Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/Archive/5

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Wikinews Design Contest[edit]

We're still waiting for submissions in the Wikinews design contest, which will last until April 17. It's about the portal at http://www.wikinews.org/ and the stylesheets used here on the site. If you're not a designer, please contribute to the prizes -- so far, you can win a Wikinews button and a 500 g box of chocolate in each category. Also, please distribute links to this contest around in the blogosphere.--Eloquence 06:24, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews network crash...sabotage?[edit]

Its funny how we have become so brainwashed that we only think words like conspiracy or sabotage or terrorism or subversive apply to the people our government leaders tell us they apply to. Maybe,sometimes these words apply to people who are in high places within our government..ala President Nixon.

All I know is that Hunter Thompson's most recent book was aggressively anti-Bush and anti-war in Iraq and even with his death being the #3 story of interest on the internet today,NOBODY...I MEAN NOBODY.....even mentioned that fact. Nor did anybody mention that the last author that went after the Bush clan so visciously(according to George Sr.),and first reported Jr.'s cocaine habit and cover-up, James Hatfield, also supposedly killed himself. Has everybody forgotten that George Sr. ran the c.i.a.? Isn't it all a bit suspicious?

The wiki-news crash happened within minutes of when my article "Another Author of "anti-bush" Books Dies of Apparent Suicide" first hit the "developing stories"section of the main page.

And by the way, now somebody is trying to send my story for "speedy deletion"..people, I need some help with this paulrevere2005

Wikinews is not the place for conspiracy theories. Please stop posting them—you are wasting our time and hurting our credibility. (and please learn the difference between the words "vicious" and "viscous" before posting any more stories, regardless of their conspiracy-content) --Fastfission 14:13, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Watergate was a "comspiracy theory"...is this a conspiracy theory>>>In a Jan. 2003 interview Thompson gave on KDNK in the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado Thompson railed at the state of America; (source;democracynow.org) "Bush is really the evil one here and it is more than just him. We are the Nazis in this game and I don't like it. I am embarrassed and I am pissed off. I mean to say something. I think a lot of people in this country agree with me -...we'll see what happens to me if I get my head cut off next week -- it is always unknown or bushy-haired strangers who commit suicide right afterwards with no witnesses."

Watergate was authored by two journalists willing to put their credibility on the line in case they were wrong, and would have suffered consequences had their research proved faulty (compare with the Dan Rather/Killian incident not too long ago now). You, on the other hand, are just an anonymous Wikinews editor. You have done no research except to combine two hair-brained ideas into one. You have no credibility. You personally suffer no real consequences for posting nonsense. The only credibility you can hurt is that of Wikinews as a whole. As such, please refrain from trying to be an investigative journalist. If you had built up a reputation for good work, and were really bringing some new information to the table, it would be one thing (perhaps such a thing is never really possible on Wikinews). As it is, you're just another anonymous internet person who seems to have a minimal control over the English language and absolutely no concerns over presenting balanced journalism. Woodward and Bernstein you ain't. --Fastfission 23:44, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yet. Let's try to keep a perspective; very few of us have written professionally - and if we were highly successful as professional journalists we would probably not be writing for Wikinews now. At Wikinews we have the opportunity to learn some of the requirements of journalism, and perhaps learn some of the techniques required for investigative journalism.
One thing I have seen is reporters interested in the heavy research required of investigative journalism often begin by doing the work on their own time. Very much the wiki way. But their stories won't get published if they are not verifiable.
And like most research - the end story is based on what is found, not what the reporter went out looking to prove. Start with with questions, report the answers. - Amgine 00:01, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

"Objective journalism is one of the main reasons that American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long."-Hunter Thompson.

It burns my ass that old guys like me and Hunter have to still be the rebels..the hell raisers; while all of you young politically correctos talk about "control" of the english language and "balanced" journalism.You just don't get it. Events and their causes are usually NOT controlled and are usually UNbalanced so the language that reports them is best when IT'S uncontrolled and unbalanced.Why? Because the words should spring to LIFE;and LIFE is wild! You just don't get the essence..the soul of TRUTH! Amgine is right about one thing; the answers are all that count..the real and true answers like "where are the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?" "Where were they?""Why,BEFORE we invaded, when weapons inspector,Scott Ritter,was on TV saying over and over again that there was no wmd,does everyone now pretend that everyone before thought they had'em?" Why?why?why?...Can you even imagine going to print with an anonymous source known as "deep throat"???? GOOD GRIEF!!!!!!!!!!!!paulrevere2005

Say, I collect conspiracy theories. Do you mind if I copy this one? -- Redge|(Talk) 15:53, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

NPOV e.g. Afghanistan was categorized by reporter, Condoleezza Rice, as being"on the verge of becoming a narcotics state."[edit]

In the "presidential report" on Afghan dope production http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=544&ncid=693&e=4&u=/ap/20050305/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_drug_report which Connie Rice just delivered to congress, Afghanistan was categorized as being"on the verge of becoming a narcotics state." Now this was called a "report" and was delivered to congress...so to me, Rice was the reporter and the american people(represented by congress)was the audience.

  • 1.;why is it OK for government to constantly use inflammatory and one-sided facts/language when reporting to the citizens(ALA "AXIS OF EVIL")

and not OK for media to do the same thing?Isn't a free press supposed to provide a counter balance for government reporting; and not just be a vehicle for government reporting? Somebody said"the pen is mightier than the sword"..do you think they were talking about NPOV reporting? NPOV would be a better way; but if your biggest competitor for providing info to the people(government) is playing dirty(non-NPOV) and the nation's press is not; maybe the public is not getting a fair match-up. Paulrevere2005 05:30, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Governments are political. This means they tend to use biased, ideological rhetoric. The opposite, or balance, to this is to use balanced, non-inflamatory rhetoric which relies on facts and logic, presented by non-political entities such as news sources.
Do you understand why news should be non-political? It is to avoid being exactly the same as the government. - Amgine 05:51, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Amgine, I'm afraid that too many news outlets don't share that view. I'm on the fence about whether we are being incredibly naive by attempting to maintain this "NPOV" fiction. Everyone has a political agenda, even here on Wikinews, but everyone is always shocked, shocked to learn that political agendas are at work on this site, so I won't bother beating that dead horse into the ground.
Paulrevere2005 has a valid point that we are fighting the battle of informing the public with one hand tied behind our back when the government, and other publishers feel free to throw editorial spin on their stories.
While we may have the moral high ground by attempting to pursue a facade of "NPOV", the problem is that it waters down our stories to a dry collection of facts, with little or no context to explain what a story means or why it's important.
I find myself visiting an eclectic selection of alternative news sites to find analysis that explains what is really happening with various stories. I fear that Wikinews will continue to be completely devoid of this type of insightful commentary until we break free of the rarefied, sterile view we present of the world and instead "tell it like it is".
Unfortunately, the only other efficient mechanism available for anyone to pursue "citizen" reporting is blogging, which I find to be a waste of time, because a full-service news site format is the only way to be credible for surfers who dismiss anything that doesn't look like CNN.
If I had a spare thousand hours to learn how to install and set up Apache, PHP, and Linux, I wouldn't be writing this, I'd have my own Wikinews.
For now, this is the only game in town, so I guess we'll have to make a go of it. — DV 06:32, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Everyone has a political agenda, even here on Wikinews. Um, I don't have one. Sorry. BTW, isn't sticking to facts, presenting them in a npov way, and avoiding opinion "telling it like it is"? Surely adding commentary and spin would be "telling it like how we say it should be told"? Dan100 (Talk) 19:02, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Heh heh. You're kidding, right? Debating on the WC is a political act. Chosing NOT to cover one story and instead to write on another, is a political act. Word choice in writing could be politically motivated. Choice of sources is likely a political decision. ;-) It is important to be aware of one's own prejudices and political motivations in order to compensate as much as possible to counteract self-serving interests (i.e. political motives) to live up to the spirit of NPOV. -- Davodd | Talk 01:29, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

NPOV means, in my opinion, that people of diverse beliefs and interests maintain collective oversight of these pages, thus maintaining vigilance against the biases, both explicit and implicit, of others. It does not mean that the individual author is unable to have a point of view, or should attempt to purge themself of their natural point of view on a subject, political or whatever. The NPOV refers to the process of open dialog that shapes the articles, which is not the domain of one person. It is a dynamic state of people with different backgrounds and experiences using dialog to challenge any aspects of a story, not a static state of a bunch of boring people with no opinions getting together to recite laundry lists of facts.

For example, when Dan Rather tries to do a news story and is surrounded by people of similar "short-sighted zeal", there is no check and balance against whatever his opinion happens to be, and flawed biased articles are able to go ahead without a strong dissenting voice raising other possibilities such as "What if you are wrong?" and "I don't think you're being entirely fair to the other side of this story". But on Wikinews, open constructive criticism and revision is the norm, which leads to stronger articles.

Secondly, I think you somewhat mischaracterize the nature of government, which is an inherently oppositional process where some voices are able to answer the mistakes and excesses of other voices, i.e. the Dems versus the Pubs, because "one hand washes the other". And government has many facets, administrative and fact-finding as well as making populistic rhetorical flourishes like "Axis of Evil" to attempt to define issues to their favor in the public mind. It is not the job of journalists to falsely interject themselves into political dialogue, but to faithfully report on the conditions of whatever subject it happens to treat, letting the subjects of their stories speak for themselves, thus making themselves a trusted public resource that is "above the fray" of political debate and partisanship, a job the MSM would do well to refresh itself on nowadays. DouglasGreen 00:49, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews:Writing contest[edit]

I invite you to participate in the Wikinews writing contest. The rules, in a nutshell: You have to write at least one story a day. You fail to meet the requirement, you drop out. The last man/woman standing wins the contest and the prizes. Please register before March 21, or pledge to contribute prizes.--Eloquence 22:17, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)


Invite to help edit w:Apple v. Does[edit]

Hi, just an invite to Wikinewsies to help edit w:Apple v. Does. I'm the only editor so far and it would be good to fill it out more. This case could have a huge bearing on how Wikinews operates so I thought there'd be more interest. —Christiaan 22:45, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Not really since Wikinews is not a blog. -- Davodd | Talk 06:48, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
It's not a matter of whether it's a blog or not. This will likely effect all journalists. Apple won the right to subpoena records today. And as CNET [1] writers put it:
In the ruling, the judge largely brushed off the question of whether the publishers were journalists and therefore protected from facing contempt charges for refusing to divulge sources under California's shield law. "Defining what is a 'journalist' has become more complicated as the variety of media has expanded," he said. "But even if the movants are journalists, this is not the equivalent of a free pass."
That aspect of the decision will likely be viewed with dismay by traditional media outlets, which themselves often publish confidential information about corporate plans.
-Christiaan 21:39, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)

New wiki[edit]

A wiki about journalism has started here. You're all invited to join. Maurreen 23:35, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Can someone remove the "Credit Card companies seek government handout to fix their problems" article, its blatently NPOV and nothing more then vandalism.



Logo font[edit]

Hello. Anybody know what font used in WIKINEWS logo? Big thanks. Inetd 05:19, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The typeface is Myriad Pro Semibold with tracking set at 50 units.
Here is a nicer version of the logo than the one that is currently installed on the web site:
WikinewsLogoPolarGlobe17T.png
It uses light and shadow for better contrast with the background and also uses simpler lines so it isn't quite so busy. It also looks better when it's small. (These changes also make the logo easier to use with video.)
Please let me know if you would like me to send you a copy of the original file used to generate the image by e-mail.
Regards,
DV 07:15, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Thank you very much, David! If you can, send please original file to didaio (at) gmail.com. Inetd 13:34, 18 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I sent it to you today. Please let me know if it doesn't arrive intact.
Good luck with uk.wikinews!
Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to help, such as helping to set up the weather map. — DV 09:03, 19 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Would we consider changing the font? Myriad was designed solely for reading body type on screen, not for logos. What about a nice Avenir Heavy, or Berthold Akidenz Grotesk? -- user:zanimum

Changing the logo is a bit of a dead horse. The last go-around seemed to bring out the worst in people, despite all efforts to find the least offensive, watered-down design possible.
You are welcome to head on over to the Logo variants design page and try your hand at it, but I kind of lost my taste for attempting any more logo designs for now.
Please let me know if you'd like me to e-mail the original artwork to you so you can play around with new ideas.
Of course, you don't have to start from the existing design - you are welcome to start from scratch and attempt to restart the whole process, but that's one parade I think I will watch from a distance. :) — DV 10:48, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Californians interested in tech?[edit]

I just received a media press release for E3 in LA. The conference runs May 17 to May 19, the exhibit is from May 18 to May 20. Contact me if you're willing to go, to either take PD/GNU/Creative Commons photos for Wikicommons, and/or write articles for Wikinews. Email me at nicholasmoreau@gmail.com -- user:zanimum

Facts[edit]

Just wondering... how is the accuracy of these articles checked? Do we assume that the sources are always correct? Pickle 17:28, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

That's the way mainstream newspapers and television do it. So, basically, yes. -- Davodd | Talk 18:51, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I always try to find as many sources as I can, and then pick about three to five of the ones that don't appear to be duplicates of one another to use in the Sources section of the story.
One news outlet might be wrong, but hopefully if you have a handful of sources to work from, they aren't all wrong.
One thing to watch out for is to make sure you aren't depending on a selection of small-town newspapers that are all just reprinting the same AP or Reuters story. This is usually easy to spot by examining the credits. — DV 05:21, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Crossword dead links on front page[edit]

Anyone have any word on the status of the Crossword puzzle? We have red (deadend) links on the Main Page since no new puzzles have been made for the past few days. -- Davodd | Talk 19:48, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wackynews[edit]

Would anyone mind if we changed wackynews to something like Offbeat? I just dont think the name wackynews seems very professional (no offence to whoever came up with it). The bellman 08:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Perhaps you should discuss this here. -- Redge (Talk) 09:07, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Category The Vatican[edit]

The Vatican should not be a subcategory of Italy. It is an indipendent state. AnyFile 10:25, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Then make one. Be bold. -- Davodd | Talk 07:31, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Piped links[edit]

Just as a little note of interest, I've noticed a lot of people doing this—[[w:Pope John Paul II|Pope John Paul II]]—to get a link to another project without the prefix being visible. The same thing can be accomplished by just putting the pipe character, as in [[w:Pope John Paul II|]]; this is clearer for other editors, and there's less typing involved. At present, this only works for links with only one prefix (e.g., [[w:en:Pope John Paul II|]] will display as ). The More You Know... --Slowking Man 06:06, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If you type [[w:blah|]] it will get auto-expanded at save-time to [[w:blah|blah]], so the next time someone edits the page it'll seem like the previous editor typed out the entire [[w:blah|blah]]. -- IlyaHaykinson 08:29, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Ah, so that's why I keep seeing it. Still, if anyone didn't know about it before, they do now. ;) --Slowking Man 23:28, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

New column[edit]

After I abandoned it for a while in February, I've gotten back to working on my Science and Technology column. I'd like to hear what you all think about it. Cap'n Refsmmat 15:32, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think they should follow WN:SG and WN:CG for style and content. -- Davodd | Talk 01:32, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Which parts of those does it not follow? The only one I could see was the sources, and that's easily fixed. Also bylines, but I like it the way it's done now in that area. Cap'n Refsmmat 20:11, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Format of articles[edit]

I was considering that to read a full page, it is easier to read when the lines of text are not too long so that our eyes don't miss the next line when we read and mistakenly read the line after instead. To prevent that, it would be ideal for the articles to be made in multicolumns so that it can be read faster for my opinion. 132.204.227.175 19:29, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree regarding the line length being too long. I disagree regarding multiple columns. I recall being taught in journalism school that readibility testing shows that we read best when there is about 2/3 of the page width text, with a large whitespace gap to one side. Have never found good online sources to confirm this, but I'm sure they're out there, if anyone would like to research this.
With web sites, I think the screen width is too narrow to allow multiple columns. We have to allow for the fact that some viewers have low resolution monitors, even if it is a minority. Plus, multiple columns are significantly harder to lay out in HTML than single column, because there are no build in text flow commands, and different browsers may fill the columns differently, using different fonts. - Simeon 14:57, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"News Sites Solicit Articles"[edit]

An article we all should read on The Wall Street Journal --OsvaldoGago 20:21, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Jiang Zemin dead?[edit]

There's a requested article up suggesting that the former leader of China is dead. Can anyone confirm this? Isomorphic 15:17, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Miscellaneous[edit]

NPOV: Hundreds of thousands to lose 'fresh start' as Bush signs bankruptcy bill[edit]

This is an embarassement to wiki-news, to have such a flagrantly bias news-story on the front header of the main page. I have told people this is a great site to find non-bias news. If this simply becomes a haven for left-wing activists to rant then the entire mission of Wiki-news has failed.

Responding to whoever you are; It's not biased to tell the truth.Its biased to cover it up. Paulrevere2005 22:41, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

"It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." If there is an article you don't like, you may want to consider fixing it. DouglasGreen 00:20, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Wikistats Monthly growth indicators[edit]

Wikimedia Projects by Size of Registered User Base:[edit]

The highest-ranking wiki in each category is marked in gold, the second highest in silver and the third highest in bronze.

* As of 2005-04-16 – Source: Statistics Page for each project. Compiled by User:Davodd.
Rank Wiki Started Reg. Users Admins New Users
Since Last Month
Monthly User
Growth Rate
Per-Month Average
User Growth
Since Launch
Number of
Legit Articles
New Articles
Since Last Month
Monthly Article
Growth Rate
1. Wikipedia January 2001 238,647 441 25,952 12% 3,788 (63 mo.) 499,150 29,840 6%
2. Meta-Wiki November 2002 9,259 50 820 10% 309 (30 mo.) 3,229 223 7%
3. Wikibooks July 2003 6,223 21 853 16% 256 (21 mo.) 7,079 701 10%
4. Wiktionary December 2002 4,513 14 446 11% 156 (29 mo.) 64,834 4,889 8%
5. Wikicommons September 2004 5,252 53 1,222 30% 657 (8 mo.) 9,175 1,262 16%
6. Wikiquote July 2003 3.138 6 352 13% 143 (22 mo.) 2,946 239 9%
7. Wikisource November 2003 2,513 15 335 15% 140 (18 mo.) 17,121 4,251 33%
8. Wikinews December 2004 2,150 12 334 18% 430 (5 mo.) 1,543 515 50%
9. Wikispecies September 2004 614 3 120 24% 77 (8 mo.) N/A N/A N/A

Wikinews Original Reporting contest of May 2005[edit]

I invite everyone to join the Original Reporting contest of May 2005. Starting on May 1 and running for a month, this contest for real prizes is designed to get Wikinewsies to submit "original reporting" articles containing quotes from people connected to the news. Read about it now! -- IlyaHaykinson 09:31, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Great idea! → CGorman (Talk) 20:22, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)


Interwikies are almost gone[edit]

What is happening with wikinews, I used to come here and use the interwikies to learn about subjects i wasn't too familiar with but now people seem to abandon the idea of interwikiying their articles so i have to make my own research to find info on the news in question. Could somebody be in charge of that (that is a main point other news system don't have). 24.201.116.26 17:16, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews link to www.wikinews.org gives 404 error[edit]

I get a 404 error in Firefox 1.0.3 running on Windows XP whenever I visit http://www.wikinews.org/. However:

  1. It works OK when I go to www.wikinews.org in Internet Explorer 6.01.
  2. It works OK when I go to en.wikinews.org in Firefox 1.0.3.

Thought I would report this. It seemed to start happening within the past couple of days or so. Others may be having a similar experience? DouglasGreen 00:24, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

Works fine for me (using fx 1.0.3 on xp home) Bawolff 23:20, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Conflict following an edit war on President Bush marks end of WWII; reports circulate his Grandfather helped Hitler[edit]

Everybody,

I have witnessed a rather unpleasent conflict involving User:Amgine, User:Simeon and in part User:Lyellin. Amgine accused Simeon of violating 3RR, and blocked him. In response, Simeon unblocked himself and further down the road blocked Amgine. The "blocking war" continued.

To get a good idea of what is happening, please visit:

To the best of my understanding, both parties have agreed to accept their blocks and stop the "block war" as long as the discussion starts here in a timely manner. So I invite everybody to give their opinion and let's try to resolve this issue. --Dcabrilo 06:28, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Also, I was asked to clarify that neither Amgine or Simeon may get involved until their blocks expire. --Dcabrilo 06:32, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

It's bullshit to push a story that hard. -Edbrown05 06:38, 11 May 2005 (UTC)

Simeon broke the Wikinews:Three revert rule so his 24hr block stands. Amgine does not appear to have broken any rules so I have unblocked him. I have listed the article on Wikinews:Deletion requests for the reasons given there. Dan100 (Talk) 07:23, 11 May 2005 (UTC)


This is what happened, as I see it. Simeon was making good edits to the article, adding in wikilinks in the like. at the same time, he removed ethe tag, which I replaced, because I felt there was a dispute going on, and that it had not been solved yet. Since we've been working under the assumption "try to resolve tags before removing them", I put that back on, and then a bit later explained why on the talk page. Simeon basically said "you're wrong", and removed the tag, so Amgine put it back, and then explained why he thought it should be there. IT was then again removed, and right around there was the third time, so AMgine put in the block for 3RR. I'm not a big fan of blockimg Simeon, but we were trying to come to consensus, and currently it's not there. *shrugs*. Lyellin 13:57, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I think after Simeon removed the flag the first time he explained why and then it was put back within 1 minute with no discussion? Paulrevere2005 22:31, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
I think that Simeon and Amgine need to both be held responsible for engaging in a silly block war. As sysops on this project, they need to be able to take the high road on issues and stop being in conflict, even if they really really disagree with a particular issue. I recommend deleting the article in question since it's definitely not news right now — I would rather see us lose a story than two editors. I would then recommend that when the blocks expire, Amgine and Simeon agree to disagree, publicly, and retain their sysop rights with the understanding that this can't happen again. -- IlyaHaykinson 14:22, 11 May 2005 (UTC)


In response to Paul above, I put it back. I did so because I felt there was still a disupte going on, including both myself and Amgine, and at the time others, which had not been solved. It did not seem appropiate to remove the tag without resolving the dispute. Lyellin 22:41, 11 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Now I'm more confused; this is the sequence I mean..in the one at 05:28 the tag went back;with no explanation that I can see.

(cur) (last) 05:28, 9 May 2005 Amgine m (Reverted edit of Simeon, changed back to last version by Paulrevere2005) (cur) (last) 05:27, 9 May 2005 Simeon (remove POV dispute flag, this is all factual information)

Paulrevere2005 00:18, 12 May 2005 (UTC)