Wikinews:Water cooler/policy/archives/2011/April

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Wreckage, victims of Air France Flight 447 found

TUFKAPP self-published this article, with this comment. I reverted the publication. --Pi zero (talk) 19:06, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

On what basis? You were unable/unwilling to review the article, but able/willing to unpublish it. If the article failed to meet a review standard I could understand this. - Amgine | t 19:10, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
It *is* against policy to publish what one has written. I personally think self-publishing ought to be allowed, but at this time the policy says it's illegal [EDIT: against the rules]. See Wikinews:Reviewing articles. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
See WN:PG:
How are policies created?
Means

Most Wikinews policies are developed through consensus. Consensus might be developed through discussion and polls, but more often it develops through established practice. In most cases the policy is not even written formally, but is simply the community norms which have developed over time.
Changing policy, especially one which has been talked to death as this one has been, can be as simple as changing how things are done. That article was left in the review queue for more than 24 hours. It can and should be self-published if no one else is going to do so. - Amgine | t 19:31, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) It says in the article writing rules: "Every article must be reviewed by an independent reviewer prior to publication." Isn't this to ensure that the article meets the review standard? The article's author is not providing an "independent" review, so it seems to me that the article has not been reviewed yet. A reviewer is not allowed to perform post-publish revisions - "any Reviewer who performs an edit that would not have been permissable to an article that had been archived under WN:ARCHIVE must not sight that revision, and await sighting from another Reviewer." Given this strict oversight rule, it is right for an editor to publish his own article? I am seeking clarification. I hope that's OK that I ask. Mattisse (talk) 19:40, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  • From Wikinews:Reviewing articles
This policy in a nutshell This policy in a nutshell:
All articles must go through independent Review prior to the Publish stage.
Any revisions to an article that would breach WN:ARCHIVE had that article been archived must be sighted by another user
Use of the Peer Review Gadget in user preferences is essential to ensure news appears in Google!

Aren't these the policies to be followed? I personally wouldn't want to review my own articles, as I know that I am not giving them "independent" reviews. Mattisse (talk) 19:47, 7 April 2011 (UTC)

  • Illegal is far, far too strong a term to use here; Wikinews is not a law-making, or enforcing body. I sympathise with Amgine's comments; this is from a generally-trusted, and established, contributor. An effort to actually review instead of unpublish would have been far nicer. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:53, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
    @brianmc, maybe so, I was just trying to vary my sentence structure a bit. But I don't wish to argue semantics, you know what I meant.
  • @Amgine, it would be very confusing if written policy is different from de-facto, accepted policy. If there is indeed consensus to allow self-publish (and that point is debatable), the appropriate pages should be changed. Policies are useless if they're not going to be followed as-written. (For this reason I oppose WN:IAR, it is a very easy way of circumventing a policy when it is not convenient to follow it.) But in the meantime, the self-publication is clearly against the current rules and is grounds for revocation of reviewer privileges. (That's not to say I disagree with TUFKAAP's actions, I'm just saying rules should be clear - and followed.) Tempodivalse [talk] 19:59, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
  • This is about self-review, and consequent pushing to GNews etc. It has nothing to do with the proposal for an unreviewed form of "publication" (which I have conditionally opposed, but that's a distraction here). Self-review is not consistent with our journalistic integrity as a project; yes, the conditions of our GNews feed come into it, but those conditions aren't out of the blue either. Self-review is a betrayal of the trust placed in reviewers, which is why (as Tempo points out) it is dereviewer-worthy.
Note, WN:IAR specifically names independent review as nonnegotiable, so it does not offer a possible justification for the action. --Pi zero (talk) 20:23, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I can see both sides here, on which basis I'd urge absolutely everyone to go vote for the GNSM bug. If that's fixed the flexibility around formal review vs casual review vs self publish increases dramatically. Options otherwise not open to us come into play and screwups can be retracted. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:11, 7 April 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure if I've voted for that or not. Linky please? A site map for Google News to follow is of paramount importance. Gopher65talk 11:49, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Ask Bawolff and/or Amgine for the bugzilla number, I don't have it to hand I'm afraid. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:25, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
bugzilla:21919 (Note well it does give us more flexibility, it is not a pre-requisite to doing a mixed reviewed/non-reviewed system, since we can already specify stuff on the main page as being stuff for google to not follow. Also voting isn't overly taken into consideration by the devs [but it certainly doesn't hurt]). Bawolff 13:30, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
Don't create an account just to vote either, since that's bad form. Gopher65talk 15:16, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm somewhat doubtful anyone would care if people created accounts just to vote (provided you only created one account for yourself, making sockpuppets to vote on bugs would be just plain stupid). Voting kind of goes off to the side where no one really notices or cares (especially for this type of bug where review is pending. The very few people who look at votes, look at votes to get ideas for things to do (afaik), people who review extension code generally don't have that problem ). If you do vote for it you will be emailed if there are any updates to the bug. Bawolff 04:46, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Simple two-tiered review policy

This was suggested to improve the speed of publications. I've created a draft at User:Mono/Two-tiered_review_system. Please comment. --theMONO 03:49, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

The proposal as I understand it is that for publication articles are checked for copyright but not accuracy. If it's not checked for accuracy, that'd be a blog rather than a news site; and even if that weren't so, if the sources haven't been consulted thoroughly enough for fact-checking, they haven't been checked thoroughly enough for copyvio or neutrality either. (Even though some kinds of non-neutrality are superficially obvious, neutrality cannot be determined unless you know what the facts are.)
Also note that deferring "peer review" until archiving (though apparently both tiers of reivew you're suggesting are by uninvolved parties, so calling only the second "peer review" seems odd) is late review, which has been opposed on the grounds that changes necessary to pass such a "peer review" cannot be made neutrally after the story is no longer fresh. --Pi zero (talk) 12:16, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Capitalisation of acronyms

Our policy at the moment regarding the capitalisation of acronyms is that it is up to the original author of an article. However, this can lead to stories about Nascar and NASCAR (for example) ending up next to each other on the Main Page, and I think this looks unprofessional. Hence, I think we need to add something about this to the style guide.

Personally, I would prefer that acronyms pronounceable as a word (e.g. Nascar, Nasa) be set in lower-case, with only the first letter capitalised, while initialisms (e.g. BBC, CBS) be set in all-caps. I think so primarily because doing otherwise (especially with long acronyms, such as NASCAR) looks like shouting, and is somewhat overwhelming.

However, I just want us to have some guideline on this, rather than sticking with the unprofessional per-article hodge-podge we have ATM. DENDODGE 22:40, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

My style details include a note on acronyms drawn from several news style guides. The relevant part is "do not use ... pronounceable forms of initialisms". In other words, an acronym is always an acronym, in all caps. - Amgine | t 05:35, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Abolish the Arbitration Committee?

The terms for the ArbCom seats will expire in several months. However, I'd like to propose to remove the committee altogether. (This is a U-turn on my previous stated opinions, yes, but I have reconsidered my beliefs about the subject.) Some arguments for removal:

  • ArbCom has not accepted but two cases, the last one was half a decade ago. No dispute in the meantime has ever gotten to the level where the ArbCom could have been called in, and we've had plenty of heavy-duty fights.
  • It is unnecessary bureaucracy. Cf. the userbox policy: the community was shown to be strongly in favour of repealing it, but it had to formally reversed through the ArbCom before anything could take effect. This rule-mongering does not further Wikinews' mission goals.
  • In similar vein to the above point, the ArbCom is not obliged to follow community consensus and could, theoretically, impose a rule that the community at large does not want.
  • Many of the ArbCom members are active in they everyday workings of Wikinews, so they would likely be active participants in any dispute, and should it rise to AC level, they wouldn't be neutral enough to take an active stance as an arbitrator.
  • "But something could happen!", which appears to be the major argument against, isn't a logical reason to retain the committee. If ArbCom hasn't been used for so long, it's improbable that it ever would need to be. Even if it would, the tightly-knit, small community would be much better off deciding things by themselves with community consensus. Also, there is just as much chance of ArbCom being deadlocked with opposing opinions in a dispute as the community.
  • The election process takes up precious time which would be much better spent on improving mainspace.

Also please read the arguments made the last time this was proposed.

Open to thoughts. There seems to be an affinity for voting, but I'd prefer some discussion to take place first. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:21, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Comments

Votes

Forget the discussion, One word. No. - Short, sweet and to the point. We can't just re-form an ARBCOM if all hell breaks loose. Forget it, nuh-uh, not gonna happen. Go have a coffee. BarkingFish (talk) 21:34, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Did you read my request not to vote immediately, or any of the arguments I presented? "But something might happen someday!", with no suggestion as to what, isn't a strong argument. Why do you believe ArbCom will help anything if "all hell breaks loose"? Even it could become deadlocked and be useless, too. Tempodivalse [talk] 21:38, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

It's a lot more effort (and drama — imagine how many H3's the discussion would have) to dissolve ArbCom than it is to hold elections every so often. As it's not used, it doesn't really matter whether it stays or goes, so status quo wins out. — μ 22:11, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Yes, Tempodivalse, it wasn't a "request", you expressed a preference. My preference is for them to remain. The ARBCOM is a required part of the dispute resolution process, and whether in use or not at this time, saying that it could be needed in the event of, say, a major dispute for example, is sufficient in my book for saying we keep this. Just because the ARBCOM could become deadlocked, doesn't mean it will. It simply means we need to find a few more people to sit on the committee so that we have an odd number of arbs, and therefore can't reasonably be deadlocked. BarkingFish (talk) 22:15, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

Request to amend the MOS to include convention on Foreign people's names

I'd like to suggest an amendment to the Manual of Style, specifically to this section, covering peoples names. I notice we have general guidelines regarding naming people, but as a global news source, we should really have some information regarding the naming of foreign persons by the convention of their country. For example, in parts of Asia (China and Japan that I know of), the convention is Family name, First name. Should we include a seperate section in the MOS to include details like this for future contributors? BarkingFish (talk) 16:31, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Endorseμchip08 16:39, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment On reflection, this could lead to second-guessing sources of a synthesis article. I may end up opposing this.
In the particular case, all the sources say "Yao Jiaxin". I'd think "Yao" would be the surname; cf. w:Yao (surname). --Pi zero (talk) 16:48, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment; I've amended the proposal above, to clarify the terms of what I was proposing. BarkingFish (talk) 18:00, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Endorse—this seems useful. On an almost, but not quite, entirely unrelated note, do we need a guideline for transcription of names in foreign scripts (there are, for example, a number of different ways of spelling Gadaffi—do wee need to be consistent, or should it be up to personal choice)? DENDODGE 18:34, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Comment The problem with Ghadhdhffy's name is that there exists a lack of standardization of transliterating spoken Arabic to the Latin alphabet. Qadhaffi's name can spelled many ways. —Mikemoral♪♫ 07:26, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
Question Exactly what wording do you want to add? I'm concerned about instruction creep. BTW, it is already implied by the existing text that one follows practice of the area in question:
On subsequent mentions, mention only the person's significant name without it being a wikilink. For western names this is the last name; many Asian countries use the first name for subsequent mentions.
(Also, to avoid (again) instruction creep, I suggest we leave the standardized-name issue well enough alone in the Style Guide.) --Pi zero (talk) 19:17, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
The style guide is already bloated. I actually think we ought to trim the existing material. The existing text provided by pizero should be sufficient, imho. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:51, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Excellent summary, Pi Zero. One point: there is no such thing as a "foreign name" on en.WN: our contributors are from everywhere. There's a tradition of respecting the local conventions of the region where the story takes place within the SG; that would clearly apply to name conventions. (I don't quite agree with Tempodivalse, though nearly. The SG is getting large, and getting into very fine details which make it difficult to be neutral/unbiased. We should consider trimming unnecessarily precise or biased elements.) - Amgine | t 07:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • We should split things: Keep the SG for vital stuff, and have an 'advice dump' of how to handle loads of specific issues, without it being policy to follow or even read such. I'm thinking of Amgine's massive userspace work here. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 10:48, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
    <Adds 30 minute block of expanding SG Details to daily schedule.> - Amgine | t 16:22, 25 April 2011 (UTC)
  • No change is needed; "many Asian countries use the first name for subsequent mentions." covers a substantial amount of the apparent issue here. No Feeping Creaturitis please! With regard to BRS' comment above, I tend to think there should be two documents: a full-blown Manual of Style, and a more condensed Style Guide. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:56, 25 April 2011 (UTC)