Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals

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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)
@De Wikischim: It also appeared to me, while I was still participating here actively, that the number of stories that passed review was very low. I don’t know if my impression was clouded by the fact that many of my own stories went stale while waiting for review. It is most discouraging for someone to put in a lot of work without achieving publication simply because the reviewers are too busy doing things other than review. Ottawahitech (talk) 16:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC) Please png me
Yes, this is exactly how I for my part have experienced the general way of working here lately too. Some weeks ago I had the intention to start contributing a little more to the English Wikinews because almost every [really, in my view] important news item is missing here (and instead, most of the time published on Wikipedia where it does not really belong). But I will not do so further as long as everything here stays the same. Perhaps the English Wikinews will not survive in the long run as an autonomous project; even in that case, there will still be some other language versions left with enough ongoing activity. De Wikischim (talk) 16:28, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

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


Well, it appears that KATMAKROFAN (t · c · b) is going through a "soft close" sooner than Wikinews. --SVTCobra 02:54, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

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)
Both the Catalonia referendum and Rohingya crises are examples of recent news events which have been described more or less detail on the Dutch Wikinews (nl:Categorie:Spaanse constitutionele crisis, 2017, nl:Categorie:Conflict met de Rohingya-moslims in Myanmar). On the other hand, the Dutch Wikipedia only has very little information about these subjects (as good as nothing at all about the Rohingya crisis). The situation here seems to be completely inverse; the English Wikipedia does have all this information, while the English Wikinews has literally nothing about it. De Wikischim (talk) 21:20, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
It is not that I did not want to cover them, but why do you people forget we have lives outside Wikinews? Those Wikipedia articles were not written by a single person. Wikipedia does not have a time constraint, we have. Wikipedia has no information about any ComicCon event in India, Wikinews has. Doesn’t prove a point. An encyclopaedic article and a news article are two different things. There were so many developments for Catalonia referendum that any delay was putting things out of freshness window. (talk) 21:53, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
How about the time constraint for this? Of course, this item belongs better here on Wikinews. Instead, Wikipedia covers it now altogether (at the same time, it is still a basic rule that Wikipedia should not function as a news site). --De Wikischim (talk) 09:07, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Wikinewsies write what they are interested to write about. If you want to write, go ahead, write about it instead of saying nobody wrote it. I did not get 250+ articles under my name by whining oh nobody wrote about this, or that. The New York article is both a piece of news (or say, was a news) and an encyclopedic article. You might have free time to rant on Water Cooler, I have semester end exams to focus on. Tell me when a teenager wrote 250+ articles, all by themselves.
•–• 10:03, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
I for my part will not write about this here on this Wikinews version, since I do not really feel encouraged by your policy. By the way, I see your articles are mainly about football. De Wikischim (talk) 11:55, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
Then stop discussing about it on WC/proposals -- there is no proposal being discussed by any of you. And as I said before, Wikinewsies decide what to write. As if football articles fail to qualify for "news".
•–• 12:05, 13 December 2017 (UTC)
@Yngvadottir: Thanks for providing a different perspective. It is hard to judge if one's own personal experience is representative. Please continue teling us how you are faring. BTW I see that you have not tried to publish any more stories here and sincerely hope it is not because of this thread. As I said before: 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) 17:14, 12 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
@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

Update from a discouraged newbie[edit]

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)

@Acagastya: How many of those 22 thousand stories were written in 2017? How many written in 2017 were written by you? How many written by you in 2017 were football related articles? Ottawahitech (talk) 16:55, 12 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
okay, you want to play it like this. Fine. First things first. This has nothing to do with proposals so stop using this page for your “right to information” campaign. How about you do your homework and count number of articles written in 2017, football articles written in 2017 and those articles I wrote in 2017? Category:acagastya (Wikinewsie) will provide the list of articles I wrote (except ComicCon article). Category:Football (soccer) will give you the list of football articles and you need to check for each month and add it to know how many articles were published this year. Example: WN:2017/December.
•–• 17:19, 12 December 2017 (UTC)
Ok here is one of my proposals: Reviewers should not be gaining unfair advantage by rejecting other reporter's stories so their their own stories move up in the queue. Ottawahitech (talk) 14:54, 14 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
@Ottawahitech: I'll be brutally honest. That proposal makes no sense, and as a good-faith proposal seems to result from lack of comprehension of the project. Contributors who know what they're doing are the ones who may eventually become reviewers; and then once they're reviewers you want to forbid them to contribute? We would then limit ourselves to contributors who don't know what they're doing. Or are you thinking that articles on the review queue (granted, we call it a "queue", which is misleading terminology) are supposed to be processed in order of submission? They aren't necessarily processed in that order; sometimes it even makes more sense to process them most recent submission first.

We need contributors who know how to produce material that's substantially up to our standards; that makes reviewing vastly easier and more effective, as the reviewer then mostly only has to double-check that, yes, everything is just fine. It's nerve-wracking, time-consuming, and exhausting to deal with material that's not up to snuff, but we gladly do it again and again; we like to help enthusiastic, good-willed newcomers learn the ropes — and it's the only way we can help inexperienced users to become veteran Wikinewsies who do know what they're doing and can pretty consistently write articles that are vastly easier to review. However, there are two very different sorts of reactions we get, broadly speaking. Some users grasp that the objective is to produce vetted output, and they respond to our feedback by continually striving to improve. It's very rewarding to work with folks with such a positive attitude. Then there are users who see review as an obstacle to them getting their (presumably, intrinsically superior) work published, and respond to feedback by arguing and complaining about it; we try to help them too, and somethings they eventually straighten out and become excellent Wikinewsies, but alas sometimes they only end up complaining ever-more-bitterly and eventually make proposals such as "let's do a soft close of the project". --Pi zero (talk) 18:10, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Review-before vs. instant-unpublish: examples of alternative models[edit]

When Wikinews first began the review process was much as it is now: the mainstream model of single-authored articles submitted and reviewed by a limited number of editors. This model failed to scale during a world-wide news event. A different model was established in which articles could be self-published on the understanding that anyone could instantly unpublish the articles.

There were strong arguments against that model - spam, misinformation, bias - but the strongest argument against it at the time was Google News refused to carry content which did not have editorial oversight. Nonetheless, en.WN contributors continued with the instant-unpublish model for 18 months, and showed slow but steady growth due in large part, in my opinion, to the instant gratification of users seeing their article published in a timely fashion. With the fast-publish model more minor errors exist in published articles, encouraging new contributors to 'fix' them, and again giving them instant feedback of seeing their changes live.

But pre-publishing review crept back in, and was re-established as policy.

Google and main stream news media have abandoned/strongly limited the pre-publish review model, just as they have nearly eliminated copy editors and fact checkers. en.WN rate of published articles has steadily declined over a decade under the pre-publish review model.

These two are not the only citizen journalism models, but they represent two extremes. I believe the community should talk about changing the current model which has manifestly failed - again. Shake things up, find a new way. - Amgine | t 21:33, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Hi Amgine. You haven't changed your position on the thing we disagree about, I see. Your account of history, I have some doubts about, but since I wasn't present for that part, I'll merely note that I don't actually trust your version of it to be seen through unbiased eyes. The part about "manifestly failed" is, of course, bullshit.

The need for a venue that melds the vet-before-publication ethic of news with the contribution-by-The-People ethic of wikis, which is what we do here, is desperately needed in these times of opinion-based worldview and rampant lying by fiction outlets calling themselves news. The lack of vetting in social media and Wikipedia has only grown more severe over the years, and attempting to resurrect your don't-vet-first ideology on Wikinews now, when vetting is most desperately needed in the world... well. I'll stop short of what I'm really thinking about that, and merely say it shows very poor judgement on your part. --Pi zero (talk) 22:05, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

Luckily this is a Mediwiki-based project. I believe you will find that May 2006 - a few months after I had accepted to do Wikimania and so was stepping away from the project - was the watershed of articles published per day and contributor activity. The stats are readily measured. I prefer hard facts. (Also note: that watershed was likely due the writing competition others had organized and were pursuing without my involvement, which is as it should be.)
As for your opinion of how things should be done by the community, I am in favour of your expressing - and acting - on it. But it is your opinion. While the free-for-all we had for a time was productive, it was not always fun and probably would not have the same outcomes today. That is why I think new contributors should take the reins of this discussion, the currently active should be talking about what can be done to increase article churn. I mean, my opinion is people writing should create the norms, but it is only my opinion. - Amgine | t 22:43, 14 December 2017 (UTC)
2006 doesn't strike me as relevant to the history, but I also doubt the history you're interpreting is relevant, in which case arguing about it is wasteful (though admittedly most of this thread is wasteful). Note, Wikinewsies who write articles are not driving this thread; I don't like to be unnecessarily harsh toward OTH (whom I've not yet given up hope for), but this thread is being driven by a (very human) impulse to destroy rules in order to avoid learning them, an impulse that ultimately cannot coexist with anything more credible than an unvetted blog. The world doesn't need more unvetted blogs (well... that was true yesterday, at least; what damage today's net neutrality thing will do remains to be seen; but blogging is not a wikimedia function, and is absolutely not news). --Pi zero (talk) 00:30, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
In short: shut up and follow the rules. No. But you should be aware that June/July 2006 was when pre-publication review became policy again. - Amgine | t 00:39, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with your characterization of what I said. I suspect it's based on what you expect to hear, rather than what I said; that does happen, especially when two people already have a long history of disagreeing vehemently. Though our long failure to find common ground on this issue saddens me; still, sad or not, there it is. I could almost imagine a very pleasant, and interesting, and ultimately profitable exploration of the issues in which we come to a clear understanding of the overall landscape of the issues and find that both our views fit into a unified view... but I don't really believe anymore that we could get there, even though the destination might exist. --Pi zero (talk) 01:14, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
That's a very nice thought. But what I would like to hear is neither you, nor myself, but the opinions of people who have not been around so long they have lost perspective. - Amgine | t 01:20, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
Long experience does not necessarily cause loss of perspective. Nor does lack of experience confer understanding. --Pi zero (talk) 01:42, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
My opinion: reviewing articles before publishing them is a good system as such. But with the currently very low number of reviewers active here now who are solely authorized to approve, it surely does not work the way it should. The only effect now is that almost nobody can actually publish an article because it becomes stale before having passed the review, except for the reviewers themselves (who, in addition, mainly choose subjects they have written themselves to be published on the main page). De Wikischim (talk) 08:47, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
we write what interests us. And no matter what we write about; if it is published, it appears in the main page. I have no clue what you mean by “mainly choose subjects they have written themselves” — we have strict policy against self publishing. (talk) 09:06, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, I thought user:Acagastya was a reviewer too - perhaps I was wrong, sorry in that case. Almost all the articles which appear now on the main page are about football - so according to the English Wikinews, football is the only important thing for a news site to report about. In the meantime, all kinds of other news items are fully ignored, or they have been written but the articles have been disapproved by the reviewer. To be honest, this annoys me somewhat. De Wikischim (talk) 09:36, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
I write what interests me. I write football news and it is news. You can’t not ready it for being a football articles. I have written articles on other topic. I remember the time when I wrote an article about a eighth grade girl who was raped on Indian Independence Day and asked Dutch Wikinewsies to translate it. They said it was not news. So don’t tell me what is news and what is not. If you want to see the articles which I wrote and are not about football, see the <DynamicPageList> category =acagastya (Wikinewsie) notcategory=Football (soccer) </DynamicPageList> Tell me, did you or your home Wikinews write about it? Tell me, weren’t they newsworthy? (talk) 09:51, 15 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: Some of your remarks might be explained by some misunderstanding about how en.wn review works. I'm not sure what misunderstanding, though. A couple of quick thoughts.
  • Reviewers are volunteers, just like all other contributors here except that they've earned the community's trust to wield the review bit — a very high level of trust, indeed. Reviewers are not allowed to review an article they're involved with; basically, we aren't allowed to be a coauthor of an article we review; which is why when a reviewer reviews an article, they avoid making big changes so as not to disqualify themselves from reviewing that article. Reviewer is given only to contributors who are trusted not to abuse it and trusted to deeply grok our policies and practices. It's fairly predictable that articles written by reviewers are going to pass review smoothly because the writer knows how to meet our standards, and if that were no so they would not have been given the review bit.
  • We don't just say "no, that's not acceptable"; when not-ready'ing an article for reasons that might not be fully understood by the reporter, we try to write helpful review comments (taking extra time and effort to do so). For example, the last time I reviewed an article of yours, I wrote an extensive review comment trying to help you particularly with our concept of focus, which seemed to be giving you some trouble.
--Pi zero (talk) 14:14, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

Update Dec 17, 2017: 4 out of 5 articles on the front page were still written by agastya ( 2 football)[edit]

On the front page started by agastya (who goes by different IDs and IPs):

(another article: England: Baby born with heart outside body operated on; surviving, three weeks after birth was started by User:Yngvadottir — congratulations

Meanwhile there are now Five articles queued in Review:

most if not all are already stale. Ottawahitech (talk) 12:01, 17 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
If I may add something: I find it rather shocking that an evident spelling error in one of the titles named above (acqusition) still appearsappeared on the main page without being corrected. So this is apparently not a serious issue, while all kinds of articles written by others than Acagastya are rejected for all kinds of far-fetched reasons? De Wikischim (talk) 17:17, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
I'd thank you for pointing out the spelling error, but you clearly didn't mean to improve anything or you would have gone about it differently. --Pi zero (talk) 18:02, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
OK, next time I won't notify you again about no matter what blatant spelling error. And do you really think it isn't my intention to improve anything? Did you have a honest look at my earlier contributions? De Wikischim (talk) 19:22, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: If you were really trying to improve things in this case, I apologize. To be clear, though, I doubted your intentions in this particular case because your remark was hedged with snideness/trolling about core en.wn policies whose underlying principles and journalistic values are, for whatever reason, apparently not visible to you. --Pi zero (talk) 20:07, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
So you didn't even notice that I already made this remark earlier today, only to conclude a number of hours later that the same spelling error was still there on the very prominent place? By the way, I'd advise you to be very thrifty with using qualifications such as "trolling". Only if someone's a real troll, it is justifiable to call him that way. De Wikischim (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: Indeed, the first I knew that you had made that remark on the article talk page was when I saw your revert of it in RecentChanges. Unfortunately, it's extremely easy for remarks on article talk pages, such as that, to go unnoticed. A suggestion: The most effective way to get a remark like that noticed is to {{ping}} someone (if you know who to ping), a lesson I've learned the hard way myself; another approach in this case would be to use {{editprotected}} on the talk-page request, which would not necessarily get it noticed quickly, but at least it would go on a queue so would not slip through the cracks entirely.

I don't wish to let your objection to the "snideness/trolling" description go unremarked, but note it would be amazingly easy to just make things worse. I consider "snideness/trolling" a lesser gradation than "trolling" (which in turn would be marginally lesser than calling someone a "troll"); but I think if you look honestly at things you've said in this thread you'll find there's a tinge of trolling there, and you may find that eliminating that tinge from your commenting style can improve the general atmosphere of discussions in which you take part. --Pi zero (talk) 21:09, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

My suggestion would be to just fix it, rather than notify anyone about it. I understand wanting to highlight what appears to be different standards, but that is actually a form of disrupting to make a point. - Amgine | t 22:47, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
@Amgine: Although it's a good thought, in this case, alas, they would be unable to fix it, as lately we've found it advisable to fully protect published articles against moving, due to page-move vandalism. So they really would need to request the article be moved. --Pi zero (talk) 23:09, 17 December 2017 (UTC)
@Amgine:; if I could have fixed that error myself yesterday, I surely would have done so. Unfortunately you use the fact that I couldn't as an argument to disparage my intentions. De Wikischim (talk) 09:06, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
Actually, you cannot rename a page after it is published because of the page protection settings. Only an admin can do that. (talk) 09:15, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
De Wikischim: No disparagement was intended; in fact I was taking issue with Pi Zero's response because of course I had assumed, on a wiki where it is easier to repair vandalism than to commit it, that at most an article would be partially protected to allow community members to address these kinds of minor errors. It appears I was mistaken, and for that I apologize. - Amgine | t 18:00, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
If the consequences of page-move vandalism to published articles here were as trivial as you suggest, we certainly wouldn't fully protect against moves. --Pi zero (talk) 20:59, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
For an admin I believe it is three clicks with the move over redirect. For a user, one page move, (at least) one search, one c/p and a click. Of course to *do* the page move vandalism requires creating an account and waiting, iirc 5 days, then two clicks and typing/pasting a new title. But I may be mistaken; I am out of practice. - Amgine | t 21:23, 18 December 2017 (UTC)
I said consequences; nothing to do with how many clicks it takes, afterward, to restore the wiki to its previous state. (In fairness, btw, you should probably throw in a few more clicks to block the vandal, as part of the overall mop-up operation.) --Pi zero (talk) 22:48, 18 December 2017 (UTC)

Update Dec 20, 2017: 4 out of 5 articles on the front page were still written by agastya ( 2 football)[edit]

The front page of wikinews still carries the same articles that it did when I last reported here. The oldest article on that page has a "focal date" of Friday, December 8, 2017. It was written by agastya.

There are two articles waiting for Review now, both with a "focal date" of December 18, 2017:

Presumably all articles waiting in the Review queue when I last reported here have been rejected(?):

Ottawahitech (talk) 15:06, 20 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
If I were you, I would try to improve and write a better article, submit it for review and divorce it. That is the key, not these statistics. (talk) 06:28, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
@ …and if I were you I would stop giving advice to people I know little about.
Why try to write articles here when rules are made up on the fly and not by established policy? Take for example: Talk:African Lives Matter stages protests in Westminster London (which will soon be deleted) where tells user:De Wikischim that two independent sources published within the last three days are required, and directs readers to: source. Anyone heading over to read this official policy will discover that it contains no such information. Ottawahitech (talk) 13:39, 21 December 2017 (UTC) Please ping me
I don't think that's the page to find that particular aspect of policy on. Our policies and practices evolve very slowly, following underlying core principles, but documenting them also lags behind — it took us many years of thought and hands-on experience punctuated by community discussions before we produced our WN:Newsworthiness page, for instance. Lagging documentation is a familiar pattern (so I'm told) for small news orgs, which tend to put their time into doing rather than writing about what they do. Atm a good place to start looking for description of current policies and best practices, other than of course asking an active reviewer, is WN:PILLARS. --Pi zero (talk) 14:01, 21 December 2017 (UTC)
@Ottawahitech: first of all, pings would not work for non registered users. Secondly, if you had read WN:SOURCE, it says: “Multiple independent sources are usually required…”, and article in question is not an OR to bypass this rule. (talk) 14:58, 21 December 2017 (UTC)


Graphs aren't needed for every news article, but for certain articles, a graph can offer valuable visual piece of information. Now, for articles like Belgium stops telegram services, I sketched a graph using chartjs, and saved the output in a .png file, and used it for the article. But I made a few mistakes, you can see in the file history. File:Telegram Belgium usage.png This is not the best way to handle graphs. How do we handle graphs. I know there is a graph extension enabled on English Wikibooks, but the output of it is not aesthetically pleasing. Of course, something is better than nothing, but how about ChartJS? By the way, output of chartJS is way better than that of Extension:Graph. There should be a way to deal with the charts. Right?
•–• 15:12, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

The disadvantage is it would not show output when JS is disabled in the browser. We can use the .png file to save the back when JS is disabled.
•–• 15:12, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

Have you yet thought/talked about using WikiTribune?[edit]

I would wish I had more time. I would have translated articles from WikiTribune more often for my home nl.wikinews. It's just a matter of writing policy for those articles, i.e. in fact accepting cc-by-sa for them. The quality is very good, they have yet been reviewed, and it's an initiative of Jimmy Wales propper. It brings me to my question: Have you yet thought/talked about using WikiTribune? For this English version, it's just a matter of copy-paste, and a means to attract people: new readers and -not unimportantly- writers. It might be the thing this project very much needs. See the feed here. Ymnes (talk) 20:07, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Even if we considered it a trust-worthy source (which we don't and probably won't), we don't republish material from elsewhere. We aren't here to promote a competing site, even if it weren't for-profit. --Pi zero (talk) 20:22, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
There is no promotion of another site at stake at all. I'm talking about mutual strenght and en.wikinews needs that very much. For many experts 'security of continuation' is the most important goal in organizational theory. There is change needed here, I don't know if you have observed that yet. Ymnes (talk) 20:46, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
Nothing against you, but there is no mutual strength involved. WikiTribune is an entirely different sort of project, for-profit, that was undertaken by Jimmy Wales without even notifying Wikinews ahead-of-time let alone tapping our local expertise for advice on what does and doesn't work. Also, with what Wikinews is, we could not possibly import WikiTribune material wholesale; nothing to do with licensing, it's a matter of procedure — as I mentioned, we're not here to promote someone else's output, even if they weren't for-profit. It's also doubtful we could even use WikiTribune as a source.

Regarding the need for change at Wikinews. When Wikinews was forked some time back (well, it was called a fork, though they didn't copy our article archives), one thing both groups agreed on — those that left and those that stayed — was that the difficulty of review was a problem that needed to be addressed. They addressed it one way, which didn't work out for them; I have an alternative approach in mind (cf. yonder). --Pi zero (talk) 22:58, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Not even five weeks into publishing “news,” that website started publishing articles which did not meet “newsworthiness” or “neutrality” needed for this project. -- (talk) 00:05, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
And the licenses are not compatible. Wikinews text does not have "attribution" clause. --2605:3E80:700:10:0:0:0:320F (talk) 02:47, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Of course Wikinews has an "attribution" clause, in any article where-ever you want it. Under each page you can read the following license: "under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License, unless otherwise specified." (I repeat; "unless otherwise specified", that's why I mentioned "It's just a matter of a writing policy for those articles") It's not a matter that you can't, it's a choice, and after my opinion a huge opportunity. It's the same founder so it will nearly not lead to suspicion or wrong thoughts. It's just a needed to get rid of old habits and unproductive beliefs and to adopt a future that brings you further with this project. Ymnes (talk) 12:52, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
smh. Wales co-founded Wikia and Wikipedia, but the aims are totally different. WikiTribune's articles are decided by their supporters, and journalists are paid. At times, they write something that is not news, or something that is not neutral. Their license is CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikinews uses CC BY 2.5 There is no Share-Alike attribution clause. Extract from Creative Commons CC BY "lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation." CC BY-SA "lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms." Just like how Wikipedia's content can not be reused on Wikinews, this can also not happen. And if you really want to increase the numbers of articles written, why don't you translate articles from Voice of America, the text is available under public domain. You can set up a bot to do that. Translating will increase the output, but it would decrease user's interest to write since a bot can do more than what a human can do, without complaining. Do you want a separate identity, or want to be called a WikiTribune/VoA mirror? (talk) 13:07, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Why do you write so much text about the licence again??? What a nonsense... I repeat for the 3RD time: "unless otherwise specified"! I cannot talk when nothing of what I wrote has been read seriously. Don't see the limits, go for the opportunities. That should have been done much earlier. Ymnes (talk) 13:14, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

Cuz license iz a just bullshit.

Please be serious. The license is no problem, it can be solved easily with new policy for WT articles. (VOA is a totally other organisation) And people keep on writing articles here, when extra articles from WT are being inserted here. It's actually on the contrary: as soon as this project is a success again, more people like to be a part of it. Ymnes (talk) 13:28, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Afaict you have missed several important points that I have made, none of which have anything to do with license (lest there be any misunderstanding, all of my remarks here have been through my primary registered account; IP remarks here are not from me). Since I have stated these points already, and got no indication that they were even misunderstood (the impression was more that they were overlooked), I fear that if I tried to repeat myself, my effort would be for naught. --Pi zero (talk) 13:56, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I missed a point. The contrary is actually what is going on. I don't think this is a place were new ideas land or grow easily. People really seem to think they can read my mind, but forget what I wrote down in text. That is not how exchanging opinions work imho. Yesterday you said that I don't know what initiatives you have underway here. Can you tell what plans en.wikinews has to be save for the future and get back activity here? Are you prepared to change your stance to what news must be according to rules here? Cooperation (which is very much different from competition that you wrote on my talk page) with WT seems not to be in your minds because you made rules that they should obey to. I wouldn't have obeyed to them either, because a project needs to be active. What are the plans then for the future here? Ymnes (talk) 17:41, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

This discussion is the first I ever heard of WikiTribune. As such, I am looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes (bloodshot as they may be). Immediately upon launch, WikiTribune saw some heavy criticism, such as "The Problem With WikiTribune". Nonetheless, they'd probably say many of the same things about Wikinews, so I took a look at their archive of articles. These are some of the problems I see:

  • Lack of editorial control: Although they have a few professional journalists with actual degrees in journalism, they seem to be able to publish with just one contributor to the article.
  • Lack of stable versions: In some instances, articles continued to be changed and updated up to a month after initial publication
  • Synthesis articles: Like Wikinews, a lot of their articles are synthesis articles, but with the sources as embedded links and not listed below as sources in Wikinews style, nor as citations in Wikipedia style. How do we know they use reliable sources? In some cases, they appear to use Twitter as a source (not sure if it was just for quotes or for facts).
  • Other embedded links: I also found embedded links to products for sale on
  • Opinion pieces: They also seem to carry a bunch of articles which are much like Op/Ed pieces editorializing in newspapers. This has long been seen as a gross violation of WN:NPOV.

These are my initial concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 19:34, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

There is a lot of misdirection and grumbling here. Simply put, we absolutely could use WikiTribune in two ways: we could entirely port over material from that site to this one because the license allows for it and we could cite it as a source. The idea behind the former is one that I have also floated here. It turns out that the Serbian Wikinews had a similar experiment where they cross-posted free news from other sources and it actually saw a decline in the usage of and editing at their site. That may not be a foolproof example but it's a good cautionary tale. (See more here: m:User:LauraHale/Wikinews Content Import Analysis.) The second option of citing WikiTribune is entirely legitimate: they are a professional news service and have credibility. I think your idea is not bad in principle and it's unfortunate to see a kind of knee-jerk reaction against it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:23, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Hi, koavf. Regarding use of WT as a source, from the first announcement of WT we here doubted whether we would find it acceptable, and thus far nothing has improved our confidence in it, so atm we probably (in any given specific situation) wouldn't accept it as a source.

(Tbh, it's not knee-jerk as I understand the term. It's not that we are rejecting-without-consideration new ideas we don't want to hear, but that we have already considered and rejected old ideas. I admit I'd rather be putting my energy into tackling state-of-the-art challenges than revisiting things we already figured out don't work.) --Pi zero (talk) 04:52, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

(edit conflict)No, the licenses are not compatible. Wikinews can not import it. Moreover, there are concerns about its credibility. Breitbart claims to be professional news service, but they are not credible. (talk) 04:56, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
IP, that's a garbage assertion: Wikinews is CC BY and WikiTribune is CC BY. There are no logistical or legal concerns with integrating 2.5 and 4.0 material. That's frankly a crock. And the journalists at WikiTribune are credible. Do you have any actual reason to think they aren't? Anything fraudulent or any hoaxes perpetrated? Honestly, that's just petty revanchism. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:58, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

@Koavf: From Wikitribune’ TnC “Text to which you hold the copyright: When you submit text to which you hold the copyright, you agree to license it under 1. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (“CC BY-SA”)” BY-SA can not be used on BY projects. (talk) 09:02, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Good point. To be fair, I was looking at the legal FAQ which says that all content is CC BY. Obviously, this is a serious problem on their end. And, strictly speaking, we certainly could have BY-SA content here, just marked accordingly. E.g. we have fair use pictures and those aren't free at all. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:28, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Fair Use image has nothing to do with this case because if you read the footer, "All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License[...]Copyright on images may vary, please check individual image pages prior to duplication." That case is totally taken care of. And per WMF's Terms of Use Wikinews' text has to be under CC BY. And allowing some articles on main space with different license will just add confusion and will be troublesome -- Wikinews should avoid mixing of licenses. (talk) 12:32, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
If you actually look at the footer on every page, it reads (emphasis added): "All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License, unless otherwise specified." There can be (and is!) content on here in the public domain, for instance. It would be trivial to add BY-SA content and just mark it as such. (ND, NC, or fully copyrited would be a different story, tho.) Having content with multiple licenses may be desirable or not, I'm honestly not sure but again, you're making bald assertions which are simply baseless. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:17, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Additionally, the Terms of Use were written as such in response to the locally-determined license—they aren't obligatory on us. We can choose to change them any time we want or for any document we want. Again, a radically different license like NC or ND would maybe have some legal implication or actually be disallowed but there is literally nothing stopping us from having all the BY-SA 4.0 content we want as of tomorrow. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:19, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: You stated: The second option of citing WikiTribune is entirely legitimate: they are a professional news service and have credibility. On what basis do you make the claim, WT has credibility? Would you say the same about Breitbart News if they released their stuff under a compatible license? --SVTCobra 18:50, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: They have a professional staff with experience, cite reliable sources, and have an editorial process (i.e. they aren't a self-publishing platform). Additionally—as far as I'm aware—they haven't posted any hoaxes, fraud, or sensationalism. The same cannot be said of (e.g.) Breitbart. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Professional staff: Breitbart has many times the number of professional journalists (with degrees) that WT does. Reliable sources: The link you gave me showed that they consider Buzzfeed and Rappler sources of "hard news". Really? What is their editorial process? I have seen articles that only one person edited. Not even a single letter needed to be changed? ... I am obviously using Breitbart as a devil's advocate example, but I am hoping it illustrates my point. But let's flip it. Should Wikinews import Buzzfeed stories if they were under a free license? Also, Justin, you didn't directly answer my questions, nor address my above bullet-pointed concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:54, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Buzzfeed has actually published several excellent pieces of investigative journalism. They also have sheer garbage listicles. I'll flip it as well: what in principle would convince you that (e.g.) WikiTribune were credible? And as I pointed out, Breitbart has published things which we know aren't true and they aren't committed to actual journalism anyway, so no, I would not be in favor of rehosting their content. Having degrees is neither necessary nor sufficient, nor did I say it was, so you need ot explain what your point is. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:59, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Breitbart has also published investigative journalism. My main point is that they are both extremely biased. And all three, WT, BF and Bb, are all too small to be sources for general news; they don't have the manpower. Besides the odd investigative piece, they are mostly keyboard journalists like Wikinews. Look at Buzzfeed's top story today about the US Ambassador to Netherlands. It is written entirely using Twitter and YouTube a sources. WikiTribune considers Buzzfeed a source of hard facts, so they might write a story from that. So we have source material that can be questionable, filtered by a news group with a definite POV, then filtered by a news group that purports to be fact based and neutral but has a track-record of less than a year. And we are just going to assume all is good? Personally, I am not comfortable with that. And no one has yet explained to me what WT's editorial oversight is. And what about their lack of stable versions? How do we avoid their opinion pieces? And I don't think we can assume NPOV at WikiTribune. Mr. Wales is an opinionated man. A for-profit news organization which does not have advertisements, does not have reader subscriptions, but is reliant on donations is ripe for a large donor POV. What if the Koch brothers dangled a large donation for favorable coverage of the oil industry? Nobody would know. At least we know who steers the POV at Fox News. What would it take? Well, solving some of the editorial concerns I have; a longer track record; perhaps getting accepted as a reliable source at Wikipedia. --SVTCobra 14:21, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Stable versions may also be a sign that the news website does give floor to improvements. One can have a different opinion on wanting them, but it's simply not true that a stable version is reflecting the truth better. When the example of ambassador Hoekstra is concerned (I happen to be Dutch), his appearance is a disgrace for the fact that one of the most powerful countries in the world is sending such a liar to our country. We don't have no go zones - Mr. Hoekstra should visit the big cities in the USA to find them. And no-one was burned at all in our country: no minister, no politician, no-one. So tell me where the bias is in the story of Buzzfeed, when they used televised material. I follow the news very closely from more channels and newspapers. There's nothing untrue in the story and Mr. Hoekstra didn't take his responsibility to answer to journalists. Dear SVTCobra, your story is rather weak. It's POV too. Ymnes (talk) 17:08, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: What is this hard perspective or bias you see in WikiTribune? You're alleging this as tho 1.) it's basically understood (which is true of Breitbart, of course) or 2.) you have some evidence. I don't see what the bias is or is supposed to be. But even if it were biased, I disagree that the news should be or has to be neutral but factual and comprehensive. What passes for "neutrality" or a "view from nowhere" is often just false balance and gives a platform to lunatic fringe theories as tho they are somehow equivalent to the truth. Questions about how we vet sources or avoid (unnecessary/distracting/biased) opinion are very good fundamental questions but I don't see how they particularly relate to WikiTribune. E.g. if they cite a BuzzFeed claim and that claim is incorrect, then that is a good reason to find them less credible. Do you have any evidence of that or is this just some hand-wringing and hypotheticals? Keep in mind, I'm not opposed to the philosophical discussion about what constitutes truth and how can it be known but I'm still not seeing what the exact problem is in this case. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:22, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Oh, and re: them being too small, sure but so is ProPublica and they do excellent longform investigative pieces. See also the Center for Public Integrity or The Christian Science Monitor etc. etc. There are many small but citeable news outfits. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:24, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: For what it's worth, my questions weren't rhetorical. You're free to not respond, of course but I want to resurface that those were legitimate questions. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:22, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: OK. Do you really think it is a fair comparison? CS Monitor and ProPublica may be on the small side of things, but each has over 50 full-time journalists. WikiTribune has what? 5? CS Monitor has a 110 year history, Probublica 10 years. WT: 9 months. CS Monitor has won 7 Pulitzer prizes, ProPublica 4, compared to none, of course, for WT. ProPublica is not in the business of publishing general news, they do specific investigations which are then published in much larger outlets. CS Monitor also has a narrow focus, though it does its own publishing. Are you now going to show me the same courtesy and answer some of my questions? Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:53, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: To be clear, I am not alleging bias. I am merely pointing out the potential for bias. How does Wikinews prevent that from seeping in, should it become a problem. WT seems to encourage anyone to write for them and if the writer 'witnessed' an event, their word is good, as far as I can see from this: How to write a piece of journalism for WikiTribune. It does not mention anything about editorial oversight. If WT saw a huge number of anonymous volunteers would their editors be overwhelmed and all kinds of stuff published? I think these are legitimate concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:05, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: I did answer your questions--what remains? Yes, I agree that WikiTribune does not have the pedigree of ProPublica or The Christian Science Monitor (obviously, no news outfit which is a few months old could). My concern is that there is some prejudice against them preemptively and to thinking about this critically. I would be concerned if I saw the site publishing pieces which are not newsworthy but again, I haven't seen that. Has anyone here actually seen WikiTribune publish something bad, slanted, etc.? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:30, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Well that's the whole assume good faith vs. never assume philosophy. This thread is getting very long, but I am pretty sure, nobody explained to me what editorial oversight there is at WikiTribune. Look at this article. One editor and published as "under construction". Who (if anyone) checked Peter Bale's work? Nine months isn't even enough time to build up a reputation to get Sysop rights on Wikinews, and even Sysops can't self-publish. But you just want to open the door to WikiTribune and assume the best. Why do you assume the best? There are lots of other websites that publish with open licenses. There was once an effort to accept VOA news which are published in the public domain. They have hundreds of journalists and a 75 year track record, yet it was declined here. --SVTCobra 22:45, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Because VOA's interests are primarily in being a propaganda arm of the United States but the interests of WikiTribune are to combat fake news. So we are on the same page in our mission. And Wikinews has been on life support basically as long as it has existed, so I want to make it stronger. If that means somehow working with another news outlet or having radical solutions to the problems of why this site doesn't function, then I am open. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:54, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Another way of wording it, VOA's mission is to combat fake news in repressive regimes and dictatorships where there is no free press. VOA is, however, very fact-based. They of course rarely speak evil of US foreign policy and they are pro-democracy. I don't know when they have been caught getting actual facts wrong. VOA's main controversies involve the US gov't been unhappy with their editorial independence and they have won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Now, will someone please explain to me how WikiTribune has a good editorial oversight? That Peter Bale article is just trash. I could have written a better one in 5 minutes. --SVTCobra 23:08, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Shots fired. (BTW, WT has review model, and so does eswn, yet many articles I translated were published with serious factual errors due to machine translation) — (talk) 19:44, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • @Ymnes: I have skimmed some of the pages of WikiTribune and have some questions about your suggestions. As I understand it, and please correct me if I have misunderstood, you are proposing to import some articles from there into English Wikinews.
  1. If these are not recent articles, would they become a sort of "archive" of WT work?
  2. If the articles overlap with or duplicate some content already here, what would be done with the imported content?
  3. Would these articles have to undergo the English WN review process (or more likely a modified version of it) i.e. what would be the quality control process?
  4. Do you have a draft policy or suggestions for such a policy?
That's for the community here to decide. I'm working on Dutch Wikinews, and we must translate them first. We have different rules as well. We don't understand why en.wikinews doesn't work like Wikipedia (without reviewing beforehand). News is getting old very quickly, so a review is disturbing the goal of the site. This weekend an article was written on nl.wikinews that I didn't trust: I took it out of the publication, we discussed it, and afterwards it was republished. It's more practical to work that way. Good articles are lost here, because of the procedures.
Having said that, if it were me to decide what would be best here, I would answer:
  1. I would start with the process on a certain moment and forget all the old articles;
  2. When an article has an overlap with a recent article here, give the credits to the writer here and forget the WT one;
  3. There's no need to review a fact checked article. Especially with WT articles an extra review is too much;
  4. Today I happen to have translated the first article from WT. I made a banner that states the correct license for this article (CC-BY-SA 3.0, which is an exception to the standard license) and that mentions the source with a link to WT. You can find the banner in this article (the banner is at the bottom in grey background).
Good luck! Ymnes (talk) 19:47, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Opinion page comment indicator[edit]

We're probably missing out on a lot of cool discussions simply because there's no way to tell if anyone has commented on a given opinion page. Yes, the tab appears red if the page hasn't been created yet, but created with comments and created but empty appear identical. Yeah, "Well you could just put it on your watchlist," but that only works proactively. If I just happened to be clicking into an article about something I didn't really care about and happened to see there were comments on it, I'd be more likely to participate. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:42, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

You would get "New Messages" on the top right panel if someone comments on the article you have created [which is also in your watchlist by default]. I know that does not help, but you should know.
2605:3E80:700:10:0:0:0:320F (talk) 02:46, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Actually there's a bug somewhere; I've been creating articles using the button in the welcome template on my talk page, and none of them have been created with "Watch this article" checked; I had to manually watchlist the older ones. Yngvadottir (talk) 04:12, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
That's curious; first I'd heard of such a bug. --Pi zero (talk) 05:25, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Yngvadottir: at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist, do you have " Add pages I create and files I upload to my watchlist " checked? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:57, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
No, I didn't - and I had watchlist threads I start checked? I don't recall messing with those settings at all: all I generally do is select Monobook and shitcan the Media Viewer, so I'm thinking those were the default settings here for some reason, but thanks for the tip. Yngvadottir (talk) 08:17, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Missing authoring and reviewing tools at the site[edit]

I've documented a few missing website features at User:Gryllida/Tasks. Tasks are presented in an arbitrary order, followed by an order in which they may be implemented in phases. Is this good? What tasks can be added or rearranged? Gryllida (talk, chat) 02:23, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Some perspective re dialog tools going forward: User:Pi zero/essays/vision/dialog. --Pi zero (talk) 00:03, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Source question[edit]

Someone wrote an article on Dutch Wikinews with Irish Independent as a source. Does someone know if that is viewed as a trustworthy source? (in general) Someone else added information from the BBC and that news site is more cautious in stating whether Jessica Falkholt has died yet. According to the last article her situation is critical but she didn't die yet. That is Friday, where II takes the conclusion that she has passed away yet.

It may be a minor mistake of a quality newspaper, I don't know that. Because it is written in English language I hope someone knows how to estimate Irish Independent as a source? Ymnes (talk) 17:01, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

@Ymnes: Irish Independent should be considered a reliable source. It is the largest newspaper in Ireland. That being said, articles about actresses in Australia is a bit outside where they have journalists on the ground. They may have made a mistake in thinking that she would pass immediately after life support was turned off. BBC doesn't comment that she's alive or dead. I suggest searching out some Australian news sources. That should clarify things for you.
Irish Independent is normally not even borderline for being considered reliable. If you do come across some true borderline cases w:Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard has a searchable archive for all of the sources that have been evaluated over there. It can be helpful. Cheers, --SVTCobra 17:52, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your quick response! I just wanted to verify this. Just off the record: the largest newspaper in the Netherlands (De Telegraaf) and in Flanders (Het Laatste Nieuws/HLN) are not considered to be very reliable. That's what made me cautious. Thanks! Ymnes (talk) 18:06, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: For my part, I don't remember anything about the Irish Independent, and have no great insight into it specifically; that also means, I haven't heard anything especially bad about it. But, we at en.wn do practice a "two-source rule": we ask for two mutually independent trust-worthy sources corroborating the focal event of a news article. (Common sense applies, of course; two is a minimum, while if one were really suspicious of a story, one would want to be especially sure of it.) In traditional journalism, the two-source rule is all about verification: get two independent sources verifying the story before you run with it. At en.wn our two-source rule contributes to almost all of our review criteria — copyright, newsworthiness, verifiability, neutrality — but even so, verification is still one of those. --Pi zero (talk) 19:51, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning this. At nl.wikinews we have banned the two media I just mentioned. But I'm trying to get more international insight as well. E.g. two British tabloids may lead to a nonsense story as well, as well as Fox in the US. Breitbart is far beyond what we accept. Ymnes (talk) 19:59, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: Yes, I realize tabloids can sometimes be the biggest, but Irish Independent is not considered a tabloid/gossip newspaper. But I found this: The Sydney Morning Herald says she's in critical condition. SMH is considered reliable and they are in the city where she is. In this case, Irish Independent seems to have jumped to conclusions. --SVTCobra 20:14, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
That's indeed what I noticed. The certain writer on nl.wikinews uses Irish Independent a lot as a source. I wanted to be sure that it's just one fault and not a habbit that they had jumped to conclusions. Ymnes (talk) 20:23, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
When I find a piece of news that I want to write about, I might see it first on Yahoo or even social media. If that user reads Irish Independent and gets article ideas from there, but if they don't pertain to Ireland or Europe perhaps the user should be encourage to{{ find sources that are more local to the event or sources that have a proven international presence. If something is happening in Norway, for example, I am not going to use The Dallas Morning News as a source whether or not that's where I read it first. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:36, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

@Ymnes: BBC says she died. They posted less than 1 hour ago. --SVTCobra 03:07, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for notifying! I have added it to the article (fyi we don't apply 'stable' versions, because we believe the project has also an archive function). Ymnes (talk) 17:07, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: As a matter of interest in differing approaches, en.wn is very proud of its archives, a major asset of the project (over twenty thousand articles) which we put much effort into curating — but what we mean by 'archive' is different from what (I think) you mean. We mean our articles to be snapshots in time of what was known when it was fresh; there's no way to judge that later, and neutrality is also lost since observers are biased by knowing what happens later, by evolving ideas about what happened, etc. Curation of our archives involves categorization, occasional slight formatting changes, typo fixes that don't change the meaning, and of course issuing {{correction}}s in the (hopefully very rare) event they're needed; modifying the content of archived articles is anathema, we consider it rewriting history and a violation of our sacred duty as guardians of the truth. --Pi zero (talk) 18:33, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
That is an opinion (pov) that I don't share. I even feel it as an overreaction, but that may be my pov. Ymnes (talk) 18:41, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: I only meant to share some insight into the en.wn approach to these things. To my understanding, nl.wn has an entirely different approach, which is fine, but all the more reason to clarify how the en.wn may be different. --Pi zero (talk) 18:45, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
We try to avoid too many rules, with the goal to be a place where more readers or writers feel free to be there. In some cases, they can be very informing articles whilst they are still news articles and not encyclopedia articles, like here or here. Ymnes (talk) 18:53, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Model Change[edit]

As a WN editor/admin/bureaucrat from a long time ago, I don't know a good number of people here any longer (though some familiar names still surface). However, the things that made WN a less-than-successful environment in the early days continue to persist: namely, the relative lack of (comprehensive) content, difficulty acquiring new long-term contributors (i.e. newbies find it too difficult), and lack of industry appreciation for the goals of WN to produce an open-content NPOV news source. The result is a stale homepage that is best described as a collection of random articles written in newspaper style.

I propose that WN reinvents itself around a different model of how it defines "news". Over the last decade or so, many new ways of news have emerged. First was the WP way of news -- instead of dating articles and writing them in the style of a newspaper, the community collaborates on a single encyclopedic news article. This provides a surprising amount of content that is often a fantastic way of getting information. Second, we have the reddit / twitter way of publishing news -- basically, some community-curated list of links and some discussion/reaction to those news. Third, we have the buzzfeed-style listicles that share the news but abandon newspaper style of presentation in favor of bullet points and illustrations.

I think that the above models are just as ripe for an NPOV & open content treatment as the original newspaper model was. A community-curated list of headlines and short summaries for news events may go a long way to providing context on the news without requiring a long journalistic write-up. We could greatly simplify the model by not requiring pre-publish review if the content is mostly sources (and instead move to a post-publish measure of trust or something), and thus lower the bar for contributions. This may reinvigorate the people that come here. Style wise, I'm thinking something like a larger version of an "in the news" section from en.WP, with more emphasis on comprehensiveness and sources, and basically far less full-length content than now.

Thoughts? -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 16:12, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

I disagree with several basic aspects of what you're saying, which interact at a deep level. You are treating our notion of news as if it were a superficial thing; you are making assumptions about what our purpose here is; and you are making assumptions about the causes of difficulties here. These are all clearly connected; you have to divorce our purpose from the sort of output we produce in order view our notion of news as superficial, you have to treat our notion of news as superficial in order to suppose that our purpose is separate from it, and your view of what the difficulties are is dependent on your assumptions about what our purpose is. (I could imagine trying to write a detailed essay on these issues; in fact, I have considered doing it, but I'd probably have to spend days or weeks on nothing else, might not produce something I was satisfied with by the end of it, and meanwhile would neither support the living project nor make progress on the actual improvements that are underway.)

Wikinews stands for fact-based worldview over opinion-based worldview; that's the essence of our neutrality policy and is deeply entwined with our review process and the fundamental belief that news, as opposed to, say, the output of a blog, is vetted before publication. Notably, the workflow model of Wikipedia, with all its complex mix of strengths and weaknesses for an encyclopedia, is totally unsuited to news production. The world desperately needs this place where people can learn, and practice, fact-based news production. As for what we need, see User:Pi zero/essays/vision/sisters. --Pi zero (talk) 16:34, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

I come to make the above proposal with awareness about our notion of news, and with context of history and not just assumptions -- please recall that I was involved in this site while policies were being formed, and lived through a lot of the same difficulties that appear to exist now. I see the same kind of newbie trouble that was causing us trouble 12 years ago, and the same kind of lack of content that we had back then.
I am suggesting that the concept of WN struggles to produce lots of content, and (your 2-year old essay notwithstanding) little is changing over time. Instead of wishing for things to change, we could redefine the site. I'm proposing some specific ways that could happen -- there is nothing the WN foundational charter that says that we have to produce longform articles, and there are many ways of generating fact-checked short-form summaries that are meaningful and comprehensive. My proposal is to seriously explore those models as they can also be ways of sharing news. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 16:46, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I am aware of what part of the project history you were in on (though I acknowledge that others reading this thread, now or later, might not be, so there is some use is mentioning). It seemed, and frankly still seems, that you're not really aware of the assumptions you're bringing to the table, though the ones I was addressing are visible in your post that I was replying to (and more subtly visible in your followup). Within the rules (which the Foundation doesn't care all that much about anyway, judging by the way they've treated us) we would be allowed to produce output that would have no value to the world, and such that the process of producing it would have no value to the world either; I care passionately that we... not try to do that. It was, in fact, tried, by a "fork" of the project (it was called a "fork", anyway), which failed miserably. --Pi zero (talk) 17:17, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Please let's not pretend that someone knows what someone else is aware of, knows, understands, etc. We're not dumb, and it was said to me here as well (it seems to be a WN habit). The golden rule is that the messenger wasn't clear enough, when the message didn't land. Change is very much needed here, so exchanging ideas and opinions should be facilitated very much. One should not fear the reply, because that's not good for the process and progress. Ymnes (talk) 20:43, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Ymnes, there is circularity in your apparent reasoning, of a sort similar to what I noted in IlyaHaykinson's remarks (although the latter case is perhaps more subtle since IlyaHaykinson is likely to understand the principles of the project better). When you say it "needs" to change, it strains credulity to suppose you would include in that the sort of change we're already laboring to bring about; evidently you want your kind of change, and it's a pretty safe bet you're also using your own notion of how you want the project to work as a criterion for judging "success". Putting all that together (and not meaning to ridicule but rather to clarify the nature of the circularity), one would have: "This project is failing to work the way I want it to, therefore it needs to change in the way I want it to change." --Pi zero (talk) 21:48, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Are you really acting a wizard again that predicts who understands something better than someone else? You can't read minds, sorry for you. When 2 billion people understand English and one views the number of articles written here, than don't blame me saying that change is needed here. I don't tell you how to change. Probably not only the project but also the attitudes here should change. Please be open-minded and don't judge messengers, but react on the message and work on a solution. Please don't give some kind of message that I or others are too dumb too understand that this project can go on without change. Ymnes (talk) 22:28, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I know of nobody here who advocates not changing anything. Nor has anyone accused you of stupidity, that I'm aware of. I'm trying to make rather nuanced points here that I fear may be getting lost due to differing levels of fluency in English (which I've never made any secret is the only language I'm able to converse in at all). My estimations of who likely understands more or less about things are based on the available evidence. --Pi zero (talk) 22:45, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
"I know of nobody ... anyone accused you of stupidity ... I fear ... differing levels of fluency in English" For god sake stop being personally... Ymnes (talk) 23:29, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Please tell me what is not clear in the sentence: "2 billion people understand English" and no-one is here to write articles??? Change something, but don't blame me! User:De Wikischim, User:LIVE NIEUWS and I (the major bees of nl.wikinews) have tried to give an article to en.wikinews. To give one away although we have our own project. Like regular people, that want to give their knowledge away for free, and we (like many others) hardly succeed here... If I believe you, it's all the fault of others, not of the procedures here. Others fault? Others? This is a wiki man! Ymnes (talk) 08:06, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I've observed a high correlation between open hostility toward review, and lack of success publishing here; which makes sense since taking advantage of feedback from review is how one learns about the project and writing for the project, and thereby improves one's success rate. (It follows logically that if someone is hostile toward review, they are less likely to understand the project.) --Pi zero (talk) 13:01, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
In my opinion, Ymnes is 100% right with his critical reaction. The great problem here is that you are practically the only active revisor here (for now at least), so both the approval and publication of every individual news article written by whosoever depend fully on your personal judgment. I hardly believe Wikinews in English will be able to survive if nothing changes. As for my part, I tried for a short time to write some articles here on what I consider to be relevant news items (and with the secondary aim to gain still more writing experience in English) but I've lost my motivation thanks to the (or perhaps rather: your) policy here. --De Wikischim (talk) 17:02, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
It seems unlikely that people are (in general) not reading what I write, but repeated themes here indicate that the things I say are not getting through. When someone with a positive attitude is interested to learn about the project, its strengths and weaknesses, and what can/should be/is being done to improve things here, they'll likely find me pretty easy to draw out. --Pi zero (talk) 17:42, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Pi, can you please refrain from judging the messenger? It's the message...! Ymnes (talk) 20:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The message isn't useful because it isn't backed by cluefulness about en.wn. I don't have to be psychic to know that, I only have to be clueful about en.wn and read the message. And it would pretty surely be a huge waste of time to respond with carefully thought out discussions of ideas, because those being responded to have provided ample evidence that nothing said to them will get through. Alas. --Pi zero (talk) 21:11, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@IlyaHaykinson: I definitely think this is worth exploring. Can you gtell me a little about how things worked when you were active? I had something on the front page in 2005/2006 but then dropped off for several years. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:02, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I think that a 'review' is only necessary when the project is really very large. With a small community it is workable without a review, as a small community (I think) you have to be able to set up a lot more flexibly. WikinewsNL works so well, and we look at each other's articles. Not even by one reviewer but by several people. I don't say it's the best solution for fact-checking, but certainly not the worst. I would also like to see more 'orginal reports' here too, I miss that, because that makes the project a bit more unique. Wikinews has a lot of potential, but the road to it is a bit difficult. --Livenws (talk) 16:26, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I have not sought to criticize nl.wn policies/practices; in fact, I have avoided doing so, as I feel sister projects should not seek to force their views on their siblings. If I were to submit material to nl.wn and were informed it was unacceptable due to differences of local policy, I hope I would not complain about it. I'm happy for nl.wn to continue pursuing its thing, while we continue pursuing ours. I do understand that nl.wn users are enthusiastic about their project, and that's good; enthusiasm is important to a volunteer project. I'm not really inclined, though, to take nl.wn as an exemplar for en.wn. --Pi zero (talk) 16:56, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Original reporting is good. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 17:35, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed! Face-smile.svg- I like to write such articles and usually with some nice pictures.(like this one: [1], it's well sourced also) --Livenws (talk) 22:28, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@LIVE NIEUWS: It looks as if nl.wn and en.wn have different approaches to original reporting (my sense is that this is an area where Wikinewses often differ). I see synthesis sources cited. Is there information in that article that isn't in the cited sources (we would require documentation of the original content, here), or is the original part the images? --Pi zero (talk) 22:44, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero:- An image can serve as a source on our project. I write an article from my personal experience. Then I search for sources from media that cover the information that I wrote. In this specific article (link above), practically everything is covered. With the exception of: "that all buses were jam-packed". Also: I have extracted a number of additional facts from the sources - such as a few figures and a statement from someone -. --Livenws (talk) 00:06, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
<nods>A picture being used as a source seems straightforward to me. For a while I suspected, in reviewing the recent airborne-sedan article, I would have to verify the description of the sedan as "white" from a picture of it (though I subsequently found one of the sources did actually say in text that it was white). --Pi zero (talk) 00:15, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that things worked much better back in the beginning of WN. There were more people involved, and there was a bigger social movement to invent citizen news etc, so there was a lot more experimentation in the early days to establish what this site would be and how it would work. However, the fundamental problems (not enough content creators who stick around; not enough original content; too difficult for newbies to get started) all existed back then and were only possible to deal with due to a much larger number of active editors. I have no problem with the review process -- it standardizes the more informal process we had for the first year or so. In fact, obviously, some review is necessary.
My proposal is that the current model is not working. I don't think there are too many people who look at en.WN and say, wow, what a useful news site. Of all the people here, believe me that I value the output of the community. However, I think that there are other ways of creating value for society through news that also adhere to NPOV and yet solve the problems of getting more involvement. I think the problem is that we expect this site to generate long-form content, and propose that we stop doing so in favor of shorter-form content that requires far less time and trouble to create. Instead of going for a tiny number of long-form articles, we could go for comprehensiveness and to redefine "news" as "things that are happening that are important to surface". This could take the form of even a single paragraph that links back to WN, and yet provide context to the world that is not often seen on other sites. By lowering the bar required to create a long-form article, we could let people with some information about the world contribute more freely. We can then curate, regulate standards without a lot of work, and drive for comprehensiveness. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 06:13, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree and this is really consistent with how many news outlets work: not all of them try to report all things equally and even for a paper of record like The New York Times or a 24-hour news station like CNN, they will still have very small references to news that they can't really devote substantial time to cover (e.g. blurbs in a "World News" section or the scrolling chyron on virtually every mainstream news show). Since it is wildly impractical for Wikinews to be the place where someone goes to actually become informed at the moment, it is much more possible to have a handful of articles, some original reporting, and a decent amount of blurb-based news that points to our sources. In an ideal world, it would be better for Wikinews itself to be comprehensive but that is wildly impractical. Note also that Wikipedia links to Britannica and Wiktionary has references to the Oxford English Dictionary--even if we want to have the best news site, it's not the only one of value and that's especially true for how our model for writing news and having sources works. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:29, 16 January 2018 (UTC)

Proposal for a grant[edit]

I suggest that we submit a quarterly process grant as either an ad hoc group or a reconstituted Wikinewsie Group. This would fund proper channels for communicating with sources including: setting up a Tor-accesible .onion site with SecureDrop, an independent phone number for tips and leads, and reinvigorating the proper Wikinewsie site on the open Web, all to do outreach to whistleblowers and citizen journalists. For what it's worth, I have some experience writing grants. @Bjarki S, Brian McNeil, LauraHale, Pi zero, ProtoplasmaKid: as the members of The Wikinewsie Group on Meta. Thoughts? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:53, 21 January 2018 (UTC)


Executive summary: Although, if anything is attempted in future with the Wikinewsie Group, I would probably wish to continue my involvement in it — and if involved I would do my best to help it succeed — I believe only heartache and misery, and loss of project independence and destruction of news values, would come of asking the Foundation to get more involved in the operation of Wikinews, such as providing grant money or seeking affiliated status.


First, regarding the Foundation's ideological stance on news... I thought, when I first came to Wikinews, the oldtimers here seemed kind of paranoid about the Foundation. After I'd learned some of the history, for a while I used to say the Foundation wouldn't lift a finger to help us, but then the Wikinewsie Group experience went by, and after that I started saying that the Foundation would go out of their way to avoid doing anything that might risk helping us. That seems an inadequate characterization, though. How about this: The Foundation, collectively as an institution, is fundamentally opposed to news values, and afaict always has been. I don't know how to elaborate on that without getting bogged down, but there it is. We can and, I maintain, should move forward within the sisterhood, but we need to avoid letting the Foundation shape our ideology.

Ever since the Wikinewsie Group episode ended, I have been mostly holding my tongue about it, because it simply didn't seem worth raising a fuss over. However, now that you're raising the subject again, I feel I owe you an explanation of where I'm coming from on this. When Laura Hale came here and wanted to try to set up a separate NGO for Wikinews, name chosen The Wikinewsie Group, and apply to the Foundation to grant it affiliated status, en.wn oldtimers were cynical about her chances of success, but we sincerely wished her luck and tried to be generally supportive and not let our cynicism interfere with her efforts. Here's my current understanding of that episode. The Board was just opening up affiliation to thematic groups (rather than just regional ones), and Laura hoped the Wikinewsie Group could be the first thematic group to get affiliation. Part of the purpose of AffCom (Affiliations Committee) is to help insulate affiliation decisions from the politics of the Board of Trustees; and after some months, AffCom came to a decision and recommended granting affiliation to the Wikinewsie Group. And the Board of Trustees said no. (Even the way the Board went about it came across as nefarious, though I don't recall the details off hand.) My immediate reaction was only disappointment; after all, I'd been skeptical of the chances from the start. Maybe I was quite disappointed, because I'd allowed myself to become hopeful with AffCom's recommendation. The Foundation uttered some of what I thought of as disingenuous pious mouthings about how we could do this-that-and-the-other for a while to allay the Foundation's concerns, but I didn't for a moment take any of it seriously; the Foundation had already wasted months of our time and effort on something they would never have seriously considered, and intervened politically — exactly what AffCom was there to avoid — to prevent affiliation, and they would continue to do so if we were silly enough to waste more time and effort trying to satisfy them. Mind, this is when I was only moderately annoyed at them. My feelings got stronger later, because of an epilog. After the superprotect incident I decided to be a bit more visible in the community at Meta, figuring my ideas about how to enhance the sisterhood would do nobody else any good if I didn't share them; and at some point I alluded to my dissatisfaction with the way the Wikinewsie Group thing had come out, which apparently got around and I received a message from a member of the Board, providing reasons for their decision. Now, here I made a mistake that I kick myself for: I allowed myself to be drawn into addressing the reasons provided. I can only excuse myself by noting that the reasons given weren't sound, and thus made natural targets for criticism; but of course the correct response would have been that all of those things had been carefully considered by AffCom, whose job is to consider such things in detail, over a period of months. So I'd let myself be distracted by political nonsense; and while I'm annoyed with myself for letting myself be distracted, I was even more annoyed, after mulling over that final incident for a while, by the likelihood that the purpose of that message to me from a Board member was (unconsciously, I hope) to protect the Board from suspicions of political motivation for an action that, frankly, was politically motivated. Politics at its most repulsive.

The other major initiative here, which I've been pursuing, is the development of interactive wiki markup and its use to vastly expand the wiki experience. I mention that here because when I first started working on that (about five years ago?), the first thing I decided was that it had to be done as a javascript gadget because anything that required Foundation approval would, on one hand, be sunk under the added burden and unwieldiness of the approval process, and on the other hand, would not be allowed to go forward unless its ideological foundations were first eviscerated. --Pi zero (talk) 16:15, 21 January 2018 (UTC)