Wikinews:Water cooler/policy

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Policies and guidelines and the Style guide contain or link to most of the current en.Wikinews policies and guidelines, however policy is based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not be written down. This section of the Water cooler focuses on discussions regarding policy issues.

You may wish to check the archives to see if a subject has been raised previously.


Inactive checkuser[edit]

Hello, according to the global policy, Brian meets the inactivity criteria for CheckUsers and will soon have his access removed on those grounds. I will also notify the user, but I wanted to give some indication to the community that this will happen as well. Thanks, Ajraddatz (talk) 20:28, 15 March 2016 (UTC)

ArbCom elections[edit]


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I propose the same dates, rules, procedures as in 2015. (See WN:Water cooler/policy/archives/2015/July#ArbCom elections, Wikinews:Arbitration Committee/2015 election.)

The community must agree on all election procedures by July 1, and election committee members by July 10.
The deadline for nominations is 2000 UTC July 17.
Voting will take place from 2000 UTC July 18 to 2000 UTC July 30. Questions and comments may be made during that time period.
Since the incumbent members' seats expire on August 3, the election committee will declare the winners on about July 31, and the new term begins after declaration. Should any case be before the ArbCom at election time, the current committee continues to sit after turnover on cases that started under the current committee. Any new case after turnover is for the new committee.

As worked well for the past several years, I strongly recommend the committee not create a page for "questions for all candidates"; questions for each candidate should be located under that candidate. This is the way things have been done in all but two previous elections; once there was no place for questions at all (the undesirability of this is obvious, I hope), and once, six years ago, we had a page for questions for all candidates, and it turned into a political circus and an ordeal for the nominees (en.wn ArbCom is a judicial body, so should be scrupulously apolitical). I'm not the only one who experienced the circus six years ago and came away from it with a powerful conviction it should not be allowed to happen again.

We need at least two people for the election committee. Volunteers? --Pi zero (talk) 02:27, 20 June 2016 (UTC)

OK with both the rules and the note about placement of questions for all candidates.
I may be able to volunteer as a member of election committee, given someone else gives me enough guidance on the tasks that need to be done.
Thank you. --Gryllida 04:17, 24 June 2016 (UTC)
I am okay with the procedure.
acagastya 14:25, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Pages created.

Clarifications:

  • The election committee certifies the results. This is ordinarily a very light duty, as it is usually very clear which votes are valid and therefore who got how many. Any admin is allowed to remove an invalid vote (usually it's simply moved from the "votes" section to the "comments" section), and that tends to happen promptly; I've never seen a case where the election committee had reason to override such a decision. If we should ever have a tie vote, which iirc happened six years ago, the election committee would be responsible for setting the dates for the run-off election; and the election committee would also arbitrate obscure cases of qualification (that also happened six years ago, I think, with someone asking whether they could vote "in advance" and the committee deciding not to allow it). Btw, that run-off election? Never happened, because one of the elected Arbs resigned just after the election but before the run-off, so the election committee simply let in everyone in the tie as that made six Arbs.
  • ArbCom usually has very light duties as well. I believe it's been (again) six years since we've had a formal case before ArbCom. When a case does get that far, ArbCom hears it, carefully and seriously, serving as our judicial body of last resort.

@Gryllida: Could you please sign your name as an election committee volunteer at Wikinews:Arbitration Committee/2016 election#Election committee members? --Pi zero (talk) 00:54, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Done. Thank you. --Gryllida 01:02, 1 July 2016 (UTC)

Discussion of Proposed Amendment Source Policy And Original Reporting Policy[edit]


It appears that this sites policy is out of line with industry standard with respect to original reporting policy as pertains to source policy. First, there is no real way of verifying a source with 100% accuracy where wiki technology is used. This would be either impossible, or extremely difficult at best. Further, where documents can be legally held in a court of law to be authentic on their face absent a strong argument and evidence to the contrary, Such items that are also public records (such as emails and letters sent to or from members of congress or other government agencies) it is highly improbable that these sources are not trustworthy on their face, due to the fact that the item is subject to being retrieved as a public record, by anyone, at any time. Therefore, I would respectfully propose an amendment to applicable policy to state explicitly that items which are public records not be subjected to as strict scrutiny, because it is inherently and extremely unlikely that someone would forge what is a public record, particularly where that public record is traceable to specific individuals, such as a senator or house representative. This should be a common sense measure to most people, and reflects such consensus of the Journalism Industry as a whole. Further, Original reporting should be encouraged, rather than discouraged, due to the fact that coverage of material presented by multiple other outlets, in the same principal manner as other outlets, tends to render our content stale, considering that wikinews is not likely to be a first outlet of resort that the majority is going to look up, and people certainly don't want to be "re-reading" the news several times over, which is the pitfall with the major non-syndicated news outlets. Thank you for consideration of this matter. ScruffMcGruff007 (talk) 21:22, 4 July 2016 (UTC)

Ordinarily I'd be struggling to help a newcomer who doesn't understand why their article was not-ready'd; but in this case the user appears to have stoutly resisted learning about our policies and practices, instead responding to not-ready review of the article by objecting strenuously and resubmitting, by nominating the reviewer for de-reviewer, and now by proposing to amend policy with a specific exception they evidently think would cover their particular case. --Pi zero (talk) 22:05, 4 July 2016 (UTC)
This proposal doesn't have a specific amendment to a specific policy or guideline. Such non specifics would indicate to me the person proposing amendment either hasn't looked at or understood the "relevant policy." As far as I can tell, they have been pointed to such policies in the review process.
Primary documents such as those mentioned are accepted if the reviewer is happy that they are ultimately from where they are claimed to be from. Links to these documents are normally listed on the discussion page of the related article.
It is advisable to know which policy it you wish to amend before proposing to amend it. This helps us look at it and come to a decision that way. --RockerballAustralia contribs 09:23, 5 July 2016 (UTC)