Wikinews:Water cooler/miscellaneous/archives/2011/September

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Reviving the Print Edition

A long time ago, in a library far away (Alexandria, 2008), I was challenged by mainstream reporters that the Wikinews Print Edition was perhaps the most interesting thing the project produced.

Maybe it is, maybe it isn't. And, right now, we've simply not the content for a daily version. However, I'd like to see what people think about doing a weekly version.

Many of our articles strive to be more comprehensive than the daily news bulletin, and we desperately need to increase the project's profile.

Plus, a print edition could be put together with space for advertising; that would fund physical copies being printed.

I know the WMF has small-scale grants that might help fund a pilot, and suspect WM-UK might chip-in to have an advert in a publication. There would be a need for "extra" content – such as people doing semi-editorial pieces.

What are the general thoughts on this?

And, who has the keys to pushing this to iTunes and such? --Brian McNeil / talk 16:11, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

We'd need a script to turn the articles into whatever output formats we want: that'd probably be PDF, ePub and Mobipocket (for Kindle). It'd be best to start with just distributing the files (as well as a 'source' file from which the conversions are made using an open source script). Getting things into the iBooks and Kindle store is harder and could potentially be something that a chapter or the Foundation would have to do for trademark-related reasons. I'm also a member of WMUK so if we could thrash out a proposal, we could approach the WMUK board with it. —Tom Morris (talk) 15:11, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
Someone used to push the stuff to iTunes. I'd not thought about Kindle, but 'tis a great idea. As to approaching the WMUK board, leave that to me ;) I'm the "interim liaison between WMUK and Museums and Galleries Scotland"; once we know what we want to do, if it needs some seed money, the board would help me put together a funding proposal. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:15, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
The print edition was always an interesting concept. I'd be interested in seeing it revived, and I wouldn't mind helping out with it. If it receives funding, it could be quite successful, I think, and hopefully drum up more traffic and - more importantly - more editors for Wikinews. DENDODGE 22:29, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
We could offer the print edition for automagical delivery to Kindles via Amazon. There's a program, calibre, that reads RSS feeds and turns those (usually from news agencies) and turns it into .mobi files, which are Kindle-friendly, .pdf, and .epub. That might be useful. —Mikemoral♪♫ 23:15, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


Hello. Why exactly should I create an account here? 03:30, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

If you don't know, then you probably should not (since you probably don't need one). ;) If you create an account, we can use your account name to associate the edits you make to a name. This makes it easier to respond to people. Its perfectly acceptable to not create an account if you don't want to. Bawolff 18:47, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
See Wikinews:Why create an account? DENDODGE 21:51, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Wikinews and Wikia compatibility

Are the Wikinews and Wikia licenses intercompatible?

Can Wikinews content be incorporated into Wikia?

And vice versa?

I know that you cannot transwiki content from Wikipedia into Wikinews, so I'd like to know about Wikia. (talk) 21:57, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Generally no. Most content on wikia is cc-by-sa-3.0 which is incompatible. However you can take wikinews content and put it in wikia (I believe; IANAL) I don't know if wikia content is universally licensed like that though... Bawolff 22:11, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Ok, that'll work for something I'm thinking about.
As Wikinews doesn't take old news, and Wikipedia doesn't take news of any sort (usually), there seems to be a gap in coverage (old news, that doesn't exist in Wikinews archives, and is deleted on Wikipedia)... which might be filled by a Wikia or new Wikimedia project.
So... someone writing about old stuff here, which isn't viable on Wikipedia, might be transwikied onto Wikia? (assuming it were of acceptable quality, and not trivial news about filling a pothole or resurfacing the sidewalk or something) (talk) 22:21, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Wikinews content is CC-BY. As long as Wikinews is credited, you can use anything here for any purpose and under any licence (except a less-restrictive licence - you can't dedicate it into the public domain). But, yeah, as long as we get credit, you're free to do whatever you like. DENDODGE 22:25, 10 September 2011 (UTC)
Comment The main reason we disallow old news here on Wikinews is you're writing it up with hindsight. That is, you know a good deal of what came afterwards. Take as an example the Chili Finger Incident (please, take it! I shake my head whenever I see the detail level of coverage we gave). Writing that up now, you know it's someone trying to pull a scam; at the time, it looked like something far more horrific.
I'd actually go as far as to say there isn't such a thing as "old news"; it's then become history, not news.
However, I'd say there's a legitimate project in applying the Wikinews synthesis-article process to provide a freely-accessible archive of news reportage covering past events. The key problem is accessing sources to work from. You'd need access to something like LexisNexis, or whatever newspaper archives your local library may provide. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:19, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I have actually considered such a project in the past. The biggest question I usually find myself asking is how far back it should go. The start of the project? 50 years? "William of Normandy wins Battle of Hastings"? "Ug invents the wheel"? Any limit would seem artificial, but it's clear that one would be required. DENDODGE 12:26, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Well, let's call it an attempt to build an archive of 'modern' times' news; make 2000 the cutoff. Therefore, the furthest back would be the millenium celebrations. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:58, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
The very dearth of old news sources is itself inherently biasing, though. The sources still accessible are apt not to be a representative sample of what was available at the time. The problem doesn't even have to wait weeks or years for sources to disappear; within days or even hours, many news sources have rewritten or blatantly replaced their earlier accounts (a common difficulty to reviewers of news even before it goes stale). --Pi zero (talk) 14:36, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
Hence my mention of LexisNexis - which archives multiple versions. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:49, 11 September 2011 (UTC)
I was thinking more of a year in review style article writing, where news events are written up in a retrospective manner with sources from the time period of the event. As I mentioned, Wikipedia rejects "news" 'old news' or 'new news', so if an event is "news" and may make major news, but has no lasting impact, Wikipedia will delete such material. Whereas here, if no one wrote an article at the time it occurred, a subsequent article would be deleted for being 'old news'. (Say... such as that Russian plane crash that killed an entire pro hockey team. There's no Wikinews article on it, and none can now be written, since it's 'old news'; (This example is imperfect, since there is a Wikipedia article on it)).
This would be combined with "news" written using only sources from the time the event occurred, like a news article on Wikinews -- so there would be two formats of articles. The retrospective style article would solve the problem of older sources disappearing, (say for events prior to the suggested 2000 cutoff) ;
As for "Guillame, Duc de Normandie, defait les Saxons de Harold au Hastings, Huzzah! Dieu benisse Robert II"; historians write such hypo-factual articles up, so it doesn't seem so problematic, if it can be written as an almanacal entry for 1067, such as an entry in a dynastic history. (talk) 08:19, 12 September 2011 (UTC) and accreditation

Sample accredited reporter's business card.

As some may have noted, I've uploaded a sample of the AR business cards (see right).

The template for these has also been mailed out to everyone on scoop. If anyone needs help getting the relevant text into the template, let me know.

These are designed to work with VistaPrint's card specifications, and I've found the 250 I ordered about a year ago extremely useful.

I'm now waiting on a quote for ID cards with a blacklight security feature. Will pass on details from this when it arrives.

In the interim, there is a problem with the reporters' wiki on Looks like need to restore the MediaWiki install and put the database backup into it again. (Thank you Godaddy auto-updates.) If anyone who has worked on it has a copy of the LocalSettings.php, please mail me it.

Lastly, and to my enormous relief, I'm getting a 30Mbps line installed Thursday AM. Shortly after that, I should have my, newly obtained, hp Proliant ML370 online. ;-) --Brian McNeil / talk 17:20, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

That's a great idea. Thanks for sharing... sj (talk) 22:26, 12 September 2011 (UTC)
Comment I've been getting a lot of VistaPrint ads since I poked round their site getting up-to-date size specs. Their "targetted ads" now seem to have brought the offered price for 250 cards below £10. So, a "reverse-cookie-counter" is in effect - explore the site, don't order, then watch for the ads. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:27, 22 September 2011 (UTC)