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.


ArbCom elections[edit]


This conversation has been marked for the community's attention. Please remove the {{flag}} when the discussion is complete or no longer important.


I propose the same dates, rules, procedures as in 2018. (See WN:Water cooler/policy/archives/2018/July#ArbCom elections, Wikinews:Arbitration Committee/2018 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, 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 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) 15:17, 12 June 2019 (UTC)

Oh, I would love to volunteer for the election committee.
•–• 20:32, 12 June 2019 (UTC)
@Acagastya: You can sign up for the election committee here. --Pi zero (talk) 02:16, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Sounds intriguing. What are the election committee's duties? Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:07, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: Usually the election committee only has to certify the results (which everybody can see). There were a couple of other questions for the the election committee to deal with way back in 2010, but usually there's no such excitement. Of course, members of the election committee do not themselves get to vote. --Pi zero (talk) 02:27, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
How many people do we usually have voting? We're a small group right now. Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:57, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Well, in recent years we've often had only as many people running as there were slots to fill, which does make it pretty easy to figure out who won (though the election committee still certifies the results, to keep things tidy), but also leads to lackluster voting. For example, last year with six people running for six positions, I think (if I read it right, a minute ago) no one nominee got more than four votes. In 2017, when we did have a contest, it looks like the most votes for any one nominee was seven. (We would have had a multi-way tie in 2017, which would have required the election committee to arrange a run-off election lasting at least seven days, but I chickened out at the last moment and withdrew one of my votes, apologetically to the excellent nominee I'd pulled my vote from, to avert the tie.) --Pi zero (talk) 19:20, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Not to forget what happened two years back when there were more than six, and it was almost a tie, then someone voted, or struck off their vote; I can't seem to recall.
•–• 20:48, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
(Yep, two years back, 2017.)
•–• 20:49, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
  • @Pi zero: This comment is my literal first edit to English Wikinews, but I'd be willing to participate in the Elections Committee as a neutral outsider. Would that be acceptable? MJL (talk) 21:40, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
    I was also hesitating to volunteer, since I am likewise fairly new to this project, but if you need someone else I have the time --DannyS712 (talk) 21:53, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
    @DannyS712: You're just everywhere, aren't you? lol MJL (talk) 00:06, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@MJL: Yes, it'd be fine. Often we'll have someone on the election committee with a profile similar to yours, well-established on another project(s) with no significant history of local en.wn involvement. You can sign up yonder.
@DannyS712: It looks as if we've got two members, this year (probably; keeping in mind, the best-laid schemes o' mice an' men, etc). Though the offer is well taken.
--Pi zero (talk) 00:18, 6 July 2019 (UTC)
@Pi zero: I appreciate the chance to serve! Being on an election committee was seriously on my wiki-bucket list. Thank you! :D –MJLTalk 00:24, 6 July 2019 (UTC)

Community essays[edit]

Do we have an official process for when an essay is ready to move out of userspace or should I just post it and see what happens? Darkfrog24 (talk) 18:07, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

@Darkfrog24: As far as I know, no. There's the handy {{Wikinews essay}} for marking your piece as an essay. —mikemoral (talk · contribs) 07:37, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
@Darkfrog24: This is a tricky point: we generally rely on verteran Wikinewsies to know not to put problematic stuff in project space. I suspect, tbh, that usual mechanism won't suffice in your case. I recommend extreme caution. --Pi zero (talk) 08:42, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
Pi zero, I don't think you think clearly when it comes to my essays. Best you leave the matter alone.
Mike, so this would be just a regular page move out of my userspace into project space, right? It's already marked as an essay. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:25, 9 July 2019 (UTC)
I do see clearly. You're missing parts of the picture. You aren't willing to believe you're missing parts of the picture, despite the available objective evidence. Ironically, it appears the not-seeing-parts is one of the parts you're not seeing. Simple, in its way. And no, it would be disastrous for me to leave it alone. --Pi zero (talk) 18:22, 9 July 2019 (UTC)

@Darkfrog, without commenting on the content of anything (I haven't read the essay involved), functionally it's just a page move. On second thought, {{Wikinews user essay}} is probably a better choice of template as it specifies it's the opinions of an individual(s). There's the list of community essays which are all contained in the Wikinews projectspace, whereas currently marked user essays are entirely contained within userspace. I guess at best it's a little unclear whether it can go into projectspace, beyond Pi zero's advice of Wikinewsies not sticking "problematic stuff" in there. I guess I can sort of imagine a Wikinews:List of user-written essays, preferably with a better title. —mikemoral (talk · contribs) 05:15, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

A few years ago, we had some users come in here and start creating project pages saying things about the project that were false and misleading. It was only in retrospect that I realized I should have been more decisive about nixing that. For my part, I'm extremely cautious about putting stuff in project space, waiting often for years after things have been settled/stable before doing so, and scrupulously reserving my personal views to userspace. (Nor am I the only one; this is the norm.) --Pi zero (talk) 15:17, 10 July 2019 (UTC)

Wikinews for Wikipedians guideline[edit]

I have recommended an addition to the Wikinews for Wikipedians guideline. Short version: Tell them that reviewers don't start working until the talk page discussions are resolved. We've seen that people don't always know that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:44, 9 July 2019 (UTC)