Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals

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rethinking the policy on stale articles[edit]

As some of us have noticed, Wikinews has not been very active lately. Ever since we lost Brian and John, the rate at which articles are reviewed has slowed down. It's not unusual to see interesting articles go stale.

Now I understand that Wikinews editors are volunteers, and we can't expect them to be on call at all times. However, the current policy on freshness means this is a time-sensitive matter. Therefore, I'd like to know others' opinions on implementing either of the following changes:

  1. Reduce the freshness requirement when fewer reviewers are active. Once the activity returns to normal levels, the window can be shortened back to two or three days. We can always backdate the article if necessary.
  2. Don't count the time it takes to review an article towards the article's age. For example, if an article is submitted two days after the event and reviewed three days later, the elapsed time since the event should be treated as two days rather than five. The article must have significant content to be considered as it is not a reviewer's job to finish other people's incomplete articles.

I do have two questions, though:

  1. Would it affect Wikinews' credibility if we frequently publish stale articles?
  2. Are there any ways to quickly reach an editor, such as IRC or a Discord server?

--Ixfd64 (talk) 05:26, 17 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's an interesting proposition. I don't think reducing the freshness requirement would be a bad idea -- a maximum of maybe five days might be sufficient -- but I'm strongly opposed to not counting the time it takes to review an article towards its age. While it might be fairer to authors, combined with a longer review time, it could lead to articles being published more than a week after the focal event, which I don't think would be acceptable. LivelyRatification (talk) 07:06, 17 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've had some time to think on this. Perhaps for, say, a two-month period, a five-day staleness period could be adopted as a trial, and we could reflect on the effect had on articles published/submitted afterwards? I don't think it's a good idea, as I said, to not count the time taken to review an article towards its age, but given the shortage of reviewers we seem to have on hand, a longer staleness period may be wise to try out. I don't think it would effect our credibility all that much if we published stories about things that happened four days ago, even if there's no orginal reporting involved.
As for quickly reaching an editor, I believe we do have IRC, but by my recollection (I haven't used it in a while) it's not terribly active, and we don't have a Discord server. Speaking for myself, the best way to quickly contact me would be a message on my talk page. LivelyRatification (talk) 02:20, 24 May 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ixfd64: I have looked through the history of WN:Stale, the relevant guideline. The date range of 2-3 days was added in March 2014. I can’t find a specific discussion about this, so I am assuming it was adopted by usage. My opinion on the current state of Wikinews is that we should temporarily suspend the idea that we can somehow match fast-paced news outlets. We are all volunteers and we have limited resources. I think it is worth trying out your proposal because the current range for freshness does not seem to be working for us. As a side note, we have moved from archiving stories when there are more than ten recent stories and instead we now have a limit of twenty unarchived stories. I have occasionally pushed freshness to 4 days during reviews where I think I can justify it. I would suggest a three month trial with a normal limit of FIVE days but occasionally being allowed to push it to SEVEN days. I’ve been pondering a similar change to our time limits for WN:PROD and I think it will fit well, after your proposal has been tested. Feel free to write up a proposal with a week of voting. [24Cr][talk] 19:37, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
YES! to extending the "stale" limit to 5-7 days from the current 2-3 days. Ottawahitech (talk) 19:49, 14 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the "Hey I wrote a great article and they just threw it away!" alienates new contributors (despite the nearly universal friendliness of existing Wikinewsies). I don't think this is the right solution, but I do think you've identified a big chunk of the problem correctly. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:22, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that "Hey I wrote a great article and they just threw it away!" alienates newbies and old-timers alike. There are also other problems at WN, but where is the correct "watercooler" to discuss this topic? Ottawahitech (talk) 14:18, 23 June 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm on board with all this, albeit marginally. We must always keep the (somewhat difficult) balance of germinating interest/input while also functioning as a legitimate news organization.--Bddpaux (talk) 15:53, 11 July 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A modest proposal ...[edit]

I hate the fact that the shortcut WN:NEWS points to Wikinews:Wikinews Chronicle which has been defunct since 2007. I would much prefer it point to Wikinews:What Wikinews is. I hope that others agree, but barring objections, I will likely be bold and make the change after waiting a commensurate amount of time. Cheers, SVTCobra 03:52, 12 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This proposal makes sense. Therefore I agree with it. RockerballAustralia contribs 07:13, 14 August 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]