there is a free recorder already in skype called "pamela call recorder". just go the conversation tab -> extras -> pamela call recorder. it records to mp3 for free. these files could then be uploaded to any transcripter and depending on the length of them im sure i, or others could manage it, and for the other longer interviews it could be sent to any service to transcribe. --MarkTalk to me 12:15, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Last I looked at this, it had a limit on call duration. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:13, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Doesn't wmf have a policy against using/paying for non-Free (free as in zealots) software. In any case I'd personally prefer that Free software be used wherever possible. does scr work? (although transcribing is an interesting feature) Bawolff 05:03, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
oh wait, scr is linux only, so it probably won't work for most people. Bawolff 05:25, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
The Call Graph software is 'free', in that the tool you use to browse recordings displays some adverts. It was what was suggested to me when I asked how Wikipedia Weekly was done. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:48, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

<unindent> With CallGraph proving unreliable and the other party breaking up as it recorded, I looked for alternatives. I have downloaded, installed, and - alas you have to - paid for a Skype plug in called Skylook. This integrates Microsoft outlook with Skype and is quite a slick tool. It automatically records calls - without the breakup problems I had with CallGraph. Calls can be transcribed (for a fee). It can be set to sent text messages to your mobile to remind you of outlook calendar events, all calls, missed calls, and chat messages are stored in Outlook folders, and it tries to integrate your skype contacts with your Outlook address book.

It may be a bit beyond some contributors at the price, but there is a free trial - I do not know what features are disabled at the end of the trial; I would hope recording and ordering transcriptions stayed so you could use that, and they could make money on the transcription service. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:12, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Main Page news ticker issues[edit]

I recently discovered a problem with the ticker on the main page: it displays articles that have been marked with the {{publish}} template, but not necessarily those that have been sighted. This is a potential loophole for contributors to get their articles to appear on the main page without them being approved by an independent party. Due to this, I am obliged to remove the ticker, which really is a pity, since I thought that it looked quite well on the front page. My question is such: is there any way to get the {{ticker}} to display only articles that have been published and sighted? Tempo di Valse ♪ 14:23, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Did this fix it? Cirt (talk) 14:31, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
It appears so. Thanks! Tempo di Valse ♪ 14:36, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
No worries. Cirt (talk) 14:38, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Picture of the year 2008[edit]

ZanimumLex Kolychev has won the 2008 Wikinews news picture of the year. Thank you for everyone who voted, as well as everyone who helped organize the competition. Bawolff 23:10, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

The result of the 2008 Wikinews Picture of the year is as follows:

The winning image, taken by Lex Kolychev, as arranged for by Wikinews reporter Nick Moreau (Zanimum). Originally Captioned as: University of Cincinnati hosted Independent's Day, for independent presidential candidates to debate at. Turnout was less than expected.

Tied runner up, taken by Mila Zinkova. Originally captioned as: Mila Zinkova spent ten days near the Halema`uma`u crater capturing this and other images
Tied runner up, this image was captioned: In the 2008 Taipei City New Year Countdown Party, the Taipei 101 skyscraper showed the "Love Taiwan" mark during the New Year celebration fireworks. was taken by C.D.L./ChunDer Lee.

Note, we are having some issues verifying Zanimum is the author. Please stand by. Bawolff 00:44, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Did this image appear in any Wikinews article? Is that a prerequisite? Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:50, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Apperently not. It appeared in the news in pictures section. See Template:News_in_pictures/Archive/2008/04 ([1]). (normally news in pictures generally has an article associated with it). Bawolff 00:52, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Hi all,
Yes, this is not my photo, it was indeed a photo by Lex Kolychev, created for the express use of Wikinews. Mr. Kolychev was found through Craigslist, volunteered, and I improperly uploaded the images, not mentioning him. I also didn't really have anything to write about, so I didn't publish the article, I only used this strongest photo of the series, in the "News in pictures" part of the front page.
At lunch, I'll dig up the email conversation, and send it to OTRS, to prove he created the image for us, and that he agrees with the free licensing. I can't send it now, as I don't have email access here at work. -- Zanimum (talk) 16:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Sent to OTRS. -- Zanimum (talk) 16:45, 11 March 2009 (UTC)
Thanks. Bawolff 22:50, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Google News and Wikinews[edit]

Is there any possibility of having Wikinews included in the Google News feed as per [2]? Crimson (talk) 04:49, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews already is, see here ;) Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 11:10, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews:Writing contest[edit]

I would like to start another contest similar to this one, sans the monetary prizes. I think this would encourage our contributors to write more articles, something that Wikinews is always in need of. Plus, it would be fun. The winner could receive some sort of recognition, like a special barnstar. The only difference between the old contest and this one would be that we determine a winner by how many number of articles published in a given time period (say, one month). Thoughts? Tempo di Valse ♪ 21:16, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we should have a "reviewing articles" contest. That bottleneck seems to be most pressing. Yet, I wouldn't want to encourage sloppy reviews. --SVTCobra 21:54, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
A writing contest seems fine, but I think "just counting" may lead to articles of low quality and to a high amount of duplicates. Maybe a system of counting the amount of days and the amount of articles. Thus:
  1. User A: 31 days one article, 20 days two articles, 5 days three articles
  2. User B: 31 days one article, 19 days two articles, 13 days four articles
  3. User C: 31 days one article
  4. User D: 29 days one article, 5 days two articles, 3 days three articles, 1 day four articles.
So, if you write every day five articles, you win, but if you fail one day to write one, someone else may win, even if that person only wrote one every day. :) It's a bit like the previous contest, but than within a limited time frame. However, it may still lead to low quality articles and duplicates of course, so maybe some other ideas?
Let me know your thoughts. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:03, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Interesting idea. However, if the articles are of a poor quality, then they won't pass their reviews anyway, so I don't think that's an issue. And if there are duplicate articles, then we can simply keep the one created first, and delete any created later. As to SVTCobra's suggestion, I think that yes, a review contest might lead to poor-quality reviews and thus should probably be avoided. Tempo di Valse ♪ 23:24, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
Personally, I'm a fan of writing contests that don't have time limits. The, have to write at least one article a day, if you don't, you drop out, type contest. If you know you're busy one day, you can write two articles on the day before. Reviews (and Audio Wikinews/writing emails to get free pictures released/whatever count as half an article, OR counts as two articles, etc) If your net article/point count falls below the number of days the contest has been going, you're out. (like meta:IWWC2 or messy's contest). I think those types of contests result in overall more contributions in the long run. Bawolff 04:47, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Sounds like a good suggestion, Bawolff. I've created a quick draft for the rules based on everyone's replies and suggestions, does everybody agree with this?

  1. Contestants have to start at least one Wikinews article for every day the contest has been running. For this contest, "every day" means one article for each day of the week in your timezone (i.e. a submission on 00:01 on Thursday and 23:59 on Friday would still count). There's no limit for how many total articles you can submit in a day.
  2. You must submit at least one article per day; however, you can be granted up to three "free passes" (i.e. days when you don't have to write an article) if you write at least two articles the day before. (You can't do this if you have an article debt.)
  3. It is possible to join the contest after it starts, but you will have accumulated an article debt for the days you have not participated. For example, if you join on March 25, you have an article debt of 4 articles. This debt can be worked off over time, but while you still have it, you have to write at least 2 articles per day instead of just 1. copied from previous contest rules
  4. Only articles that have been published after a peer review are to be counted.
  5. An interview article would count as two articles.
  6. Whoever can hold out the longest wins; if there is more than one person who has not dropped out after a certain time period (let's say, two or three months), then the contest ends and the person with the most articles written wins.

Thoughts? Tempo di Valse ♪ 13:56, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

The rules look good to me, Tempo. You might also want to take a look at User:Brian/Contest for the set of rules used on the last one (I'm the reigning champ and the one to beat!). It would also be good to see how it goes without a cash prize... Although I'm sure everyone agrees it's good to get one ;). Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:48, 18 March 2009 (UTC)
I've created a page devoted to the contest here: User:Tempodivalse/Writing contest. Please direct all further discussion there. Tempo di Valse ♪ 17:14, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

Template:Image info[edit]

I updated Template:Image info making it capable of having "Other_versions" as an optional argument. See my sandbox for the result. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 16:31, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews business card[edit]

I noticed this image of a Wikinews business card made by Doldrums a year ago. I'm not sure if there is still a demand for such a card? I hope so, because I recreated this image, but then in regular wikisyntax. :) See my sandbox for the result. It is not totally the same, but looks quite like the original, I think. If the result is satisfying enough, we can try to make a template out of it that is only usable by accredited users. Let me know what you think! Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 22:03, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

It looks nice, but the previous designs were done to a specific card size for printing. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:40, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I see. So some exporting function that would enable one to create an image or PDF of the business card for printing purposes, would be useful I guess? Any pointers how to do that in Mediawiki? For now I created a template at User:Van der Hoorn/Business card. See the talk page on how to use the template. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 21:09, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't know where to look, but the WMF has been looking into print-on-demand (which you pay for) and PDF on demand (free). The plans I know of are to roll this out on Wikipedia so you could pick a selection of articles and get that turned into a book. Don't think this really works with the idea of using a template to make a business card, but with other possibilities being large-size prints of Commons images, you can't tell where this will go.
In short, I'm not aware of anything to do this now, but foundations are being laid that might end up there. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:19, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I wonder if print on demand (for a fee) could be applied to the print edition somehow. (even if its some sort of best of wikinews over a month) Bawolff 05:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Reviewer user group[edit]

Hi, could someone tell me what this user group is for, and why we need it? Supposedly it allows users to 'validate' a revision, but how is that different from the usual 'sighting' function that the editor user group has? Thanks. ♪ Tempodivalse ♪ 17:23, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

This is a feature of the Flagged Revisions extension, as developed for de.wikipedia. The idea is to use sighting for relatively minor changes, and reviewing for a more extensive check on an article. Due to the nature of news, this is inappropriate for us - and thus while present as a default in the software, not used. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:48, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Sure it could be useful. You could use the validate tag for a reviewed article, instead of the publish template. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 17:52, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
Why drop categorisation of material - which is what ceasing to use {{publish}} would mean? A use I've thought Reviewer might be good for is the 'supposed' final check/copyedit when archiving. However, there is still the need to add a template highlighting the article is not to be changed. The introduction of Flagged Revisions was to meet a quality objective, a Wikinews article has a fairly short shelf-live before it becomes a historical artefact, and extra steps between development and being presented to any random user are probably not a good idea. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:09, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
My understanding is that we can modify the configuration of flagged revs to suit our needs. perhaps we should request that only one level of flagging is made available, as it is highly improbably we will ever use reviewer, and clutter causes confusion. Bawolff 05:35, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
Then, maybe we should deprecate the "reviewer" user group, and ask to have it removed by the devs, if that's possible. We never use it anyway -- can't recall a single instance where we really needed it. Thoughts? ♪ Tempodivalse ♪ 13:51, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Minor oddity[edit]

Canadian light aircraft stolen; Wisconsin State Capitol evacuated is not in the top 15 articles Template:Popular_articles, though it's currently a lead article (the other leads are #1, 2 and 5) and I would think one which would generate interest. It's possible interest has fallen off or I just caught it at a bad time, but I thought it unusual. GeorgeII (talk) 19:38, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

I looked into it. There is something wrong with the update bot (ask Melancholie (talk · contribs)). Here's the excerpt from the april 7 21:00 logs:
en.n Canadian_light_aircraft_stolen%3B_Wisconsin_State_Capitol_evacuated 2 45034
en.n Canadian_light_aircraft_stolen;_Wisconsin_State_Capitol_evacuated 109 1664109

Which means there was 111 hits for that article during that time period. Therefor it should be number four on the list (relative to the other things listed ) Bawolff 22:17, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

If i was to guess, I would guess that perhaps the bot isn't handling semi-colons and other symbols properly (as thats the only thing different on the title, and it also missed Dungeons_&_Dragons_co-creator_Gary_Gygax_dies which should be #1) but thats only a geuss. I'm sending a note to the bots maintainer. Bawolff 22:21, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
The bot should handle semi-colons and other symbols properly, actually. For Dungeons_&_Dragons_co-creator_Gary_Gygax_dies I think that the article was just not linked from the main page anymore (one year old, archived, got probably spammed(?)). For Canadian light aircraft stolen; Wisconsin State Capitol evacuated it seems to be a (very) rare issue with summing up those stuff. Will have to investigate and improve this... --- Best regards, Melancholie (talk) 13:35, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Fixed! It hadn't been a sort & summing issue as I first thought, it had been a silly log spam filter issue (/ stolen; /), sorry for that. --- Thank you for the indication, kind regards; Melancholie (talk) 05:25, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
If the bot takes Flagged Revisions into account, there should probably be no need to worry about spammy titles among the 'most read & published'. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:21, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
That's right, actually "linked on Main_Page" is enough. --- Best regards, Melancholie (talk) 03:25, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

By the way, the reason for Dungeons_&_Dragons_co-creator_Gary_Gygax_dies seems to have been Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Dave Arneson dies. --- Best regards, Melancholie (talk) 03:25, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Wikimania 2009: Scholarships[edit]

Wikimania 2009, this year's global event devoted to Wikimedia projects around the globe, is now accepting applications for scholarships to the conference. This year's conference will be handled from August 26-28 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The scholarship can be used to help offset the costs of travel and registration. For more information, check the official information page. Please remember that the Call for Participation is still open, please submit your papers! Without submissions, Wikimania would not be nearly as fun! - Rjd0060 (talk) 02:14, 9 April 2009 (UTC)


I've seen this category, but I think that's too general : 3 sports are under this one :

  • Rugby union (fifteen-players game)
  • Rugby league (thirteen-players game)
  • Rugby sevens

Should be a good idea to create three sub-categories for that ?. In French Wikinews, a Portal was created for Rugby union. It's just a suggestion.:-)--Bertrand GRONDIN (talk) 14:14, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

I think many people don't know the difference (such as myself) :). But if you can create three separate categories and explain the difference on those category pages (so that people will know which category is appropriate), it shouldn't be a problem I think. Just make Category:Rugby a disambiguation category with the same explanation and it may just work. Other thoughts? Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 15:29, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

Audio Template(s)[edit]

What happened to the audio on Wikinews interviews: Tony Benn on U.K. politics? --Brian McNeil / talk 19:42, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

It's still there? I replaced the text link with {{Audio box 2}}, which is the newest version of the audio template. Though... it looks a lot better when it is sitting on top of an infobox like it is suppose to:P. Gopher65talk 20:01, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
It is now included 3 times. Once in the last line, once above the image (which Gopher65 added) and once in the original reporting template. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 20:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Oops, I forgot to delete the text link when I put in the template. Fixed. Gopher65talk 20:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I dropped it in Category:Tony Benn on Commons - that'll probably get it more downloads than here. :P --Brian McNeil / talk 21:33, 14 April 2009 (UTC)


Any way we could get a Twinkle-like script for Wikinews? It could be helpful for reverting vandalism, warning vandals, welcoming people, etc, and will make some common tasks much easier to complete. Thoughts? tempodivalse 01:10, 19 April 2009 (UTC)

Last time someone tried to import twinkle, a wikipedia admin told us it might not be compatible with wikinews, and might cause unintended damage. (However I never looked at the script, so I myself cannot say if that is true or not, thats just what we were told previously. [and considering we are both using mediawiki, I reallly don't see what the difference would be, but nonetheless, the script should be looked over before porting it here]) Bawolff 05:42, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
The only incompatibility there could be is if someone wants to be a dick about the licensing. Anything they can do, Wikinews can do too - and we can always put a GFDL message on a template page. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:42, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you. :P Cirt (talk) 10:46, 21 April 2009 (UTC)
This is the thread about it last time: User_talk:Bawolff/archives/4#Message_from_WN_User_Iceflow. (I never really looked at the code, so i can't really judge, but someone else thought it could be potentially damaging). Bawolff 22:14, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
Hm. Well, I checked over the discussion you indicated, and it seems to me that if you can import gadgets like the popus and WikiEd, why not Twinkle as well? I wonder who we should ask about this? Maybe the twinkle developers over at WP could tell us how to get this imported? tempodivalse 22:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I could read through the code and see if there is anything weird in there (and honestly - we both use mediawiki, I'm somewhat doubtful that something problem causing will be in there - just someone raising the issue in it self implies caution should be taken). I just need some time to do it in (which probably won't happen 'tll the weekend). Other than me - AzaThot is from my understanding one of the primary authors of twinkle [and an occasional contributor to wikinews] and would probably know if there is any truth to the rumor it causes problems. Bawolff 22:41, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


Is there a website where I can view a list of Wikinewsies by number of edits? I'm just curious to see who has the most edits and where I stand. tempodivalse 03:20, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

Not sure of a list of users/edits, but you can check the edit counter on the toolserver. --Brian McNeil / talk 05:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I should really have linked to the edit count for DragonFire1024 - sneaky bugger has overtaken me. ;-) --Brian McNeil / talk 07:25, 23 April 2009 (UTC)
I believe you're #5 tempo (as of mar 31) See (however that list only counts main ns). Bawolff 21:58, 23 April 2009 (UTC)


Hey, might I note that I think we have all the relevant news covered today ? Not bad I think! A pat on the back for all contributors and fellow editors :D. Sean Heron (talk) 21:58, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Yep, looks like we got most of the main "international news" today. The weekend is always a good time for Wikinews, because many users will be off work and thus have more time to contribute here. tempodivalse 22:01, 25 April 2009 (UTC)

Today again might I add! I was really pleased to look by Wikipedia and see we had all the "in the news" covered, and then some :D ! Sean Heron (talk) 23:03, 27 April 2009 (UTC)


As you may know Yahoo will be shutting down GeoCities at the end of this year. I was wondering what we should do with the articles that link to sources on GeoCities? Searching on "GeoCities" on Wikinews gets 8 results in the main namespace and 29 in all the namespaces (including the main namespace). Of the 8 results in the main namespace, 4 are links to active GeoCities websites. Should we archive those 4 websites somewhere? Should we link to Or can we mirror important parts on a personal webserver? Somehow I find it important to keep sources available. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 16:16, 26 April 2009 (UTC) comes to mind. Bawolff 20:28, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
I got 22 overall in my search, with 7 in the main namespace: [3]. Bawolff 22:51, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Swine Flu Infobox[edit]

I just want to let everyone know, so they too can update the stats, that I added swine flu to the Avian Flu infobox. Please use WHO sources whenever possible. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:15, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

And I took it out, because Avian Flu is H5N1, and swine flu is H1N1 - very misleading to conflate the information on the two. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:17, 26 April 2009 (UTC)
Sorry. See: Swine Flu infobox. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:44, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Reviving Wikinewsie Editors' Blog[edit]

Apart from me not adequately maintaining the list of accredited reporters on, there's also the small matter of the Editors' Blog.

The list simply hasn't been maintained because when I have repeatedly asked for photos and mini-bios the response has been underwhelming - perhaps this is something to integrate into the accreditation process, or into Skenmy's credentialling proposal.

Anyway, the blog...

I've had headaches there on a few fronts where people have been posting stuff. Most painful was perhaps Brock with his manglish entries about, er... IT shows and the like that he thought it would be good to promote. I think the less said about Scientology the better. And lastly, biting the hand that feeds us - the WMF.

My key concerns are to keep it considered, professional, and non-sensational. NPOV need not be applied, but there should be no witch hunts against story subjects.

How would other people approach reviving the blog and getting it a following? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:28, 4 May 2009 (UTC)

I was planning on posting an entry to the editors' blog once the Eurovision special was over, detailing the highs and lows of completing all the interviews. I think it'll be insightful to share my experiences in actually doing the interviews, which not many people outside of us know about. Watch for a post there after May 16. Mike Halterman (talk) 08:36, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
That's definitely the sort of stuff I'd like to see on it. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:56, 5 May 2009 (UTC)