Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/Archive/18

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Professional researchers/journalists[edit]

The COI policy could be read to say that if a professional journalist were to do a story, they themselves could not then come here, do the same or similar story here, and link to their own story as one of their own sources. So in effect it would seem that COI says, we cannot have any professional journalists or other type of researchers here, since of course they are going to work on issues they have already writen on. Comments? If you disagree with my analysis of this issue/problem, how could COI be modified to take this situation into account?Wjhonson (talk) 21:07, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I would think they could use their own story as a source, and mark the article with OR, but it would probably be best to use one or two other sources as well, in addition to getting some community input/help with the article. Cirt (talk) 21:10, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Collaborative publishing model[edit]

My friends and I have been discussing this site for some time. There is one point we have all agreed on, and it is that point I wish to put forward here. The idea of not permitting any article refinement after the arbitrary “publication date” needs to be changed to not enable favoritism and censorship over the values of the community. There is a need for a record of the “published” article but that should not prevail over collaboration. What about providing a very prominent link to the “published' version going back to whatever that was, and also allowing continual refinements within the regular site rules? Newspapers often run corrections to published articles, and this would be the collaborative way to accomplish that. An article format addition indicating the article status and after “published” the link to that version of the article would accommodate this change and improve transparency. What do some of the active editors here think of this? 06:54, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Personally not really in favor of it, prefer the current model, though for major inaccuracies {{correction}} can be used post publish. Cirt (talk) 07:00, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
It's difficult to find the balance between the wiki philosophy (anyone can edit), and the editorial control needed for us to be taken seriously in the world at large. I think that at the moment the system we have is better, since it is still possible to get corrections made, but the article that you see is considered reasonably stable. However, I would support replacing the current archiving procedure with a suitable implementation of flagged revisions, once they've proven themselves on de.wp. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 12:58, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
Flagged revisions is not a replacement for archiving! --Brian McNeil / talk 13:40, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

Speedy Deletion, Noncommercial and You[edit]

I have made several new templates: {{Non-com}}, {{Non-deriv}}, and {{Non-deriv-non-com}} (well, non-com is not new, but it's gotten a overhaul). Basically now, if the image is to be used under fair use, it is to be used alongside your normal fair use rationale and tags. If the image DOES comply with Wikinews's fair use policy, you simply need to add the fair=use parameter to the template and it removes the ultimatum for speedy deletion. Please note this. We are way overdue in complying with the resolution fully. ViperSnake151 (talk) 23:57, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

I have reverted your many changes as well as I am able to do. Please consider that what you did was mark nearly all images hosted on Wikinews as speedy deletions. The reason you did this is they are all hosted here as fair use under various non-free licenses. Wikinews only hosts images here which cannot be hosted on Commons because they fall under the Fair Use policy, but are not freely licensed. This policy was created and approved by the WMF Board in order for en.Wikinews to gain upload privileges - something most other Wikinews languages still do not enjoy. I am aware of this history because I wrote the initial policy and presented it to the Board, and I understand that not every Wikimedian is cognizant of this bit of trivia. - Amgine | t 03:32, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

GFDL Templates[edit]

I have tried to bring all the discussions on the validity of GFDl templates into one place. Anonymous101 :) 18:11, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

From Template talk:Non-deriv-non-com[edit]

I see no reason why this template is a copyvio. Anonymous101 :) 17:17, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

This template is licensed under the GFDL, which does not allow migration to the CC-by licensure. Wikinews content is published under the CC-by licensure, including templates. - Amgine | t 17:19, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you link to the GFDL page. Also, does that mean you want {{Ambox}} deleted, it is GFDL but it is one of our most imprtant templates. Anonymous101 :) 17:21, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't think that templates (nor tables or infoboxes) or anything constructed with the mediawiki software constitutes copyrightable material. --SVTCobra 17:22, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Why are we even having this discussion? The template is unused and for a type of media we are not allowed. Zap it. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:24, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
But if we delete this template for copyvio as its GFDL than whats to stop someone deleting {{Ambox}} as its GFDL? Anonymous101 :) 17:27, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
GFDL. I would suggest that Wikinews develop template system when and as they are required, so they can also be maintained. (That's been a problem in the past, which is why there are several different systems in use in different places/times.) - Amgine | t 17:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I meant the page that is licensed under the GFDL, not the GFDL.I shuold have explained myself more clearly.Anonymous101 :) 17:27, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

All text created after September 25, 2005 is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License unless otherwise specified.

The page associated with this talk page clearly specifies otherwise. Anonymous101 :) 17:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

From User talk:Amgine[edit]

I don't think that templates (nor tables or infoboxes) or anything constructed with the mediawiki software constitutes copyrightable material. The content is what is the intellectual property, not the wiki-code that constructs the little boxes. I suggest you stop tagging these for speedy and open a proper discussion on the Wikinews:Water cooler. --SVTCobra 17:25, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

"All text created after September 25, 2005 is available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License unless otherwise specified." - this is in the footer. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:26, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
The text prevents you nominating them speedy per WN:SD #11, at least. MediaWiki Templates are not programs, they are text. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:36, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Nope. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:40, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
I am fully under the impression that the template was transferred as GFDL content, and not relicensed. If this is false then my argument becomes null and void and you are free to nom for SD. --Skenmy(tcw) 17:52, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Amgine, by that logic we cant use the Mediawiki software at all because it too is GDFL. And no I did not suggest discussing the the implementation/non-implementation at all. I suggest we talk about copyrights on templates in general, at the watercooler. --SVTCobra 17:48, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

From User talk:Skenmy[edit]

We included that text in the footer because, for the first two years, Wikinews as published as public domain content. It is possible to present content which is alternatively licensed. I'm not sure it's possible to present and use code that is alternatively licensed, but you have a valid point I would need to research. - Amgine | t 17:34, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

11. An obvious copyright violation that is a cut-and-paste exact or near-exact duplicate of content from a copyrighted source. Speedy delete does not apply for public-domain sources, when public domain reprint permission is granted from the original source and specified in the article talk page, or to articles with a third-party edit history.
Are you saying Wikipedia is not copyrighted? - Amgine | t 17:39, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
As for whether a template is a program, I suggest you ask the Devs if the template code constitutes a programming language. - Amgine | t 17:42, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Then I believe the templates constitute an exact or near-exact duplicate of content from a copyrighted source, that Wikipedia does not constitute a public domain source, and that permission from the original source to migrate the license to CC-by does not exist. - Amgine | t 17:45, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Well, as I said, that's a valid point. I'm not entirely sure it's possible, but it may be. I don't know. (I note the transferrer added text to that effect to one of the templates, today, after the noms.) - Amgine | t 17:56, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

From User talk:SVTCobra[edit]

Actually, the MW template code now constitutes a nearly complete coding language; MW templates constitute programs.

I note you did not suggest these templates be presented at the watercooler prior to their implementation. Why then require such a discussion to prevent their implementation? - Amgine | t 17:30, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews is not distributing MediaWiki under the CC-by. That's a strawman argument. Use of a GPL software does not constitute relicensure.
As for the Watercooler, that's not the appropriate venue. Foundation-l would be. - Amgine | t 17:52, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Partially correct. I am interested in the images on Wikinews which are in use in articles should be preserved. The templates were transferred to Wikinews for the sole purpose of speed-deleting them. All images which were not freely licensed were tagged for speedy deletion.
I'm not opposed to the templates, per se, as they are a useful technology for Wikinews - if someone here is willing to maintain them. As you can no doubt tell from the template namespace, Wikinews does not tend to maintain template schema. What has proven to be maintained over time, even if only poorly, are systems which are developed here, which meet specific needs of this community.
If this schema is modified to the needs of Wikinews, including maintaining the integrity of WN archives and taking into account WN unique needs for fair use content, I have little opposition to the plan. I have reservations as to its lifespan, but not opposition. - Amgine | t 18:05, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Discussion after discussion on this issue was moved to the water cooler[edit]

This chaos is a great illustration of why people should reply on the talk page where a comment was left not at the other persons talk page. Adambro (talk) 18:23, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Statement by SVTCobra[edit]

The assertion that templates from Wikipedia cannot be imported to Wikinews because of the differences in license is absurd in my opinion. No amount of arguing that so-called "template-code" has evolved to be its own content will convince me so. Everything from "tables" to "infoboxes" to the concept of categories and much more has been and like will continue to be imported from Wikipedia. "Things" that you can construct with the MediaWiki software, should be and must be, something that can be shared across projects. I am not inviting debate on this statement. --SVTCobra 00:17, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Alternatives anyone?[edit]

  • Okay, in response to this, I have created a freely licensed "alternative", {{roundbox}} - which kinda fits in with the rounded edges motif we kinda have on them right now. It does work a bit different than Ambox, so READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY, some of the options do work different. It's also been dual licensed between GFDL and CC-BY 2.5, so if any other Wikipedia wants to swipe it up, they can. ViperSnake151 (talk) 00:21, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
It should be noted that cc-by 2.5 is one way compatible with gfdl (meaning wikipedia can swipe all our content, but we can not take any of there content). We have always not allowed gfdl templates, I know i have deleted several in the past, and i have gotten permission for some in teh past. this is nothing new. Bawolff 07:17, 8 July 2008 (UTC)


With the advent of Global rights we need to establish where the "uber-admins" who can rollback, undelete, and so may use these rights on Wikinews. I've quickly ported the page from Wikipedia and it is at WN:GRU. This needs discussed in some detail as many of the people who have these rights will not necessarily be familiar with Wikinews policy. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:51, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Presumably this will solve Jimbo's recent problems which is great news. Adambro (talk) 11:41, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Milos is chasing this one (a cross-wiki vandal patrol group), but I intend at some point to request a specific rights group for Board members. I believe they should all be allowed to see deleted stuff, but not have the option to restore. I believe such a group should be extended to include all permanent staf (i.e. not interns) and those contracted by the WMF should be granted it as needed, with the authorisation of the ED or Deputy (Sue or Erik). --Brian McNeil / talk 12:23, 11 June 2008 (UTC)
Re: Adambro... Actually, his problem were already fixed considering Stewards are a global group now (Special:GlobalUsers/steward) and they have all permissions on every wiki. So he already has it all, whether or not he realizes it.
Re: Brianmc... Yes, we all agree this would be a good idea, see m:Requests for comments/Wikimedia Foundation staff permissions. Cbrown1023 talk 17:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

change how we do uploads[edit]

Currently we have three upload links from the sidebar. This is bound to confuse users. I propose we simplify this somewhat:

  • one link from the sidebar which leads to a landing page explaining the difference between free and fair use, directing people as appropriate (like how commons switched from linking directly to commons:special:upload to commons:commons:upload)

Although this would introduce more clicks, I think it would reduce potential confusion. Thoughts? Bawolff 21:39, 1 July 2008 (UTC)

There have been some recent changes to the sidebar history. Frankly, I liked it the way it was before. Also, I don't think upload links should be in the navigation section, but rather in the wikinews or toolbox sections. Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:43, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with SVT completely, it was fine before and having the links in the navigation section isn't really appropriate in my opinion. I'm also not sure as to where this term "free use" has come from. Adambro (talk) 23:02, 1 July 2008 (UTC)
Don't you know - everything is Free as in Freedom (or Free as in Commons). We previously had two links, one in Navagation, and one in tools (well technically before we enabled local uploads there was just the one in the navigation. I think free use came from the copyvios we were sending commons way). Most people have no idea what our particular version of the word "Free" means. Once they get to commons, they may figure it out, but then there is no link back to wikinews for the upload sucky media that isn't free link (instead it says just not to upload). A local splash page would direct people to the right place, and avoid the multiple links saying almost the same thing but going different places. Bawolff 07:44, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I edited the sidebar because the fair use link was below the fold and not obvious. Unfortunately the toolbox can't be customised or I would have put the commons link there. I think a landing page would be an excellent solution. The extra click would hardly be an inconvenience. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:25, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Having thought about this a little more I think a landing page with links to Commons and our local upload page with some guidance would be the best solution. I still don't think having this in the "navigation" section is really appropriate, the "toolbox" would be better. It is possible for us to edit the contents of the toolbox as per this which I just tested which could be added to MediaWiki:Common.js but this does rely on JavaScript so would perhaps only be appropriate in the short term. The toolbox could be edited properly by asking a dev to change it I understand. Adambro (talk) 10:16, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmm Commons seems to just hide the tolbox link with css (div#p-tb li#t-upload {display:none;}), and puts there link in the "participate" section. The javascript solution could be simplified somewhat to: addOnloadHook(function() { document.getElementById("t-upload").firstChild.href="/wiki/WN:FU";}) (replacing WN:FU with appropriate page)Bawolff 20:46, 2 July 2008 (UTC)
I got a fairly standard response when I asked about customising the toolbox - can be done with js but is evil. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:16, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

Request Community Input on Ethics[edit]

Cquote1.svg We are creating a new learning resource at Wikiversity.

Please look at Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia. You may wish to add your name to the list of human resources. You may wish to contribute to one or more of the items on the to-do list. May we also request input on proposed ethical guidelines for management of the English language Wikipedia, or suggestions on a practical objective method of evaluating the same?


Posted on behalf of the project by Moulton (talk) 16:42, 11 July 2008 (UTC).

Sorry if the next comment is a little mean, but stuff like this, annoys me (I put it in the same category as the template sharing project): For a learning resource, there is a whole lot of pov pushing. Moulton in his own words wants to promote the achievement of a respectable level of accuracy, excellence, and ethics in online media (bearing in mind his previous stances on ethics in wikinews, this ought to be fun). Fieryangel seems to want to force wikipedians to follow wikipedias own guideline. Gregory Kohs seems to want to influence wikipedia, despite his indef block there. The page seems to hold Wikipedia review in a very high light, which is odd considering the high ethical standard they use. This does not seem to be an educational project, this looks to me like a giant excuse to keep bothering people. Bawolff 01:26, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

The Perspective of the Wikiversity Learning Project on the Ethical Management of the English Language Wikipedia is fully disclosed and clearly stated on the project page:

Cquote1.svg Perspective: This resource is written with the following perspective: Strong Advocate of Best Ethical Practices in Online Media and Rigorous Adherence to the Protocols of the Scientific Method. Its authors are committed to maintaining a high level of scholarly ethics. Cquote2.svg

Moulton (talk) 16:10, 12 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, good luck then, thats not to say I really believe you, but hey I've been proven wrong before. I'm concerned it may turn into a platform of just telling people what to do, but if it becomes an actual useful thing, I wish you all the best of luck. Bawolff 05:54, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

As you know, ethics is a subject that is normally taught at the graduate level in Philosophy. Advanced subjects like that are electives which nobody can be coerced to learn. Last week, those of us living in the US celebrated Independence Day. On that occasion, we recall these words, penned by Thomas Jefferson some 232 years ago:

Cquote1.svg "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." —Thomas Jefferson, US Declaration of Independence, 1776 Cquote2.svg

I also hold another truth to be scientifically discoverable: That all people are endowed by their Creator with another unalienable right — the right to engage in discovery learning by means of the Scientific Method on the one hand, or the reciprocal right to remain blissfully ignorant on the other hand.

Which hand (or cerebral hemisphere) any individual favors at any given juncture in life is either a matter of conscious free will or a matter of inherent neurophysiology. In either event, I don't believe elective learning can be coerced (nor would that be ethical). Everyone has unfettered free choice in every instance to choose what they wish to learn, when they wish to learn it, and what subjects they wish to disregard for the time being.

Moulton (talk) 06:43, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

This exercise of your ability to wax philosophical serves no purpose and further alienates the community you appear to be trying to communicate with. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:02, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment I have responded on the talk page of the above Wikiversity resource. I am requesting that Wikinews be excluded from this because (a) The title specifically states Wikipedia, and (b) none of the participants are actively involved in Wikinews and familiar with the norms of the project.
Moulton's talk page here demonstrates an unwillingness to accept the realities that govern the running of the Wikinews project. We are a small project, we are volunteers - and few at that. The Star Simpson article that prompted him to try and tell Wikinewsies how things should be done was not followed up on, ideally it would have been, but it goes against key principles of the project to create a report long after the charges have been dropped.
Moulton lists impressive academic credentials, but Wikinews is not an Ivory Tower institution and has to be practical. We should not place onerous requirements around the necks of our contributors to follow up on everything we report; that would sound a death-knell for the project. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:16, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Do you mind if I import your remarks above, so that we may carefully study them within the scope of the project? Moulton (talk) 16:04, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

I have commented on the Wikiversity talk page, is that not enough? What you can quote me on is the following: It is apparent that all those who have chosen to involve themselves in the Wikiversity project are operating from a position of ignorance with regards to Wikinews and are thus, in my opinion, not qualified to speak on the ethics that should be applied to the project. From highlighting this out of the way and obscure item on the foundation mailing list I have learned that the majority of those involved on the Wikiversity item have been banned from the English Wikipedia. This makes it well-nigh impossible to assume good faith in their efforts there. Other comments on the foundation list have highlighted that yourself (Moulton) and WAS have attempted similar moves to influence projects on en.WP and Meta. It is not a leap, but a small step to thus conclude that the term "forum shopping" applies here. Your efforts on Wikiversity have a potential to perhaps improve areas around BLP or other items on Wikipedia where those gaming the system can whitewash things, but to come back to my key concern - and to be blunt - you know nothing about Wikinews' day to day operation, nor do any of your co-conspirators. Perhaps if you tried writing a few articles on the project and seeing how many of the local contributors try to enforce the existing rules and standards you might garner more respect. As Bawolff points out above, there is - I believe rightly - some concern that those involved in your Wikiversity project are almost all Wikipedia Review regulars; a site which is alleged to have used server logs for the forums to out Wikipedia contributors. I am sure that many of my fellow Wikinews contributors would be happy to join me in telling you to leave us out of this. Our draft code of ethics has languished because people have prioritised main namespace contributions (i.e. real content). Go analyse Wikipedia to your heart's content, but leave Wikinews out of it until you've actually become involved and learned what works and what doesn't. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:40, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with you, but i don't feel the need to get to upset about this (don't feed the trolls). If moulton wants to analyse us, let him. He can analyze us to death if he wants to, as long as he does it in a place far far away. If they use wikiversity solely as a base to become annoying without knowing what they are talking about, i'm sure wikiversity will deal with it as appropriate (v:WV:NOT). In the end, we can't do much more then disapprove of it, giving this our utmost attention won't help. Bawolff 16:54, 13 July 2008 (UTC)
We should give this the attention it deserves, not a lot. Of course we want to write ethically. Adambro (talk) 16:58, 13 July 2008 (UTC)

Those who are interested in Journalistic Ethics are more than welcome to participate in the learning project at Wikiversity. Those who are interested in criticizing the project, the participants in the project, or the concepts are also welcome to do so, and your criticisms will be carefully reviewed as part of the project. Moulton (talk) 23:35, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Don't worry about it guys. We are trying to create a learning resource. We are not trying to tell anyone what to do. It's like the library downtown. You can ignore it completely if you wish. WAS 4.250 (talk) 06:39, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

I note that a - somewhat unethical - import of the vast majority of the above discussion has been carried out and comments which Moulton requested, but did not receive permission, to quote are included. This can be seen on the talk page of the Wikiversity article linked to above. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:48, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
It occurs to me that when a sister Wikimedia project invites comments, and others respond with comments directed toward the project, they intend for the project to take notice of their most thoughtful comments. Are you objecting now that we are taking notice of your invited comments? Moulton (talk) 12:45, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

No account but I like this site wikinews and would like to make a comment here. No one can control outside observations or any decisions made anywhere else, but for cooperation the outsiders must abide by certain rules that they are failing to follow. That page probably will not last long on its site. Truly most comments are ridiculously phrased and few there understand the words they are using. It is no better than a personal blog from someone with an axe to grind. It reminds me of a group of angry children at a playground most of all. 09:04, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Would you (or someone else in the know) be kind enough to cite the rules which you are referring to here, along with the attendant processes for addressing and resolving alleged breaches of (un)said rules? Moulton (talk) 12:45, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Call it a genuine decorum and an actual desire to follow the rules that are set out here. The numerous links throughout the entire site for starters. To learn about the culture of the site try doing the work you claim to be doing here and you'll see how things work readily enough. But if you want to just keep on with your strained and artificial language, and your harassment efforts.... 12:56, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the vote of confidence in Wikinews. Even if you don't want to contribute articles you might want to create a user account and make use of the Comments: namespace to get involved with discussion on specific articles, and on the discussions behind the scenes such as this one. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:09, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
To Moulton. In case you missed it, Wikinews and Wikiversity do not operate under the same copyright license. Your mirroring of comments from here without permission from all contributors constitutes copyright violation. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:47, 15 July 2008 (UTC)
Moulton, can I say that you are handling this in a very unethical manner. You appear to me to be deliberatly trying to create an atmosphere of unease by monitoring us all like guinea pigs in some experiment. Your attempts to gain our trust with your soothing comments remind me of a propaganda campaign by a fascist state. I hope that you aren't trying to make this as unpleasant as possible, but it loos like you are. Please, read over your own comments, take a look at the displeasure your causing in this community, and then consider carefuly your next move. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:40, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

My next move will be to take careful note of your remarks and share them with others on the project. I appreciate your input into our thinking about the issues that vex and perplex us. Moulton (talk) 01:07, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

I think some people do not understand the aims of this project. It is not meant to be an effort to influence policy on Wikipedia in an way. In fact, much of the project discusses different forms of ethics and the validity of different ethical viewpoints in online media in general. And, as with any essay on Wikipedia, it is just suggesting a particular viewpoint on ethics, not saying "here is policy, enforce it." In fact the person who created this project has said that "There is nothing in our vision that contemplates enforcement. The concept of enforcement is abhorrent to our sensibilities and at odds with our understanding of best ethical practices."
Anonymous101 (talk) 19:55, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Well, Moulton inspired the project and he is our primary educator. But I created it and am organizing and coordinating it. I'm not so sure I agree that "The concept of enforcement is abhorrent to our sensibilities" as I believe it is needed for someone to enforce things; but the actual wording is mostly correct in that I don't want myself to enforce anything. I wouldn't be an admin if you paid me. As I told Moulton, I don't want to make anyone do anything. WAS 4.250 (talk) 20:36, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Neither WAS nor I have the slightest interest in coercing anyone to do anything against their will. And that ethic of personal freedom includes the unalienable right to choose what one elects to learn, when one elects to learn it, and what subjects to remain blissfully oblivious of for the time being. And that unalienable right to remain ignorant even goes for failing to apprehend or understand the aims of the project that one is taking note of. However, it occurs to me that it would be difficult to play the role of a successful news person without manifesting the faculty of learning about the subjects one is writing about. I realize that the comments posted here and on Foundation-l include personal editorial opinions which do not rise to the normative standards for objective reporting of the news, but I am chagrined to note the degree to which the op-ed remarks posted here and there are based on misconceptions about a noteworthy event which might someday become a newsworthy story. Moulton (talk) 21:31, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
Wow, you are really talented at using fancy language to insult people. --+Deprifry+ 21:51, 16 July 2008 (UTC)
You mean like this? Moulton (talk) 01:26, 17 July 2008 (UTC)
Enough of this trolling. If you want to keep spurting out this nonsense and keep NOT contributing to this project in a constructive matter, then I will block you. I have had enough of this. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:39, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

Article numbers for categories[edit]

An issue has been raised at WN:DR over how many articles a category requires beofre it is viable. It's somehing I've often wondered when wondering whether to create or delete categories in borderline cases. I guess it's something that needs discussed properly, so I'm taking it here. I'm leaning towards four or five being a good number at the moment, but I'm going to see what comments appear before making a decision myself. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:57, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

Agree with Blood Red Sandman (talk · contribs), five or more as a general requirement sounds like a good number to start with. Cirt (talk) 04:10, 19 July 2008 (UTC)
I would not be opposed to a category being started when there are two or three articles. However, that would have to be based on a wide community consensus that additional articles were highly likely to be forthcoming and the categorised issue was not just a flash in the pan. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:33, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Good point - and on a case-by-case basis we can always use WN:DR to evaluate individual categories. Cirt (talk) 15:42, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Verifying OR[edit]

Currently we have virtually no way of verifying if any OR is accurate other than trusting what the author says. To make our original reporting more reliable I propose the following guidelines for verifying OR.

  • Email interviews: All email interviews must be forwarded to an Accredited reporter or Admin who did not carry out the interview. Interviews should not be published until a user has confirmed receiving the forwarded copy.
  • In person interviews: In person interviews should either have photographs, audio or video to verify the interview. If this is not possible the subject of the interview should verify that they were interviewed through correspondence with an Accredited reporter or Admin who did not carry out the interview.
  • Telephone interviews: Telephone interviews should have audio to verify the interview. If this is not possible the subject of the interview should verify that they were interviewed through correspondence with an Accredited reporter or Admin who did not carry out the interview.
  • Reporting from an event:When reporting from a event users should either have photographs, audio or video to verify that they were at the event.

I believe these guidelines should also apply to admins or accredited reporters.

I am aware that this may (very) slightly reduce our amount of OR but I think that the above guidelines would be required to become a trusted news source.

I welcome your comments on my suggestions.


Anonymous101 (talk) 19:17, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

This is somewhat a fragmentation of a discussion started this morning in my user space, Wikinews workflow. The talk page of this discussion has some input on this. A point I note from the above guidelines is that my reporting from Alexandria - under the given constraints - would be disallowed. I did not have a camera with me, I simply did not have time to obtain audio - which would have been difficult to upload with the WiFi quality, and the vast majority of photographs which prove I attended were not uploaded until people returned home from Alexandria. As it stands, I think these guidelines are too strict, and - more importantly - not something that should be discussed in isolation. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:10, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Firstly, I agree that this is something that cannot be dicussed in isolation. The discussion on verifying OR is your userspace already has some discussion which could be used in drafting a new policy on verifying OR.
Although I trust that your reports are completely accurate , I continue to believe that without have strict guidelines on verifiability, we cannot be treated as a trustworthy news source. I know you did not bring a camera, but that dies not mean it would not be possible to do so. I think that having to wait until Sunday (due to WiFi quality) to get the Wikimania articles published would have been a reasonable price to pay to get increased trust in Wikinews. Anonymous101 (talk) 20:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I got back at 11:45pm on Sunday, I slept most of Monday. Under these guidelines nothing would have been published until Tuesday and it would all have been {{stale}}. I discussed the poor Wikinews coverage of Wikimania with Florence at the post-conference party on Saturday night. The key thrust of her assertions on covering these events was that the on-the-scene reporters should have been writing their reports during the presentations and ready - like the bloggers who attended - to publish (or I would say flag {{ready}}) within five minutes of the presentation/talk/discussion ending. The above proposal is nobly idealistic, but utterly impractical. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:35, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
I got the impression that the proposed guidelines apply to non-accredited users only. Surely accreditation implies some level of trust? - Borofkin (talk) 00:30, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Suggesting Modified Proposal[edit]

  • Random preamble: I only have a few of minutes today, but I have 2 thoughts: I agree with Brianmc that this is somewhat impractical in some situations. Second, (and this is kinda offtopic, so I'll discuss this on that page either later today or tomorrow, when I have time) this really is part of the wikinews workflow proposal, and that is part of the problem with that proposal. It is so wide, so broad, that it is too much to handle. It needs to be parred down into numerous separate very specific proposals, like this one, that we can individually discuss and come to a consensus on. We will NEVER get consensus on something as all-encompassing as the workflow proposal. Anyway, back to this specific part of the workflow proposal (I'll make a specific suggestion on the workflow page later if it hasn't already been made by the time I get around to it). I agree with Brianmc that this wouldn't work in its current form, but at the same time, this obviously prevents wikinews from being taken completely credibly. If we have unverified and unverifiable stories popping up, how are we better than a random blog?

So here is my suggestion to modify Anonymous101's proposal:

  • Problem: Unverified OR hurts the credibility of wikinews
  • Solutions:

1)Factchecking: Just as any normal article must be factchecked, so must any OR article. I think that's just common sense. Any story which isn't factchecked cannot be published. This is a small part of Brianmc's workflow proposal, and I didn't see anyone disagree with that bit of the discussion. To accommodate reality (rather than the ideal situation), OR factchecking is split into three categories:

a)Factchecking, regular: Any non-accredited reporter will be required to immediately post what I call Proof-of-Fact (PoF) notes (text, audio, visual, video), or, if that isn't possible due to confidentiality issues, they must submit contact info for their source to an accredited reporter, who must verify that the OR took place before the story can be published. <---- (exactly what Anonymous101 suggested)
b)Factchecking, accredited: An accredited reporter can submit an OR story for publication without factchecking — for one day. Within 24 hours of publication the story must be verified in the suggested ways.
b)Factchecking, accredited — special: This is to allow any reporter who has accreditation to put off immediate verification under specific PREARRANGED circumstances, such as Wikimania. I suggest that a new page be created for requests of this nature, and that such requests be granted by the community on a case by case basis. Note that PoF must still be given, it is just delayed due to real life restrictions.

2)Accreditation process: I don't know if the accreditation process itself needs to be changed to fit with a new OR factchecking policy — after all, the whole policy hinges around accredited reporters being seen as more trustworthy than normal — but I think that the revocation process will need a slight modification. Revocation will need to specifically mention that any accredited reporter who files a false story, or a story which cannot be verified within 24 hours, will have their credentials revoked (barring mitigating circumstances, of course). --Gopher65talk 16:28, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

I will mull this over, but a key concern is that those making these alternative proposals do not have the experience carrying out OR and thus a variety of the considerations which need taken into account are not considered. I can understand that with a newish contributor there may be a need for someone independent to verify it is not all fiction, but a balance must be struck between being suspicious of everything and harassing sources, and being overly trusting. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:40, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree with this new proposal but I have one concern: accreditation is given out too easily. I suggest we require the following requirements for accreditation:
  • At least one years contributions to Wikinews (in any language)
  • At least ten OR articles on Wikinews (in any language)
  • At least 80% support in the accreditation request
  • At least 5 votes in the accreditation request (the period it is open for can be extended if necessary) Anonymous101 (talk) 15:35, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Updating related news for archived stories[edit]

Often, when multiple articles are published about an ongoing story, there will be old news articles that are related to newer ones. It is easy to identify such stories, because they are usually included as related news by the later articles.

Based on recent IRC conversations, there appears to be resistance to editing these older articles to insert links to the newer articles (once published) in the "Related news" section. This does not appear to be part of the written archive policy, but it is treated as such. I feel this reduces the utility of Wikinews to readers, and that it is based on a misunderstanding of the reasons behind existing policy.

There's a strong feeling that news articles, once published, should remain fixed. This is very reasonable - articles should remain as published for citation purposes. But the related news section is not "part of the article". It is meta-information about other articles on this website that the reader might be interested in.

Even the meta policy on article stages makes a clear distinction between changing article text, and linking to updates:

Cquote1.svg Corrections and updates can still be linked to, but the article text itself may not be changed. Cquote2.svg

Similarly, Wikinews' archive policy makes it clear that articles should not have "content, sources, or other substance" edited. However, related news is separate from the article in a way that these things are not.

An argument presented on IRC for the status quo is that readers always get the latest news, which links to all the previous news articles - therefore, it doesn't matter if stories are not updated. The reality is that people do not just arrive at the latest article. Search engines index all of Wikinews' pages, not just those linked from the front page, and an older article may well be deemed more relevant than a new one, particularly if it is well-developed. It may also have been linked to by others.

It's also been argued this would make Wikinews "a less-trafficked version of Wikipedia". I don't think anyone here wants that. However, one of the great things about Wikipedia is that you can go wandering through related articles, having starting at any point. You're not forced to find (somehow) the article which was edited last, and therefore contains links to all the previously-created articles. That would be stupid - yet that is the current situation here.

If there is an update or follow-on to a story, it makes sense to mention it somewhere - and the most natural place seems to be at the end, once they've read the article. Otherwise, at best we're not serving readers to the best of our ability. At worse, we're misleading them by not informing them of later developments to the story, in the same way that we'd be remiss if we didn't tell them about previous articles.

At WikiFur News we both update the related pages links and create infoboxes for multiple-article stories and insert them into older articles (examples: here and here). The first story in those boxes might be published six months after the last, yet it makes perfect sense to include it in both of them, since it aids the readers of both and forms the series of articles into a coherent story.

I don't think pointing readers of older articles to newer articles will result in Wikinews turning into an encyclopedia, but it might mean readers stick around longer, and get a more complete picture of the news. And isn't that a good thing? GreenReaper (talk) 21:41, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

See deletion discussion for Template:Update, at WN:DR. Cirt (talk) 21:51, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Will do, though I should say here that I think people should read the old story before being told there are new updates, except in the most exceptional cases. GreenReaper (talk) 21:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

I'd say that the discussion on the Update template is a related issue, but this is a more general discussion on how related articles should be dealt with. I'd say there are two types of "related articles" that need to be considered:

  • Updates to the situation covered by the article. For example, a person's arrest and subsequent trial.
  • Articles on the same topic as the original article. For example, two people some time apart are arrested on similar, unusual charges.

For the first case, current policy is to add Template:Update to the older article, linking to the newer one. For the second, I don't think there's any policy in place to do anything, although it's worth noting that generally the later article will link to the earlier one in its Related news section, as expected. In the first case, I do think that the link to the newer article is necessary, although I'm fairly ambivalent over where it should go and what form it should take. Perhaps instead of the current usage of Template:Update, we should have something more like a special form of "Related articles" link, like this:

For the second case, I can see arguments both ways. Personally, I don't see why older articles shouldn't link to newer ones, since, like GreenReaper has pointed out, there's no guarantee that a reader will always land on the most recent article first, and they're almost certainly not going to do a mainspace-only WhatLinksHere query just to see if anything more recent has been written on the same topic. Of course, they could always look at the categories, but most of them are too broad, and hence contain too many entries, to make that a particularly efficient method. Then again, I would say this should be purely an optional thing, since (1) not every "Related article" really is related, and (2) it would probably take an extremely carefully written bot with a sysop bit to retroactively update all existing related article links, tying up a huge amount of server processing power at the same time. I also think there needs to be an overhaul of the current categorisation process, but to sort that out I need to understand how the DPL works a bit better first, and it will require a full proposal and large amount of discussion so I won't go into it here. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 03:05, 4 August 2008 (UTC)

Why are edits reviewed by so-called established editors?[edit]

Isn't this contrary to the entire wiki platform? Wishmaster68 (talk) 14:15, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

How else do you propose an implementation of Flagged Revisions? One of the key goals of implementing this extension is to assert that the site had a degree of editorial control suffice to meet Google News requirements; for them anarchy doesn't cut it. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:09, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Sports articles[edit]

Is it against policy to write sports articles from a non-NPOV? I want to write sports articles but I would like to offer my opinion on clubs and individuals, their performances and comments. Is this possible? Donek (talk) 02:42, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

I think you should read WN:Neutral point of view. I think as long as you don't go overboard, then go ahead. Saying something like he missed a great opportunity for a goal or the team didn't live up to expectations. Saying something like West Ham is clearly the best club ever, which is true in my mind, is probably not the best way to go. I look forward to reading it. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 04:35, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

What about player or manager comments? I recently heard Beenhakker (Poland manager) say that just because drinking alcohol is instilled in the Polish culture doesn't mean the players have to be involved in such behaviour. I would classify this as racism and I wanted to write a report about it but I didn't want to get into trouble after writing one article. Donek (talk) 20:46, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, so long as the article went through proper processes in order to have an independent {{Review}}, I don't think you'd get into any "trouble" simply for writing it and placing it in {{Develop}}. Cirt (talk) 20:52, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Enable "flood flag"?[edit]

This could be very useful for administrators that are archiving articles on a large basis. Thoughts? Thunderhead 09:38, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Support implementation of this. It would be useful, especially where we are currently going through sighting old articles. --Skenmy talk 17:32, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Oh...this will be very handy. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 16:28, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Per Gilgamesh. Cirt (talk) 16:36, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose This will jsut mean that admins can sneak in controversial edits - little benefit IMO Anonymous101talk 19:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
We trust admins to not do this anyway - they have powers to delete, block, revert, protect, and whatnot. If we can't trust them not to misuse this tool then that person should not be an admin! --Skenmy talk 19:49, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Instances where this would have been useful have been few and far between. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I can think of at least one instance where it will be useful - the tagging and sighting of old articles. That's about 20 edits, often more, that could be hidden. --Skenmy talk 10:49, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose seems unnecessary and, given the current lack of necessity, too prone to abuse. Martinp23 (talk) 12:34, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Did you even read my comments above? --Skenmy talk 19:03, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify-This would only be used after discussion (ex on WN:ALERT I need flood flag to do blah, gets flood flag, only does stuff related to that, releases flood flag), and that if people wished to check up on admins to make sure they aren't naughty, all edits still appear on irc:// and RC if show bot edits is set to true. With that said, I more or less support, but have no strong opinion as its need cases are somewhat weak (having 20 edits in rc is not that disruptive imho) Bawolff 20:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Support In that case I support. As long as there is some way for non-admins to check up on them, it's fine. Gopher65talk 16:42, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

What is our policy on interview formats?[edit]

There currently is a federal election campaign going on in Canada, just as there is south of the border. For this campaign, I decided to contact all registered candidates across the country, with a series of questions.

(Example: CanadaVOTES: Liberal David Remington running in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox & Addington)

The newly returned Amgine has suggested that none of the interviews should be published, as "they're all the same". (The reason for one set of questions: all candidates have an equal chance to answer; different questions for different parties can show the bias of the reporter.) On my talk page, he objected to the medium (email) and quantity of this project.

He says the article must have a backgrounder of the candidate and the riding. There are 308 federal ridings in Canada. There are two parties running candidates in 307 ridings, two running candidates in 308 ridings, and the Bloc is running about 75. That makes a potential for 1305 interviews, even before the Christian Heritage Party, Progressive Canadian Party, independents, etc respond.

I simply do not have the time to write that many profiles, and still manage to publish all of the responses.

I've election articles twice before without complaint.

The first was for 2006 city council hopefuls in Toronto, Mississauga, and Brampton, Ontario, and again in 2007 for Ontario provincial MPP candidates.

A quote from one interview was even cited in the Toronto Star, Canada's highest circulation newspaper.

Have related policies changed since 2006 and 2007? Was a policy restricting this style of article simply not enforced, the first two spurts? -- Zanimum (talk) 18:44, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Try to answer the questions of who, what, where, when, why and how. (Wikinews Style Guide)
Commonly, news content should contain the "Five Ws" (who, what, when, where, why, and also how) of an event. There should be no questions remaining. (Wikipedia 'News')
Lesson 2: The Five Ws of Journalism (Scholastic Grade 5-6 Lesson plan)
- Amgine | t 19:51, 22 September 2008 (UTC)
I think these interviews are great asset and I have no problem with them being publish. Ideally it would be great to have a brief intro but the interview portion far outweighs any benefits from an intro. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 00:43, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input, Patrick. -- Zanimum (talk) 19:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Amgine, must you be so perpetually condescending? Am I supposed to feel embarrassed that some random grade 5 lesson plan "proves me wrong"? The Toronto Star runs a special section similar to this, every year. It goes riding-by-riding, looking at the basic facts and campaign tenets of each campaigner. Are they wrong too?
Note that the Toronto Star needs (at its peak) 150 staff members to run content on the election, and they primarily cover 47 local ridings, ridings that they are familiar with. (public editor Kathy English, "The Star's 2008 election platform", September 20, 2008) There's only two of us, currently doing Canadian election coverage.
On another wing, Wikipedia lists news simply as: "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." Format of my postings aside, the interviews do present information on current events to a mass audience. -- Zanimum (talk) 19:19, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe there is a notable difference between what news is, and what a news article should include. I'm also of the opinion the style guide is a policy on Wikinews designed to ensure minimal journalistic standards and to support writers in presenting a consistent style for our readers. - Amgine | t 05:40, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
My view is that it does need an intro that is individual but the individualised bit need not be too long. Perhaps only a few lines, a basic word or two. We can gather the rest from the interview. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:53, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I agree entirely, Blood Red Sandman. "MP candidate schmoe is a businessman/opthamologist/political activist in City. Xe is running in the Blah riding, which covers portions of Province, including Popcenter and Burbia." Just a brief backgrounder with, if possible, mention of what party the incumbent is from. (For United Staters like myself, it's important to know that voters in Canada vote for the party more than the individual candidate and it's not unusual for a candidate to be "parachuted in" from some other province - they don't need to live in the riding they are running in.) - Amgine | t 05:22, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of interest[edit]

Hi, I've reviewed the conflict of interest policy and would like to propose a few revisions. A summary is available at Wikinews_talk:Conflict_of_interest#Revision.3F. Requesting feedback. Durova (talk) 19:19, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Based on your comments I have made some changes. Discussion is (IIRC) now flagged. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:18, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

Date of article and date of publication - should we adopt a UTC policy?[edit]

Currently, Wikinews' official policy in the Style Guide calls for articles to be dated as: "The date given on an article is should be of the day on which the article was published." However, it leaves it somewhat open as it also says "the dateline may either refer to the location of where the article was filed from or where the event happened even if the writer was not physically present."

This basically means that someone in Hawaii (UTC-10) could contribute an article to Wikinews and have it appear further back in the archive than a story that originated in New Zealand (UTC+13 summers), but was added up to 23 hours later. To me this is absurd.

Further complicating the issue, is that some editors have taken the stance, that since Wikinews now gets listed on Google News, we cannot change the date (ie date bump to the actual date of publication) to match UTC, even though that has been standard practice in the past. This page even says "policy is based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not be written down." If we can still change the content of the article why can't we change the date?

This has resulted in some minor edit-warring — see history of "Ship sunk by Indian navy was a fishing boat, says owner" for an example — but it has also resulted in some outright abuse, as in this article "UN reports condemn West Bank settlement" which was published on November 23 (UTC), with November 21 as the article date.

To solve any confusion and make it absolutely clear for everyone, I suggest that we adopt a UTC policy for dating articles. That is, the article should carry the date that corresponds to UTC, regardless of where it was written and what date it was there or the date in the locale of the article's subject. This way it will be absolutely clear to any contributor (and not just the main contributor or the reviewer) what the correct date should be. Also, it will allow the date to be fixed quickly and by anyone if it happened to be wrong when {{publish}} was added.

UTC is already on every time stamp in every log and in every signature, regardless of where that user may be.

I welcome any thoughts on this. Suggestions for how the Style Guide should word the date policy to avoid dis-ambiguity are also welcomed. Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:57, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Agree with this suggestion by SVTCobra (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 00:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Absolutely. Dates / days within the article can reference the local time zone. But the {{date}} header should be UTC. {{dateline}} is only for original reporting: we need to think hard about how we use that, as posting a UTC date would be confusing. --InfantGorilla (talk) 11:43, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
For our regular contributors articles will be published on the date of creation. There are eminently sensible reasons for allowing an article to be forward-dated as local sources may have tomorrow's date on them versus what is currently UTC. You must also bear in mind that the display of the main page is based on the user's timezone settings, not UTC. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:28, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The date of creation is ideal if an article gets completed, reviewed and published in a timely manner. However, since I returned to Wikinews a couple of weeks ago, I have noticed that this rarely happens. Therefore a newly published story with yesterday's date would slip down the front page listing, and may actually go unnoticed.
Forward dating articles from the eastern hemisphere seems relatively harmless, but I don't see the benefits.
When you say 'the user's timezone settings' do you mean their browser settings, or their mediawiki preferences?
--InfantGorilla (talk) 20:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I was always under the impression that the only thing user time zone settings ( from special:preferences) were used for was dates on RC and diffs. I was under the impression that the main page used UTC, as we wanted it to be consistent [and if i recall, stuff like {{LOCALTIMESTAMP}} was just recently introduced, so it has just recently became possible to make it local time zone]. Bawolff 23:34, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Even if user time zone settings come into play, I don't thing that should preclude us from adopting a UTC policy. Afterall, I hope that we get read by people who are not advanced Wiki users who have customized their settings. Our target audience should not be each other but people who haven't registered. Also, some stories take two-three days in development. Publishing them with the date of creation seems crazy. We model many things we do after real newspapers. Newspapers don't insert articles into yesterday's edition, even if the journalist had written the article a day or two ago. It is dated when published. --SVTCobra 23:51, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
You're misinterpreting what I said if you think I mean publishing with a stale date. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
OK, but what do you mean by "date of creation" then? Was "UN reports condemn West Bank settlement" published with a "stale date"?--SVTCobra 00:01, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
No, I refer to stuff that is speedily created and published. Not the horror stories that are beaten senseless before becoming publishable. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that an article should only be dated immediately before it is published, regardless of the date of creation. Some articles take a while to publish, and we can't publish an article into the archive. Simple solution? Upon publication the reviewer puts the {{publish}} tag on as they do now, and then adds {{date|{{subst:#time:F j, Y}}}} template at the same time. I normally do this when I review anyway, just to prevent articles from being published with a state date (IE, anything other than the current date listed on the front page, which is in UTC). Gopher65talk 18:48, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
This still leaves the issue that something written from Eastern Australian or New Zealand sources could be published with an article date prior to source dates. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:20, 11 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't see why that would be a problem ... That can still happen under any standard we use. People using articles from the Sydney Morning Herald about events in the United States, for instance. --SVTCobra 13:50, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

2008 Prairie meteoroid[edit]

Wikinews: 2008 Prairie meteoroid I was in the process of relating to wikinews an article on wikipedia which was in my Saturday's local newspaper as where a meteoroid had landed had just been found!!! The search team is still there scouring for more artifacts before the snow comes. There is a $10,000 reward from meteor collectors for such meteroid finds. But the article was deleted speedily as it wsn't news for a find which just happened, they just found where it landed!!!! Article 2008 Prairie meteoroid Ah well  :-( It would have been nice to have a new Canada news story on the portal but C'est la vie. Kind Regards SriMesh | talk 20:23, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

  • It was a copyright violation of Wikipedia content (we don't have compatible licenses).
  • It was nothing like a news story, it had an encyclopedic title and was not a report, hence notnews deletion. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:35, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

"Newsworthyness" in relation to interviews[edit]

My question is in relation to the Wikinews:Content guide and interviews. What's the policy's view here?

Some times interviews can be justified with a new book, or something like that. But can we still have interviews with people who are interesting, but either just in the middle of a long-term project that was generating no new news at the time? Interviews like Robert Cailliau, Gay Talese, Andrea Muizelaar, the staff of The Onion. None of these was particular timely, it was more of a spontaneous discussion with someone interesting.

What are the boundaries of the interview format? I was hoping to interview a former kids TV actress, and the director of a current animated TV show. -- Zanimum (talk) 17:18, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Those two both sound like promising ideas for interviews (in addition to those already listed above). I think the more original reporting and research on the part of the person putting the work into it, even better. We should encourage that sort of thing. Cirt (talk) 17:33, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
So by the fact Cirt likes these interview concepts, and no one else has replied in either way, can I assume that I won't have any challenges in publishing these from anyone, once they're done? -- Zanimum (talk) 13:44, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
Maybe I am stuffy and old-fashioned: I don't think a former actress is newsworthy, but the director of the current show is. Part of my test would be: did they have something interesting (or simply new) to say? Given your track record here, Zanimum, I am sure that won't be a problem, and both will be newsworthy articles. --InfantGorilla (talk) 14:46, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I take the view that the interview itself is the news item, and thus the fact that it happened generally makes it newsworthy enough all by itself (if that makes any sense). I will agree that someone currently directing a show is more newsworthy than a former actress; all the same I say they are both just fine as interview subjects. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:25, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
<unindent> In most cases, interviews qualify as news as they are a snapshot of someone's opinion at a specific point in time. The tricky judgement call is, "is the interviewee notable enough to report on their views and opinions?" Only history can judge if we make the right picks and document our time well enough. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:50, 22 January 2009 (UTC)
I hate to judge things such as OR and interviews by a notability standard, but in the extremes there are exceptions. So, in this case, I would say that if this "former kids TV actress" starred in more than home videos and/or YouTube videos (I guess I am saying, if it was broadcast on some network), then it is A-OK by me. I know I am going to get confusing here, but the subject of the interview should remain on-point, as in remaining within the general confines of why the interview was worthy in the first place. For example, I wouldn't find it appropriate if we had an interview with some actor where all that was talked about was some product/religion/cause or other agenda-pushing. If it is not about what they are known for, it should only be because they are in news already for this subject. So, for instance, if we had an interview with Tom Cruise, it would be ok if it was only about his religion, because he has been in the news for this subject. But if we had an interview with Tony Orlando and all he talked about was the Nutrisystems Diet, then that would not be ok. I hope this makes any sense at all. --SVTCobra 03:28, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Corrections on Main Page[edit]

Per Talk:Chemical firm LyondellBasell collapses, there is some discussion regarding wether or not we should have a method to place important corrections/retraction on the Main Page somehow. Both InfantGorilla and myself are keen on the idea, but I for one don't know how we'd arrange a setup with an extra bit essentially tacked on to the usual design without seriously scuffing up the format or radically changing it. Thoughts? Should we do this, and if so how? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:00, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

A template in the corner of the main page somewhere labelled Corrections/Retractions with a link to any that have come up in the past month would be nice. Sherurcij 16:12, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
I think we could just make a page with a short statement, and drop it like an article into the days news feed (publish tag and date). That way Google News or anyone scraping the RSS wil get it, as well as anyone reading the day's headlines. I think that is important if our headline was strongly misleading, as (arguably) it was in the LyondellBasell case. No redesign is needed for that. We could try it out with this one retraction, and based on our experience, go back to the drawing board for future corrections.
Most corrections are minor, such as a fact deep in the article, and don't warrant something so drastic.
--InfantGorilla (talk) 21:52, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

"Review": is it time?[edit]

Is it time to make Wikinews:Reviewing articles, Template:Peer reviewed and Template:Review official policy? We have for quite some time had near universal observance of these proposed policies and templates. In my opinion, it is time we make them official. I don't necessarily want to call for a vote on this, but will submit to one if other Wikinewsies feel we should have one. --SVTCobra 04:01, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Official policy should be the current practices that it is required people do 99% of the time. Although nothing is written in stone, if you try to publish an article without it being reviewed first, it just doesn't happen. Thus I agree that they should be official policy (and that a vote is unnecessary). Bawolff 04:23, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with both above comments by SVTCobra (talk · contribs) and Bawolff (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 05:00, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Cobra and Bawolff. I say it's been accepted by the community in the whole by overwhelming consensus by it's use, a vote is not needed, and I'm willing to change policy tags on the pages... but I'm going to wait unless someone else has any objections. --TUFKAAP (talk) 05:15, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree 100%. Make it so. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:24, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
No need for a vote. I think that the first and third are fine, but Template:Peer reviewed is a rubber stamp, with all the advantages and disadvantages of that, and should be allowed more time to bed in before being made mandatory. --InfantGorilla (talk) 08:37, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm fully in favour of the whole lot being made official policy. I can't see how {{peer review}} might need changed. The only limitation I believe it has in not really covering original reporting. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:52, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

I've made them all policy. Everyone follows the instructions on these pages, and almost everyone supports it's use, and it is just misleading to keep it as proposed when ignoring these instructions will result in you being reverted. Anonymous101talk 11:51, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

FYI: I just tagged Wikinews:Review guidelines as historic. --InfantGorilla (talk) 21:39, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

Along these same lines, should we make Wikinews:Flagged revisions/Requests for permissions official policy as well? It is currently "proposed". --SVTCobra 00:12, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Automatic sighting[edit]

I've noticed that, when you publish an article, the edit isn't automatically sighted like most edits are. Is this intended (and if so, why?), or is this something we can fix? Thanks Wikidsoup (talk) 22:27, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

I believe it happens when the previous edits weren't sighted (and not necessarily only when publishing). Auto-sighting occurs when all edits up until the one you make were already sighted. --SVTCobra 22:33, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks ... that policy seems to make sense. Wikidsoup (talk) 22:41, 29 January 2009 (UTC)

Removal of editor status[edit]

I quite easily found the page for people requesting editor status, but not so for a page to discuss removal of the privilege. Looking for such, and contemplating having the privilege removed from someone, is as a result of the publication of the article covering possible implementation of Flagged Revisions on English Wikipedia. This was reviewed and sighted while factually inaccurate, and peppered with NPOV issues. Florentino Floro was the author, and has a known bias as he has been banned from en.wp - but that should not have impacted what was eventually published; after all, that is why we introduced FlaggedRevs.

I feel our efforts to increase the project's credibility have been let down by the publication of this article, I do not believe it was reviewed - but rubber-stamped. Thus, I no longer believe that iDangerMouse should have editor rights. As a bureaucrat, I can remove this right - but want to gauge community opinion on the issue and how we should handle it. There may be cases in the future where we have to discuss removal of editor status, we said it was easy come, easy go, so, in light of this case, what are the thoughts on (a) drafting a policy, and (b) removing iDangermouse's editor privileges? --Brian McNeil / talk 11:03, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

For such requests, I think the sensible thing to do would be to add a section to Wikinews:Flagged revisions/Requests for permissions for removal of rights. If there is concensuss, we remove the rights, if there isn't he keeps them (similar to how de-admin requests work). Bawolff 13:34, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Please see Wikinews:Flagged revisions/Requests for permissions and do not continue the discussion here. --SVTCobra 00:14, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Compliance with Wikinews:Etiquette[edit]

Should I feel I can count on other contributors making an effort to comply with Wikinews:Etiquette?

I am only an occasional contributor here. Recently a more experienced contributor responded to my requests for civility by telling me that because of the time constraints on news articles wikinews contributors can't afford the time to be civil.

I am hoping that this more experienced contributor is mistaken, and the general consensus is that contributors should continue to try to comply with Wikinews:Etiquette.

I am going to refrain from quoting the specific statements of that other contributor, because I would prefer to confine this to the general issue of civility, and not to the people involved. Geo Swan (talk) 06:39, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

The failure of wikinews[edit]

So it's time to say it. Some years ago, wikinews and other sister-projects born. But until now, what's the result? Wikinews english is barely capable to hold an average of six o seven articles every day. In a newspaper, you have atleast 50-100 article a day. With the activity of a week, you have barely a 'small' newspaper. So why it? Why wikipedia is so popular, has every day hundreds of new articles while in the meantime 1/100 of them is written in the 'news' projects? Why this? It's clear that with this pace 'news will never be a successfull project. This had to be discussed (maybe non for the first time). I am from another 'wikinews'. I was banned by that, because i 'preconized' a decay in her comunity activities.

Now that i was banned, guess, the activity of that 'wikinews' has falled to the HALF compared to only 3 months ago! So this means falling from 4 to 2 articles every day as average. This means, that even one of the bigger wikinews like that, is basically a failure. And not the only one. If you grab all the wikinews articles, every day, it's unlikely that you could have enough stuff to write an average newspaper.

But the ugly side is, that differently to wikipedia, the pattern of wikinews is not to going up, but DOWN. Less and less activity. Astonishing failure to me. So it's time to discuss this in a serious manner. Or it's time to close wikinews, because it's impossible to take her seriously. To run a 'news it's needed a different approach to run a wikipedia site. Many admins are present in both the projects, but it don't work, simply put. Or this project will change, or it will fail, and not surely for a shortage of news. Wikipedia can be an alternative to a conventional ency. Wikinews will never be the same, with this pace. Not now, not tomorrow, maybe never.-- 22:05, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

So, you think the project is going to die if we don't implement whatever ideas you have? Would they have anything to do with why you got banned? --Brian McNeil / talk 22:48, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
If you (the original poster), have any constructive criticism, I'm all ears. but doom saying because you think we're not popular enough is not useful (no one ever said we had to be a run-away success overnight or in the immediate future). We are clearly not dead yet, and i don't think we will be anytime soon. Of course I could be wrong, but you're going to have to either have something useful to say about the subject, or you need much better evidence that we're actually dying before you convince me of anything. Bawolff 22:59, 6 March 2009 (UTC)
Too many of wikinews existing contributors treat this project as a closed club, with no newcomers welcome. Geo Swan (talk) 17:39, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
That's not true Geo and you know it. You may feel that way because you didn't get the answer you wanted. On the note of newspapers: Take a close look at the 50-100 articles in ANY paper. Now tell me how many of those articles are actually written by the newspaper staff of the paper you are reading. You might be surprised to know that most of those articles are written by the AP, and put into the papers as fillers. Yeah The Buffalo News has just as many articles, but on any given day the articles are 90% AP or the likes. Most newspaper authors write editorials. while WN does not. Not to mention the fact that people talk about us all the time. I just got an e-mail from the labor department in the US the other day about WN. So are we a failure? No. If we were, then you (original poster) or anyone else out of our 7-10,000 hits a day, would not read WN. I am sorry to say, but being banned, whoever you are, didn't do anything to how people in the world see us. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Are the wikinews existing contributors generally civil to newcomers? You are free to continue to feel satisfied that they are, and ignore any feedback from newcomers who feel they are not.
I am a good faith contributor. My good faith conclusion after trying to get a half dozen or dozen articles published is that most got stalled, weren't published, not because they didn't meet the wikinews standards, or couldn't be brought up to the wikinews standards, but because the wikinews regular contributors were unwilling or unable to indicate how those standards could be met.
Please don't try to tell me I know that the regulars were welcoming. A few were. And I have thanked some of them. Any of the minority of regulars here who actually were helpful, thanks again. But most regulars slap on opaque tags, which they can't or won't explain. Don't tell me that is welcoming. It is not.
Somebody, presumably the wikimedia foundation, pays the bills for the resources used by the wikinews project. What if they reach the same conclusion I have, that too many of the wikinews regulars are not interested in being civil and collegial, that too many of the regulars drive away new contributors? Could they cut back or totally cut off the resources available to wikinews? As those paying the bills I believe they could do that. It is unlikely that they would do so, without warning. But, in my opinion at least, they should regard the wikinews as a project in trouble, one in need of intervention.
Those of you who are not interested in treating the wikinews project as a closed club have my best wishes. Geo Swan (talk) 21:34, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
I will not get into this argument, again. I am nice and civil when its called for. But when I get told that the policies here are crap, or that we are failing, or despite the fact anon contributors come along everyday and we are told we suck, are failing, or are not nice, yes it pisses me off. I have been here for three years almost and if I thought this was failing, or brian did, they wold likely not waste their time here when they could likely be doing other more important things. I am being nice to you Geo, but you insist on going on and on about a subject that you seem to be the only one who has a problem with. We use {{cleanup}} tags on articles. If there is a problem with an article, the issue(s) go there. If you don't understand it, then say so on its talk page or add to the template. If your articles didn't get published, it is because of one of a few reasons: The first being it did not meet the requirements to be published. 2) We don't have time to review everything the second it comes off the line. We have lives, and my life comes before WN...always. We are here volunteering. We are not required to do anything at all, just the same as you. But if you think WN is not civil, then spend some time on Wikipedia with this stuff and see how far it gets you. That is the main reason I rarely contribute to WP. We are a small community with limited resources. The Foundation will not shut WN down for being uncivil or not nice or whatever. If that were the case, WP would have been long gone. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:51, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
And out of that five paragraphs I extract one item that is a second-cousin-third-removed from 'constructive criticism'. i.e. that we use opaque tags. Which tags would those be? Do they not point you to the appropriate guidelines and policy which you should read, and then bearing them in mind, review the tagged article?
Like all Wikimedia projects, the contributors here are volunteers - even the administrators and bureaucrats. Unlike Wikipedia, you cannot wait for whoever tagged an article to respond to a message left on their talk - if they do not respond within the window of opportunity where an article can be published, it ends up deleted. It has happened to us all, I've lost articles, DragonFire1024 has lost articles, and I think if you asked just about anyone on the project they will say the same. The axiom I coined to sum this up in a nutshell is, facts don't cease to be facts, but news ceases to be news.
Take the last 5,000 entries in recent changes, count up the contributors, now, would you agree with me there is not a critical mass there? A lot of the time for someone to fix an article you've written you need to get lucky and have someone also interested in the subject among the more experienced contributors.
Now, to my way of looking at the world, what you seem to perceive as incivility is 'being curt', 'blunt', or 'direct'. So let's go back to what you identified as a problem - opaque tags. List those you've encountered where you did not understand the identified issues in the article; if they link to guidelines or policies, how do those policies fail to explain what the problem is? I'll happily restore deleted articles into your userspace and look at how I see them as meriting given tags, perhaps from that we could improve the process of bringing new contributors up to speed. One of my key efforts on that front was to create {{Howdy}} and the essay on writing your first article that it links to. I believe it is much, much less intimidating than the old hello template that told you to read about half a dozen lengthy policy pages.
Be bold, be blunt, and stop bending over backwards in an effort to avoid offending anyone. If you want to say the style guide is crap, say it! But please make sure you can explain why you think so. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:27, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

If your cannot report your news without sources provided by the Main Stream Media, then what's the point? At that point, you have no news, because the Main Stream Media has already reported it. Completely fukked up news model going on here.

If you want news, and think there isn't demand for it, you are sadly mistaken. There is a huge demand for news.

The trouble with this site, is you won't let it happen.

And don't try to tell me your accredited reporter list is the answer to this.

If you want to offer news, then persons who wish to supply it haven't a care about all the bullcrap here... they will just write it.
Call them out if they deserve it!

Tags... get the fuk outta here.

Reviewing and breaking news[edit]

Ok. This is a huge problem. I like flagged revisions and our review process. But when it comes to breaking news and or a first hand story, aka beating mainstream media, we really do suck at getting the articles published in a timely manner. Example: NASA successfully launches Kepler Telescope was written at the time of the event, with original reporting. Had it not been for the review process, and everyone being busy, or avoiding it for whatever reason (and yes all of us avoid an article or two at some times), this would have been one of the if not the first published about the launch. But as of typing this, it has not been yet. That is over 12 hours ago. So we should have a string of contributors, who have editor status, also have a breaking news status or something to the likes. Simply put, we cannot let stories, which are in all fairness ready to be published, sit around waiting for review for hours, or even days. Granted the situation would be on a case by case basis such as the article I mentioned. If not this, then something has to be done because in many cases it just gets out of control. We have no problem keeping up with reviews when there are few stories around, which is good in most cases lately because that meant they are getting published. But I digress...we need to think of something. That is IMO. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:44, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

We could have some sort of priority based {{review}} tag. If something is time sensitive, we place {{review|priority=high}} or something, and those high priority pages are highlighted in the various places where articles needing review are listed. the only problem is this still doesn't garuntee that it will get a timely review, but it'd help. The only other thing i can think of is allowing temporary exceptions to flagged revisions for breaking articles (similar to the original point of {{breaking}}), but thats a slippery slope that i don't really think we want to go down. (this is bawolff, not logged in btw) 21:23, 7 March 2009 (UTC)
I have created {{breaking review}} as somewhat of an idea, but still need to find a way to make articles marked with that template appear as high priority on lists and gadgets. Feel free to comment or make changes to the template as you wish to. R.T. 12:04, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Could we get a bot to bug us in IRC whenever something has the template on it? Say, once when the template goes on, and then a reminder every ten-fifteen minutes thereafter? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:40, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
I can easily make the gadgets work with that template (assuming i have more than 5 minutes to edit some time in the future). This would require that it sort articles in both category:Review, and some other category (say category:Review-High Priority). We could also put a DPL on CAT:REV that highlights the high priority articles. The irc bot is outside of my expertise (although I'm sure there are others like say Zach who'd be able to do it). We can however abuse NewsWire to display anytime an article is first tagged with high priority review. (We do this for normal review and things needing sighting on #wikinews-en. It doesn't work currently because of brokeness of toolserver for s3 wikis - but that should be rectified soon AFAIK) However to have it remind us every 10 minutes would require a new bot (or we could abuse rss to do that with the existing news wire bot... but then we need someone's coorporation on the toolserver to do that [CSpurrier's tool could probably be easily modified, but this really is a very specific use - may be better to just get a dedicated bot]. 03:18, 10 March 2009 (UTC) (Bawolff)
P.S. this is off topic, but i'm just curious, how many people use the readyAlert gadget. Theres no stats for it, and I always wonder if stuff i work on is popular or not. user:Bawolff 03:22, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
No clue about the gadget. Never knew it existed. Where can I find it again? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:53, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Special:preferences Under the gadgets tab (reviewAlert is the specific one we're talking about). Bawolff 22:30, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
As of right now, heres status of review stuff on irc.
  • Marked high priority review: Spammed to #wikinews
  • Marked review, spammed to #wikinews-en (this includes both normal, and high priority)
  • If a sighted article that is published is edited, spammed to #wikinews-en
Hopefully I'll be able to do something with the gadget sometime soon. Bawolff 23:58, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

When we covered US Airways jet makes emergency landing in river by New York City, we published first and reviewed later when the page became stable (and not in the Flagged Revisions sense of stable), but when updates slowed down. This was one of those stories where updates were coming in from all sorts of contributors ... and rapidly as the event unfolded. The Kepler NASA story seems different ... after the launch is successful it automatically becomes stable or non-breaking ... no immediate changes can be expected. I am just saying, there is breaking news because it is right on time (it just happened) and there is breaking news because events are still unfolding (it is still happening). I think there is a noteworthy distinction here. Cheers, --SVTCobra 00:11, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Coverage section[edit]

Per the two comments above on "Reviewing and Breaking News" and "The Failure of WikiNews", it seems that it would be of a great help to the continuing success of WikiNews if there was a section of the newsroom where all the stories to be covered in any given day or week were listed and could be checked off as the articles were completed.

Part of the difficulty with WikiNews (and it is a difficulty to which any newspaper is susceptible) is that the general direction seems to be aimless or pointed in many directions, with each person doing their own thing. There does not seem to be any cohesive direction to make certain every day that there is adequate coverage at a decent level. Usually in a newspaper there is tight editorial control and deadlines precisely because it is very easy for a newspaper to slip into this tendency. Obviously, WikiNews would not have the dictatorial downward editorial control as newspapers. What WikiNews can have though is one single place where decisions are collectively made as to what are the priorities regarding the that should be covered in a day or week. This single hub could then be the place where journalists turn to see what progress is being made and can motivate participants to contribute to the collective efforts to make sure that the coverage for any given day is properly fulfilled.

There are plenty of good quality writers who would like to contribute to a collective journalistic project even on a voluntary basis, as evidenced by blogs, college newspapers, etc and there is no shortage of aspiring journalists who have not yet made it into this line of work. With the acknowledged and precipitous decline of newspapers, this project is also sorely needed! However, unless a certain level of decent coverage is attained, perhaps there is not as much motivation on the part of journalists to contribute to WikiNews, because it doesn't seem like it will fit into a coherent effort to create a quality newspaper.

So the task is probably to bring WikiNews up to the level of decent coverage whereby peopel will be motivated to contribute on their own. For this, though, it would probably really help if there were a single place where a collective judgment was made as to all the stories that should be covered in a day or week and these were ticked off on a checklist. This would give a purpose and bearings for the project and would serve as a collective editorial control to ensure the decency and coherency of the journalistic output.

Thoughts? Is this sensible? Or perhaps there is another better approach?

Cicero79 (talk) 12:10, 12 March 2009 (UTC)Cicero79

I think it's hard to set priorities or decide what articles should be covered for the coming week or so, as at the beginning of the week you may not know whether something is going to be news. Also, as people live in different time zones and in different countries, and because they have different interests, they may have different priorities.
However, I do think you have a point to encourage people to contribute to Wikinews and to give them an idea what they could be doing, not just a list of possibilities, but actual things (class vs. object). I think we should have some kind of page where you could see all the articles in development + those that were recently published (as they may still need some improvements). The page should display the status of each article + todo's, e.g. "more info needed on the airliner", "logo of football team missing", "picture would be nice", "better sources needed", "article still too short", "internal links missing", "more links to Wikipedia articles needed". This could also be interesting for photographers, to be able to see what articles are still missing pictures (or better pictures).
The page could also feature some kind of percentage bar of completeness and articles could then be published by completeness (e.g. 90% is enough for publishing, but the article could still improve on some points). Thus actually an improvement of the current system of reviewing pages but then located on one page instead of on the article's talk page (which still may be useful), so people can see what the current overall progress is. Any thoughts?
Van der Hoorn (talk) 22:38, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia has a "Current events" (or the like) category for articles undergoing rapid change due to a recent event. Maybe we could draw from that (and from the work of these editors in compiling information). Rklawton (talk) 03:33, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Although priorities for articles upon which to focus may differ from individual to individual and certainly from place to place, there are still a core set of topics to be covered that a visitor to the site would reasonably expect to find. On any given day or week, there are certain events and conflicts that have to be covered for a newspaper to reliably do its job. There should be some mechanism by which to ensure that Wikinews does cover within the relevant time frame those relevant stories, as this will do much to strengthen confidence in the site. A simple test of the strength of coverage is whether Wikinews has articles for the top six or so topics that come up on the Google news site in top news or any of the sub-sections.
By prioritizing through consensus a core set of stories that journalists will collaborate on to make certain that every day these will have a decent level of coverage, this will provide a solid foundation on which to build and improve th WikiNews site. The priorities could differ from region to region by simply having regional sub-sections each of which would have their own priority stories chosen. That contributors to Wikinews live in different time zones is one of its greatest strengths since it means articles can be completed in a timely manner for the next day without journalists having to stay up late at night. It is definitely the case that articles mostly do change day to day, which is why deadlines could be set in the coverage section for initial draft, secondary draft, etc. Although there are also news topics that can stretch over a week, for example, an article on Obama's health plan. A coverage section like this would also be a natural place to highlight articles that are urgent breaking news with a deadline of some sort provided.
Really for WikiNews to pick up momentum to be successful would only probably require that for any given section there are at least six reliably good quality articles every day. If a core set are chosen collaboratively, this will mean that 30 journalists could work together on say ten articles to make sure that each day adequate coverage is reached, instead of 30 journalists independently submitting articles on a broad range of topics, half of which are rejected because they don't meet standards. Once the core coverage is reached to standards of excellence, however, this will allow momentum to build so that WikiNews would then be able to branch out confidently. This will also set a clear benchmark in relation to which WikiNews could measure its progress. Perhaps though it is also important that the articles should not just be bare facts, but also aim for at least some analysis which makes the articles more engaging to read and would give more reason to visit the site.
What are your thoughts about this? Does this make any sense as an approach?
Cicero79 (talk) 10:26, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
First off, and I say this because it's a trivial thing - but one of those 'trivial things' that bugs me... It's Wikinews, there is no mid-word capitalisation.
Next, I doubt we really have 30 dedicated contributors who can put in a couple of hours a day - especially when it might be on the 'main news' stuff that they have no interest in. Who is to say that parroting the top six stories Google News lists is going to help more firmly establish the site? There needs to be a balance between copying what the mainstream does, and carving out our own niche. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:39, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
I understand your concerns and understand that focusing on several subjects may solve the problem of delivering "important" topics sooner. However, I think that the amount of contributors is quite low and voting or deciding what topics to focus on first, will generate more work. I think that your suggestion will lead to less contributors focusing on the actual articles, but instead on other stuff as well, as the decision process is overhead. When we have more contributors, it may be a good idea (or it will no longer be necessary), but for now I think it is a waste of resources. Van der Hoorn (talk) 14:37, 17 March 2009 (UTC)
A followup can be found here: User talk:Van der Hoorn#Response to coverage. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 21:17, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

Global Sysops Policy[edit]

The m:Global Sysops policy has recently been updated. Could several regulars at Wikinews please confirm here that your global rights policy is up-to-date? Thanks, NuclearWarfare (talk) 00:44, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

I have been asked to me to elaborate a bit more, so here goes. The 'Global Sysop' usergroup is a usergroup that will allow those in it to have sysop access any Wikipedia on the opt-in list. Wikinews had previously agreed to a similar policy that was ultimately scrapped. I wanted to check if Wikinews still agreed to the idea of global sysops who could operate with some restrictions on this wiki. Right now, those restrictions would be "Global sysops are only allowed to use their rollback tool unless there are no active Wikinews administrators, in which case they can use their other tools for antivandalism as well." Does the Wikinews community still agree to it (as you had laid out here)? NuclearWarfare (talk) 01:23, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
In other words, they do what stewards used to? (sounds fine by me btw - as long as emergencies only). Bawolff 03:33, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Essentially, yes. :) NuclearWarfare (talk) 15:53, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see as to that we really need global sysops (we rarely have any vandalism at all), but I don't see any reason to object to putting us on the opt-in list, as long as they use their tools only in case of an emergency. tempodivalse 17:32, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
There have been cases not all that long ago (ok somewhat a while ago, but not in the distant past) where vandals come at odd hours when no admins were around, and the stewards intervened. Not a bad idea to have just in case. Bawolff 22:36, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

Template:Wikipedia and Template:Wikipediapars[edit]

When should I use Template:Wikipedia and when should I use Template:Wikipediapars? The former says I should use it always in an "External links" section, but when you have no other external links, that looks kind of weird. Can anyone explain the difference before I use the wrong template? Thanks. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 17:16, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

I think that what is meant by "external links" is usually the "sources" section in an article; see Canadian light aircraft stolen; Wisconsin State Capitol evacuated#Sources as an example. There is really no difference between the two templates, it is mostly a matter of preference: which phrasing you like more. I personally prefer the {{Wikipedia}} template. tempodivalse 17:20, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
Historically {{wikipedia}} was used on portals, and wikipediapar was used on pages, ({{wikipedia}} used to only link if the pagename was the same on wikipedia, and {{wikipediapar}} took the pagename as a parameter, hence the two separate templates. that has since changed so {{wikipedia}} does both) since the difference between them has now become moot, so use which ever you like best. Bawolff 22:30, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
So there are actually 3 templates: Template:Wikipedia, Template:Wikipediapar and Template:Wikipediapars. :) Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 11:12, 9 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes. And I always thought the uses of them were based on the contributors taste. I personally like {{Wikipediapars}}. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:32, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Incomplete copyright notice[edit]

Hi, i'm an admin and bureaucrat at german language wikinews. While discussing the proposed license change of wikipedia to CC on IRC, i've noticed that the copyright notice on enwikinews is incomplete. The copyright notice on the bottom just states that the license is CC-BY-2.5 and links to the original license text. This however lacks the additional clause that the attribution requirement is to be fullfilled by naming 'Wikinews' as the author.

This was the result of the licensing poll (m:Wikinews/Licensure_Poll) and you also say that under the edit field (Your work will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License and will be attributed to "Wikinews".). As this is a important difference from standard CC-BY-2.5, i think this really should be pointed out in the copyright statement at the bottom of the page. At german wikinews we done that by linking to a license terms page in the wiki which then explains the terms and links to CC-BY-2.5. -- Kju (talk) 22:28, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Is this really significant? I personally rely on getting people referred to Wikinews, curious enough to investigate who the contributors are, and have thus made my fortune... er, wait! --Brian McNeil / talk 22:44, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, this is significant. The license in use differs from "standard" CC-BY-2.5 by requiring to name "Wikinews" as the author. People need to know this to be able to comply with the license terms. You say, you rely on people referring to Wikinews, so you too must be in favor to make it clear that the attribution is done towards Wikinews.
This is also important for other language editions of wikinews when translating articles. If we translate an article from enwikinews, the original author(s) have some rights in our translation. We license our translation under CC-BY-2.5 with attribution to Wikinews. But to be able to do this, we need the original text to have a compatible license which here means, that the original (english) text needs to be licensed under a license which allows/forces attribution to Wikinews. But enwikinews currently has conflicting statements. While the author agrees to have his work attributed to Wikinews, the copyright disclaimer does not state/allow this. So technically spoken we are violating copyright by translating articles from enwikinews, because we make use of a clause which was the result of the vote, which is acknowledged by the authors to enwikinews, but is yet not acknowledged by enwikinews to the world because it is not mentioned in the copyright clause.
This may sound like a technicality, but i still feel strongly that this needs to be fixed to be on the safe side. -- Kju (talk) 22:57, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, I beleive this important. In addition to the license poll, on the save page instructions, it says attribution will be going to "Wikinews". We should be consistent with what the save page says, and what we say the site is under. People agreed to have there work attributed to wikinews when they pressed save page, that is what should happen. (as a side note, do we need some sort of consensus to change the language of MediaWiki:Copyright, or can i just go change it?) Bawolff 23:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Although you can change it, that does not necessarily mean the content that was previously written is licensed under the (new) license, I think. Maybe contacting a Wikimedia lawyer would be a good idea? :) Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:22, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
As long as the text Your work will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License and will be attributed to "Wikinews". below the edit box was there from the beginning of the use of CC license (September 25, 2005), all contributions were properly licensed. Only the copyright notice at the bottom of the page is wrong. -- Kju (talk) 23:38, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Ahh, I misread. I thought both were missing. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:40, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
No, the texts are actually contributed with acknowledgment that Wikinews is to be named as the author. It's just the copyright statement at the page bottom which is wrong and does not reflect the actual license agreement. Fixing this shall have no other consequences than to have the statement reflect the actual license under which the articles are distributed. The current copyright statement does not reflect the license as granted by the authors and therefore needs to be fixed. -- Kju (talk) 23:45, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
Yes, that is what I said: I misread. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:55, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

But as i thought about it, i believe there is another issue. The second clause under the edit box says You must have written your work yourself or copied it from a compatibly licensed resource or public domain resource.. I believe that this means that wikinews can't use texts from other sites which are licensed as CC because that would not allow wikinews to claim authorship. But this is done by forcing the attribution to wikinews. So the wikinews license is incompatible to other CC licenses (and also other "free" licenses) in my opinion. -- Kju (talk) 23:58, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

OR and Broadcast report[edit]

After talking with Brianmc (talk · contribs) and Tempodivalse (talk · contribs), it was suggested that a discussion be made concerning whether or not writing a story based on a broadcast report is original reporting.

See User_talk:Tempodivalse#Quick_question..., User_talk:Calebrw#Re:Broadcast_report_as_OR and this dif for the context of this discussion.

In this case, it is a sports article and my writing was done after watching the portions of the race written about in NASCAR: Brad Keselowski wins Aaron's 499 on last-second crash, eight fans injured. I transcribed portions of the interviews done and included them in the story. In this case the majority of the story was written with in half an hour of the event ending (about 22:00 UTC on Sunday, April 26, 2009). I did mostly based on memory of the event. I did use later internet video and news media sources to clarify the story.

I feel this is original reporting in this instance, however Tempodivalse disagreed. After talking to Brian, he thought a Water cooler discussion was the best way to go, so here we are.

At the same time, I don't think that this is the typical use of a Broadcast report. Generally from what I have seen on Wikinews, a broadcast reports are generally news in nature, where this was not edited in a news story. Whereas CNN would edit their TV broadcast down to say 30 seconds, this was the full event, broadcast live and then replayed many times from many different angles and also in slow motion.

I think some sort of policy should be made concerning this. There might have to be one policy for news broadcast and one for non-news broadcasts: for instance sporting events or awards shows, American Idol: the type of thing you can write a news report just based on watching it, without needing a third-party news source to base the article on.

Thanks, Calebrw (talk) 00:24, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Hmm. You do have a point there, this wasn't the sort of article that needed to be cited/based on third party sources. I suppose watching the entire race on telly would qualify as OR, because, for all practical purposes, it would be almost the same thing as being there in person, in the sense that you would see and hear most of the important information on screen as you would in person. However, I didn't read the talk page OR notes when removing {{Original reporting}} and understood "broadcast report" on the article page to mean that Calebrw had simply found out the results of the race on TV, or something like that. We've had lots of incidents in the past where some small tidbit of information was obtained from a television news agency and thus marked as OR, and I sort of assumed this was another one of those cases. tempodivalse 00:47, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Please note, that I did not watch the entire race, but rather the last 50 laps or so of it, having switched between several other sports (NHL, NBA, MLB, and a wee bit of golf) before that. This is reflected above, but I wanted to clarify for any bearing this might possibly have on future policy. I don't know that seeing the entire race was important or not in this case as it was primarily the last four laps and the post-race interviews that were reported on. Calebrw (talk) 00:54, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Hm, I don't know why I added the word "entire" to my previous comment -- struck that part out now. I'm not sure whether broadcast reports of this kind should be counted as OR or not, and policy is rather unclear on that. All in all, I have no strong feelings either way about it. I would like to hear the opinions of others. tempodivalse 01:07, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Well, I took a look through the OR policy, and found that Wikinews:Original reporting#Eyewitness accounts sort of covers witnessing an event, but doesn't specifically mention broadcast reports. Maybe it could be rephrased to make some mention of this. tempodivalse 03:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Everything in wikinews must be sourced. When it comes down to it, OR is something that does not use another news product as a source. I think the test for if something is OR could be if the article is citing notes you took from doing/watching something (as in it is impossible to link to the source, and instead have stuff on the talk page explaining where you got the info) than it is OR, otherwise it is not. (of course than there is issues with this definition - what about something based off a print newspaper article and whatnot - but making this about if the source is directly cite-able (as in we can link to it) makes a very easy to see line). Just a (not-entirely fully formed) thought. Bawolff 04:40, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
In general, we should when in doubt treat something as OR at least for purposes of discussion on the collaboration page what went into it. It doesn't hurt us to ere on the side of caution. The only issue then is that we shouldn't necessarily brag about how much OR we have that's getting done if we are taking a broad stance on it, but that's not as big an issue. Now, to apply this to this particular case: There is synthesis in watching a broadcast report. One sees who is behind who is ahead, what is happening and all sorts of things that aren't mentioned explicitly in the report. Therefore, there's real thought that goes into such reporting. That seems therefore to be closer to OR than not. JoshuaZ (talk) 05:53, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Watching something like a race on TV may, or may not, be OR. The event *is* filtered for you, with cameramen and directors of photography deciding which shots to use, which cameras to cover, and what are the important parts of the event to focus on. --Brian McNeil / talk 06:46, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Comment: Essentially, I agree here with the above comment by JoshuaZ (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 12:15, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree. tempodivalse 00:19, 28 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, i think we need a specific Flag informing readers the news is written watching a broadcasted tv show. It's a kind of OR, I agree, but with some bias/filter not intended by the Wikinewsie :D. Jacques Divol (talk) 14:35, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

I tend to lean to the side that it is not OR. If we disallow watching BBC News or CNN as OR, it doesn't make sense to allow Speed or Sky Sports or whatever. Just because fewer newspapers write about it? It is OR in the sense that it is not otherwise verifiable, except the note taking (which ought to be extensive). If we do allow it, perhaps it should be restricted to accredited reporters? --SVTCobra 01:17, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

I tend to lean to the same side. It is kind of the same as reading a news article, taking all the quotes (which are said by some president or something) + taking a press release by the presidential office and writing a new news article based on those quotes. The information is already there, you just rewrite it. The essential thing about OR is that it is original; as in: you are (one of the) first who knows the information and makes a newsworthy article out of it. A broadcast report is already filtered, so it is already some form of publication. Thus when you use it (as your main source), it will be a secondary publication, and not OR in my opinion. But I can imagine that this is line is sometimes vague. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 17:19, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Copyright violations and how to handle them[edit]

Most wikis have a speedy deletion policy for blatant copy-and-past copyright violations, whereas here the standard is to add {{copyvio}} and wait for 24 hours before deleting it. Why is that? I would think such articles should be speedy deletable, after all, copyvio is a serious issue. tempodivalse 22:15, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Usually, they do represent a news story ... one that we could legitimately have as an article. The idea is that the copyvio should be used as one source, as others are added to create a Wikinews article. The fact that they almost never get rescued and wind up deleted after 24 hours is more a function of our still limited participation level. I don't think that there is any real problem with the way that we handle it. For example, if some copyvio'ed a photograph on Commons, that can never be usable there (so they speedy). However, if someone copyvio'ed a BBC News item here, that can be turned into an article. The copyvio has to be eliminated from the article history (which is why the template directs to rewriting at */temp). --SVTCobra 22:37, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I know you know, Tempo ... but for others adding {{copyvio}}, please remove all content and leave only the template. --SVTCobra 22:40, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Non-English sources[edit]

With a review policy now in place it has become more difficult to deal with articles citing non-English sources. As a result I have made this change to the source citation policy to stress this point, discourage use of non-English sources, and push for them to be labelled with language templates such as {{fr}}.

I'm sure I'm not the only one that passes over articles submitted for review where there are multiple foreign language sources. Realistically, Google translate isn't good enough yet. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:51, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I still think there was a small sentence in a policy somewhere about foreign language sources. I asked Skenmy because I think it was him who pointed it out. I am at a loss and cannot find it. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:54, 11 May 2009 (UTC)