Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals

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Discussion on Meta[edit]

See m:Wikimedia_Forum#question_on_wikinews_license_compatibility.. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:23, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

there is a simple share-alike difference hence Wikipedia’s content can not be on Wikinews. I don’t understand why they want us to change the license. Until and unless one does not come up with a good reason why we should, we should focus on more important things.
•–• 06:43, 22 November 2017 (UTC)

Proposal: "Soft close" en.wikinews[edit]

Wikinews EN is inactive. A lot of people on wikipedia:Project:Village pump/Proposals have suggested pulling the plug. But that, in my opinion, is too far. How about a "soft close" like what was done with sv:? KATMAKROFAN (talk) 04:40, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

It is excellent to hear that the English Wikipedians are concerned with the health of a sister project. - Amgine | t 04:45, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Don't believe everything that you read on the internet. Moreover, Wikipedia is not the correct place to discuss that. English Wikinews is active, thank you for your concern, adios.
•–• 04:57, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
If you had followed the links, you would have realized they are considering restoring a Wikinews link to the main page on en.WP. This would certainly have increased the traffic to en.WN, and yes it would likely help with new contributors.
Wikimedians, no matter their project, should be aware of and hopefully invested in the well-being of all the Foundation's projects. The fact their discussion has misinformation in it - Jimbo was rather opposed to the establishment of Wikinews, but he also did not want current events articles on en.WP - only shows how poorly the en.wikipedians know this project. Telling them to go away is not going to improve that. - Amgine | t 05:03, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I can't speak to the concerns with sv.wn (I don't understand Swedish and I can't even find a good translation of the discussion) but this site is not dead. It doesn't have sufficient activity, that's true but it's nowhere near dead enough to justify shuttering the project. Plus, the community here does not support that idea. It's unfortunate that en.wn has to keep on fighting to exist and it's also unfortunate that we definitely do not have as much activity as we should but without a much more serious downturn in activity and a community consensus to do so, this proposal is a non-starter. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:21, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
The proposal, regardless of whether sincere or trolling, was presumably inspired by the recent LangCom decision to apply a soft close to Norwegian Wikinews, a decision on which I immediately requested (and received) clarification from LangCom over at meta since I perceived the soft closure of Swedish Wikinews (which did not go through LangCom) to have been severely flawed in implementation. --Pi zero (talk) 13:40, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
(I've been asked to provide a link; note this was the third attempt to convince LangCom to close Norwegian Wikinews, the first two having been unsuccessful. Link.) --Pi zero (talk) 14:11, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the English Wikinews is almost dead in its current state. The activity here is really extremely low, especially given the fact that there are so many native speakers of English worldwide that the activity could in theory be very high. However, the policy for admitting new articles must be changed radically. Now it's almost impossible here to contribute anything, if you have to wait every time until your article has been approved by the reviewers, after which it is practically always "out of date" because the news is older than 3, perhaps 4 days. De Wikischim (talk) 20:03, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: tell me how do you think I got to have 262 published articles here? Approving the articles is also confirming if everything including NPOV, copyvio and info in the article is true. That reducs risk of something incorrect getting published unlike other versions of Wikinews. We need to change the policies? How about discussing about newsworthiness on nl.wn? A twelve year-old's rape incident on Indian independence was declared as not news. Just because you are struggling between the style of a blog and a news -- often letting [someone's] opinions in your articles, that does not mean every article on English Wikinews is marked stale. And why would not it be. You ask a week old articles to be not deleted even after agreeing it is stale -- what kind of news org publishes a week old article? Speaking about review -- if given a chance to review your own articles, or publish without reviewing, your articles, which were under minimal length, factually inconsistent or contained opinions would be shared and Wikinews would get a bad name.
•–• 01:42, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
This is not the first time I have heard someone saying "there are so many native speakers of English worldwide". I don't know what makes people think that. Number of Chinese Mandarin speakers is almost equal to number of Spanish, English and Hindi speakers combined. I have never seen anyone say about Chinese Wiki<insert any project>. Spanish Wikinews has high production rate despite having review requirement which means reviewing the articles is not creating a problem -- however not reviewing articles increases problems. Hindi Wikinews is in incubator and Arabic Wikinews has low output. There are various other factors to consider -- considering how many come from well developed nations with easy and/or cheap access to internet, freedom of expression, censorship and what not. Someone from Middle East could end up in jail and possible lose their lives if they are caught writing a news article with Shari'a does not approve. China has state controlled media, meaning national news would be vetted in government's benefits. So is with Turkey. Also note that many English speakers English, who are not from the US, Australia, New Zealand or England have one more languages to speak. Canadians speak French, South Africans have Afrikaans, Indians, well, a lot of other languages, and Europeans have their own romance languages (Pakistan has Urdu, and the list goes on and on). So, it is not so simple to comment about the number of editors just by the number of native speakers. This would explain why Spanish and Chinese versions of other Wikimedia projects are not in the top three for having highest number of articles. Ignoring the count of news articles written by a bot on one Nordic language Wikinews, English Wikinews is ahead of any other version. Next thing that needs to be considered is when did the project start. [Well, French Wikinews has the second most number of articles -- but then they don't have a "minimal length" criteria so even -- "Germany wins 2014 FIFA World Cup, defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time." can be published on fr.wn as news] pt, de, es, pl, and ru are in the close range while zh and ar has very less number of articles. TL;DR: number of native speakers does not matter.
•–• 08:48, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

  1. Mandarin
  2. Spanish
  3. English
  4. Hindi
  5. Arabic
  6. Portuguese
  7. Bangla


From a discouraged newbie[edit]

I don’t know if anyone here is interested in some feedback from a discouraged newbie? Just in case, here it is:

I liked the friendly and helpful participants and the community here that is small enough to avoid out-and-out flaming even without a policy about AGF


It seemed like the system here was rigged to favour articles written by certain authors(Agastya)/ topics(football) over others. I am sure the experienced editors here disagree. Actually I don’t know if anyone here agrees, but isn’t there a conflict of interest when the only reviewer here is also the author of most articles appearing on the front page? Today for example 4 out of 5 articles on the front page were written by this wiki-news Reviewer:

I hope the reaction to this post will not simply shoot the messenger. I have nothing personal against Agastya who, I am sure, is very talented. Nor am I trying to advance views from outside of wiki-news that are meant to help shut it down. Quite the contrary, I wish things could be improved here so that the front page is less homogeneous and new users are drawn here to help. Ottawahitech (talk) 19:25, 1 December 2017 (UTC)Please ping me

Acagastya (t · c · b). In fairness, last week there was a long stretch where 4 out of 5 stories on the front page were my first 4 stories created here. The reviewer worked their ass off licking them into shape and advising me. So I am both aghast and grateful.
I find there are a lot of rules here, and I still don't understand why my latest story was rejected as stale when it was posted the day after the event. In fact I have bitten my tongue about the implications for this as a news site. But as a still newer newbie (with no journalistic training whatsoever), I am aware I don't know enough about the ways of this project to judge.
What I do see and would like to emphasize is a terribly small active group, with two or three active reviewers/admins being run ragged. In fact I came here in an attempt to walk my talk by putting some of my free-time writing effort into doing my share to alleviate the low participation here. (Thereby increasing the load on teh reviewers/admins of course, but you can't have everything.) In my view it was scandalous that this project didn't cover the Grenfell Tower Fire (I note that several other-language Wikinews projects did), and I kicked myself for not writing it up. So here I am now. But I do think the low participation is the answer, not bias, conscious or unconscious. Yngvadottir (talk) 19:49, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: Consider looking at my time card. I am not boasting, but yes, I spent a lot of time on Wikinews. I write a lot [that is subjective]. Note that I became a reviewer in May. I had 200+ articles published before I became a reviewer, and I am not the only reviewer on the project. Note that every article that is published appears on the main page. 4 out of 5 is a small ratio. I have had 9 out of 10 at least twice. But it is due to the fact that Darkfrog24 did not edit Wikinews (for almost a week, they left a talk page message); George Ho also did not write a news article, lately; numbermaniac did write one article (or two), but were busy irl. ‎Yngvadottir wrote some articles recently, yes. The lede section features five recently published articles so it might look that most of them are mine. (look at the last ten published articles; ratio drops to 5/10) But a week earlier, I wrote just three out of ten articles. I would not call Italian court sentences Brazilian footballer Robinho to nine years for 2013 sexual assault as a "football" article, the accused is a footballer. And I did not want AC Milan's article to be reviewed first. Israel: failing to comply with transportation law, Tel Aviv court orders Uber to partially stop its taxi ordering services and India: herd of donkeys granted bail after being locked up in Uttar Pradesh jail for eating expensive plants lost freshness this morning. I was expecting Uber's article getting reviewed, but that did not happen. This needs to be seen in a bigger picture. Sometimes, I write a lot of football articles (I think I have written ~160 football articles), sometimes, there are lot of US-based articles. I remember once I noticed seven out of last ten articles published had 'U' as the first letter in the headline. These patters appear when one wikinewsie is away some some days or weeks. For example, I have my exams from Monday, and would [probably] not write anything for two weeks. (I am sleepy -- it is 1:30 AM, and I don't know if most of this makes sense, or even if this is a "proposal")
•–• 19:59, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
@Yngvadottir: you might want to use {{ping}} template. FWIW, the Nortk Korea event happened on 28th. And it was heavily covered in MSM. Whenever that happens, there is so much more happening to the story that the original incident [the launch] loses freshness very quickly. @Pi zero: in this case -- probably they could brief you about it, though it is my responsibility, but I don't think I would be able to explain this sooner. The developments, like US's response, Trump's claims, China and South Korea, and Japan's response -- they become the newer developments. I know it is hard to understand, as a newbie. the first time I faced this problem was when Justin Trudeau was elected as Canada's PM, and it was marked stale in (iirc) less than two days of the vote counting.BTW: I do not have a degree in journalism, and I think there was an article about Grenfell, but it lost its freshness and was later deleted.
•–• 20:06, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
There are so many other things we could not cover, like Catalonia referendum, Rohingya crises, Chile and Kenya elections, the list goes on... We are volunteers and have like outside Wikinews. (Look at my time card and tell me that I don't write frequently -- you would conclude that I do not sleep) Time is the most important thing on Wikinews.
•–• 20:11, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: I don't understand the remark about the 'only reviewer here' being the author of most articles. Two of the most active users here are reviewers. Of the two of us, I haven't authored an article here for ages, being consumed by review and infrastructure. But we have a strict policy that review must be done by a reviewer not involved in the writing of the article they are reviewing.

The most skillful Wikinews veterans write articles that are much easier than average to review, since there are few difficulties for a reviewer to puzzle over, few problems to correct, and their articles are very likely to pass review if they get attended to while still fresh. If a reviewer has just a little time to devote to review — and it is difficult for a reviewer to clear a big enough block of time to do a full review — the most efficient use of that small time is to apply it to an article they can be pretty sure will be easy to review and is likely to result in a publication, all of which encourages them to review a short article by an experienced Wikinewsie. Those sports articles tend to be short, and they're being written by an experienced Wikinewsie. Of course, the people who are most reliably able to produce articles that are easy to review are also the ones whose deep intuiting of the project guidelines and principles, so useful for writing easy-to-review articles, make them best suited to become reviewers themselves.

These things are not the whole picture, of course; efficiency isn't everything. They explain why reviewers would tend to review articles written by other reviewers, but obviously the future of the project requires new Wikinewsies, and we make a lot of effort to review non-veterans' submissions and help them along. --Pi zero (talk) 20:46, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

@Pi zero: Do you feel two reviewers (I assume you mean you and agastia) can handle the Review queue in a timely and professional manner? Ottawahitech (talk) 14:08, 2 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
I don’t think this discussion is going anywhere. What are you trying to establish by these “statistics”, @Ottawahitech:? There hasn’t been articles which passed review — lost freshness or had other issues. Just like number of edits has nothing to do with the activity on the project, these statistics does not mean nobody tried to write here, or reviewer did not attempt reviewing articles. (talk) 18:37, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, it is surely not true that nobody tried/tries to write here. The big problem is that there is only very little chance that your article gets actually published. You have to wait until the few authorized reviewers who are active here have finished their work, and by then the news you tried to write about has often already become stale so you did your work actually in vain. (On the other hand, it seems to be no problem that news which is some weeks old still appears on the main page once the article has been approved). De Wikischim (talk) 21:41, 10 December 2017 (UTC)
Can’t get enough of this, can you? Why do you people forget that we do have a life outside Wikinews? We are supposed to deal with lot of other things and yet I spend most of my available time on Wikinews. Published stories becomes part of the archive and are on the main page until new stories are published. I don’t understand why you don’t get it. But this conversation is not helping anything or anyone (to write an acceptable article) (talk) 01:15, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
Okay, tell me, if you don't want to see "stale articles" on Main Page, and can not get new articles to be published, what do you want the main page to be filled with?
•–• 08:33, 11 December 2017 (UTC)
That's not the main point, of course. The reviewing process here as it is now does not work well, so the publication of almost every new article is blocked. De Wikischim (talk) 10:21, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Then how do you think we have 22 thousand news articles published [which by the way is the most, not considering those written by bots]?
•–• 10:28, 11 December 2017 (UTC)

Ethnic slur on front page[edit]

I am really reluctant to have to bring this up at this time, but it can't be helped. The main article of the wikinews front page has a title with an ethnic slur (one of the four articles mentioned here). This article is no longer fresh, so I am surprised to see it still displayed prominently, while other articles are being rejected from the Review queue for being stale. Ottawahitech (talk) 19:08, 4 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me

@Ottawahitech: If the word which you think is a "religious slur" is "Jew"; Jew is someone who practices Judaism; just like a Muslim is someone who practices Islam. As for why "no longer fresh" articles are on the main page, all the articles which pass the review are featured on the main page. We do not delete a published article after it is "no longer fresh". They become part of our archived articles, just like any other news website. These lede articles are replaced by new articles. Currently there are no articles to replace them, hence they are there. Earlier this year, when seven articles were published in a day, some articles got just a couple of hours in the lede section.
•–• 19:20, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
The only references to ethnic or racial identity I see are: Argentine, Brazilian, Israeli, Italian, Jews, Jewish, Spanish, and US. None of those are slurs. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:52, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: looking at the link of Washington Post article, it looks like Ottawahitech is referring to "Jew". If it feels like a slur, which it should not, I would blame the western media, and the way they report, considering how drastically the meaning of jihad or a jihadi. It has nothing to do with militant activities, but I would be surprised if someone from the western part of the world could accurately tell the meaning. Actually, I don't think most of the Indians or the people from east could tell this.
•–• 20:09, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
Moreover, looking at Washington Post's article, it just reflects some western people are unfamiliar with non-western culture.
•–• 20:12, 4 December 2017 (UTC)