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.


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)

Wiki local news / reduction of newspaper staff in the US[edit]

Hi, I recently saw a video by Last Week Tonight citing that there has been a reduction of newspaper staff and more of a biased (if the newspaper gets say a rich owner) as newspaper circulation is being reduced. How will Wikinews be able to cite verified sources if the potential for such sources may be in jeopardy in the future? Also, has there been any consideration to starting local news sites? --AllyUnion (talk) 20:40, 10 August 2016 (UTC)

@AllyUnion: Alas I don't get HBO, so haven't seen much of Last Week Tonight. I gather he's an ally of journalism, though; the things I have heard made me want to cheer.
  • We take into account that every source has bias; it's one of the reasons for our two-source rule (although in conventional journalism, the two-source rule is only about verification). Sources with different perspectives are valued; one might have a US or UK source like CNN or BBC, and then also Al Jazeera or Russia Today or the like. Stories about the West Bank should aspire to have both Palestinian and Israeli sources. Etc.
  • We have been noticing here for the past few years that it's getting harder and harder to find two mutually independent sources for a story; more and more often, one wire service covers a story and everyone buys the rights to use their material.
  • We also do original reporting, but we strongly recommend writers learn to write synthesis first before moving to the more advanced form of contribution.
  • Local news stories are allowed on Wikinews. There's some discussion of this at WN:Newsworthiness#Relevance.
--Pi zero (talk) 22:04, 10 August 2016 (UTC)
@Pi zero: The video I mention is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bq2_wSsDwkQ -- I don't know if it is available in your country. (You could use a Proxy to try to view it if it isn't?); In the video, it's mentioned that local reporters in the US aren't available because the staff isn't available anymore... I was trying to think if there was an NPO dedicated to covering local news. --AllyUnion (talk) 09:15, 11 August 2016 (UTC)

Interactive maps and the archive[edit]

Interactive maps are now a thing. My initial thoughts were we can't use them because they'll be subject to updates and redesigns in breach of archive policy. (Maps are images, images are content, historic content is stable.) But I'm now not so sure.

Is a change to the format of the image content? Formatting changes (and even grammar etc) are long held to be fair game under archive policy. If the map changes colours, the way you interact, that kind of thing, has it changed in content? I'm starting to think it perhaps hasn't.

@Koavf: I'd be interested to hear your thoughts since you're I think the first to experiment with such a map on Wikinews. And @Pi zero: iirc you were around through much of the more recent discussions on how archive is applied, such as {{missing image}}. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 15:50, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

@Blood Red Sandman: For what it's worth, I think OpenStreetMap (and consequently, our projects which employ it) should have an option for time-stamping so that we have "slices" of a map from a given point in time. E.g. the entire purpose of me inserting a map was to point to a structure which doesn't exist as of tomorrow morning. I have to admit that since I'm less active on this project, I can't speak intelligently about policy but I understand what you're saying: since there is some dynamic content, it can't be archived as such. One way to look at it is to just shrug and say, "The article itself is archived, even if some of the media accompanying it is subject to change. That's also true of images on c: (one of which, has in fact changed since I posted my story here). —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:19, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
By the spirit of the archive policy (which is what matters), a photo is one sort of thing, details are usually significant, but if an image is just the form that some information happens to take, then the underlying information is mostly what matters. I could see something like a change of color scheme being admissible under the archive policy. I don't know enough about interactive maps technically, atm, to speak intelligently to what this means for them. (Clearly I'm going to have to learn more, in my copious free time.) --Pi zero (talk) 16:38, 7 December 2016 (UTC)