Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/Archive/17

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One "Shorts" in day, rename?[edit]

If only one Wikinews Shorts short is created in a day? Do we just rename the article to the title of the short? I don't know if this has ever happened, but I was wondering for the sake of curiousity. -- Zanimum 18:08, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Sounds sensible to me. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:20, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, why would we have a Wikinews "Shorts" or "Short" with one story anyways. There is a lot of news in the world to write about. None of our "Shorts" should have only one story, imo. That's why we created it: to gather different/short news stories and put them in one article. If you are creating a small news story, and you are not planning to write about other news, than create an article. FellowWikiNewsie 19:59, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
An article that is only 3 or 4 lines doesn't have a good life expectancy whereas the same item in shorts is fine. We shouldn't insist people create the shorts with 2 stories, we just have to be optimistic that if only one story is added someone will find another. Otherwise, we should rename to the item title if it was published for a while. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:10, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Point taken. Also, when I said "If you are creating a small news story, and you are not planning to write about other news, than create an article.", I wasn't refering to 3 or 4 line articles. I was refering to articles like Hillary Clinton's song contest reaches final round that was moved by Zanimum from Wikinews Shorts: May 30, 2007 to Hillary Clinton's song contest reaches final round, because there was only one story. FellowWikiNewsie 20:23, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


Per talk on Wikinews talk:Style guide, I have written an entry that explains the style on stating days. It can be seen here: Wikinews:Style guide#Days. What I outlined on the talk page seemed to have approval, which I took as a hint to be bold and go ahead write the style guide entry. Wisekwai 14:44, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews has a real bad problem if if can't report news[edit]

Panama: Eleven years of a conflict between PPC and ex-workers of Port Authority and Fred Thompson to announce candidacy on June 28.

These articles go unpublished because the community does not know how to handle them. OR notes are not the answer.

Reliability and accountability, and a reputation for accuracy by the contributor possibly is an alternative. nOObs should be given a shot to be right, or wrong, as the case might be. The community will catch transgressions. -

Wikinewsies write about what they find interesting. I only write about what I am going to enjoy. If I have no interest in the subject whatsoever, I am not going to write about it.
Anyone including you can write an article. No one here is a paid journalist...we write when we can or are willing. It may sound harsh, but it's true. DragonFire1024 03:50, 15 June 2007 (UTC)
Umm, OR notes are the answer. We need to know where and how you got your facts. We can't publish something if you don't have the ability to say, I interviewed so and so for this part, the rest i got from I'm fairly certain traditional newspapers require their reporters to take notes. Being a noob has nothing to do with it. Bawolff 04:28, 15 June 2007 (UTC)

Endorsements now open for Wikimedia Foundation Board[edit]

The Wikimedia Board Election Steering Committee invites all community members to endorse candidates they support. Endorsements may be submitted on meta now till next Saturday, 23:59 June 23, 2007.

Each qualified community member can submit up to three endorsements. Please note several things:
- Only confirmed candidates are listed, so the list can be updated during the endorsements phase.
- You need an account on meta, not just the project that you are qualified to vote under, unless you meet the criteria on meta too.
- Please link your meta user page and your home wiki page. Detailed procedure can be found on the meta endorsement page.

All information is available on meta at:
On endorsements:
On candidates each:
Election general:

Questions about election are welcome at:

Thanks to devoted volunteering translators, those pages are also available in some languages other than English.

Thank you for your attention, we look forward to your participation.

For the election committee,
- Philippe | Talk 00:35, 17 June 2007 (UTC)

Yep we know. see the sitenotice. Bawolff 01:21, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
You'd be amazed at the number of people who don't look at the sitenotice, or click it closed immediately. In the interests of getting the widest possible publicity, you'll probably be forced to endure a couple more notices like this. My apologies. Philippe 23:30, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Really? Personally i find the sitenotice really helpful... Thunderhead 23:34, 1 July 2007 (UTC)
Once you've closed it, it tends to remain closed until they change it again, I've experienced.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 23:51, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews OTRS queue[edit]

Wikinews now has its own queue within the Wikimedia OTRS system. The address is wikinews AT wikimedia DOT org. Now that this is the case, I need an administrator to update the contact page to reflect this, something with information similar to w:Wikipedia:Contact_us/other might be helpful. Anyone wishing to volunteer for OTRS should leave their information here, keeping the requirements and responsibilities in mind. The volume of E-mails, however, should remain considerably lighter compared to other queues, so assistance is not necessary right now. Also see Wikinews:OTRS Pilotguy radar contact 19:49, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Warning against board candidate: Kate[edit]

Brian has been going around to each board candidate, asking a question about accredited reporters on Wikinews, which is helpful to know, thank you Brian. However to one candidate this question is irrelevant.

If elected, Kate will do everything in her power to shut down Wikinews, Wikimedia Commons, and all the other non-Wikipedia projects run by Wikimedia. As a fellow participant in Wikinews, I can assume you agree that this radical notion is not acceptable.

Of course, if elected, she would be a minority on the board, and not be able to get her view passed. But the issue would likely further stall progress within the Wikimedia Foundation, as the rest of the board deals with her irrational goals. Additionally, it could serve to help erode Wikimedian opinion of the other projects. She simply is not an acceptable candidate. -- Zanimum 20:25, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

This content can be found at Meta. Thunderhead 20:31, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
When the voting gets underway, be sure to make sure we all know, that we can go express our disaproval. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:39, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't think there will be opposing. Furthermore, she doesn't want to delete us, she wants to spin us off to other organisations. I fear that she might cause narrow-minded Wikipedians to become separatists.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 22:28, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
Oppose by voting for somebody else (like DF, or Mindspillage, or anybody else). Bawolff 23:07, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The board election is actually getting political! Bawolff 23:06, 23 June 2007 (UTC)
The noticeable input from Wikinews on the questions pages has - to some extent - been an exercise in advertising our project to a wider audience. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:43, 24 June 2007 (UTC)
Responding to Bawolff's comment: when current WikiMedia Foundation chairperson Anthere (Florence Devouard) needs a spokesperson to explain her comments <Wikipedia: On the brink? Or crying wolf?>, then yes, the process has become politicized. But note the trend in the flow of donation money into this, as one among many sister WMF projects. Anthere describes these donations as allowing WMF to function as a "gift economy". A glimpse at the foundation monthly budget is here. This represents and explosive growth in spending? I'm not sure, I can't seem to find the links. -Edbrown05 09:05, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Unused unfree images[edit]

I've made a proposal to address the problem of unused unfree images. Comments welcome at Wikinews_talk:Deletion_requests#Unused_unfree_images. Adambro 19:44, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

No option for short, newsworthy posts?[edit]


I recently submitted a very short note regarding the success of the Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge. I saw that, according to wikinews policy regarding article details, the article was removed. I throughly understand and respect that the wikinews community has standards regarding published articles and that you followed the policy and correctly removed the article.

In my humble opinion, the wikinews policy works *against* honest and fair article submissions. I understand that there is a "Request an article" utility - but what if no one is available to "write" a full-length article? What if a reader has a genuine news note - but there isn't necessarily a lot more that can be written about it...?

Ultimately, in my opinion, strict adherence to an "article length" policy simply causes the wikinews readers miss information they otherwise might enjoy and find valuable and enriching --- and --- isn't that the whole point?

For me, I fully respect your authority on the wikinews site and the requirement to adhere to policy, and... I'll probably not return to the site much...

Thanks very much and have a good day,


hi, the article Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge - Success! has not been removed, it has been unpublished to allow it to develop further, it needs to be expanded to a reasonable length for an article or atleast a news brief as well as formatted per Wikinews guidelines (Wikinews:Publish checklist gives a quick glimse of what's needed, Wikinews:Style guide has all the gory details). i can sympathise with what you're facing - new users do find that they need to learn a fair amount of Wikinews conventions to publish their submissions, documentation is not alwas easy to find or substantive (Wikinews:Writing an article is a start) and since this is a fairly small project, it's quite possible that more experienced users interested in the topic may not be around who can help fix the article. but i would encourage you to hang in there and work at those first couple of articles.–Doldrums(talk) 19:53, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
I've also replied to the same message on my talk page. Adambro 19:57, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


Thanks very much for your thoughtful reply.

I'd like to explore the question logically following from my first post, and honestly I haven't had hours to pour over policy *yet*, so I apologize if is already addressed elsewhere.

Question: would it be worth having a special section of wikinews that novices could report legitimate news of note, without having extensive experience with the site? ...Something like a "Breaking Short News Notes" or "Reader's Side Notes"?

I love the idea of wikinews, and I'd personally like to see it widely used. Also, I know that there must be many people with great items of note that simply don't have the knowledge, experience, or background to write a full-length article - yet I still might find the item useful and worthwhile.

I believe this is a fair question - isn't the whole point to create a site where people can communicate easily?

Thanks again,


More on WN:IP[edit]

I've developed a page that relates to our inactive policy here. Take a look, and comment, if you don't mind. Thunderhead - (talk - email - contributions) 23:22, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

Is Wackynews NPOV?[edit]

This has been bugging me for a while now. I like Portal:Wackynews, and I know it's like a lot of newspapers that have some sort of "odd spot news" section. The problem is, I'm not sure if it presents a neutral point of view. For some stories, a Wackynews tag seems obvious - for example, Thai police to wear 'Hello Kitty' armbands as punishment. It's an extremely strange governmental reaction to a real problem. But then I look at other articles tagged as Wackynews, and I'm not so sure - for example, YouTube access returns to Thailand. Obviously someone found it wacky, and either no-one noticed or no-one disagreed, so it stayed there, even though the original article (Thailand bans YouTube over videos insulting king) wasn't put in there, and I would probably not consider it a "wacky" story.

The problem I see is that "wackyness" is a very subjective thing, so how can we determine a neutral way to apply it? Confusing Manifestation (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 01:20, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

One suggestion going forward would be if a piece of news is labeled as oddball or something similar by another news source? JoshuaZ 01:33, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree it is very subjective and probably incongruent with NPOV. Recently, I was tempted to remove the "wacky"-status of this article Police in Texas arrest man eating dead girlfriend. While certainly "crazy" or "insane" by most standards, it did seem tasteless to classify a murder as "wacky". Yes, other news sources have similar categories such as Reuters' Oddly Enough category. But some people have issues with the way that Reuters treats some of these stories. It is a popular category, but something we have to consider/keep an eye on. --SVTCobra 01:54, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
I used to not like the Wackynews categories, but I have grown to love it like a red-headed stepchild. I got no small satisfaction from being able to apply the category (and designation) to a couple of things I have written. I say keep it and to be careful with becoming too dogmatic with rules. --David Shankbone 02:01, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I have removed the Wackynews categorisation from the YouTube/Thailand story. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:52, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Wacky things should of course be reported as objectively as possible. Still, they're moreso comic relief than anything serious, so I'm more willing to ease up on the editorial rules for Wackynews. MessedRocker (talk) 19:31, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Articles based on public domain (VOA) material - Part II[edit]

Back in November, SVTCobra brought up a discussion on the Water Cooler regarding articles based on PD sources. There have been many Wikinews articles since then, based on Voice of America (VOA) articles, which are for the most part in the public domain. An exception would be where VOA have used Associated Press content in their article, which is subject to copyright.

It should be noted that the VOA Terms of Use state that, "Credit for any use of VOA material should be given to VOA, and we ask that you not abridge or edit any VOA material which you may use."

The "abridge or edit" issue was discussed in the previous Water Cooler thread. I didn't see a clear concensus on whether or not VOA material should be used without abridging ot editing, or could be modified because PD is PD.

What I have seen lately from various Wikinews contributors are two uses of the VOA material. One is a straight copy-and-paste of the VOA article in its entirety and the other is some editing and modification of the VOA material. In both cases, an additional source gets added, although in the former, the additional source is not used at all.

Sorry for the long-winded preamble, but here is what I would like some feedback on:

  1. Can we reach concensus on whether the PD material from VOA can be abridged or edited? As it is, when I see one of the VOA/Wikinews articles, I am not sure whether I can chip in and modify the content or not.
  2. For the articles where the VOA material is copied without modification or additions, might this not be violating the spirit of NPOV (depending on the content) since the only viewpoint presented is VOA's? I suppose it would be a case-by-case decision. And would it not be considered single-source since the additional listed sources are unused? --Jcart1534 19:41, 15 January 2008 (UTC)


  • 1. As I concluded in the previous discussion, PD material is available for any purpose and may therefore be modified. VOA's request may stem from a lack of a understanding of PD or a resentment by the journalists working there that their work is PD. If we choose to respect their request, it would only be as a courtesy. However, if we change or add anything to the article, we should be very careful to make sure that it doesn't look like it came from VOA. We should attribute directly in the article (e.g. "BBC News says ..." or "According to Reuters ...").
2. VOA News seems to have rather high journalistic standards, but I have found myself removing a sentence or paragraph to keep it NPOV. The second source (at least as far as I used it) is there to substantiate the factual claims in the VOA article. The contributing editor should, imo, find and read a second source to make sure that the story is not, somehow, a VOA fabrication. --SVTCobra 20:20, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree.
1. It might be lack of understanding, anyway it's PD.
2. There's no reason why VOA should be an exception to NPOV or single source. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:08, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
In regards to npov. Wasn't the Voice of America used in the cold war to broadcast anti-communist propaganda into communist countries? Bawolff 07:42, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the radio broadcasts by VOA in various locations around the world have indeed been dubbed propaganda (and probably rightfully so). I think their web-based news has a pretty good track-record, however. Steven seems to have missed my point on #2, which was that a second source is needed and should be listed and compared to any VOA PD article we carry, expressly for the purpose of keeping any POV issues (intentionally or otherwise) in check. The second source should confirm the factual claims of the PD source, so to show that there is confirmation, thus avoiding the pitfalls of single-source. Anyone adding a PD story (VOA or otherwise) should not be so lazy that they don't do fact-checking. --SVTCobra 00:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Agree with Steven and Cobra - VOA request not legally enforceable and always need multiple sources for a new item unless it is "breaking" or OR.
1. It is either lack of understanding or, more likely, it's a scarecrow tactic. Put up a warning that can only be complied with voluntarily. It's like photography: A store or theater may say "no photographs" but the most they can do is ask you to leave since there is no law. It's a preference with no legal teeth.
2. Per Steven. --David Shankbone 11:15, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
  • 1. It's in the public domain. Legally. we can do whatever the hell we want to with it.
2. I'm not entirely sure we want to use the material at all. A simple copy & paste is pointless. If people want to read news by the Voice of America, they go to the website of the Voice of America. I don't think it should be Wikinews' job to simply syndicate stories written by others. On the other hand, editing the stories goes against the explicit wish of the creators and is quite simply rude. --+Deprifry+ 19:02, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Remember we also made an agreement where we can use Beta news stuff. Bawolff 19:16, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
Huh? This Beta News? When did that happen? --+Deprifry+ 19:25, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
see mailing list. The short of it is that Wikimedia Siberia made an agreement where there news (in siberian and en) in cc-by 2,5. Bawolff 19:33, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Deprify (above). Until I read this I never fully considered that modifying article was against the wishes of VOA. As a result, I will no longer use articles from VOA UNLESS it is established that VOA is fine with us copying it (not just from a legal perspective). --User:Anonymous101 Talk 20:32, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

VOA articles that include material from AP or other wire sources[edit]

There have been instances recently where VOA articles have been copied/pasted even though it stated on the VOA article page that "Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters." There seem to be two different views on what this means in terms of using it as PD. A sample of the discussion can be found here. We have two senior editors with opposite opinions of what it means for VOA to have incorporated news wire material into their article. Our policy is clear and it is a position I agree with. I believe that if a VOA article states that some information was provided by AP or others, we should not treat it as PD. If we want to use it as a source and write an article from scratch with multiple sources, that would be fine. But it should not be copy and pasted verbatim. However, the opposite understanding seems to be that VOA would rewrite and incorporate the AP, AFP, and Reuters material into their article, so that the final article presented is an original aggregate worthy of being designated as PD. I think this really needs to be resolved quickly. I suppose it is not clear whether VOA rewrites the wire material, but I would tend to err on the side caution and treat it as non-PD. Thoughts? --Jcart1534 15:34, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I suspect that they change a thing or two, especially in case where they string together two or more wire services, but there is no reason to think that they don't copy entire paragraphs, since they pay for the wire services. --SVTCobra 20:06, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

Why not contact VOA[edit]

I suggest that an admin should email VOA (I suggest one of the following addresses - or and ask them the questions above. I think this because instead of guessing we can get a definitive answer. I think it would be better for an admin to contact them but if no one else does I will (unless there are objections) --User:Anonymous101 Talk 18:42, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

i had contacted VOA couple of weeks back, asking for clarification on whether the no-abridge/edit condition "is a license requirement or only a courtesy request". i added, "if the latter, i think it would be of some help to us in deciding whether/how to use VoA material if you explain the reasons for this requirement." here's the response:

Voice of America (VOA) has no objection to Wikinews including VOA original content on its website with attribution, but we do request that, when material is attributed to VOA, it not be edited or abridged because VOA news content is produced according to strict journalistic standards established in the VOA charter. We are committed to delivering reliable, accurate, objective and comprehensive news. While we appreciate the interest in using VOA content, third party editing or abridgement would not be appropriate.

my take on this (and IANAL) is
  • VOA original material (includes reports in which "information" is provided by other news agencies) is public domain. we can legally use it which way we please. but i think we should give some consideration to their views on such reuse.
  • i think VOA's concern about editing and abridging is to do with the impression readers may form that the modified text is VoA's work - in it's voice. if this is the problem, then it can be handled by suitably wording the VOA attribution template.
  • it's tempting to liberally use VOA material, its an easy way to dramatically improve the scope of our coverage, which can be pretty patchy, but unless we also add plenty of value of our own, it serves little purpose - why shld readers come to Wikinews to read VOA reports that they can read on VOA.
so while i'm inclined against simply reproducing their content (VOA itself does not have a problem with that!) i'd be less opposed to using VOA text as meat for a story if we can plenty enough to it (but we may need to address VOA's concerns about such use) –Doldrums(talk) 16:10, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
All the above input is excellent and appreciated. I agree with Doldrums that, in cases where VOA text is abridged or edited, our VOA attribution template should be modified to make it clear that the Wikinews article is not just "based on" VOA material, but that the VOA text has been substantially altered and added to, and contains information from multiple sources. The template would not, of course, be necessary if VOA is used simply as a source for facts and not their text. --Jcart1534 12:07, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

New development in use of VOA articles[edit]

It seems that people have begun to add VOA articles without a secondary source. To me that suggests that no fact-checking has been done and further it violates the principle of not relying on a single source. --SVTCobra 14:54, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree, I have had to unpublish a story without a secondary source, although now I have seen lots so I thought I should check on the water cooler and not just unpublish it. Please say below if you think I should be unpublishing these. Note, I have contacted the user who has created/published all of these articles--Anonymous101 16:20, 7 February 2008 (UTC)


Here a some suggestions I have came up with regarding VOA

  1. Until this issue is resolved I think no one should create any news VOA based articles
  2. There should be a vote on whether we should include exact copies of VOA articles (my opinion is that we should not)
  3. There should be a vote on whether we should include modifications of VOA articles (my opinion is that we should not)
  4. If we decide to use exact copies on VOA articles we should decide whether a secondary source is needed (my opinion is strongly for it being needed)
  5. I also think that this issue should be addressed instantly --Anonymous101 16:46, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Don't your opinions on #2 and #3 conflict with each other? --SVTCobra 17:43, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
No, I just think we shouldn't use VOA articles. --Anonymous101 06:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I believe the simplest solution is to use VOA as a regular source like AP or the BBC. We still need to beat the single source requirements so a verbatim copy is likely inappropriate. However, liberal attributed quoting from the VOA source should be welcomed.
Where VOA mentions that part of their story is off the wire from AP or Reuters we should be seeking out that as a source for our article. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:02, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Reviews of Entertainment[edit]

I would like to write an article that is a book review. It does not necessarily have to contian my opinion and I believe it could retain a neutral point of view. But I would like to submit my opinion with the book review. A disclaimer could follow indicating that the article expresses the opinion of the author/s and WikiNews does not endorse that opinion. Alternately, the book review could contain a neutral point of view, but then is it more appropriate to put the material in Wikipedia? The problem with that is that some books have not been reviewed yet so citing sources is not possible. That makes the content original for Wikipedia. Let me know what you think and if you have suggestions.: Charlessauer 20:41, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I have written a Book Review as an example that provides a neutral point of view. You can find the news here,
I believe that this news brief is complete without further addition and can be moved to the entertainment section, but do let me know if there is anything further I need to do before proceeding to that stage. Thank you :Charlessauer 22:36, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
I'm not entirely convinced the review you've done meets NPOV, but I want the opinion of other contributors. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:09, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Whilst many news organisations do publish book reviews it doesn't mean we should. Simply put it is impossible for a book review to be neutral. The whole idea of such an article is that it allows the reader to gain more of an opinion of a book than they might find in its description. Now unless any opinion or analysis of the book is omitted, in which case an article on Wikipedia would be a more appropriate output, I cannot see how such material is suitable for Wikinews. Adambro 15:21, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I disagree that analysis of a book needs to be omitted from the review to retain a neutral point of view. In fact isn't reporting any news event about analyzing and reporting any subject? I could argue that all subject matter is not worthy of Wikinews because all subject matter requires some form of analysis. The same is true about the formation of an opinion. The reader forms an opinion after reading any news even if the reporter has done their best to maintain neutrality. :Charlessauer 15:29, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
We're supposed to leave it up to the reader to form their opinion not offer them ours. Regardless, this book was published eight years ago! No news organisation is going to publish a review of such an old book. Adambro 15:39, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
That is your opinion! and beside the point. You are clearly stating a bias point of view. Maybe we should ban the Water cooler portion of this site. Charlessauer 16:15, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I'll tell you one thing: Based on your illogical arguments you are about to make world news. I consider this censorship. Charlessauer 16:17, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Ahh great, the old censorship nonsense gets an airing. Requiring that articles fall within the scope of the project, primarily news articles about current events, is not censorship and suggesting it is just makes you sound a little daft. Adambro 16:27, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
So now you are going to resort to slander too. I find that very unprofessional. Charlessauer 16:33, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
No, I'm sorry but I find any suggestion that not allowing certain articles is censorship as very irritating. It's the desperate argument that nutcases use when their attempts to write extremely biased articles promoting whatever opinion it is they have are considered for deletion. What people fail to realise is that simply because anyone can contribute here, it doesn't mean that anyone can write anything. We have guidelines and policies and the community are not going to dismiss these simply because of a suggestion of censorship. Adambro 16:43, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
You have just admitted that you allowed your anger (irritation) rather than using rational thinking to sway your decision. Charlessauer 16:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

The fact is that without a vote or further discussion user Anonymous101 arbitrarily decided to move the article out of the ready state. Charlessauer 16:44, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I see Adambro has already said something similar but as it is about an action I took I thought I should respond. Charlessauer, please note that the ready template says that you should remove it if you do not think it complies with Wikinews policies and guidelines. I think it doesn’t. It also says to note the reasons on the talk page, which I did. --Anonymous101 20:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
To mark an article as ready is a suggestion that it is thought that it meets policies and guidelines and is ready to be published after another editor reviews it. In this case Anonymous101 has concluded that further work/discussion is required. Such a decision does not need to be discussed or voted upon. Adambro 16:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I presented this logically and you have turned this into an argument without substantiating your argument. Charlessauer 16:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I came across this article and was about to tag it as notnews. Wikinews is not a place for editorials - and while we want to encourage news stories, we also have to stay NPOV. A review, by it's very virtue, is a subjective thing. Until we can form some sort of policy regarding this, I don't think such an article is suitable for inclusion in Wikinews Mainspace. Feel free to propose such a policy - write it out in the Wikinews: namespace and flesh it out! --Skenmy(tcw) 16:58, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
That is logical. Thank you for not assuming I am a “nut case” and being decent enough to defend your position. I can agree that the very definition of review indicates a “critical evaluation”. Perhaps if we remove “review” from the title it would be more appropriate. That said, other than myself with one adjective, no one has demonstrated, using the example that I provided, areas where the article could be misconstrued as not neutral. Further, I could look at any article on this web site and demonstrate that the reporter had to analyze the subject matter. As mentioned, then, perhaps “review” could be stricken from the title. Perhaps “analysis” is more appropriate. Charlessauer 17:13, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
But an "analysis" is not "news" in my understanding of the word. If a new book is released at a big event, then that is news. If a million copies of the book are burnt in a protest, that is news. But a review (or analysis) of the book is not news - it's not a current *event*, and as such I don't see it as suitable for inclusion on Wikinews. The same can be said for editorials, and opinion pieces. It's the reason we don't run columns. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:19, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I would argue that all reporting requires some form of analysis. You have not demonstrated otherwise using an example. The basis of my point is that the content of a book can be reported using a neutral point of view, and I have provided an example. You have not demonstrated otherwise using an example. Charlessauer 17:37, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Surely if you are reporting the content of a book from a NPOV then you are just writing an NPOV blurb? In which case that's advertising - also not suitable for inclusion on Wikinews. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:43, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
So, your argument is that when anyone on wikinews writes an article from an NPOV, they are advertising; Therefore, all articles on wikinews is not suitable for inclusion. Charlessauer 17:50, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
My argument is that reporting the *content of a book* is different from reporting *actual news* - current events, major happenings, and the like. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:54, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
The publication of a new book is a current event. If no one reported the publication of a book for eight years it is the same as no one reporting that someone discovered a revolutionary technology for eight years. The source was not known until now. The retrospect, itself, makes it current. Charlessauer 18:03, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
The content of your example above is more encyclopaedic than news. You are arguing against a pretty well established system - yes we are open to change but only after proposal and consensus. You arguing here is not going to get your article published - I suggest you either make the proposal in the Wikinews: namespace, or go to Wikipedia and include your content there. I warn you, though, that opinionated content is not acceptable there, either. I won't be contributing any further to this discussion. --Skenmy(tcw) 18:09, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I am arguing for NPOV. I will remove the term “review”. This is news worthy material. Anyone arguing otherwise is stating an opinion; therefore, they are arguing against NPOV. That is a fact. Charlessauer 18:17, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

Look. I suggested reporting from an NPOV the content of a book. That is a fact. I have offered to remove the term “review”. That is a fact. I am defending NPOV and you are defending the opposite. Charlessauer 17:55, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

I am defending what I believe to be in the best interests of Wikinews. Reporting the contents of a book is parallel to reporting the contents of a tin of fruit salad - it's just not what I consider *news*. "News is any new information or information on current events which is presented by print, broadcast, Internet, or word of mouth to a third party or mass audience." - from 'pedia. A book review does not fit into that category. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:59, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
That is precisely my point: you are defending what you believe. Charlessauer 18:06, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • NPOV on Wikinews is a foundation level policy. See: Neutral point of view. Although, having reviews of entertainment (I think movies have come up several times) has been suggested in the past, it is virtually impossible to do. First off, multiple editors would have read the book/seen the movie/heard the music, etc., otherwise it can't be verifiable. Second, can an NPOV review even be done? In your sample review, you state: "The end appears to contradict the theme." Now, I have not read the book, but that certainly seems to be an opinion. It may seem innocuous and neutral to you, but would every reader reach the same conclusion? The lack of these editorial freedoms may be what is holding Wikinews back, but it is also what makes it unique. --SVTCobra 02:13, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Do you know what I am tired of? That NPOV on Wikinews is used to downgrade the site to a Reuters "news flash" site. I think Wikinews is far more interesting a concept as a place that is a fully-functioning alternative to,, et. al. I think there is room for book reviews, even dualing book reviews, on Wikinews. What I wish Cobra, Adambro, et. al. would think about is what is Wikinews? They seem to define it through policies that have been written that are at time more applicable to Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, than they are to a news site. People get too hung up on NPOV. I understand why, but I think what we are doing on Wikinews is a bit broader than "Report the world as if you are a robot." --David Shankbone 02:30, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
And yes--HORRORS--I even think we should have EDITORIALS!!!! Can you *imagine*?!--David Shankbone 02:35, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yes I can imagine that, and frankly what I envision are horrors. We'd be filled with conspiracy theories and political attack stories. Everyone that writes a blog could just call it an "editiorial" and publish it on Wikinews. It'd be one great free-for-all. --SVTCobra 02:53, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that's your view, but I also don't think you are a visionary at all and I think you've proven that time and again. Your problem, Cobra, is that you see no way around your Worst Case Scenario. You think "Editorials? Anyone can write them? That's a horror of conspiracy theories, etc." You don't think "Hmmmm...maybe we can create an editorial board, like major newspapers." You don't think "Hmmm...maybe we can do an invited editorial here and there." You think worst case scenario, which is befitting your lack of vision, which you display time and again. --David Shankbone 02:56, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Well, I like to think of my "lack of vision" as realism. Also, I think that failure to envision the worst case scenario is a lack of due dillegence. Maybe you like to go on boats that have no life preservers, I know I don't. Your suggestion of editiorial board, though I know you made it in haste, seems wholly unworkable, but then again, I lack vision. But it seems that you are suggesting that there be an elite core/editorial board than will sit in judgement of the worthiness of one editorial over another. Not to mention how anti-wiki editorials would be in the first place. Seriously, if you wrote an editorial would you want someone else to change it and possibly insert their own opinions? --SVTCobra 03:16, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think you do lack vision, and I think you show that. You cling to policies and guidelines that, if we were to debate them, would quickly become meaningless. Certainly it has occurred to you that there is NPOV on what is NPOV? Wiki isn't just a concept that "Anyone can edit anything they want." That's not Wiki. The idea is that anyone with something useful to contribute can contribute. If an editorial is written and a useful clean-up or addition to it can be made, then great. My problem with your lack of vision is that it harms Wikinews. From what point do you start? I'll tell you where I start from: The MSM media model is successful, but flawed, and can be improved upon. That means news reporting, book reviews, blog entries (which news sites now do), editorials, etc. How can we take this model and improve upon it as a citizen news site? You don't seem to start from that position. You seem to think news is definable (by your own POV) and that NPOV is actually a state, and not an opinion-dominated concept. --David Shankbone 03:23, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>You seem to think that Wikinews was created to mimic the successes of MSM. I contend that it is here to remove the systemic, political, economic and other bias that has become commonplace in these outlets. The fact that other sites, such as CNN, have blog areas only confuses facts even more, as people refer to them as reliable sources, drawing on the name of the hosting site. You and I also have a great deal of difference in opinion as to what harms Wikinews. --SVTCobra 03:38, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Yes, and it stems from the idea that you think NPOV is an actual state. Yet NPOV is an opinion-dominated concept (as the discussion over the Wikinews Picture of the Year illustrates). You seem to think that Wikinews was created to combat the MSM model's structural element; I think it was more meant to combat it's elitist elements. Perhaps it was for both. But if Wikinews is to be relevant, it sure as hell better be something that 1. people want to read; and 2. is relevant to their lives. If Wikinews does not meet those two criteria, then it fails at whatever it attempts. And the two go hand-in-hand. Beyond theory, Cobra, over what Wikinews is, what NPOV is, and what harms Wikinews, if we don't meet those two criteria we just remain a hobbyist's outlet. Your thoughts here are illustrative of a larger problem Wikinews faces: which is just that we are a strainer, a collander, of the news the MSM reports, straining it down to what think are the facts removed of the MSM's bias. That is not what we are. We are not a Reuters New Flash site. We are a citizen-journalism site, where people go to report on the world around them. We aren't all signing up to read the MSM and then whittle it down to the basics. It's great we have that contingent on here, and you are clearly one of them, but that's not all this site is and you need to realize that. That is not all that citizen journalism is and you should recognize that to help realize this site's full potential. --David Shankbone 03:48, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Why are you confusing book reviews with citizen journalism. Where have I ever obstructed citizen journalism? My ideal "pie-in-the-sky" Wikinews has contributers from all around the world contributing stories that they write about events they witness and pictures that they took. They report what they see so that the rest of us will know. Until those people are there and writing here, well, how else can we report the news other than referencing the newswires? My vision (or lack thereof) does not include opinion pieces. Of course, we could abandon all that and just be a magazine that has interviews with interesting people and book reviews, but that kind of removes the news aspect of it. --SVTCobra 04:10, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
For you, Cobra, everything is black and white. You objected completely to the Israel reporting, never once saying that it was a big step for our site and that this woudl be imperfect. To you, it was delivered a certain way, you objected, and you were against it. You aren't about trying to make things work, you are about "I am for this as it is presented" or "I am against this as it is presented." You aren't thinking outside the box, and you box us in to a formulaic, "safe" idea that leaves no room for error. Had you said, "Wikinews going all expenses paid to Israel is interesting and good, let's see what David does with it and how we can improve upon these kinds of things in the future." Instead, you thought, "Let's see what David does with this, and whether I will approve or disapprove of these kinds of things." That's the vision issue you have. The Israel trip was an experiment, and you denounced it from the get-go giving no constructive input to improve such things. You lack vision, and it's a problem. --David Shankbone 04:17, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Without reading all the discussion, and reading David's last statement, I agree with David. Sim[ly put: we need to write what people want to read. If that means a little more of the "tabloid" news then so be is news whether is Lindsay Lohan or Scientology. Call me crazy...but our ratings have increased, we have a few new contributers, and IRC is filling what are we doing right? Well I think looking at what we have been doing the past few weeks speaks for itself. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:58, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Dragon really understands this. Wikinews is a news site. A news site generates content other people want to read, and discuss. When we only have content that regurgitates the MSM, nobody is going to read us or discuss us. So Wikinews needs to look to generate content, report news, that is original. Where we can do that is by working in the world around us and finding stories we feel are not discussed. I do that through interviews. If anyone can take anything from my work, it's that I explored the world around me and reported on things I found interesting, and that I would want to read about. Whether it be the President of Israel or people who run a BDSM dungeon. I don't find "what it takes to run a BDSM dungeon" in Newsweek, but I would be interested in an article about that. So I did it. And so should you. Find something that nobody else is talking about in your city and report about it! That's citizen journalism. But so is the collander-straining the MSM stuff. Cobra's problem is he only sees one side of the coin. --David Shankbone 04:05, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
LOL, I thought the point of being non-profit was not pandering to "what people want to read" and providing factual information. Hell, if there is concensus in taking Wikinews in that direction and having more stories on Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, and this cyberwar on Scientology (on which we already have absurd amounts of coverage), well then godspeed because I won't be going along for the ride. You might want to take a look at what they are doing over at because they've already been able to launch a TV show. Wikinews:Video 2.0 might do better if it had wikt:salacious celebrity videos. As far as David exploring the world, none of it has been quite news, some of it has be relevant, some has been quite random. --SVTCobra 04:39, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Everything is black or white for you. It's vision, Cobra. And it's saying there is room for a variety of news stories, not just what one person considers news. Part of NPOV is to say that your own POV as to what is news should not dictate the news stories. That's pretty basic. You spend too much time telling people that they shouldn't be contributing, or they are doing it all wrong. More than most of us. And that's POV. --David Shankbone 04:49, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
LOL, I thought the point of being non-profit was not pandering to "what people want to read" and providing factual information.
Wikinews, right now, is totally 100% floundering. Let's just be honest here, it really is. Without readers we're basically writing and taking time out of our respective days to write stuff for ourselves which nobody else will read. For some reason, you seem to think "pandering" to public interest is a bad thing, just by the use of the word "pandering." I call it not just talking, but listening. Every news outlet that I'm aware of welcomes feedback as to what interests them. When time or space permits, usually those kinds of ideas are eventually honored.
My interviews have taken a lot of my time and really, a lot of love and care. I've had people tell me to my face that they're 1) not real news, 2) worthless, and 3) the subjects are not nearly good enough to be on a site like Wikinews. At first my responses are basically, 1) write real news if you want to see more of it, 2) F-U, and 3) a bit humorous considering our viewing figures, unless we stumble on a good interview or a scintillating OR story, are ABYSMAL. Considering I'm doing this out of my own accord, I don't appreciate negatives; as I've said before, I don't like hearing can't, I like hearing can. I think we should all start listening just a bit more instead of going "No! No! No!" before it's too late for us to rebound as a site at all. TheCustomOfLife 17:33, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Mike, you misunderstand me. It was not a "put-down" of your interviews. By "pandering" I meant the suggestion editors should stop writing about what interests them and spend more time writing about what's "popular". Specifically, I read DF's comment as a suggestion that I stop writing the stories that I do because, as you say "nobody reads them", and that I would serve Wikinews better if I wrote about Lindsay Lohan. That is what I took issue with. --SVTCobra 17:42, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

!We have wholly corrupted the original discussion. I will, arbitrarily draw the line here, which I should have done long ago! --SVTCobra 04:44, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I would like to reintroduce the term analysis. I should hope that no one here would believe that the term analysis implies subjectivity. I should especially hope that anyone with a specialized degree in mathematics, engineering, or science would believe that analysis is NOT subjective. Analysis is required to find the anomalies within programed code, within circuit boards, and within mathematical formula. Likewise, critical analysis of text is an attempt to objectively define, classify, and characterize literary, philosophical, or theatrical works of art. So, analysis fits the NPOV policy. Book reviews are a form of critical analysis. Charlessauer 14:28, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

  • There is a neat and clean way to achieve this that complies with current policy. Create a news article about an upcoming or recently published book, containing NPOV-style information about the publisher/author, basic plot details and possibly quotes from reviews by another publication. Then write your own review of that book on the corresponding Comments: page. --+Deprifry+ 15:35, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
Genius! Thank you for cutting this knot. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:38, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
  • This whole discussion is bordering on ridiculous and for some of the above comments there should be retractions and/or apologies. Everyone who has engaged in this discussion wants to see Wikinews doing better. It is indisputable that to do so we are going to have to test the limits of NPOV. The more edgy our coverage the more readers we collect. Wikipedia can afford to be aloof and wait weeks for an article to gel into the right shape. We do not and can not take the same lazy pace. We need things written and published in 24-48 hours. This pressure is part of what I find enjoyable about Wikinews. I'm not always looking at the same articles with a small change here and there, it is new stuff every day.
That being said, I think I have to - to some extent - agree with Mike and David. Some people are being too risk-averse. We have someone wants to do book reviews? Why not? Okay in the given example the book is not new so fails several of our tests for being news, but it is an opportunity to work out guidelines whereby we can cover material like this. We need to seize opportunities to increase the scope of our coverage. We can't do that if we don't engage with the people who try things.
As an example, I believe TheCustomOfLife has been criticised for his coverage of ANTM. If I wanted to be extremely uncharitable I'd describe it as a waste of space. Yet, with a little thought, you can see it isn't. The material has an audience (which doesn't include me and a few other contributors) and it provokes input on our Comments namespace. That tells you the stuff is being read and there is the potential to draw in new contributors. We're not Wikipedia, nobody is going to breath a sigh of relief about bandwidth bills if our readership drops 10%; instead they're going to be screaming "where's the screwup?". --Brian McNeil / talk 18:20, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree with brianmc 100% DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:23, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

I want to say that I have absolutely no issue with book reviews or editorials if the community agrees. David Shankbone’s trip to Israel and the associated articles were brilliant. They were probably one of the articles I enjoyed reading most. My issue is that I do not think we should mark an article as ready before it consensus is reached. My opinion is not that all opinion should be removed from Wikinews, but before articles are created community consensus needs to be reached and that there may be a different way on implementing them, which does not involve posting them in the main namespace. I think this should be implemented by creating an ‘Editorials’ namespace in which selected users should be able to post editorials. I think these users should be selected by the community. I think these editorials should not appear on the main page but should instead appear on an editorial page. I also want to thank Charlessauer on attempting to be bold and improve Wikinews but unfortunately it was probably an action that is too bold for a new user too take with out some community consensus . I also think that the book was too old to count as news. --Anonymous101 21:08, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, I have to agree with SVTcobra. There's no reasonable way to do NPOV book reviews. This isn't to say that book reviews aren't good things that should exist in this world, but rather that they aren't things Wikinews can reasonably do. A commitment to NPOV does restrict in many ways what sort of things we can cover. That's part of the cost of making a project that is NPOV and NPOV is part of the cost of being able to have news project that is of interest to as many as possible and has an many people as possible willing to contribute. JoshuaZ 22:14, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Then we write new policy specifically for interviews and reviews. What to do and what not to do. You seem to be missing that in journalism, fairness and accuracy (the equivalent of NPOV) is valued, yet there are some facets that don't fit the equation (reviews, interviews, etc.). That doesn't mean cut them out completely, it means make new guidelines. TheCustomOfLife 22:24, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
We can't tamper with foundation level policies nor should we. I'd also point out that interviews can be NPOV. (I've just completed an interview with Randall Munroe that will be up shortly)- the key there is to ask questions that are NPOV. However, for reviews there's really no reasonable way to do that. JoshuaZ 23:33, 5 February 2008 (UTC)
Suggesting new policies for different kinds of pieces isn't "tampering" with existing policies on regular "from the wire and original reporting" articles. In fact, the "old" NPOV policy for articles would stay as-is and apply to those kinds of articles. What I'm saying is, we need to do new guidelines for both interviews and reviews. Not every news item is created equal, and that doesn't make other kinds of news items "less news-y." At the risk of sounding offensive (which I'm not trying to do), you're not thinking outside the box or really how a professional journalist would on this matter. That's not to belittle your opinion, but it lacks perspective, I believe, to not let Wikinews grow like any other outlet would. TheCustomOfLife 05:26, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

First of all I would like to sincerely apologize to anyone I may have offended. Specifically, I'd like to apologize to Adambro. In promulgating and defending my position I claimed, as you rightfully pointed out, censorship. I reacted and I did so in haste. I'd also like to apologize to Skemmy and Anonymous101. Each of you have contributed to Wikinews and I applaud that. I also apologize to anyone else I may have unwittingly offended. That was never my intent. I thank each of you for your insightful input. Charlessauer 08:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for apologizing and making clear you didn't mean to offend users. --Anonymous101 16:24, 7 February 2008 (UTC)

I concede that the book review chosen as an example is not current. The introduction of reviews or editorials needs consensus especially in the light of current policies. As a new user it will be difficult for me to earn the support needed for this idea. Charlessauer 08:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

I propose the following is put to a vote: 1.) a trial period of not more than thirty days to establish a policy specific to book reviews of fiction in a section only under entertainment; 2.) a trial period of not more than thirty days for a series dedicated to an analysis of new books – where new books means that they are not more than one year old; 3.) each book analysis will start as a proposal seeking consensus within three days of the proposal; 4.) any non-affirmative vote for a given proposal means that the proposal is deleted; 5.) if consensus is reached for a proposal than a full analysis will be presented seeking revision; 6.) moderators or administrators will be assigned to monitor the article for breach of NPOV; 7.) any moderator must commit to become familiar with the material in the article (for instance – if it is a book then moderators must commit to reading the book); 8.) any part of the analysis deemed to not follow policy will be altered until everyone agrees that the analysis conforms; 9.) if consensus cannot be met within three days after presentation of the analysis then the article will be deleted; 10.) at the end of the trial run of no more than sixty days – thirty days to establish a policy, and thirty days of book analysis – the idea will be put to a vote seeking consensus. The vote will seek to either keep or discard the policy changes specific to entertainment. Charlessauer 08:55, 6 February 2008 (UTC)

Editorials, Book Reviews, and NPOV on Wikinews[edit]

Could people who would like to begin a group discussion of how we would do any of these things on Wikinews please sign their names below. The idea of the group is that you are for trying to figure out how to experiment with doing these issues, including what policies may need to be revised, and how we would do so.


  • Please do not open the box of NPOV matter. It's a very bad idea. Wikinews NPOV is unique even if very difficult to achieve. Without NPOV Wikinews will lost this unique quality. I understand that editorials and book reviews are very valuable for people (books for free for example) but very selfish too. Wikinews do no need Editorials, editorials are everywhere in all regular newspapers, its a trap, a pitfall very dangerous and so POV. It's a cyclic discution on Wikinews (in french wikinews too). If your goal is to attract people, it's not the righ way. Internet is full of WebLogs and e-newspapers where POV, book reviews (advertisment in fact) et editorials are available. There's just one WikinewsJacques Divol 20:15, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
Jacques, the idea is to discuss, and what you write above is that you do not want the discussion to take place. Wikinews needs to experiment with different ideas to see what will work and what will not. Our current format is not working and it is obvious. So instead of trying to battle those of us looking to try different ideas, to make this a fully-functioning website that maybe takes a few more risks in order to innovate, allow us to experiment. There is rigomortis on this site with its thinking, and that is why nobody reads us. Many of us want to experiment. --David Shankbone 20:23, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
It's not the first discution on the subject, and remember NPOV can't be removed. If we remove NPOV, wikinews is no more a WIkimedia project, it's the rule. You are not the first wanting to open the Pandora's box. It's of course my own POV, and discution can take place but you must understand and know all the consequences if you stop NPOV. Jacques Divol 20:31, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
That's just it: you are arguing right now "Don't even discuss it." This is simply discussion. NPOV is not what makes us a Wikimedia project, and you have no idea what is even under discussion. Instead of arguing as if you know what the idea are about wait to see how the discussion goes before coming out and saying, "We will be dropped by Wikimedia! Don't do anything different! Don't even discuss it!" --David Shankbone 20:38, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I am sorry, David, but you are not the first to come with that idea. But i'll wait to read your new ideas, you seem very advanced in your project. I am sorry (again) to be a bit hard but as i am one af the oldest here (even if i do not write often) and i have some memories... Jacques Divol 20:51, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I understand your concerns. I believe there are ideas around this that we can attempt to do, without disrupting our core policies too much, including NPOV. I simply want to figure out how we can do them, and whether we can tweak policy to try to experiment a little. --David Shankbone 20:55, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm just sick of being around people who would rather sweep the issue of expanding Wikinews and its coverage (and, yes, its policies) under the rug. It's not a bad thing to change. In fact, being adaptable will be our ticket to actually succeed, because let's be honest, apart from big news events and stuff me and David Shankbone do, we don't succeed. We flounder and it's about damn time it changed. TheCustomOfLife 21:01, 7 February 2008 (UTC)
I get that people want to discuss this without negative this and that for the purpose of fostering ideas, which I understand, and discussion is a good thing (even if i disagree with it very strongly), but how do you plan to introduce any sort of opinion without massive flamewars? For every piece of opinion there is someone with the oposite opinion. Since everyone can edit, how do you satisfy everyones opinion? Bawolff 00:54, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
I think what we are suggesting is very containable and compartmentalized. Rather than changing policy we are asking for an addendum. It is an addendum that is specific to book reviews and it is specific to entertainment. To be as accommodating as possible I suggested that even those should be limited to essentially an “academic” analysis. Further, I conceded to changing the name of the review to “book analysis”. The addendum to policy, then, would only apply to book reviews in the entertainment section. That addendum would only apply to book reviews. Any actual opinion would reside under the “opinion” tab, if anywhere.
There is no reason why a compartmentalized and containable policy addendum couldn't be created for editorials as well. Strict rules could limit what type of editorials are allowed, limit where the editorials are maintained, and set the criteria for what credentials are needed to write editorials. Administrators and monitors could guard against abuses. All editorials could contain a statement indicating that the article expresses an opinion and that Wikinews, as such, does not endorse or subscribe to the stated opinion.
With contained addendum to the policy, linked to different locations, the original NPOV would still apply. Exactly like any other news agency, anything other than editorials or reviews, would be obliged to follow NPOV. For all news articles strict adherence to NPOV is essential to maintaining the credibility and integrity of Wikinews. Charlessauer 06:33, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Wikinews cannot and should not ever stray from the key WMF principle of NPOV. This seems to be another case of users taking the view that to be successful we have to mimic what other news organisations do. However, our project has unique considerations and so we can't simply see what others do and copy it. If people want to disregard NPOV then they can setup their own site and do what they like. Wikinews is never going to be turned into a soapbox, the WMF won't let that happen. This isn't sweeping "the issue of expanding Wikinews and its coverage (and, yes, its policies) under the rug", it's appreciating that the project cannot simply morph into something else if we're struggling to do a good job of what we do currently. There is more than enough opportunity within the scope of the project to find exciting new ways of enhancing our coverage. If people want to air their views on a topic then start a blog, not here, not now, not ever. Adambro 07:28, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
That policy was written when only Wikipedia existed. I don't think anyone envisioned that a news source would ever come out of the idea at that time. While neutrality is a hallmark for good journalistic reporting, you seem to miss the point on entertainment reporting. There are opinions in every paper. Does it mean everyone writes an opinion? No. There need to be checks and balances for that. And likewise, I think we need to bring Sue Gardner into this discussion. As a former newswoman, she would understand how to tailor Wikinews for today's journalism industry more than most of us here, as most of us aren't trained formally in journalism. I think the WMF may be open to talks on how to move Wikinews into the next level more than you realize. TheCustomOfLife 09:28, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Mike, I would like to point out that meta:Neutral point of view is a foundation level policy that mentions three projects only, one of those being Wikinews, so the whole "they weren't thinking of Wikinews at that time" is not valid. Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:51, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
To further what SVT said, A while back i was reading through the archives about the discussion of creating this, and I vaguely remember neutrality as being a major selling point. I personally think it is what defines us. There are other citizen journalism websites (ex ohmynews and indymedia), none of them are neutral (to my knowledge). Bawolff 05:12, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree that Sue should be brought into the discussion. I don't see anyone saying that any editorial pieces should be placed in main namespace where NPOV is mandatory. Sue has the experience to offer guidance on how that aspect of news coverage could be done while maintaining NPOV where appropriate. Fighting and going "OMG! I'LL LEAVE!" or "NOT NEGOTIABLE!" just reminds me of Ian Paisley.
Wikinews is a little over three years old now, out of diapers and learning to walk. If we want to get to the stage of running we've a ways to go yet and we don't yet know how to get there. I'm going to mail a link to this discussion to Sue (will copy wikinews-l). I believe this should be open to people who subscribe there and it would be a more appropriate venue for this discussion. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:49, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah good old Ian Paisley. There's a part of me that says no, but at the same time I'm wholly for it, I think it's a great idea, it will need some kinks to work out though. People need to drop the "NO SURRENDER TO POV" Paisley style moaning. Heck, even Paisley has stopped doing it, he's actually gone into power with a former IRA commander, something I would have though would never happen in a million years, but it did, luckily, Wikinews is young and not old like the ancient battle between Ireland and the UK. I wouldn't mind writing a column or be a commentator. I wouldn't mind us holding debates. Who knows (maybe we'll be able to hold a debate within four years time of Presidential candidates perhaps? (I don't know if it would be Dems or Repubs or just the minors like the Libs, the Greens, Reform/Constitution and Socialists, heck, why not a neo-Nazi too? ;) But anyways, it's time Wikinews expands. --TUFKAAP 21:10, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
  • Yes, I think Sue should be brought in. As to all the objections: what are you objecting to? You don't even have a proposal to object to. That's the problem on this site: people freak out at change, when the status quo is not working well. It's like the Captain of the Titanic not changing course to avoid an iceberg. "But we have our course set for us!" Wikinews is beset by problems, the main one of which is that there are few contributors and there are is a core group of contributors who want to oppose anything "new" that may actually make us a website that is relevant (as opposed to becoming the Dutch Wikinews). --David Shankbone 15:21, 8 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I'm willing to wait until there's a proposal, but I'll state right now that I find it unlikely that one can be put forward that meets policy - and I am firmly on the side of agreeing that Foundation policy is the bottom line. Confusing Manifestation (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 19:55, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm new to this discussion, but I wanted to throw my thoughts in anyway. Wikinews is not a newspaper, and shouldn't try to be one. Our goal should be to provide a place where anyone can collaborate to create neutral reports of recent events. We are a source of articles that can be re-used in newspapers, and also an archive. I think that Wikinews should focus on original reporting of hard news. - Borofkin 05:13, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews Editorials[edit]

Hello. If you would like to be included on the discussion about Wikinews Editorials, I have begun such discussion here: Please feel free to comment. --David Shankbone - (talk) 16:36, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

24 hour limit[edit]

I'm trying to bring the occasional chemistry article on to Wikinews, but I am having trouble with the timescale of how things are done here. I think it's important for Wikinews to broaden its scope beyond politics/sports/entertainment, although I understand that these are the bread-and-butter for most news sites. But chemistry news (and I think most science news) doesn't work on a round-the-clock timetable with daily newspapers and 24 hour TV/Internet news. Most chemistry news (other than Nobel prizes) is reported weekly. I thought I had done well to post a piece on Friday night, less than 24 hours after the paper was published (Hydrated protons pair off). However, I had to wait till Monday to get an image from the author, and I added this within minutes of receiving it. This was promptly removed because "the story is over 24 hours old." Yet this story won't even have been published yet by most science news publications! I'd appreciate some latitude here, bearing in mind the topic being covered, as I fail to see how adding an image detracts from this piece. See this discussion for background information. Can I (or one of you?) add the image back in? Thanks, Walkerma - (talk) 19:11, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

This is a serious problem. I've noticed it before. My impression is that for science related news we generally give some leeway. I don't see why we wouldn't in this situation. JoshuaZ - (talk) 19:18, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I should mention, this image was sent to me at my request for this story, by the professor who is the lead author of the paper. It's taken directly from his computer simulation that is the subject of the story. Getting this kind of "first hand" image strengthens the journalism, IMHO. Walkerma - (talk) 19:27, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

I agree that we should be more lenient for certain categories that report news slower. Generally it's 3 days I think but a week for science sounds reasonable.
There was however more an issue with the image copyright, judging from the OTRS, so the image was mainly removed because of license problems. Your chemistry articles are certainly most welcome here! --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 22:41, 18 February 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I did specify the CC-ShareAlike 3.0 (with a link) in my original request, but OTRS want to make absolutely sure. I've clarified the copyright issue with the author with a followup email, and he's acknowledged, I expect to get a more formal response soon. Chemists aren't used to this - copyright in scientific journals is in fact a very grey area. Walkerma - (talk) 00:07, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
BTW, the OTRS response came long after the image was removed, and the main reason given was "the image addition was over 24 hrs after the publication" - hence the title here for my post. Walkerma - (talk) 02:10, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I think it is reasonable to extend the time period for non-grammar fix edits to non time-critical articles longer then 24 hours after publish date. Its not like it was published then the entire thing got re-written. Bawolff 05:05, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Or alternativly, since its not time critical, we could wait until we have image brfor publishing, and just keep it on development until such images come in. Bawolff 05:06, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I agree, adding the image didn't significantly change the article, and after all we are not a print newspaper. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 13:13, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

The problem with WN:ARCHIVE[edit]

We seem to be having problems keeping up with the archiving on the site. I used to do it a while ago, but a lack of time and the change requiring us to add the archive template has made me stop. Previously, I used to scan through an article, click protect add the reason and it was done, now one has to scan the article, click edit, add the template, enter a edit summary, save, then protect and add the reason. Frankly, the current system is cumbersome.

Unfortunately, AWB isn't an acceptable option for me as I am usually using a Mac when using Wikinews - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 10:02, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Its possible with js (I think anyways) to add a checkbox for protecting an article, like the is this a minnor edit, and watch this page. Would that be helpful? Bawolff 23:03, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
It would assist somewhat I believe - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 21:13, 1 March 2008 (UTC)
Now I just need to find time to do that :). Bawolff 00:09, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

New class of users (editprotected)[edit]

This class will be able to edit protected pages but do not have any other tools of admins (block, delete, protect and anything left out). The related bugzilla entry is #13137.

This is intended for bots that cant edit protected pages. The two options are

  • Grant this access to every bot
  • Grant this to accounts separately (bot or not)

-- Cat chi? 22:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

This needs fleshed out a bit more on examples of what sort of edits such a bot would perform. I've made it clear in the past I'm opposed to the delinker bot having the bot flag and getting to delete images with 90%+ of the community not noticing. For interwiki and other similar tasks I'd approve of something like this. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:59, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Archivebot comes to mind (not that it is used anymore). Bawolff 23:01, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Tasks could include double redirect fixing, recategorization, and particularly interwiki linking and updating. Finished news articles may need such mindless tasks. If an image is renamed in commons such access may be helpful too. -- Cat chi? 23:25, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
This sounds sensible although I don't think this should be given to human users. If they are trusted enough to edit protected pages then there is a case to say that adminship might be appropriate or at least not far off achieving that level of trust with the community. I'd also suggest that this flag not be applied to all bots, only those where it can be really justified. A malfunctioning bot with the rights to edit protected pages could cause very very serious problems which would be likely to go unnoticed for a while due to the bot flag. Editprotected would be useful for my bot which updates the weather pages. There is no reason for these to be edited by any other user and having editprotected would allow the page to be fully protected. I guess it would be appropriate to leave the granting of such a right to bureaucrats as per the bot flag. Adambro - (talk) 17:20, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Internal links to userpages, please ban[edit]

I feel response for this, as I was likely the first to include my name in articles, with the whole interview stuff. While I'm sure many put their name in before and in between, David Shankbone was the next to really mention himself, and he took it one step further, with a link to his userpage.

My problem with all this is, a lot of people's userpages aren't great. Most of them aren't professional-looking, and it's just not good. Could we make it that:

a.) Only accredited reporters can have any kind of link. Normal users can mention themselves, but no link whatsoever.
b.) Accredited reporters have the option of linking to their mention on the credentials page. It links to their user page, so it's only one click more.

Of course, accredited reporters would still have the option of not mentioning themselves in the article, or mentioning but not linking. The exception to all this would be when outside volunteer photographers are found, and agree to photograph, in exchange for a semi-promotional paragraph at the end of the article.

Comments? -- Zanimum - (talk) 17:58, 3 March 2008 (UTC)

  • Good idea. I think the advantage of providing a link is that it provides more ways for the user to check the sources, something participatory journalism is strong at. I also oppose to mentioning yourself on the main page in the synopsis, and I've always replaced that with "Wikinews interviewed...". I don't know of many specific instances where these rules could apply. It makes sense to link to WN:CV, since accreditation is indeed no guarantee for a good user page. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:46, 3 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Not spotted this section of the Water Cooler until now, but I agree with the general principle. While David's user page is pretty well constructed, most - including mine - aren't. This is possibly something that should be written into the style guide. What I'd propose is a link for accredited reporters to the appropriate part of WN:CV. I would also suggest a strong warning that the use of pseudonyms should, whenever possible, be avoided within articles and names and pseudonyms should never appear in a synopsis on the front page or a portal. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:20, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I must say, this is a very interesting proposal, and I'd love to see further discussion on this. It's important to note that we are, above all, a collaborative effort. People's userpages tend to change as well, and sometimes a well thought out user page will suddenly vanish when the user decides to disappear (or, further, be vandalised). Then we have a link to a blank page or a red link. Bastique 17:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • I would agree with this principle but I'd go further and say we should avoid all crossnamespace links from articles. I've no problem contributors mentioning themselves by name but linking to userpages is more contentious as you note so would agree with the proposal to ban such links for all users, accredited or not. However, it might also be with considering that if accredited users are going to be entitled to hand out WN business cards then more professional user pages will become a necessity if they are mentioned as in the examples. However, even if pages are of a high standard, I still don't see the real need of linking to them. Adambro - (talk) 17:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Code of Ethics[edit]

I'm going to put this on the front burner here. The Code of Ethics has been sitting here for the most part languishing for the past to 2 to 3 years, I think it's time we take it out draft and unofficial status and turn it into policy or at least a guideline. --TUFKAAP - (talk) 04:52, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

That is fair enough. We should work on it. However, I think it is "uncool" that you made this change immediately before/after bringing this to the water cooler. Fixing the broken links was fine, but adding your own stuff about stories that involve the Foundation without saying that you did so ... well, "uncool" methinks. At the very least you should have mentioned it above. --SVTCobra 01:09, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I was just adding it in light of the article about Jimbo around that time. Trust me, I think we should state the fact we're not just the Foundation's propaganda machine (of course, we've never have been anyways). I wasn't trying to be uncool, I was trying to expand the code to be more... "ethical." Is that really so bad? --TUFKAAP - (talk) 23:29, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't think TUFKAAP (talk · contribs)'s change was "uncool", but it is a tad too detailed, we don't have to spell out specifically what it means to be neutral and strive to be separate from WMF in stories about the Foundation. I agree with both of you that this is an important page that could use a lot of work. I was surprised that it is in the state it is in at present. Cirt - (talk) 23:32, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I did go a bit overboard, but I'm a knacker for detail. ;) You guys see my articles, I go overboard on the amount of detail I include. I just can't help it. Anyways, the point is, we need to get this off the ground especially with the Anonymous protests, all these interviews we do, we need a CoE to follow. --TUFKAAP - (talk) 06:03, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps we can jumpstart this flagging (and flagged) conversation by examining the application of the WikiNews Code of Ethics to an example at hand. Please see these three discussion pages on the need to update a previous story in the wake of new information:

Is WikiNews in compliance with its own Code of Ethics? If not, what story update would suffice to bring WikiNews into appropriate compliance with the industry-wide Code of Ethics in Journalism? Are there any deficiencies in the application of the Code of Ethics that need to be addressed in light of this example?

Moulton (talk) 13:16, 14 June 2008 (UTC)

Reviving a story that is dead, buried, and currently composting for use as firelighters doesn't help formulate a code of ethics. It just ends up being a round of finger-pointing. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:16, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Brian, is it your position that the media in general (and WikiNews in particular) has no ethical obligation in cases like this? Do you personally believe that WikiNews has lived up to its own Code of Journalistic Ethics with respect to coverage of Star Simpson? Moulton (talk) 11:00, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
I think anyone who goes into an airport with a T-shirt festooned with exposed wires is an idiot. I see little wrong with our coverage in comparison with other media sources at the time; I think you're blowing this way, way, way out of proportion by accusing the site of not following a code of ethics in this report, what was known was what was reported. The story is dead, deceased, passed on, it has shuffled off its mortal coil. Repeately harping on about it is just finger pointing and not anything remotely constructive in formulating a code of ethics. You've made zero suggestions for improvements to the policy, you have just been a single purpose account pursuing this article, and the cause of some moron who has bugger all commonsense when it comes to how to comport themselves when travelling by air. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:56, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Let me rephrase the question, Brian...
Is it your position that the media in general (and WikiNews in particular) has no ethical obligation in cases like this? Do you personally believe that WikiNews has lived up to its own Code of Journalistic Ethics with respect to coverage of Star Simpson?
I also have a new question or two for you. Do you believe that people who go into airports wearing earbuds with dangling wires connected to sophisticated electronic devices are idiots? And do you have any opinion about whether Wikinews allows the publication of personal opinions about the intelligence (or lack thereof) of identifiable living people?
Moulton (talk) 03:49, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Your beating a dead horse. Seriously, you argued, you lost, no one cares. I suggest you find something else to argue about. Bawolff 05:17, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
May I quote you as saying that no one at WikiNews cares about adhering to a Journalistic Code of Ethics? Moulton (talk) 20:22, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> Let's start with a minor nit... It is Wikinews, the N is not capitalised. If you'd bothered to learn anything about the project before embarking on your mission here you would know that.

Next up, quoting people as not caring about journalistic ethics? That's a pile of crap, and you're trolling or stupid. Pick one. We do care, or we would not have a draft policy and people inputting on it. We don't give a rat's arse about the case you are pursuing and would just like you to drop it before you get blocks for being a SPA. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:29, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Am I to understand that Wikinews has naught but a draft policy that is not yet ratified? What's the status of the Code of Ethics here? Moulton (talk) 21:31, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Am I to understand you didn't read what you're fucking ranting about? --Brian McNeil / talk 21:36, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Both of you, take a step back. Brian, you're becoming increasingly incivil and losing your temper, and you know that's not the way to discuss things. Moulton, while your motives may be good, you're turning this into a crusade and using underhanded tactics to goad your opponents. Like I told you, your Wikipedia history doesn't affect your standing here, but engaging in the same behaviour that got you into trouble there will have predictable effects here, and if you can't even tell what that behaviour is then maybe this is not the place for you. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 01:31, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Chris, I would agree that if Wikinews has no Code of Ethics in place, and no prospect for crafting, ratifying, or adopting one, then this news reporting operation is definitely not the place for me. But I'm not ready to conclude that unless somebody here declares that the prospect of adopting and living up to a Journalistic Code of Ethics is manifestly a non-starter for the Wikinews Community. Moulton (talk) 22:19, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Which from your perspective is fair enough. But even if a CoE is something that Wikinews needs (and I think consensus is definitely in favour), if you're not willing to work with the Wikimedia principles like civility and consensus, then it may not be that you're the right person to be involved in such an effort. There is plenty of precedent on here and other Wikimedia sites where someone with plenty of professional expertise has tried to initiate change, but lost out to people who lacked the professional knowledge but were much better versed in the "wiki way". Also, I'm not quite sure how to word it, but the way you present your case has a tendency to alienate you from people who might otherwise agree with you - there's a tendency towards leading questions and misrepresentation of what others have said, and most people here are cluey enough to pick these up and use them against you. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 04:54, 18 June 2008 (UTC)
Chris, I don't see how it serves the interest of the Wikinews community for anyone here to adopt an adversarial stance with me. The manifest lack of consensus, dating back 2 or 3 years leaves a new arrival such as myself wondering just what is the so-called "wiki-way". Peter Senge has a concept that he calls the Learning Organization. Some organizations (especially highly successful ones) learn quickly and learn well. Other organizations don't learn as well, and gradually fall behind the curve. Just as the speed of light slows down in denser media, the Speed of Enlightenment of a Learning Organization similarly slows down with the density of the organization. It's not hard to measure the speed of light in different media. The more refractory the media, the slower it goes. Every medium has its characteristic index of refraction which can be readily measured. My interest in participating in Wikinews, going forward, depends on what I am able to measure of the site's index of refraction and the corresponding speed of enlightenment, in the sense of Peter Senge's concept of the Fifth Discipline as applied to the Fourth Estate. Moulton (talk) 18:10, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Non-consensus deletion of images[edit]

Per his reputation as "Dr No" and a Commons admin who is a stickler for rules. Adambro has arbitrarily deleted a swathe of images.

I want to see these restored and go through a proper procedure for this wiki.

  • We are not Wikipedia
  • We are not Wikimedia Commons
  • We were not consulted
  • The specific characteristics of this project were not taken into account

I find this unacceptable, I want those images back. We have AN ARCHIVE! People who burn books and destroy historical records should be put in an Iron Maiden. Sorry for the strong language, but people don't go around acting as judge, jury, and executioner on a collaborative project unless they want their admin privileges revoked. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:07, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

To expand on this, the reason for the action is the Foundation licensing directive that was instituted. As stated above, this was without consultation with the Wikinews project and in no way, shape, or form, took into account this projects particular needs.I was... disgusted to see this speedily put through WN:DR when it is widely known that few contributors regularly check these pages. No specific list of impacted images was given, no list of articles that needed these images removed, and - to my knowledge - no attempt to contact uploaders and reasonably explain what was required to justify retention of the images in question.
This has been an ongoing process, where the lack of attention that WN:DR is given has been exploited to impose a policy which is not suited to a news source. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:37, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - Although this is not a discussion on the policy itself, I deplore that my "oppose" vote was ignored and overruled. Let's have a dialogue here; since deletion can always be restored, there's really no point in deleting without conensus. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:10, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I do feel that data should never be deleted without a good reason and explanation on a per-case basis when it comes to news images and potentially archives. Admittedly deletion is a reversible action but really that shouldn't be an excuse for random image deletion without reason. --JamesHarrison - (talk) 21:13, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Some of mine were deleted despite the fact that they followed the image policy and had a fair use rational. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm not surprised that my actions have been controversial but am quite happy to defend them. The foundation resolution is clear and per that resolution, no project can ignore it. Unless we no longer want to be a WMF project, something which I would suggest brings us many advantages, then we must comply. I'm not particularly convinced that my attempts to ensure compliance justifies the Brian's implication that it is an abuse of my admin rights. The resolution has been known about for a long period of time, anyone with objections has had plenty of time to raise these and to date the resolution still stands so I feel compelled to ensure Wikinews complies with it. I would accept that in some instances I may have made a mistake and so would invite undeletion requests to be made for any images as appropriate but it is not up to us to decide whether or not to comply with the resolution, we have to, so it would be very unwise for anyone to undelete an image where the problem still stands. Consensus or not, we can't ignore the WMF resolution. I should clearly have my admin rights removed and be put in an iron maiden for daring to obey the WMF board. Adambro - (talk) 21:59, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
I complied and wrote fair use rationals. Which is what was required. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:26, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
As I've said, I might have made some mistakes. If you feel that is the case then highlight the images in question and I'll be happy to discuss this issue with you and explain my reasoning for deletion. Adambro - (talk) 22:30, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Isn't that what we are doing? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:32, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Since I cannot accept that all my deletions are not in line with the WMF resolution I would invite you to provide me with details of any where you feel this is the case. Adambro - (talk) 22:35, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Why are people voting? What are they voting on? There seems to be no specific policy proposals. Further, I think that Brian McNeil, who commonly derides other users for unnecessary "drama" ought to tone down his comments. That being said, it is also inappropriate that images that were used in articles were deleted, without due process ... assuming that is the case ... I have not seen the list (is there one?). However, there has been apathy in addressing images in Category:Non-free images lacking fair use rationales, among others. I have in the past suggested making {{Non-free use rationale}} mandatory, but it was argued that a rationale in prose would suffice. In any case, we do have a problem with a number of images that still exist here, even after the aforementioned deletion, and it ought to be addressed. As a side issue, I have noticed that adding {{Imagedelete}} doesn't seem to list the image on any list for deletion. --SVTCobra 00:29, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
As stated in my comment below, I did not expect people to vote on this. Yes, my language in starting this discussion was somewhat... incendiary. However, the first I knew of the action taken was when I discovered a closed request on WN:DR where very few had given input and the vote stood at no consensus. This does not list the images impacted, a serious omission in my opinion. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:45, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I voted in support of sticking to the established process of discussion before action- action with no commentary or discussion isn't where things want to be headed in a collaborative environment like this. --JamesHarrison - (talk) 10:14, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment. I too am a little confused on the voting. Are we voting to put Adambro in stocks! Face-smile.svg I do want to thank Adambro for restoring a couple of images that I felt were properly designated as fair-use. Could someone provide a link to the infamous "foundation resolution"? --Jcart1534 - (talk) 00:43, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
    The foundation resolution can be found at foundation:Resolution:Licensing policy. Worthy of particular note I would say is the message at the top of the page which says the policy "may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored on local Wikimedia projects". Adambro - (talk) 12:04, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I had no intention of this being any sort of vote. And the strong language of my comments was a result of being very annoyed at how this had been done. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:31, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
As I stated the last time round on this issue, the Foundation resolution is overly idealistic and offers no concessions to the particular needs and quirks of the Wikinews project. It was, as far as I can tell, drafted with idealistic zeal and no consideration for anything other than Wikipedia. Encyclopedia articles are something that remain current and potentially ever-changing. This is not the case with a news article which becomes a part of history. To raise a few other points, I very much doubt Wikinews would be disassociated from the Foundation for not applying this resolution immediately; nor do I think it was appropriate to raise a DR without specifying the scope of its impact. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:55, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Where I have removed images that have been deleted from articles I will be reverting myself to restore the red links. This makes it easier, if for whatever reason some images get restored, to work out what images were used where. Adambro - (talk) 12:06, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Fire by Oliver Scholtz (and others).png

The editors of this article need to remember and apply Wikinews:Etiquette and especially never assume.
Please calm down, chill out, have a nice warm cup of tea and become nice. Thank you.

I am not saying this applies to everyone but some users need to calm down. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 12:08, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break #1[edit]

I appreciate an effort being made to permit people to assess the impact the unilateral application of the Foundation's resolution has had, however those who are not administrators will be unable to review any attempt at a rationale that was attached to the deleted images.

With regards to the comment from Anonymous101, I have calmed down, but I am still very unhappy with the way this was handled. Taking out my initial anger here and - jokingly - suggesting that Adambro be placed inside an Iron maiden permitted me to let off enough steam not to list him for de-adminship due to this incident. Yes, I was that angry when I saw a non-specific blanket entry on WN:DR had been used to give someone carte-blanche to delete things. I do not appreciate a consequence of this being me getting comments on my talk page where it is suggested I meant this seriously. Adambro, engage here and leave my talk alone for the time being, and per my final comment there leave your Commons Admin hat at the door when you log into Wikinews; I am sure there are many who would agree with me in taking pride in being different from the other projects, being bold in how we do things, and accepting that many (if not most) on the project do not have expertise in copyright law.

I have emailed Mike Godwin for input on this issue, my key concern - as I think I've flogged to death in the past - is that the resolution is to be applied retroactively. That simply does not work here. We are a news source, and like any other news source images are important to the illustration of our articles. I have proposed having a {{depreciated image}} tag and a number of other measures to deal with situations where we need an image in short order and, for reasons that should be painfully obvious, cannot like Wikipedia wait six months until someone photographs a subject at a press conference or other event. To give an example, were we to have a story on a pop star who went off the rails and shaved their head (I wonder who he means...) then waiting six months until we get a photo of them with their hair grown back and adding it to the article in question would be most inappropriate. The concept that we cannot use a less-than-totally-free image because you might be able to get a camera phone shot of someone in ten years is - to be blunt - bloody ridiculous for a news source. (a) We'd never use it because the article would be archived, protected from editing, and - effectively - finished, and (b) It would not represent the point in history which the article in question pertained to. The importance of this latter point cannot be over stressed, facts do not cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news.

In again reviewing the Foundation resolution I still come to the conclusion it was written without any consideration of projects such as Wikinews. Wikipedia strives to be up-to-the-minute current, which makes replacing a less than free image with a free image (even if of poorer quality) something that works for them. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:34, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

The Deletion Request was closed as a result of the images being deleted not the images were deleted as a result of the deletion request. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 13:50, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
Eh? That's putting the cart before the horse. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:33, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It is routine to close deletion requests if the subject has been deleted. Adambro - (talk) 15:38, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It's true that the images were deleted while ignoring the vote, which was then closed, but we should really have a discussion on this deletion. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd also comment that the deletion request in no way impacted on my decision to begin to attempt to ensure compliance with the board's resolution. Adambro - (talk) 13:52, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
It is also "routine" to list what will be impacted by a deletion request. Personally I consider this an out of order action and one that should have been thrown out. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:01, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps I am naive and/or just thick, but having now read the resolution I see nothing that prevents us from using non-free images subject to our own Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP), which is our fair-use policy. As far as I can tell, any fair-use image where no free alternative exists, is allowed on Wikinews (news being the key word) as long as it has a properly documented fair-use rationale. Why this is even an issue, in spite of the foundation's resolution, is beyond me. I must not be understanding all the legalities and apologize if it is more complicated than that. --Jcart1534 - (talk) 13:54, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

My images DID have a rational. And Adambro playing the game of I don't know which ones IMHO is ridiculous. My images DID fall under the EDP. And NONE of them can be replaced with a free alternative. But apparently whether or not your images have a rational, doesn't matter. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:11, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I have worked with DragonFire1024 to ensure his images comply with the foundation resolution and a number have been restored as a result. Where people feel that images can be made to comply with the resolution, I will be happy to assist. Adambro - (talk) 21:37, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
  • We are not voting on Adambro or on the policy, we are voting on having a discussion on the deletion. I say: we don't simply have to follow everything the WMF says, especially if they were only thinking of Wikipedia and not about our news archive when they voted this policy.

Since several authors agree that this should have been discussed, I've started an undeletion request here: WN:DR#Undeletion requests. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:48, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break #2[edit]

  1. We should strive to keep archives unaltered as much as possible
  2. As a hosting provider, the WMF has to remove any illegal content from its servers in case it is informed of its presence. If we are informed of the presence of an invalid fair use claim, we should remove it. Even if it means altering an archive
  3. If the archive is altered, the image (for example) removed should be replaced by a "blank" image indicating that the original image had to be removed for xx reason.

The above quote is from Florence, chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, and can be found on WN:EDP. It was a response to an attempt by Kim Bruning to introduce language to the EDP which took into account WN:ARCHIVE - an attempt that was reverted. So here we have an opinion from the board, which has not been followed through on and - in my opinion - ignored in favour of the interpretation of the resolution by one contributor. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

All of the above quote remains perfectly valid and fits in with the board's resolution. We want to avoid changing archived articles but in some situations we may have to and should be prepared to do so. The suggestion of replacing removed images with another image has however not been implemented but there is nothing to stop it being if people feel it appropriate. As I've said elsewhere, there is nothing stopping us removing images from archived articles. Adambro - (talk) 10:00, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with your interpretation of the above quote.
  1. Archives have been altered.
  2. No assertion that the deleted images were "illegal content" was made.
  3. Any claim of invalid fair use rational was your opinion, and not from a third party which held copyright over the images.
There is one key item that is urgently needed here, and in short order. Namely, a list of all images you have deleted over the past few months because - in your opinion - they were not in compliance with the resolution. It was a completely out of order action to delete what Anonymous101 had listed. Yes, that's my personal opinion, but trying to pick out what has been deleted is a herculean task for all but the deleter. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:36, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Can I make it clear that I did not list the image there to show my support for the deletion of the images. I listed them there to allow the community to decide whether to delete them. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 11:10, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
I'm not going to start debating the exact nature of the comment by Kim but would suggest that it can be summarised as saying we shouldn't alter archived articles without a good reason. Unless Kim says otherwise, I don't think we can starting taking it to mean anything which prevents the foundation resolution from being enforced. My doing so was not "completely out of order". I most certainly have not deleted images over the past few months due to not complying the with resolution, the only deletions I have done on this basis were those in the last week or so where I made it clear in the summary why I was doing it. Unfortunately, I realise that User:Anonymous101/Unfree is a dynamic list but that was the list I went from but if anyone really wants to find out then they can check the deletion logs for mention of the resolution. Adambro - (talk) 11:13, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
User:Anonymous101/Unfree/2 is a non dynamic list. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 11:36, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
For a start, nobody should be having to check any logs. It was totally out of order to delete these images before the deadline for the DR was up. And - IIRC - the deadline for non main namespace stuff is two weeks from listing.
Moving on from that, you have your own unique interpretation of Anthere's comments that had been added to WN:EDP's talk. I read that as keep unless we need to delete, and this is - most definitely - not what has been done. Florence has shown an understanding that we are not Commons, and not Wikipedia. The way this has been handled does not reflect this in any way, shape, or form. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:51, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
Adambro has said that he did not delete the images because of the DR (which was supporting keeping the images), he said he was trying to follow a policy which says it can not be "ignored, eroded or circumvented." The DR was then closed because the images had been deleted. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 07:23, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
The deletion request should not just have been allowed to run its course, it should have been marked with {{flag}} and highlighted in the IRC channel topic. As such an important issue, someone should have gone the extra mile to get the community involved in the discussion - even though WN:DR is not well frequented.
As those who follow foundation-l will be aware, there is some concern expressed on-list that the Foundation resolution is so strict that Holocaust images may not be useable, and tied up, even though the copyright owners and all their descendants are dead. I appreciate a lot of the images on Wikinews don't qualify as being that culturally significant, but I disagree with the assertion that the archiving policy only applies to text. This is an assertion I believe has been made on WN:EDP, the talk page of which is perhaps where this discussion should be moved.
At present, the discussion/vote on deletion requests stands with an overwhelming majority voting for these images to be restored. I am happy about this as it vindicates my action in bringing up this discussion here and StevenFruitsmaak's proposal of the undeletion. Those who have taken an overly-idealistic stance on this issue have been shown to be a small minority, and were we to have WN:SNOW (analogous to w:WP:SNOW) I would have already restored the images.
To move on from that, it is my opinion we need something added to WN:EDP that takes into account our archiving policy. I am not proposing it be given more weight than the Foundation's licensing resolution, but that it be worded in such a way as to preserve our archive as best as possible. I do not consider the archiving rules/conventions to be something that only applies to the text of an article, but to the presentation of an article - pictures and all. With a small window of opportunity to obtain pictures and illustrations for news articles I believe it is inevitable that we will make more use of Fair Use provisions than projects such as Wikipedia. Our position is also such that where we have done so a more free image may become available in the future, yet to carry out a replacement action on an article that is five or ten years old would be a grave disservice to our readers. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Being a news site might be an excuse for being relaxed about images, being a free news site completely rules this out. I note that people are so desperate to try to suggest that images are part of our archives yet obviously slow to recognise that by that same argument, that they are an important part of articles, they should like the text itself be freely licensed. Any change to WN:EDP can only come after a change to the archiving policy, which as it stands is nothing to do with how articles appear but everything to do with how they read and ensuring they reflect what was known at the time.
If we can't find a free image in a quick Google search that doesn't mean we can or should use an unfree image. We shouldn't "make more use of Fair Use provisions than projects such as Wikipedia", the nature of our project is no excuse to disregard our primary objective.
If any images are restored which don't come under our EDP and have solid fair use rationales then I shall quite happy to not hesitate and delete them again. Adambro - (talk) 11:19, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Arbitatrary section break #3[edit]

Adambro, are you threatening to overrule community consensus based on your personal interpretation of a resolution? That is a most serious position to take, and one liable to result in you being blocked if you follow through on it. Your interpretation of the comments made by Florence and Kim differs wildly from my own, and from that of other Wikinewsies I have spoken to privately. Your stance on this issue is extremely ideological - to the point of bordering on religious zealotry. When, not if, these images are restored per the undeletion request on WN:DR I will instantly apply a full week's block if you delete any of them without going through the appropriate processes that are in place on this project. That is not a threat, it is a promise. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:32, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Brian, I really think a week would be an unreasonable block, and I think a block of 24 hours would be sufficient. However if he did continue to undelete images after a first block, I would entirely support the block. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 14:29, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Please see WN:BP#When_blocking_may_not_be_used. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 14:34, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Adambro, although I understand your position, I strongly encourage you not to go against community consensus. If you do it is likely to result in your de-adminship. (although I would probably oppose your de-adminship for this incident) --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 14:23, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

I think we must clarify what exactly the deletion request is for as it seems unclear whether people are agreeing that images should be restored permanently or temporarily to allow for attempts to add appropriate rationales in line with the foundation resolution. Until then we are all wasting our time worrying about threats of blocks. Adambro - (talk) 14:52, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
I believe that should be done as part of the WN:DR. Currently I would like to propose taking this discussion off the Water Cooler and preserving it on the talk of WN:EDP so it doesn't get lost in an archive and need run through again in a few months. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:23, 27 March 2008 (UTC)


Per the undeletion request, I have restored all the images and I'd now ask all users to make attempts to address any issues with these images. I'll be happy to assist with this process but will not hesitate to nominate any for deletion where I feel we're unable to justify their use.

I remain unconvinced that our principle of archiving articles has any bearing on whether or not we remove images at a later date and will be looking to see any images which couldn't be reasonably described as fair use when they were added to articles are deleted. It is not feasible to suggest that users only have as long as the article remains open for editing to raise concerns about images or suggest that their use is inappropriate.

Per the resolution, and the core aim of creating free content, we should be constantly asking ourselves whether using unfree images is necessary, useful to the reader, and can really be justified as fair use.

I was under no illusions that the deletion of a reasonable number of images would be uncontroversial however. It was clear though based upon previous discussions that whilst many users were quick to oppose the implementation of the resolution, there was little real action in attempting to resolve some of the issues or get the resolution changed.

I would accept that I misinterpreted the feeling of the community in, whilst expecting some negative reaction, thinking that the deletions would be on the whole accepted as necessary to keep the project in line with the WMF resolution which we can't ignore. It is very regretful that my actions in attempting to resolve the issue of the foundation resolution have caused such upset within the community and for this I apologise. Adambro - (talk) 18:47, 31 March 2008 (UTC)



I have noticed people seem to have different opinions of what OR is. Some people consider reading a press release or watching it live on tv OR. Other's think something completely different. Please vote and comment below to help show the communities opinion on what OR is. (We all know voting is evil - but remember to ignore all rules)


--Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 06:56, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

( Support means it is OR Oppose means it isn't)

Reports from the scene/face to face interviews[edit]



I think this is undisputedly OR but I'll list it in case I've made a mistake.--Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 06:57, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Phone/Email Interviews[edit]



A lot of my recent interviews have been done this way. The interviews can still be informative and beneficial and very personable. TheCustomOfLife - (talk) 07:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Most of mine have been carried out this way, although I have had some face to face. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 07:15, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Phone or email interviews are most definitely OR. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:00, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Phone interviews are okay; IRC, Skype or Gchat interviews are okay; e-mail interviews have little-to-no validity in journalism and are seen as PR releases. I've asked other reporters; I won't do them. You don't even know if it's the person answering. --David Shankbone - (talk) 11:47, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
How does an interview carried out by email any different to an interview carried out in person? I have seen reputable organizations (including BBC I think) lead on an exclusive obtained via email interviews. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) (Note I have no link with the organization anonymous) 20:12, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm not voting against e-mails, because they are OR - but my reasoning is because when a person can mull over, rephrase, re-word, etc. it becomes more akin to a press release than the spontaneity of a give-and-take interview. It's very different, the dynamics involved of real-time versus e-mail (which is essentially the difference). --David Shankbone - (talk) 21:09, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Watching TV/Radio[edit]


I don't think it deserves the OR template as it was just someone sitting in front of a tv. --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 19:16, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
I was told long ago that sitting in front of the TV watching a press conference for whatever reason is like being at the press conference. I have used that as OR before. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 23:24, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
True in what content you get, but it just doesn't seem to be worth {{original}} --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 06:22, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
I disagree...We have done it like that since I have been here, and I see no reason why it cannot continue. Its not something that is done all the time but was done with Spitzer and other officials and incidents like Virginia Tech. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 22:12, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
To some extent watching a press conference on TV is the closest we're going to get to being there. However you don't have an opportunity to put your own questions. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:39, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Support in cases where there is a complete broadcast of the event. If watching an edited "highlights", then Oppose. I'm of the same mind as DragonFire1024 that OR = reporting content that hasn't been "filtered" by another agency. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 23:39, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Semi Oppose In general, only watching Congress, Parliament or a Presidential/Primer speech counts at TV original reporting, that's where I scooped up a quote from the Newport Beach Republican during the stimulus rebate vote. --TUFKAAP - (talk) 03:14, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
  • divided opinion as per Dragonfire, Chris and Tufkap's points. Press conferences can constitute OR. JoshuaZ - (talk) 20:43, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


There are a number of issues with the use of TV or Radio. Where either is used then it should be treated as OR for the purpose of notes being available on the appropriate talk page. The actual {{original reporting}} template should, however, not actually be used on the article. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:05, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

But some {{tv reporting}} flag could be usefull. Jacques Divol - (talk) 09:21, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

How about {{broadcast report}} which then covers TV and radio? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:36, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
seems fine, if it's arise no ambiguity Jacques Divol - (talk) 09:43, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
Created template --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 15:58, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment Seems that most people want to reserve the OR label for actually doing something; we need to keep in mind however that all claims need to be referenced, and so talk page notes should still be given and all other OR rules should still apply to television/radio sources. We could also create {{source tv}} or {{source radio}} to circumvent this problem. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:38, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Reading a press release[edit]


  • Oppose --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 06:56, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose TheCustomOfLife - (talk) 07:10, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose --Brian McNeil / talk 09:12, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Jacques Divol - (talk) 09:22, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Adambro - (talk) 17:01, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:12, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support - I believe that an article is OR if it contains reporting that has not been filtered through another news organisation. Press releases are a good source for a particular organisations position on a certain topic. For political reporting press releases are extremely useful, and it is possible to write articles of reasonable quality using nothing else. Importantly, the research and selection of quotes for such articles is done by a Wikinews contributor rather than a journalist working for a newspaper. - Borofkin - (talk) 07:15, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
PR are good sources, i agree. {{source-pr}} is for this usage. Jacques Divol - (talk) 10:27, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
I support the use of source-pr. Such articles are also OR. Original reporting is everything except synthesis. This position is consistent with WN:OR and WN:CG. - Borofkin - (talk) 07:18, 1 April 2008 (UTC)


  • Comment: I am ambivalent on this one. A press release is certainly not a secondary source, but it is something that gets published and perhaps carried by newswires. But I think that the act of deciding what bits to pull from that press release could have a bit of OR to it. Cirt - (talk) 07:14, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Press releases can be a difficult issue to handle well. I've had criticism levelled at me for an article based on a Wikimedia Foundation press release where the article in question was considered an effectively uncritical rewrite of the release. This is what can make working from a release problematic.

As per my comment above on the TV/radio item I believe this should be treated as OR for the purpose of note taking on the talk page. However, it again does not merit the article being templated or categorised as OR. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:12, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I think the rarely used {{source-pr}} and notes on the talk ppage would be useful --Anonymous101 (talk · contribs) 15:59, 27 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment: Press releases can be easily sourced; it doesn't matter if they haven't been filtered by others, as long as we filter stringently ourselves. They're no different from websites or other sources. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:41, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Wikinews articles using websites as sources can be original reporting too. Websites are often original sources. For example, if we report "Microsoft website displays nude picture of Bill Gates" and our source is that we looked at the website and saw a nude picture of Bill Gates, then we've done original reporting. It is not the nature of the source that is important, but the relationship between the event and the source. If the website is the event, then it is original reporting. In the case of press releases, often the press release itself is a notable event, and therefore reporting on it is original reporting. - Borofkin - (talk) 23:16, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

I would like to offer this article for consideration: Australian government approves Tasmanian pulp mill. It sources three press releases from three different organisations (government and two opposition parties) and an interview transcript. The press releases are original sources for the quotes and assertions contained in the article. Wikinews contributors read the press releases and interview transcripts, and chose what quotes to use and what content to include in the resulting Wikinews article. I'm not suggesting that this is great original reporting, but it is the sort of thing we should be encouraging over synthesis of news from other news organisations. - Borofkin - (talk) 23:26, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Style guide - "Notations" subsection at bottom of articles[edit]

Please see African nations gather to support a ban on cluster bombs - would appreciate some input on the appropriateness of a Notations section in this article, and other articles on Wikinews, for that matter. Cirt - (talk) 21:37, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

There is also some discussion at Talk:African nations gather to support a ban on cluster bombs. Cirt - (talk) 21:41, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Who can vote on deletion requests[edit]

A recent deletion request, WN:DR#April_7.2C_2008 has raised some concerns in my view. We do not (as far as I know) have a policy on who can vote on DRs. These requests normally fly under-the-radar, as far as the casual reader is concerned, so generally the people that vote are Admins, ARs and other long-time contributors.

In this particular case, since there are still outside links to the article in question, notably, a great many in the public are seeing the DR tag and following the link. Consequently, we have many votes on there by users and anons whose only contributions are to vote in the DR. Examples, [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6].

Call me a pessimist and lecture me on "assuming good faith" if you must, but I doubt many of them read WN:DG before voting. Now I think this article would be a "keep" anyway, but I fear that in the future we could see an instance where we must overrule the majority or invalidate a bunch of votes.

To prevent an outcry when that happens, I think we should think about a reasonable policy to restrict the voting. Limiting it to Admins and ARs is far too restrictive, so should there be an edit-count restriction? Cheers, --SVTCobra 16:28, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I like how it is done on Wikipedia, they allow users to comment (so long as there aren't any sockpuppets, that is very bad) but it is allowed to tag "Single Purpose Accounts" with w:Template:Spa. So I created Template:Spa here at Wikinews, and have started to tag those comments accordingly. Cirt - (talk) 16:30, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I would agree that only established contributors should be able to vote but feel that commenting should be left open to anyone. I think a simple edit count isn't up to the job; someone could, as I presume is the case here, read about an ongoing DR on a forum or something and be encouraged to vote then create an account and accumulate the required number of edits in a short period of time. I think the length of time the user has been active here has to be taken into account which should be based upon the date of their first edit. I would suggest figures of 1 month and 50 edits might be a reasonable starting point. PS. Edit conflict with Cirt whilst typing this but I'd agree, allow anyone to comment but allow it to be made clear that they appear only to be here at Wikinews for a single purpose. Adambro - (talk) 16:35, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
I finished "tagging" the vote/comments from new users with {{spa}}. Cirt - (talk) 16:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Whatever we decide, I oppose "striking out" the comments from any user. New users should be allowed to vote/comment - and then the closing Admin should take note of whether they are established or not, and if not, discount their comments. But they should still be allowed to comment. Cirt - (talk) 16:40, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Cirt, that SPA qualification on WP is to allow who contributed to the article to vote/comment. In this case we are talking about users whose sole edit is to cast a vote. I agree anyone can comment but not vote. I don't like that the idea to leave to the discretion of the closing Admin, just who is "established" or not. --SVTCobra 16:44, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Okay - if we are going to differ in this regard from Wikipedia that's fine. In that case why not just permanently semi-protect WN:DR. Wouldn't that solve this problem and make it easier for people? We wouldn't have to strike comments, because new users would therefore not be able to comment, though they could still do so on the talk page for WN:DR, or the article's talk page. Cirt - (talk) 16:47, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Votes from all users have long been welcome. New users' votes however are often discarded when trying to find consensus. It is not supposed to be a vote anyways, because voting is evil :). The spa template or one like it is a good idea, but for the most part ignoring the me too votes is probably best and easier. --Cspurrier - (talk) 16:53, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

A new user is not simply someone who has recently created an account or has no account at all, it is someone who has made none or limited contributions. Simply semi protecting the page doesn't make a distinction between an active user and one which has had an account for the however many days is required by semi protection. Adambro - (talk) 17:14, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Cirt, please don't commingle the terms "vote" and "comment". Comments have not been striken, votes have. --SVTCobra 17:39, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Understood. On Wikipedia there is a strong emphasis away from "voting". Simple "votes" on w:WP:AfD's are discounted, even if from established editors, if not accompanied by a thoughtful "comment". Perhaps things work differently on Wikinews in that regard, and established editors are allowed to simply "vote" Keep/Remove, without a rationale. If so, I was unaware of that practice. Cirt - (talk) 17:42, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

This IMHO is just least to enforce this now based on the current article that started this in the DR, is wrong. This was started only in response to the overwhelming support for a keep on the Wikileaks warned article regardless of who voted on it. And to create this so called policy or whatever and enforce it on that article is sounding more like an attempt at censorship. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 18:54, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

This is absurd. Wikinews is not a democracy. That way lies a site governed by mob rule and a rapid descent into being irrelevant. On WN:DR the final decision is that of the closing admin, and the closing admin alone. Whether to count a vote from a new contributor or not is their call. All the rest of us can do is highlight where things are problematic and a posse has been formed to oppose or support any measures. On the case that has raised this we're looking at a lot of keep votes. I'd bet my bottom dollar it would be looked at a lot differently if it was seen as CoS inciting people to vote delete.

90%+ of the rules which Wikinews works by are grounded in reasoned application of common sense. On that basis I'd say the less wikilawyering we add, the better. I'd take it as a given that votes from IP addresses should be struck and ignored. For accounts apparently created for the sole purpose of voting you likely have to strike them as well. It's not just WN:DR, but anywhere we're voting. If you don't have a history of main namespace contributions everyone has the right to question your vote - and your right to participate in a vote. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:49, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Since we don't seem to have anything in writing on this, should we put together a brief outline of the way voting works to put near the top of WN:DR, so that outsiders will perhaps be discouraged from thinking they can flood a vote and change the outcome? --SVTCobra 14:09, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
That's probably the best approach. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:48, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Using the news paper here for stories[edit]

moved to WN:WC/assistance

--SVTCobra 18:06, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Policy regarding news story age[edit]

Hi, I was wondering how old a news story should be when publishing on Wikinews. For example, could a Wikinews article be written about Ronald Reagan's death in 2004? I've search the introduction and policy guidelines, etc. but cannot find an answer. A response would be much appreciated. Thanks, Happyme22 - (talk) 03:19, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

No, the suggested Reagan story would be too old. Per WN:CG "News stories focus on a single current event or phenomenon." Although, "current" is not specifically defined and some allowances are made for the time it takes for information to disseminate; the only way I could see anyone writing about Reagan's death on Wikinews, would be if some new information were to emerge. In general, if the information is more than a few days old, it is too old, but if it is an ongoing event with rapid developments, that time could be even shorter. Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:54, 19 April 2008 (UTC)
Great, that sure answers the question. Thanks a lot! Best, Happyme22 - (talk) 03:55, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

WN:SD page name[edit]

I renamed Wikinews:Speedy deletion guidelines to Wikinews:Criteria for speedy deletion. This page is marked as "policy" so having "guideline" in the name was confusing. Cirt - (talk) 17:31, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Done the same with deletion guidelines. Now Wikinews:Criteria for deletion --A101 - (talk) 17:33, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
I also changed {{Guideline}} to output to a new category Category:Wikinews guidelines, before it mixed in with {{Policy}}, and outputted to Category:Wikinews official policy. Cirt - (talk) 17:41, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

External Linking Policy[edit]

I think it would be helpful to have an external linking policy or at least one to adrress an issue that arose with a source link going down on Ukranian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls the BBC source is no longer active. I think it would help to get a consesus on how to deal with such issues and outline it in a policy whether in an external linking policy or as an addition to the sources policy.--Ryan524 - (talk) 01:39, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

I am pretty sure (without re-reading the policies), that while WN:CS says that sources must be verifiable, it is intended to mean at time of publication and not days later. --SVTCobra 02:01, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
That is correct, but I think it may be best for those looking at a sotry where a source has been taken offline to at least have a notice by the source to tell them the source is no longer avalible.--Ryan524 - (talk) 02:04, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
You were not joking when you said you couldn't spell. Face-smile.svg But I think you refer to Ukranian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls and the BBC video link, and that source did not provide a notice that they took it off-line. In fact if you search the BBC for "Hitler doll" you'll only find this which is nothing and no notices of a retraction, just an absence of information. That is bad journalism on the BBC's part, IMO. --SVTCobra 02:15, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes but I think its important that we just don't leave a broken lin kup with no information, but to put a simple notice this source is no longer avalible, for whatever reason.--Ryan524 - (talk) 02:51, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
That is funny though, it still shows up in search results but the article is non-existant...horrible coverup by the BBC, I expected better.--Ryan524 - (talk) 02:53, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

What Constitutes a Consensus?[edit]

So the question here is what constitutes a consensus? Is it a simple majority, or some supermajority? If it’s a supermajority what percentage of supermajority? AFAIK there is no policy or guideline that stipulates what the community views and a consensus.--Ryan524 - (talk) 22:59, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

There are some good ideas at w:Wikipedia:Consensus - but I think it depends on what particular process you are referring to - whether it be an RfA discussion, simple discussion about something on a talk page, policy proposal, etc. Generally speaking (at least on Wikipedia) it seems that for RfA's 75% Support is sort of an informal guideline for "consensus". Cirt - (talk) 23:04, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
We are not Wikipedia, I think that we need to decide as the wikinews community what constitutes a consensus and if its diffrent for diffrent things than so be it, I think thats better than a plain consensus = x all the time.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:06, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Of course I agree with you that we are not Wikipedia, and that things are different here. Those were just some references/comparisons to get discussion going. However there does seem to be a consensus over there by the simple majority of contributors that 75% is generally speaking a consensus, at least, a majority of the time. Cirt - (talk) 23:11, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that is good for wikipedia because with the large number of editors a few no votes won't affect the outcome, I seen a Rfa on Wikipedia that already has 20 votes and it dosen't close til May 15th, we don't have that many votes and a few no votes have a big effect.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
This has not been put in context. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
What context it's a simple question of what constitutes a consensus? It could be we as a community say for Rfa's it's x percent support, for policies it's y percent support, ect.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Ah. In that case perhaps let's focus discussion on one of those processes at a time. Cirt - (talk) 23:16, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds good to me, lets start with the one I was affected by today and one that is quite impportant:


IMO 60% is a good percentage for this concidering each vote has a bigger impact than on say Wikipedia.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:21, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps we could look at this a different way - check all the RfAs that were successful in the past against those that were not - and determine what percentage/consensus has historically been used, on average. Cirt - (talk) 23:23, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Your comment about it being "x percent" is disingenuous.
This is about Ryan524's recent WN:RFA which I closed as a fail and commented was no consensus. It was three votes in favour, and two against. Bureaucrats are allowed leeway to interpret a vote like that as "apathy: the majority wants to wait and see" do we really want to do away with that? --Brian McNeil / talk 23:25, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
IMO Bureaucrats shouldn't try to interpret anything, there should be a simple x percetage required for Rfa, IDK what would work well, but I think 60% is a resonable number, it's not asking for a huge supermajority but someone can't pass by with 50something%.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:28, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Also this is not about me, this is about what a consensus really is? Becuse their is no difinative answer, iits what we as a community decide and we need to decide, If this was about me, I would recall you for enforcing a non-existant policy.--Ryan524 - (talk) 23:31, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I must disagree with Ryan524 (talk · contribs) on this last point. Yes, some sort of rough number should be consensus, we wouldn't expect people to pass with 50%, but bureaucrats should be given some leeway. Cirt - (talk) 23:34, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

I think the clearest evidence of whether our bureaucrats are making the right decisions in relation to RfA's is the number that are contested, not many although this could perhaps be seen as an example. Is it a coincidence that the 60% that Ryan proposes is exactly the level of support his recent RfA received? I think it is important to look at this from both sides, 60% is just over half, if that means that 40%, just under half, oppose I'd say that is pretty significant. On a slightly different note, should we simply be counting votes? If people simply say "Support" with no further explanation whilst others have provided thorough reasoning for their opposition I'd suggest this should probably be taken into consideration when making a decision. Adambro - (talk) 12:38, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Well I could become The President of The United States with less than 50% support if I got at least 50.1% in the right states...I think IMO 60% is a good number, any higher I think is unrealistic for Wikinews now because as I said with so few people voting, each vote can swing the percentage by several percent, in my case each vote was 20% worth. For school bonds where I live they require 60% to pass, and I think that is adiquate for our needs. If you really want to bring up the fact that I had 60% support then how about this I had 5 votes, per my proposed policy I would not have passed, nor would I have failed it would simply be extended to get enough votes to create a consensus one way or the other. Realisticlly to close it as fail because it was 3/2 and so AFAIK I belive the reasoning for failing it was making the assumption most people were unsure and didn't vote, which we all know what happens when you IMO the best action for my Rfa for example would have been to extend it to allow more votes to obtain a consensus one way or the other. The fact is though my Rfa is closed, final, over, not going to change. But I can at least help to make the process better for the next person. This is not about me being an admin, if I wanted that so bad I wouldn't have done the Rfa I would have just asked for it back as I could and technically probably still can per WN:A. THis is just about clairfying what hasn't been clairfied for furtue manners. Even if we decided Rfa's only need a simple majority with any number of votes to pass, that still wouldn't affect the outcome of my Rfa so I don't get why you bother to bring it up.--Ryan524 - (talk) 16:20, 9 May 2008 (UTC)


Well I was bold and made a proposed policy, no where near ready to be official but tits a start. Wikinews:Consensus --Ryan524 - (talk) 00:43, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

IMO we dont need a policy, its bonkers! b'crats are people who we, as the community decided that we trust to do what is good and right for this community, and IMO allowing them to make decisions of judgement based on our opinions that can be seen (and not publically seen), so making a new policy is taking this away from them. also it takes away the common sense element from this relaxed community who do not really have that many policy's that we stick to, and doing so IMO takes away alot of the difference from wp, and that imo is a bad thing. overall i think the b'crats are perfectly able to make decisions and we dont need another policy to do what is already done without a problem. --MarkTalk to me 18:09, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Markie, all the Bureaucrat are users who are trusted enough by the community to make decisions User:Anonymous101 :) 18:34, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Agreed w/ Markie (talk · contribs), that is essentially what I was saying, above. Cirt - (talk) 18:37, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Umm, wikt:Consensus and if there is any dispute it goes to b'crats. What more do we need? Bawolff 20:16, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
The consensus which seems to be emerging is that we don't need a policy to set out what consensus is since we trust the judgement of our 'crats. I'm inclined to agree with this. Adambro - (talk) 20:32, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
Well at least someone trusts them I sure don't.--Ryan524 - (talk) 21:35, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Proposal removed as I can see the community is not in favor of it.--Ryan524 - (talk) 21:40, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

credit in image captions[edit]

Where in policy does it state that credit should be given in image captions? Why is this done? If you would let me know on my talk page, it would be appreciated. --Remi (talk) 08:04, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

It isn't in policy, it is a courtesy and way of encouraging people to share images. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:15, 16 May 2008 (UTC)