Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/16

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Main page box - really needed?[edit]

Is the blue box with the two columns, Stories in development and Disputed stories, really needed on the main page? Or, even further, should we list stories which aren't complete and probably not ready to be read as 'part of Wikinews' (unlike published stories) on our main page? For me, those two categories exist for a reason: to group together articles not ready for publishing. Logically, if that is the case, the last thing we'd want to do is list them below our published works, on the main page. Thoughts appreciated. Cheers, Daniel 05:48, 1 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, I think the reason is probably a philosophical one: we support an open community with open publishing, and as such we display all stories on the main page (even if it is at the bottom). If you look at similar communities like Indymedia, they also list all there stories in an 'open news line', only sorting the ones they think are useful into the main page and subcategories. This is the beauty of open publishing: we should either delete a junk story or further develop it, but we list everything on the main page. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:36, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point, "Steven". Also, if we only dumped all the disputed or unpublished articles in a category (and removed the list from the main page) then none of them would get edited or published by other contributors. FellowWikiNewsie 20:13, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Well, Fellow, I'd like to think I am not the only one who checks the Newsroom. --SVTCobra 01:23, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
A large number of people only check the main page. Also, new users don't have a clue what the newsroom is, and won't see it. Bawolff 01:43, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
So the point is: check the newsroom, and if you find it difficult to use, do something about it so it becomes more useful.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:39, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


I was a bit bold and updated Template:Topics. IMO it was hideous and it didn't have the same portals as Wikinews:Browse/Topic. Take a look and see what you think. --SVTCobra 22:18, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

It is okay. Only problem is generally, third level topic boxes are blue. (portal:Mozilla, portal:NASA) Bawolff 00:34, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
What can I say? It's a slightly different blue? But, seriously, should I change it back to yellow? I think can I find some yellowish tones that won't burn my cornea like the previous color did. I didn't know about "levels" when I made my changes. --SVTCobra 00:38, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
we could change third level to yellow - leave the ugly for the least used. user:Bawolff
True, but I don't know how many third level boxes there are. Is there a cat or something that lists them as a group? --SVTCobra 00:43, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
They all use Template:Regions. Bawolff 02:06, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
I was finally getting around to looking at this again, but it seems that you have already taken care of it. Thanks. --SVTCobra 23:20, 14 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews - Blog[edit]

I would like to see each news article have it's own blog at the bottom of the article so readers can comment. This would be a great way of getting more people participating and sharing ideas. The news articles would remain the same, with comments at the bottom. Many professional news organizations have allowed this ability. 09:26, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, we have a comments tab at the top of each article, which displays the comments on a separate page... --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:28, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
An idea to encourage participation on our comments pages is if we perhaps have a template to go at the bottom of the article that invites people to speak their mind on the article. This, in addition to the tabs to allow addition of comments would likely fit the requirement. Obviously you take the template off as part of the archiving process. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I would agree on something like that. We need to get more readers involved.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 11:49, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
Careful what you wish for. Before you know it, we might have to moderate such discussions. --SVTCobra 13:33, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
We'll survive... may the power of the wiki be with us.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 13:45, 7 June 2007 (UTC)
That is the weirdest definition of a blog I've ever heard of, but I've supported the idea for quite a while. See user:Bawolff/idea (slightly outdated, as it could be more if paserFuntions were used which were not available when i made it.) Bawolff 00:17, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
Also see Bawolff 00:56, 8 June 2007 (UTC)

I think a very valid point of this is that people don´t generally look to the top of the page to comment... they´re used to a button at the bottom (where they end up after reading), saying, "post a comment" or similair. Sean Heron 19:47, 9 June 2007 (UTC)

How about this - {{Commentthis}} --MarkTalk 20:38, 9 June 2007 (UTC)
I like it.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:38, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
I've done {{Haveyoursay}} which is a little tidier I think. Worked well on the Michael Moore article. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:51, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Using WikiWorld on Wikinews[edit]

I like to think of Wikinews as a new kind of newspaper. And newspapers usually have comic sections. Wikimedia has its own comic, w:Wikipedia:WikiProject WikiWorld WikiWorld, which is produced by Greg Williams, a newspaper designer and illustrator for The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida. For his comics, which are currenly only used on the Wikipedia Signpost, Williams selects an entry from Wikipedia and draws something funny about it.

If Wikinews could find a place for WikiWorld, I think it would great exposure for the comic, and add a missing dimension to Wikinews. Williams is a news professional and often illustrates topical issues - things that adds to the appeal of the comic. I think it's a shame to squander the opportunity to use his work if it's available to us. Wisekwai 14:23, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, that might not be a bad idea. In the past we had political satire cartoons, but that conflicted with npov, this might be a way around that. Bawolff 23:25, 11 June 2007 (UTC)


Should we have an embassy? Meta:Wikimedia Embassy: a central place for resources to help with cross-language issues — site-wide policy and software decisions that affect all of us and interlanguage linking.

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 11:19, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

good Idea actually. DragonFire1024 11:30, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Might help with the Wikinews <=> Board communication... of course DragonFire as a board member would be even better :-). Eloquence's response to some of our questions are really abominable, only User:Kate is worse, he simply wants us out of the Foundation. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:00, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I am watching all closely. DragonFire1024 12:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Why are confirmations taking so long? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:43, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I have copied my birth certificate...if that does not work via e-mail, I have to send it VIA snail mail., which is what many are doing it looks like to me. And I am not sure how often they check the e-mail. DragonFire1024 20:15, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

The idea that I would want Wikinews out of the Foundation is absurd. I suggested that, for legal reasons, the accreditation process might be better placed in a separate organization or a Wikimedia chapter that is explicitly designated by the Foundation for that purpose. The entity that does the hosting (WMF) needs to be careful not to meddle too much in the content, or the legal trouble that we could get into could easily kill us. Please read the EFF FAQ on Section 230 protections.--Eloquence 04:55, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

No one ever said you wanted us out (they said Kate(River) wanted us out), after all you essentially created this project Smile.png, why would you want to shut us down? They just disagree with some of your positions. Bawolff 05:05, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I was referring to Steve comment's above, since he said "he wants us out of the Foundation". But I see now that he was probably talking about Kate, whose gender is sometimes a bit confusing ..--Eloquence 05:11, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Correction, I didn't say that you wanted Wikinews out, I thought Kate was a man because the picture doesn't look very feminine and River Tarnell didn't sound female to me. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 15:40, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
WMF is scared s---less by Wikinews. So... weak? -Edbrown05 06:42, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
The threat of being sued is not just imagined. WMF has been sued from three different countries already, and we need to be very careful in developing our defense strategy. It just happens to be the case that Wikinews is under the same umbrella as the world's largest encyclopedia, and that brings with it responsibilities.--Eloquence 06:55, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps there should be a wikinews chapter fo the foundation, that could do stuff the wmf can't for legal reasons. Bawolff 08:03, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
A general Wikimedia chapter in the US would be sufficient as long as it doesn't get involved in the hosting. Perhaps Wikinews could put some effort into a US chapter -- there has never really been much push for it, and this could be a good incentive to pull it off.--Eloquence 08:16, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Although the majority of out users are not from the USA, so they might feel neglected if we went with a specific country. (however i belive the pl and de chapters have helped their language chapters). Definitly something to look into. Bawolff 08:45, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Well Buffalo, New york sounds like a good place to start ;-) DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 08:46, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
  • If we're going to set up a Wikinews chapter what steps do we need to take? DragonFire1024's suggestion may have been made half in jest, but if we want access to the U.N. or other orgs in NY it isn't a bad idea. Who in the office would be the best person to contact about this? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:54, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Buffalo does have a very active wikinewsie in it (We want somewhere where there are wikinewsies). However I think the fact that such an organization would exist is far more important then where it exists. Bawolff 08:58, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Could also be the basis of something like Wikinews:Newsrooms (or similar proposals made). Bawolff 09:09, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Why can't we have a truly international organisation, like the Union of International Wikinews Reporters? As an optimistic look at it we need an address, some phone numbers, and people to verify credentials. Some record-keeping would be required, like details of accredited reporters and their status (active/inactive). The worst that can happen is such a group gets sued into oblivion. However, if set up right none of the reporters lose their homes or savings. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:09, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
I think thats a good idea. Somebody official to take over the wikinews hotline. Bawolff 22:15, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

FYI, there is now a serious effort for a first chapter in the US, m:Wikimedia Pennsylvania.--Eloquence 18:05, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like we need to wait on this one. Pilotguy roger that 23:56, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

If we were top do this, the first step before talking to people, is coming up with some sort of mission statement for what it would be exactly. This way we sort of have a vague idea of what we are convincing people to do, when we start to try to convince people to do it. Bawolff 02:33, 29 June 2007 (UTC)


I want us to run another writing competition, but with a bit more widespread advertising for it and an opportunity for new contributors to win. I'm prepared to Paypal the sole winner 100 euros and I'd like the following points taken into consideration.

  • The bigger the main prize we can offer the more likely people are to stay the course.
  • The object is to bring in new contributors, I have contacted Ral315 on Wikipedia about getting this in the signpost and possibly sitenotice.
  • Beginners need given a chance, I propose all editors with >1,000 edits give them a week's start minimum.
  • I will need people who can help adjudicate on what is a valid entry.
  • People in the community need to be awarding newcomer awards and barnstars to keep competitors interested.

So, what do you think? Anyone else want to up the stakes? I'd love to see a few other people committing to a top prize and us perhaps hitting a 500 euro top prize. That would allow us to run the competition for a lot longer. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:14, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

From discussion on IRC there is a proposal that a secondary prize for "Best Article" be added to the competition stakes, who would care to provide a prize for that, and who would help adjudicate it? --Brian McNeil / talk 16:28, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
Depending on when the competition starts I'll help out. If we can get decent coverage then I'll consider adding something to the prize pot. The ultimate goal would be to keep writing until there is only 1 editor standing? I don't know if a lot of newbies will be instantly able to contribute at such an elevated level... some might though. Maybe we should ask some Wikipedia contributors what they believe would be good incentives. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:42, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

What I never understood or liked about the contest is that it's a single player event, which is very un-wiki, as our strength is teamwork. I had the idea of having a team contest:

  • teams would consist of 2 to 4 or 5 members,
  • they would have to write, say, 7 articles (or 3x the amount of team members?) with their team in a period of one week.
  • Additionaly they would have to earn 100 points each week: doing OR would be like 70 points, expanding an article 10 points, recording a news brief for Audio Wikinews 5 points...
  • And the judges can think of special missions for extra points.

I think people from Wikipedia might be more likely to join the contest with some buddies... we can set up a page to hook people up who don't have a partner or a team, ... plus we can still have a single player event simultaneously, or in the same competition. What does everyone think? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:48, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

Also, we could have the competition starting only when a minimum number of teams has subscribed, e.g. 25 teams. 25 teams would mean 25 articles each day on average Smiley.png. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:28, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

The ideas of teams is an interesting one, and could be incorporated with some of our things like adopting politicians. If we can find a format for a team competition - and build a prize pot worth dividing up - I would still be happy to put money in. We have until next month to iron the details out as I don't want to start this until after the Board elections are over. I'm ambitious about this - I want a mention in the Wikipedia Sitenotice. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:25, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
What would you improve about the format I'm suggesting? --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:28, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure, I'm going to pop over to Wikipedia and bring the subject up there. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:32, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Messy's contest sort of promoted team work by giving points for things like copyediting, finding images, etc. Making the article better, not just making an article, which i think is a good idea. Also, perhaps we should include extra points for less covered countries. Bawolff 21:46, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes I agree with less covered countries. My idea is that we can open up the competition for both individuals and teams, with the workload for teams just a bit heavier than that of the individuals.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 11:07, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews into Google News[edit]

A few editors close to the foundation has expressed interest in using Wikinews as a source for Google News. I don't think this is a bad idea, but, according to Google, this would require us to do this, and this. Brion, a developer, or someone close to mediawiki would have some work to do on it. Any thoughts on this? Pilotguy roger that 19:04, 21 June 2007 (UTC)

While chattingwe can find a trick with a bot automaticly creating redirect with the page id in the url. Schiste 19:20, 21 June 2007 (UTC)
Google news has said they will not include us without stable version and an editor position. See Wikinews:Community_Mirror for one solution to this --Cspurrier 01:47, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Wikinews Reports is in Google news. We have a blog to post Wikinews articles elsewhere too but it has not been updated in over a year and google will not include news sources that are not updated regularly. So either we have to do a formal editorial process, or we make another Wikinews blog where the stories are posted there. On the blog above, (that site in general) allows anyone who signs up to write in the blog and to edit the facade of it. So I like doing the Wikinews Reports blog, but currently we use it for Original reporting articles (where the OR journalist speaks about his/her experience with the story). DragonFire1024 01:57, 22 June 2007 (UTC)
Craig told me he has emailed Google News to include, don't think he has received an answer yet. It's not yet included anyway.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 12:33, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

U.S. Politics category / template?[edit]

I plan on concentrating on U.S. politics. Might we create a category and template for this? Emperor NortonXXIII 17:50, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Basically, if you use both categories on a story, it will get sorted onto the relevant portals/subpages. There's no need to create an extra category for a template: just use Cat:Politics and Cat:United States together, and it'll appear in the template. Have a look at the other Infoboxes, or if you need help I'll be happy to create {{US politics}} for you. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 20:24, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews e-mail[edit]

It has been expressed that it might be desirable to have e-mail addresses for confirmed Wikinewsies (this would help gain credibility, in my opinion, when talking with potential interviews). If this is desirable, I'll register the domain and host it.

My suggestion would be something like "", or a similar domain, so that e-mail addresses would be something like

The major caveat would be that we would have to indicate that we are volunteers, and not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation in any way. Any thoughts, on the domain name or the idea itself? Ral315 (talk) 14:53, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

That sounds fine, and we would be able to instigate a server-level disclaimer to be added at the end of each message. Thunderhead 15:14, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I think that the Wikimedia Foundation would probably like to see all communications go through their servers (so that they can review the history if something bad happens). Wikinews is a registered trademark of the Foundation. --SVTCobra 15:18, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
We could possible ask for - maybe the techies could set that up for us? --Skenmy(tcwi) 15:22, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed. Accredited users only, not admins I suspect? Thunderhead 15:25, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
That's what I inferred. Used only for gathering news stories / information - just proves we are who we say we are. --Skenmy(tcwi) 15:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Okay. Wanted to make sure. Thunderhead 15:30, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

For those of you not familiar with the background and previous discussions: part I - part II - part III - part IV - part V

Some of the concerns regarding this proposal:

  • User:IlyaHaykinson said here: I think that if we start giving out email addresses to a particular class of users, without specific demonstrated need, we will end up creating a new privileged class: those with email addresses. ... Personally, I would recommend a system whereby a steward is allowed to create an email address on a project, given that the user desiring an address has to justify to a steward the need for the address, and that the project has an approved policy of community revocation of other users' addresses.
  • User:Eloquence responded: I am somewhat concerned about the WMF getting legally involved in the authorization of Wikinews reporters. It might be sensible to set up a separate, small organization to handle Wikinews accreditation issues. The WMF could then license the Wikinews mark to that organization for this purpose alone. But, I am sure our new Executive Director will have some interesting thoughts on this topic, as you will understand when their identity is revealed.

First of all, if we would choose a different domain, why not use the existing domain? I don't think another domain would be a good idea; ideally it would be (using the accredited reporter's real names). Techies could set it up (Brion VIBBER already told me that something like that would be technically possible) and stewards could activate the account. Even then we need a standard notice saying that the Foundation nor Wikinews is legally responsible for the actions of individual reporters, nor that their actions or opinions would represent those of Wikinews/Wikimedia.

Another alternative, which would allow a lot of community control and no problems of jealousy, is to have one single email address, like , and to give the password to the accredited users who express a need to use it, changing the password monthly or something to keep it restricted to active users and to avoid compromising the account. We could check each other's sent emails to verify nobody is using the account maliciously, and everyone should have to sign their mails properly. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:13, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that we should have a single email address for security issues. The steward notice can be added serverside. We could possibly request that the Communications Committee create a seperate group to regulate Wikimedian email addresses, more specifically Wikinews' accredited. I think that Ilya is wrong, because it will not be a new class of users, but just email addresses for accredited users, or those with other significant positions on the wiki. I think that Craig could also set up an email system on which would not force the Foundation to be involved, but rather have a member of the community regulating the email addresses, while showing that the report would go on a website. Thunderhead 17:48, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Anyone who wants one is welcome to a thenewswiki address. E-mail me or add a note to my talk page --Cspurrier 00:11, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Accreditation via chapters[edit]

Tonight, during the weekly ComProj meeting (log), I brought up the suggestion that we (ComProj) could help to get chapters to assist in accreditation. The advantages of this are:

  1. Stronger local community
  2. A real purpose for the chapters
  3. Many more journalism and press-pass related opportunities
  4. Probably some others I don't know about

I'm post here to seek your ideas on what we (Wikinews) want from such a system. I'll relay messages left here to the ComProj mailing list, and vice versa - ComProj will be able to help to set up a system, and publicise it to the board and the various chapters and other related groups. Any thoughts? Martinp23 22:29, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Some thoughts brought up in the meeting were:
  • Identity verification may need to take place, ideally coordinated by chapters
  • This is a massive opportunity for all
  • (Nominated bodies in) chapters can try to liaise with govt. organisations to get passes to government events, for national press passes
Much more - read the log :). I realise that I'm replying to my own message, but wanted to separate this from my short introduction. So, let's thrash out some ideas! Martinp23 22:29, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
But there isn't a US chapter, for one thing, so the Foundation would have to get legally involved, at least for the US. Thunderhead 10:41, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Press cards should remain a Wikinews activity imho: we're the only project with original reporting. But the chapters are based on languages/countries, not project-wise... --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:58, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
My thoughts about this process are that Wikinews will of course remain the authority initially accrediting users. The chapters can then come in and take a role in securing opportunities for those who are already accredited, such as local (government) press passes, and to aid in providing a local entity as a point of contact. From what I've heard, the French Chapter does something like this already - if a reporter makes contact with them requesting some sort of help and backup to get to a certain event, then the chapter uses its contacts in "the real world" and helps to get the reporters into the events. The chapters are really there to help all the projects, and we should try to get the most out of them :) Martinp23 11:31, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
While I personally think it is a good idea, it also places some of the onus for content on the Chapter. Chapters are not to be liable for any issues arising from content, that is the foundation's problem. If we were to do this the argument that chapters are not responsible becomes null - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 23:51, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Public Domain articles[edit]

Until 18 months ago, all Wikinews articles were released into the public domain (as per Category:Public domain articles, which boasts over around 1,500 articles) - now by default all articles are licensed under Creative Commons.

However, I feel that should an author choose, they should be able to release their stories to the public domain, thus once again enabling small, independent newspapers to troll Wikinews for page-fillers, scanning our recent Public Domain articles to use.


The Template:PD-article could be applied to an article I create, and then if any other editors make any changes (copyrightable changes only, fixing spacing doesn't count...adding a sentence does), they could choose to remove the template from the article, since they want their edits to fall under Creative Commons, rather than the Public Domain...or they could choose to maintain the PD nature of the article and leave their additional sentence also in the Public would be up to each editor.

I wrote Irish president opens new park dedicated to Irish refugees in Toronto, Canada two weeks ago...there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to license it under the Public Domain if I so wish, I was the only contributor. Similarly, Two American soldiers charged in Iraqi murders had only two contributors with any copyrightable work, myself and User:Asher Heimermann. I doubled-checked with him retro-actively if he would have any issues licensing the article as public domain, and he agreed. Again, there's absolutely no reason a small, independent newspaper shouldn't be able to print that article verbatim for 'page filler' for themselves if they want to, neither Asher nor I demand any credit (though the template does ask for the user to consider citing Wikinews as a source, but makes it clear it is not a legal responsibility).

As has been said many times, nobody on the Wikinews team is professionally hired by WMF to "be a reporter", we all do this freelance and "peer-edit" each other's work in a collaborative sense. If one, two or a dozen Wikinewsies want to begin returning to the theory of public domain articles, I cannot think of any reason why we shouldn't. As I said, every contributor has the choice whether or not to remove the PD license (assuming they have made licenseable edits themselves) - but this allows "those of us who care more about getting stories out there, than we care about getting Wikinews mandatory publicity/credit off our work", the chance to do so. Sherurcij 04:49, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

the only difference between PD and CC in my eyes is that they have to provide credit to us. this means that papers could do this anyway with our cc licence so i don't really see the point in pd licensing.--MarkTalk 09:09, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
yeah, except they don't, they currently either plagarise (rare) or simply ignore us (the other 99% of the time), so that's a fallacious argument. Sherurcij 16:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I think news agencies should site WN as the source. What volunteerism means in the long run, in the form of this place or others, while more and more local and immediate news agencies abilities 'dry up' in its efforts to meet news tasks due to the lack of pay for their own business efforts, means is that they cannot take for their profit what is being freely delivered. Yes, we are free, no they are not. Credit plz. -Edbrown05 09:45, 5 July 2007 (UTC) we're wanting media outlets to "dry up"? *raises eyebrows* That certainly seems to run in opposition to the entire role of the fourth estate. Sherurcij 16:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
This doesn't seem like a good idea. All we're asking is credit, an essential step if we want to make a name for ourselves. You may have written an article, but there's more to this site then just writing the article. We're all working together, and the Foundation is providing servers and everything... I think you owe it to the other contributors and to the Foundation to not put your articles in the public domain. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 11:29, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
...which goes entirely against the whole credo that WMF was founded upon. We're now encouraging, even forbidding, users from generating PD content? You want it copyrighted, licensed, protected, belonging to you rather than some other corporate entity. It still defeats the whole purpose of free content, in favour of egotism by Wikinewsies who want to believe they'll make the site famous. If you want to become famous, become well-known as a source of public domain "filler articles" for small newspapers, it'll spread the word a lot faster than "there's a site that licenses news stories in return for attribution" which is...a large number of sites that do that...and do it a hell of a lot better than we do. You won't make a name for WN that way, however you will make a name for WN as the sole PD supplier of news. Sherurcij 16:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Indeed so, plus most editors agreed on Creative Commons Attribution 2.5, and putting a tag like that on an article would prevent a majority of editors from wanting to edit the article, no matter how good it is, or seems. Thunderhead 11:33, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Judging by the discussions, there was a significant number of editors actually who felt it was a bad idea, that Creative Commons was a difficult license for newcomers to understand, thus muddying the issue in their minds and making them even more likely to ignore us. It also prevented cross-migration and free copying to Wikipedia and similar projects, and somehow magically transferred the right to license *my* work to the Wikimedia Foundation, rather than remaining my choice whether to GFDL, CC-BY or PD my works. Also, I've seen no evidence to suggest a "majority of users" would refuse to improve an article just because they wouldn't get to cross their fingers and hope CNN runs a story reported "Breaking news from Wikinews!" Sherurcij 16:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I will make contributions in order to allow removal of this tag. We ask people to credit us for a good reason - we want people to come here to read the stories. There is absolutely nothing preventing someone from reusing our content if it is appropriately attributed. What's wrong with that? --Brian McNeil / talk 12:36, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Because you may have noticed...very few websites do (other than just providing a mirror on their blog), and even fewer small, independent newspapers/journals/periodicals do...why? Probably because they feel like putting "Courtesy of Wikinews" at the bottom of the article would lose them all credibility, so they choose to either plagarise or ignore us, typically the latter. This allows individual authors the right to help those smaller news agencies more selflessly, without insisting "You can use my exchange for losing credibility yourself and giving me free publicity", which isn't really "free" in the absolute sense. Also, try not to be petty, it's unbecoming of an administrator. Sherurcij 16:05, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
you obviously seem to be very much in support of PD articles and don't like to take other peoples comments into accounts. so right now i am going to be very blunt, and im sorry if you dont like it. the copyright policy on wikinews is CC from 25 Sept 05 onwards and i dont see this changing soon. --MarkTalk 16:12, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
I have to agree with Markie here, our license is here to stay - it is what our community has chosen - and weird-ass exceptions with some template just makes headaches for editors. We're CC-BY-2.5 and I doubt you'd get that changed, so learn to live with it. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:50, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
We want CC because of one word: Benoit. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 16:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Is it a matter of vanity? getting credit? --SVTCobra 17:14, 5 July 2007 (UTC) Striking my glib comment per WN:E. --SVTCobra 21:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
Anyway, if you want to write a PD article, write it, upload it somewhere else under a PD-license, then copy it from there onto Wikinews. The subsequent changes would not be PD, but your original article would remain so. Just a suggestion. --SVTCobra 17:12, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

First off, please try not to accuse others of being petty, egotistic, or anything else. Second, there are probably some sites who copy us and ignore us, but there are also many sites who properly attribute us, and in my experience will easily do so if asked, I don't agree with your assumption that "they currently either plagarise (rare) or simply ignore us (the other 99% of the time)".

Getting credited by others is an essential step in the growth of any news site: so it has nothing to do with egotism, but with tactics. If you think other sites are doing better than we, than I think you should consider this license as the best to secure our further growth and becoming better at spreading news. The Foundation has made it very clear which licenses it considers free, and which license Wikinews should use: cc-by is both free in the true sense of the word, and what Wikinews should use. BTW, PD news already exists (VOA).

What you can still do is put a notice on your user page saying that your contributions are dually licensed cc-by and PD -nobody can prevent you from doing so. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:02, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Steven, while I have noticed that some editors have put just such a tag on their user pages, saying their edits are PD, I feel it is merely a statement about their feelings about CC-BY. It is an excercise in futility, I believe. How many articles go completely unedited by others? Very few, I am sure. So someone who seeks to use a Wikinews article, for whatever PD purpose they have in mind, would have to check the user page of everyone in the edit history and make sure they all have that tag on their user page. Completely impractical if you ask me. That is not to say that I agree with Sherurcij, because I don't. CC-BY is here to stay, and I do believe that my above suggestion of publishing elsewhere under PD first, is the only way to keep content PD (it will lack the kind of collaborative efforts unique to Wikinews). I also find Sherurcij's suggestion of an optional PD tag on the articles themselves, rather unworkable as well. Note: I forgot to sign this edit made 23:27, 5 July 2007. --SVTCobra 23:13, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

I believe that CC suits Wikinews and has served us well. I wasn't involved in the initial decision (wasn't about then) BUT having said that CC is what I would of went for. It is unfair to put the amount of work some of us put in for the site not to be attributed when someone else uses our work - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 22:37, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

New-comer pondering wikinews experience[edit]

I posted to wikinews today - and I've pondered my wikinews experience and I'd like to comment more. I am aware that for what I am about to write that the wikinews "old guard" may be getting out the pitch forks and lighting the torches - but isn't it true that an outsider to a system can sometimes make insightful observations, seeing things from a different perspective?

I submitted a short article today which was "unpublished" based upon not having met wikinews journalistic standards. I respect and understand that standards exist, but I must ask the question: Are interesting, meaningful, worthwhile stories being discarded because they don't meet the existing standards, and equally, is this possibly driving readers and contributors away?

When my article was "unpublished" it went to the "Stories in development" section. Funny, the articles appearing in "Stories in development" appeared more interesting than the day's lead stories. How could that be? More importantly, *why* would that be. (I've got a feeling - I'll describe shortly) Next, I went to "Main Page" "Recent changes" and low-and-behold there were many times more entries there than there were actual stories. When I looked more closely at the "edits" there appeared to be many stories like mine, that were entered and quickly removed, and also there appeared to be several stories that the poor-soul authors were apparently being browbeaten over. I ask you, is this wikinews or wikijournalism school?

I believe the reality is that most folks simply find a possibly little known story, go to wikinews, see that the story does not already exist, make a simply entry with the story, and promptly have it removed. Then the person is discouraged and probably doesn't return to - Is that not true? - The reason I bring this up is because wouldn't it be more fun to have a bigger wikinews community, more stories, more interest, and more options, more *people*?

I understand that standards must exist, but what makes so successful? Is it possible that the "open" nature, the ability for anyone to post an entry (even if that entry is judged to be incomplete) and have that entry stand... isn't that the appealing element of What if everybody that wanted to contribute to wikinews could easily do so, and could have their little say in a way that was accepted?

What if there were multiple sections to wikinews so the guy sitting in an office somewhere or the woman working at her home business that comes across a newsworthy item and wants to make the world aware of it, but doesn't have time to get on an airplane to research the article or hours to write a "standards based" article could easily get thet message across? That wouldn't rule out that more "professional" stories from appearing, but why not have a section for "amateurs"?

Finally, although I have respect for wikinews, although I love the idea of wikinews, although I'd love to see many, many more people contribute to and participate in wikinews, is it possible that the system in place now promotes sterility? Currently, the articles that appear, having had to meet journalistic standards, are generally *well* *written* ...and ...honestly, ...not that interesting. For example, you could have a wonderfully written article about the discovery of a new species of frog, and that article could be a "lead article". You could have a brilliantly written piece about the successful dog-catchers convention in Kansas City, and that article could be a "lead article". The point being, if only the "pros" are allowed to contribute, eventually the "pros" will run out of things to say and the site risks becoming less interesting. As I said, the articles "in development" seemed to be to be the most interesting. I'd bet others would agree.

In closing, the little article I submitted was about a team of people successfully flying a balloon across the Atlantic and breaking 5 world records. It was, I must say, a "heart warming" little story about a group of people who weren't trying to kill anybody or destroy civilization, and it got almost no coverage in the corporate media. I simply wanted to let other people browsing the web see a little piece of what was happening in the world. I wonder what other stories I might have missed, might have enjoyed, might have found enriching, because they didn't make the wikinews standards and were discarded? So, how about a wikinews section for amateurs that any person could quickly make an honest, simple entry for the world to see?

Thanks very much for allowing me to have my say,


What can I say? You do make many valid points. We are under-staffed, I suppose, is the closest concise answer I can give. In reference to your specific contribution, we do have Balloonist to establish Trans-Atlantic Crossing record among our published articles. I can't answer to what happened to your article, which sounds like it was a follow-up to the article I pointed out. --SVTCobra 03:01, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
Crenra, thank you for your feedback. We don't always have time to fix stories and as SVTCobra says we are "understaffed". We are definitely not trying to be offputting - if you come to the site and try to do a story and it gets unpublished, and you should also get a welcome template - even if you haven't set up an account. It may seem like a chore to read those guidelines, and nobody expects you to go through them all in one sitting. As this is a wiki you have the right to propose changes to how we do things. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:03, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Crenra's article - Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge - Success![edit]

Crenra, I've made a start on making Toshiba Transatlantic Challenge - Success! conform to our standards. Since the Telegraph source I found was dated today, the story has been bumped up to today's date. If you edit the page now you'll see some of the templates and stuff that newcomer's don't know about - perhaps we need a beginner's template for starting an article? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:20, 7 July 2007 (UTC)
The article is now published - first for today.
As an aside, here's a story I did July 7, 2006 - exactly one year ago - and just spotted in the "On this day" section. I had a lot more free time then - as the related news section shows. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:05, 7 July 2007 (UTC)

Stories that are not Main Page material do linger in developing. A couple of years ago I proposed a "This just in" page for raw news stories. The answer then was it did not meet the 'be neat' standards of WMF. I truly sympathize with Crenra's remark, "I ask you, is this wikinews or wikijournalism school?"

Since that time, Wikinews Shorts has been developed as sort of an answer to Crenra's experience. It would be unfair and judgemental to rip a news story out of "developing" and reassign it to my old "This just in" page as as an insufficiently formulated story is posted. Since this is participatory journalism, no one ever knows where a story will lead. It may become a wonderful story, or lie around and die as abandoned.

Yet, there should be some hope for the lying on the newsroom floor stories. Maybe assigning stories that never got out of "developing" (yes, not neat stuff) that currently gets labeled 'abandoned', should be moved to a page called something like "Also in". This would not create extra work, and would be more inclusive by linking the page somewhere on the Main Page.. -Edbrown05 07:17, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

Social bookmarking or just sharing in general?[edit]

It's been pretty standard on blogs now for something that's more or less come out of nowhere in just two or three years. Every site I see has all the sites laid out, Reddit, Newsvine, StumbleUpon, Facebook, the new Netscape, or at least most have a digg and icon at the bottom and the send this to a friend has been around since at least 99 or 2000, why hasn't Wikinews jumped on the bandwagon?

I say, it's time we include a way to share stories with other people. I mean, it would be nice to see more stories on Wikinews end up being discussed on digg. Plus, it would lead to new users from current users by referrals and generally, I believe we could see a more steady rise in traffic in which someday could be high as that spike we had during the Benoit murder. --TUFKAAP 23:19, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

Putting actual Digg or tags on Wikinews, I don't think is possible, since they are commercial websites. But maybe a "send this to a friend"-button that lets the reader enter a friends e-mail, sounds like something I'd support. --SVTCobra 23:32, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
We can ask the companies involved if they would be happy with Digg or tags on articles. I daresay they might; there is mutual benefit involved since we advertise them and they advertise us. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:38, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
The problem is not whether they (Digg etc.) want to. It goes against the Wikimedia Foundation's principles of free content without commercial tie-ins. --SVTCobra 23:44, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
We would end up having to share information about our visitors with these sites to get the "xxx diggs" graphic. I don't think we're allowed to do that. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:48, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
(another edit conflict)
Ah. I hadn't realised they had set rules for it; I thought we were allowed to do just what we wanted to (as a whole community, that is, rather than one person having a 'brilliant' idea that everyone else whishes he/she hadn't). Forget it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:50, 9 July 2007 (UTC)
Yes, a "send this to a friend"-button would be useful. Maybe there could be a script on TheNewsWiki to send the latest approved version? That site could maybe function as a kind of toolserver to send the mails? Anyway I'm not a tech expert, but that would be a nice feature. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:12, 10 July 2007 (UTC)
Well I know Wookiepedia has a feature like that seems to run on Ajax, you click on share this article with a friend and grays out the screen and opens up a small pop-up allowing to type the e-mail and a message, if it's not copyrighted maybe we could ask one of their techies how they did it? --TUFKAAP 03:12, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
Definitely, if you have time please do so, or provide a link.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:46, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

[1] This is the page itself, although it seems to vary slightly from the dialog-style box. I'll see what else I can do and perhaps we could use an icon like Email go.png to indicate it? --TUFKAAP 04:49, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

It appears they've done it over and rolled out the new Wikia look, well so much for showing the original page. --TUFKAAP 03:52, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews, Wikipedia, Knight Foundation[edit]

Folks, the following is a longish note about an opportunity for a Wikinews project.

As I'd mentioned to a few of you on IRC (and alluded to here) in the past, I've continued talking with the Knight Foundation about the proposal that I've submitted to them. The timeline on the proposal page doesn't show that in late March 2007 the folks at Knight asked me for a full proposal, which I submitted in the first week of April. While we were not awarded a grant through the News Challenge process we were originally applying for, in early June 2007 I got an invitation to meet with Knight Foundation. A few weeks later I did so, together with Carolyn and Vishal from the WMF staff.

The meeting was mainly centered on helping us understand what the Knight Foundation officers thought about our proposal, as well as helping them understand Wikipedia and Wikinews. A big part of the discussion, though, was a discussion of a project that Knight would like to see happen, and how that potential project intersects with our capabilities, technology, mission, and desires. The gist of the project is a sort of a localpedia: something that will allow users in a geographic locale create encyclopedic and news content that is created by and is relevant mainly to the local community. They wanted us to investigate a project proposal centered on a couple of pilot implementations, for which they recommended two communities that they are very active in themselves (w:Miami, Florida, and Wichita, Kansas), with the idea that whatever the outcome of the project is, it will be possible to replicate the process to other communities.

The way I see their proposal is that it's actually very much in line with what we (as Wikinews, as Wikipedia, and as WMF) would want to participate in. There is already a lot of very local content for local geographical communities, and providing more resources to encourage yet more high-quality local content (both encyclopedic and journalistic) is definitely a good thing. Part of their proposal implies a closer collaboration and cross-connection between our encyclopedic efforts and our news efforts: I think that since we (as Wikinews) are still struggling to grow our readership and our editorship and our profile, any increased collaboration is again a good thing. Finally, the Knight Foundation is a grant-giving organization; as such, assuming they will continue to agree with our project proposal, they could enable us to find software developers to let us overcome the small and large technical challenges that would arise out of trying such a project. Part of their funding could even include a physical wiki space in those cities. To some degree, this proposal intersects with a number of discussions that we've had about the Wikinews/Wikipedia relationship,

I bring this up on the Water Cooler for two reasons. First, because I value openness and want everyone in the community to know that I and the WMF have been having discussions that could affect the future of Wikinews. Second, I would like your input into the proposal. While I don't want the proposal itself developed by committee, I do want to explain some of my thoughts better and get some feedback on some of my ideas. I'm doing the same thing with folks who are active contributors to articles related to Miami. To this effect, I'd like to call two chats on this topic that I welcome everyone to attend. Both chats will be on Sunday, July 15th. The first chat will be aimed at a time that is convenient for Wikinewsies outside the United States and will take place at 8:00 UTC (this will be 9 a.m in London, 8 p.m. in Auckland). The second chat will be oriented at the United States audience and will happen at 16:00 UTC (this will be 9 a.m. Pacific time and 12 noon Eastern). We will meet in #wikinews, and I expect the chat to take a half an hour. Feel free to attend either meeting or both.

Hope to talk to you soon. -- IlyaHaykinson 03:47, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Sounds like a great idea, and I really appreciate your openness and the fact that you are briefing us about this.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 10:45, 11 July 2007 (UTC)
The biggest grant issued by the Knight Foundation went to Media Lab and Comparative Media Studies Program seems committed to jobs. Wikimedia is not. WMF would collapse in a for profit system. Be careful of not looking a gift horse in the mouth. -Edbrown05 09:48, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
We are definitely not discussing any for-profit projects, or anything that would alter the WMF's mission. -- IlyaHaykinson 01:57, 13 July 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews & OTRS[edit]


OTRS is the software used by to manage emails sent to the Wikimedia foundation. Most of the emails do not concern Wikinews. Though, a Wikinews queue has been created. Its aim was both to have a dedicated queue for questions about Wikinews, and to have an address for press releases and other statements.

There are currently few emails on the Wikinews queue. The press queue (serving as contact for press inquiries about Wikimedia and Wikimedia projects) often receives press releases or requests for coverage. I was thinking about moving them to the Wikinews queue to let Wikinewsies see if they deserve an article. Then, I thought OTRS could be used to subscribe to RSS feeds or news releases. In this case, it would be better to have a separate queue, in order not to clutter the Wikinews main queue with feeds.

For the moment I have had good feedback about this proposal. What do you think of it? Would you be interested? If so, what news alerts would you suggest? guillom 11:07, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

We almost need a wikinews-press@ that virtually everyone has access to. OTOH, the privacy rules for OTRS may need an exception for Press Releases - allowing them to be forwarded to our address. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:52, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
Who gets the emails sent to this address? guillom 12:45, 17 July 2007 (UTC)
An email address has been issued to every active accredited reporter - including Mindspillage. The scoop address forwards to all the addresses. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:02, 17 July 2007 (UTC)

Interwiki Wikipedia link in toolbox[edit]

If you look in the Wikipedia "toolbox" below the dit summary field, there is a variety of items you can insert, including double square brackets ([[ ]]) to make a wikilink. You can select words, and click it, and it will automatically put the brackets around it. Now since most wikilinking here on Wikinews is to Wikipedia, we should add a similar function to the toolbox, but when you select words and click it, it makes it appear as [[w:selected words|selected words]]. This would make wikilinking more of a breeze. Comments? Reaper X 18:20, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

The second-last button already provides wikipedia links: if you click TEXT it gives [[w:TEXT|]] .--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:36, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
There is also a to create a link to wikipedia,do the following part that has a link as well. Bawolff 05:13, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

fourm system for news articles[edit]

my idea is to add a comment system to the news articles so ppl can leave their views on the lastest news (eg iraq, global warming, halo3 etc etc..)

could be made similar to the one used on you tube

We have one. See Whoopi Goldberg to take Rosie O'Donnell's spot on 'The View' at the bottom just before Related news. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:15, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
We are slightly restricted by the Wiki software, but we do have a comments page you can create or add to for any article. The template {{haveyoursay}} is added to some - not all - articles to encourage people to give their reaction to the news. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:34, 2 August 2007 (UTC)


Okay, check a random article on Wikipedia and look in the toolbox down the left. The page that takes you to gives details of how to cite the current revision in a variety of styles. We should have the same thing, but I'm not sure how to steal it from WP. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:36, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews is gonna die unless it cuts out this NPOV nonsense[edit]

Take a WMF sister project oar out of the water? Could that happen(?), it might come to that.

I've said it before, and I'm going to say it again: "News ain't neutral". The context is, regular folks don't share it that way. As the ga-billions of people become (I'll say it) web 2.0 aware, where are they going to go with it... to Wikinews? No, because it gets deleted as "unworthy". Either you want that participation, or you don't.

A portal and category system is in place to handle less then front page material. And I've said this before: "People will aspire to front page news." For those that don't, there is a place for their news contribution. It is called putting the piece in the appropriate category or portal page and let people be their own news filters.

This would be inclusive, the alternative is to be exclusive. If news is to bubble up, the bubble has to be allowed to form. -Edbrown05 09:26, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Let us keep practically all news submissions. Those that fall short of front page material, sort them and put where those interests can interact and bust this Main Page mentality. If the drive to local is to be realized, then this must be undertaken -Edbrown05 09:30, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, newpapers, tv-news are not neutral, the news THEY write are not neutral. The question is : is it possible to write news other ways ? (Wiki-news, for example) I think it's possible and great, even if it's the hard way as we have NO examples outside Wikinews. A long way, but I feel there's something good following this path of neutrallity, even if we do not achieve our goal.

All people are in need for neutral news, much more than encyclopedia in fact (in western countries, access to paper cyclopedia is easy ), even if they don't know it, they are so intoxicated by mainstream news. What are news ? for a great part mere advetisement (for goods, music, entertainment, politics ...). Is it valuable this kind of news : NO !

If we try to mimic, how to say, ... Real Reality journalists, what is the need for Wikinews ? What our specificity: to be free, to cost Zero ? not very interresting, Wikinews need something specific, and it's Neutrality.

Anyway, it's an important question we need to discuss about with a cool head, intelligence and sensitivity !...

Jacques Divol 12:15, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Ed, I think you're mixing two things, one is NPOV and the other is inclusionism. I'm an inclusionist who supports NPOV: you can't collaborate on a wiki without NPOV. If you allow POV, than 2 different POV's inevitably will conflict and we'll end up with a community of like-minded individuals. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 14:12, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
You're all full of lulz. MR 23:09, 4 August 2007 (UTC)
I was planning on disagreeing with you. I was going to suggest some sort of mix of having both opinionated, and non-opinionated articles. Just make sure there's a giant flashing, "This Article is Opinionated" at the top, and we'd be set. However, the thing about opinions is everyone thinks theirs is right. Regardless of the fact if there was an 'Opinionated' tag, if an article decided to call the internet the scourge of the 20th / 21st century, I'd certainly slip some facts / views to the contrary. So the only option, then, is to either have 'opinionated articles' only editable by people with a similar opinion, or at the very least make sure that people of contrary opinions don't remove information. And then, it isn't by consensus. I do believe opinionated work is a must in news, but I don't see it happening in a wiki environment. Theory 09:14, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Here is what I am talking about, from a conversation dating to a couple of years old, and I am not "laughing out loud". I've read it thoroughly a couple of times (and no, this time I didn't read it thoroughly again, because it already 'made' sense the 2nd time I read it). Ilya is working with Knight Foundation toward the same end. Fine enough, but this wiki needs to find its own solution. -Edbrown05 09:43, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Cmwhite wrote a wrote a very beautiful page discussing this. -Edbrown05 09:51, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

And here is a key sentence fragment from that page: "and it would be accepted that news about, say, a school football club’s news would be written about that club without necessarily seeking the view of the opposing club." Wow, are we to make a full stop here, and are we talking less than NPOV?

Of course. So how to make that dialougue newsie thing that can happen? -Edbrown05 10:59, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

...for what is is worth, the idea of "no bias in news reporting" doesn't exist, and is silly to imagine. If you live in the US and consume MSM, then, clearly you see, it doesn't work -Crenra

perhaps bias free news reporting is impossible, but just because something is impossible doesn't mean you shouldn't try to achieve it. Although maybe not possible, I think you can get pretty darn close. As for editorials, you can rant in your userspace to your heart's content, but the should never be in the main (not to say its not posible to have n opinionated news wiki, this isn't it though.) Bawolff 03:01, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
I am a bit gray on this area because I just criticized a story for being un-newsworthy and not only that but the guy who wrote it seemed to not understand the idea of defamation or slander in his article. Perhaps what we need are more ideas/templates/guides to how to write a story and what kind of story to choose. Having worked for a major newspaper, I know writers have a difficult time even approaching their story and sometimes its just up to the editor to sit down and make a checklist and go these are all the things you need to find out to make this story successful. So some kind of flow-chart of "this is the type of story I am going to write, then these are the suggested criteria for this type of story, etc" would be extremely helpful for n00bz. We need to direct people to their end goal because truly anything can be news.
I also want to ask, what is the consensus regarding WN coverage? We have such a disparate amount of local news versus national versus world news, do we have a policy that states news must somehow affect the international landscape? Obviously a story about Bob hitting Steve over the head next door sourced by various state/city-level news agencies isn't going to affect the world in the end. .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 06:19, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
We have a couple templates and stuff. See Wikinews:Writing an article and Wikinews:Publish checklist. Which article are you refering to? As for coverage. Our policy is we cover what people write. If there are ten thousand article of one province of Australia's water system, and nothing on the rest of the world going to crap, thats what we publish. At one point there was a Country of the week project to promote low coverage areas, but that died a while back. Bawolff 06:29, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


Rather then, or in concert with, the comment about swearing, I suggest that it include something like "...however, all comments should be civil and none should be malicious attacks on people, either contributors, commenters or subjects of the articel.". 01:36, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's a general policy here, it would be like putting a big notice in the sitenoitce saying "DO NOT VANDALISE" really. Thunderhead - (talk) 01:45, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Future article updates[edit]

I propose a system for listing the most recent update to a story inside of an article. Here's what I've come up with:

The {{Current}} template would be used like this on the first article published about something:

{{Current|story=Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse}}

Later articles updating the first would include an extra parameter:

{{Current|story=Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse|update=2}}

Once the second article was published, presumably a bot would sweep through and update Template:Current/Minneapolis I-35W Bridge Collapse to contain

2/I-35W Bridge Collapse death toll rises to eight

After that, the first article would magically add this to the first article:

{{StoryUpdate|I-35W Bridge Collapse death toll rises to eight}}

Note that the second article (the most recent) does not contain the updates section; the section is only added if the article is out of date.

To see this in action, visit Horse racing in NSW, Queensland cancelled indefinitely.

One problem that has been bothering me is hiding the categories at the bottom of the article; I do want the articles categorized so a bot can easily update the update page, but I don't think it's a good thing to have red category links on there. One possible solution to this would be to have the bot automatically change the category page to a redirect to the most recent article.

What does everyone think? irid:t 07:50, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Updated to reflect template: namespace and true example articles. irid:t 21:56, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I think it's great! We should roll it out accross all articles, definitly! Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:07, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Bot complete[edit]

The bot I wrote to complete this functionality is now up in WN:BOT. Please go vote for it! irid:t 14:04, 20 September 2007 (UTC)


I suggested to some sysop/bureaucrats that we revamp Portal:Football. I got support for this and started doing it with other members. I think it needs a new design with a colour scheme. On the page you will see I have already expressed a desire for one of the colours used. I would like your comments on this please. Celticfan383 19:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

I don't follow football, but I think you're on to a great start with your changes. If I can contribute style-y wikicode, let me know! I'd be more than happy to fuss around with formatting for an hour or two. irid:t 20:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
As I stated in IRC, we have very little sports people around here. And the ones we do have, disappear when the season of their sport is over. So I encourage ANY redesign to any sports portal. The more sports people we have the better IMO. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:03, 30 August 2007 (UTC)
very true, i think that most "wikinewser" are a bit tired by the over-presence of sport into regular news, but anyone is free to contribute with news of sport, sans problème !!! ^-^ Jacques Divol 20:18, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

"borrowing" ideas[edit]

Over on Polish Wikinews there's a poster design effort. Anyone want to see what they could come up with for en.wikinews? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:24, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

That would be cool! Although the print edition is excellent, a poster edition could be done as well. Once the layouts done it wouldnt be hard to update. TheFearow 09:51, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
I can't read Polish, so I can't work out what their goal is - I suspect it is to highlight the most popular stories and encourage people to start contributing. That brings up the question of what we do with a poster. Is it something we issue regularly, or something that gets done every 3-6 months for our student/school contributors to stick on noticeboards at the start of terms? --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Maybe a "top stories" thing at the end of each week? I would put it on my colleges noticeboard etc, and maybe in other places. I like that idea. TheFearow | userpage | contribs 04:54, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm going to try create a poster thing with similair content to the Print Edition. A3 should be good for a poster, right? TheFearow | userpage | contribs 23:58, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

Did you ever get anywhere on this? There's a planned "Edit Wiki" campaign for towards the end of the fundraiser. I'd like to be able to nip into Leuven and put up posters in the university buildings. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:14, 6 November 2007 (UTC)


Hey everyone! I have been thinking about this for a while but, have been to busy to put the idea forward properly. I would like to buy a domain ( ) where all alternative projects which do not work directly off mediawikisoftware can be hosted withought having to go to third parties. Some of the things I would propose hosting on the domain would include blogs for WMF projects, a mirror host for different format videos from wikinews video (when it is launched).

The domain would also be used for other WMF projects such as surveys to gather statistics as well as any other projects which would like an "officialish" domain and, have projects related to the foundation.

I would be able to host it since I have loads of bandwidth and hosting space. The domain is parked but, is parked as a low level domain - this means it will not cost too much compared to other parked domains - if there is interest in users supporting the idea, I will bring it up at other WMF projects and then see if we can work out a way to pay for the domain (since I cannot afford it as a student) -- thanx -- Symode09 10:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikicast already exists as a project. You should discuss with them before potentially stealing their name. Also be careful not to infringe on any wikimedia trademarks and copyrights (aka logos). Otherwise you can if you wish, but I feel that multimedia content is starting to become well enough supported on wmf projects, that such a site may not be needed anymore. Bawolff 20:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, can't seem to find the wikicast wiki anymore. You may want to ask user:Nzgabriel or user talk:ShakespeareFan00 (not very active on wikinews, but often on irc) as i believe they were involved with that project. Bawolff 20:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Use the toolserver - it's made for this. We can run whatever we want on it, and its cached/replicated/etc off Wikimedia. It also means we dont get trademark issues. Matt | userpage | contribs 22:12, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The toolserver is probably a good idea for stuff like that. (That is, when it works...). However hosting videos in propority formats probably won't be allowed there for the same reason its not allowed here. Bawolff 02:27, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
We can host in almost any format we want on the toolserver - they allow almost anything as long as its wikimedia related and not copyright infringements etc. Matt | userpage | contribs 10:05, 16 September 2007 (UTC)


I have been pondering that word for sometime now. As Craig proposed the Wikinews Foundation, and Jimbo has hinted slightly at a Wikinews fundraiser, I think we should seriously consider one.

The fundrasier, at lest for what I would like one for, is the building of Wikinews:Video 2.0, better software and such for the main page designs, graphics whatever. But if Wikinews Video is to go anywhere at all we need money. We need the $ for MAYBE a studio aka main headquarters, equipment, software etc etc etc...and there is no way, unfortunately, that the project can go to many places without it. We have very interested contributers and we have a good article base now that we can do short segments.

This is not the proposal, but a proposal to get those of you interested in a Wikinews ONLY fundraiser to come forward and help to create a proposal to submit to the board. Again, I am NOT talking about a regular WMF fundraiser. This would be ONLY for Wikinews.

I look forward to hearing your opinions and ideas, and I hope we can achieve something form them. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:43, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Well first off, before such a fundraiser to take place, the wikinews chapter/foundation/union/club/whatever its being called now would have to be finalized. After (or possibly before that) the next thing to do is figure out what needs money. Some of my reflections on the things you mentioned
  • Video wikinews: Studio (or green screen thingy if your doing that approach. I haven't really been watching what is happening with that project) video cameras lights etc is an obvious one
  • Software — thats an intresting one, as most software we need is Free (thats with a capital F as in Free/libre/open source/etc), as well most of wikimedia has qualms with any projects requiring the use of propority software. is there anything in paticular your thinking about purchasing?
    • Software for main page design: Theres not very much that would help in that regard. As well we have some very talented html/css/js people on site (And I believe there are a couple php people, but most of them are less then active). If you can draw a picture of what the main page should look like, it could probably be made to happen.
    • Software for graphic design: the gimp...
    • Software area where money would be useful: perhaps paying people to work on certain aspects of the site would be useful (ex we want a new feature for DPL, devs are to busy, we pay someone to do it). We could also investigate having professional usability experts go over site usability with a fine tooth comb, but i expect we have people here who can do it for free
  • <Start dreaming>This is way way far in the future, but we could operate a physical news paper. Imagine Wikinews print edition delivered to your door.

Bawolff 03:52, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Per Wikinews:Print edition, several of us had the idea of selling print editions. I'm in the process of starting that up at the moment. Matt | userpage | contribs 05:24, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
Bawolff: Like you said, we need people to pay at some point. The money for advertising too. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 07:13, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
If you want to sell print editions and idea might be to charge a small subscription fee for email delivery as soon as a new edition comes out. People can then print it out themselves or just read the document. Look into Google's micropayment system, I believe at the moment it is free. I'm sure you'd get a few signups for "Get the Print Edition in your mailbox for only fifty cents a week."
Does this go against the ethic of "Free knowledge for everyone"? After all, we'd be offering a little convenience for a small fee where you're perfectly able to go get the edition yourself. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:42, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Putting aside where the money goes, we need to do what we can to help with the forthcoming WMF fundraiser. We need slogans for the Sitenotice. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:04, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Give us a bit money! Wikinews needs funding too! (to ZZ Top's "gimmie all your lovin'). --Brian McNeil / talk 12:04, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Free news needs money too! --Nzgabriel | Talk 03:29, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Words cannot convey how disappointed I am to even see this discussion about charging people for print or eMail editions. Most newspapers offer free copies of their stories (knowledge) on their websites, and then charge money for "delivered" editions. Stop trying to be like "normal" newspapers in so many senses, it's what holds Wikinews back with WikiQuote as the "retarded kid brother" of the WMF family. To be taken seriously, we need to cover a niche no other media outlet does, and that means never charging anybody a dime for any type of access to it.
Now we're talking about castrating those areas in which we are free, so that a handful of people with delusions of grandeur who love seeing their faces on-camera, can read off the printed news? Guess what, if you really want to add a video portion to Wikinews so badly, go borrow Daddy's camcorder, put a sheet against the basement wall and find a nice desk at a garage sale - go nuts! Stop trying to get WMF to lower its standards of promoting free (in both senses of the word) alternatives to existing structures, for the sake of satiating your ego.
Now, before you jump on me as "the grumpy WN member" and rush to point out that I denigrate the opposition by making them sound like 14-year olds, consider the fact that my point stands valid - whether they own the basement wall or their parents do. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 01:36, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
PD articles are allowed, but not encouraged. And number one, if we are to do a print edition like so, then we either have to charge or ask WMF to pay for the printing. Maybe I would agree more if WMF paid closer attention to all the other Wikis besides WP. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:41, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't ask Wikisource to reimburse me the printing and copying charges of books I take out from the library, why shouldn't this be the same? It might be nice to have a Wikinews:Requests for funding where accredited reporters can say "Hey, I need $8 to get some print-outs, can somebody help?" "We'll need $300 to do up our postering campaign for Times Square" or "We need $725 to secure television advertising" and wealthy WN members can help out the less-able to cover specific costs associated with things. But that money should all be from internal sources, not from our readers. Sherurcij refusing to add Original Reporting until PD Articles are allowed 02:23, 20 September 2007 (UTC)
The main idea for the fundraiser is WIkinews Video, Wikinews foundation, etc...The Print news is small in comparison. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:25, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

What do we do with the money?[edit]

One of the issues around having a sister "Wikinews Foundation" is staffing it. Craig has put his name up as interested in the job, I would be too but it may be problematic me being in Belgium. If we want to dream we could say we need one in US, one in EU, and one in Oz/NZ. Then we can direct phones to whoever is available and have 24/7 coverage of accreditation verification and a better handling of the hotline. But - as the Foundation will tell you - three staff is expensive. I'm not even confident we'd be able to raise enough to pay for one person.

I think trying to fund Wikinews Video is not - at the moment - a realistic goal. We do not have a close enough geographic grouping of contributors to run a studio, so we're down to green screens and cameras. How much? And who gets? What quality of cameras do we use? Broadcast (TV) quality is really expensive. You do - OTOH - need something respectable if you're going to turn up and video and event. As an example, DF did a story on a building demolition a few months back. We got a picture of the explosion that brought the building down, but an embedded video of it would have been even better. On that basis I think some of the Wikinews Video proponents need to scale back their ambitions and we perhaps look more at Wikinews Multimedia where we aim to get sound and video clips to embed in existing articles. Given time a full-fledged video report will evolve, but I believe that building the content you'd use in a news report first is a better approach. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:24, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

No "who" gets the money and no one person owns anything. The money, the cameras, etc etc is owned byt the Foundation, or the WIkinews Foundation. Broadcast TV is too much to think about. We have many options that can reach more people than network TV. Youtube, MySpace are EXAMPLES. We have our own site right here too. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:40, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about doing Broadcast TV, I'm talking about a gradual introduction of more multimedia content. If someone does an interview - we can have an audio clip. Your building demolition could have had a video instead of a still (People like watching shit get blown up). The question is more what quality of equipment do we buy? We need something more robust than your average home video camera - remember StevenFruitSmaak nearly getting arrested and beaten? Filming something like that protest could get you knocked around a bit; you can't have a camera that won't withstand a drop test.
For the "who" I agree with you, the kit goes to those best-able to use it. An example would be David Shankbone, he's got loads of still camera kit, but I think he's short something to record the interviews he wants to do. For the one I did with Tony Benn I bought a program called HotRecorder that allows you to record Skype conversations. He likely needs something like an MP3 recorder with a halfway decent microphone - less than $100. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:52, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
I think we have more desperate needs then cameras and mics. We have several things that need funding from mediawiki work (better DPLs, RSS, etc) to better press badges and supporting services. I like many other contributors would like to see video Wikinews work, but I do not think it is the best use of funds. The cost of one camera (which would have a very limited use) could easily pay a developer for implementing real RSS feeds. The camera would help the project a little bit, while real RSS feeds would help a lot. Staffing is very important as well, we can continue to rely upon volunteers for a while, but not forever. With the example of the accreditation verification, I am sure we can easily find people to handle it in leave a message and we will call you back asap style, but this is far from ideal. I think founding the Wikinews Foundation is our first big step to making any of these dreams a real reality and I would like to invite anyone who is interested to help on the Wikinews Foundation meta page. --Cspurrier 18:27, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
When I say cameras, they would have to be used on a basis pertaining to incredibly important big news and would be limited, but over time, we also can still apply for grants as well. I am more speaking in terms of a main home base headquarters or at least 3 headquarters or offices/studios. Small scale of course. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:46, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with the gradual implementation of broadcasting. For a start we need more photographs accompanying articles, then it's on to video, etc. --Nzgabriel | Talk 03:30, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

For MediaWiki work, if its not very hard, i'll do it for free. I always look for things to do in MediaWiki, and anything to help Wikinews will of course get a higher priority :) Matt | userpage | contribs 04:37, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
For RSS see Eloquence's micropledge. It is a desperately needed feature, and I will be glad to help with it, but lack the free time to do it myself. You can even make $20 for your work :) --Cspurrier 20:38, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Polling Templates[edit]

I've imported {{Support}}, {{Oppose}}, {{Comment}} templates from Commons to this project, should English Wikinews have some useful and often use polling templates? List of Templates can be found here. Brock contact... 04:21, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

We really don't need them as everyone speaks english here (Although they are pretty Smile.png). The templates on commons are GFDL which is incompatible with licensing, but such a template really doesn't have any creative work or anything, so thats probably a moot point... Bawolff 04:34, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews Foundation[edit]

A few weeks ago I proposed the creation of a separate organization that would allow us to issue properly handle press credentials. It created a very interesting debate on foundation-l and wikinews-l. One of the results of this debate was the conclusion that the neither the Wikimedia Foundation nor the chapters can safely issue press credentials. I believe the creation of a separate legal entity with minimal assets is the best way to resolve this problem. In order for this to happen we need help from the Wikinews community. If you are interested in helping see this happen please add your name to the list on meta or let me know. - m:Wikinews Foundation --Cspurrier 18:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

I've added my name - I love the idea. Matt | userpage | contribs 21:12, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
So in other words, Wikimedia does not issue press credentials and there is no such thing as an accreditted reporter at Wikinews, because the foundation rejected it. -Edbrown05 08:35, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Which in essence, is saying the foundation rejects Wikinews. -Edbrown05 08:42, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
No. The Foundation quitely accepts the fact that we have accreditations, but it has never officialy approved a proposal nor does the Foundation want to be involved directly, because lawsuits against wikinews reporters would then give access to the large funds of the Foundation which are needed to pay for servers -I think. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 08:46, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Methinks some clarification is called for here. Does Wikimedia want original research and reporting or not? -Edbrown05 08:57, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
Or maybe they are too busy fighting all those imaginary lawsuits they haven't gotten and all that work (phew) that doesn't exist. -Edbrown05 09:10, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

Ding, Ding. Which in essence, is saying the foundation rejects Wikinews. -Edbrown05 08:42, 18 September 2007 (UTC) Which is like saying, goodbye bye bitch. -Edbrown05 09:47, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

It is not as cut-and-dried as that. WMF cannot stand behind our reporters and say "so sue us", it puts Wikipedia and all the other projects at risk. Sure, it hasn't happened - so the steps we're taking are to make it impossible to risk other projects for our unique ability to do original reporting. If we have a Wikinews Foundation that handles the accreditation and verification process they can stand behind what a reporter writes. If it comes down to a "sosueme" situation the worst that can happen is the WNF goes. Wikinews will continue, with hosting provided by the WMF. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:51, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
The risk to the foundation is huge if our actions were to cost them their safe habour status. Worse case scenario is they could be considered responsible for everything posted on a WMF. A lawsuit could easily then cause major harm to the foundation if this was to happen. The foundation must reject any proposal that could make this happen. Wikimedia want original research and reporting, everyone I have spoken with has been very supportive of it and want to do what they can to make it happen. The problem however is they can not do what we need safely without causing harm to the foundation. A separate foundation however can. --Cspurrier 20:55, 18 September 2007 (UTC)
I think it is a terrible - we want to collaborate projects, not rip them apart - bad, bad idea. It would produce instability and uncertainty. I think we should focus on other things such as improving our story production. Symode09 10:44, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
If done right there should be no risk of fragmenting the community, in fact it could even help the community relations by helping to facilitate working together with the other projects (other langs and commons) that need accreditation that at present we are forced to turn down. If done right there should be no risk of fragmenting the community, in fact it could even help the community relations by helping to facilitate working together with the other projects (other langs and commons) that need accreditation that at present we are forced to turn down. --Cspurrier 17:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
The premise is easily understood here. Wikinews Foundation (WNF) is a project whose content has nothing to do with the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), even though WMF hosts WNF's content. So because WMF is not WNF, you cannot sue WMF for something WNF reported.
How sweet <--(intentional use teen parlance). WNF hosted by WMF means we got a teeny-bopper relationship going on here. WMF needs to see their way clear to accreditation if that is what this is all about, which clearly it is. If WMF can't, then shame on them for not supporting their own project. -Edbrown05 09:30, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
I always agreed with the suggestion to "Be bold" is a way for moving forward. -Edbrown05 09:53, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Haven't we been bold? I went and spent a few hundred bucks setting up a separate domain because the Foundation hummed and hawed about giving us @wikinews email addresses. That's an indication of where they draw the line. Answering phones and saying "yes, this guy is accredited" is something else they won't do for us. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:40, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, this looks bad, like Wikimedia has got to take a hike. They host us, so what? What does that hosting fee cost Wikinews Foundation? -Edbrown05 08:40, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
Certainly there is a hosting fee to be paid to WMF. Otherwise there would be no separation of WNF from the old-timers league, you know, the scared folks at WMF. -Edbrown05 09:10, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
No hosting fee, WMF would still keep their glorified ISP status (and the safe harbour provisions that go with it). The difference is for the accreditation; we'd have a foundation that would be able to say "sue us, we stand behind our reporter". IF WMF does that it instantly opens a can of worms that someone could try and sue Wikipedia. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:37, 24 September 2007 (UTC)
WMF needs to give up the Wikinews trademark. Really in the long run they just need to go away. If WMF cannot provide email addresses, as Brianmc mentions above, and so instead as a community it is forced to use as work-around the Wikinewsie format found at the paid-for website by Brianmc, where Wikinewsie dot org is a unknowable perversion of this web site, then WMF should renounce its copyright claim to Wikinews and hand it over to WNF. The parsimonious pussy willows at WMF have no intentions or ability to do anything with this project. If they ain't going to "be bold" and move forward, then release it to people whose interests exceed their own. -Edbrown05 04:06, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Your view is, in my opinion, narrow and naive. irid t i e 04:07, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Please explain how and why. -Edbrown05 04:15, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
Hope you don't mind me jumping in here... First off, WMF does not have a copyright claim on Wikinews. It has a trademark on wikinews and its logo (trust me very importanat difference. If you want to, you can copy all wikinews' content and start without anything related to the wmf as long as you call it something else). Basically Most people here have some issue with the wmf. However most people like it better then the alternative of not having them. the wmf does not want to take an editorial role in the project as they want to have to only have the legal responsibilities of a publisher (I think because of this law. but don't quote me on this stuff, IANAL and have no idea about the internal thought processes of wikimedia) (to fight off the lawsuits, which do pop up occasionally I belive. I can count three times Wikimedia has been sued, almost sued, has been threatened being sued or sort of sued. I'm sure more happens behind closed doors). Weather that is the right or wrong approach to take is debatable, but that is the approach they are taking. Since Wikimedia can't provide all the needs of the wikinews comunity, people want to set up a separate organization, to do the stuff that wmf is unwilling to, while still keeping all the benefits that the wmf offers. I don't understand what is wrong with this situation. Bawolff 04:27, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

What is wrong is that WMF supports neither email nor accreditation. I would get into a debate about accreditation because in my experience, as an accreditated reporter, it has been asked for, and checked and ok'd by the questioning organization, under Wikinews current system. But I don't think WMF is serious. "Sofuckthem" -Edbrown05 04:41, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Well personally, I feel that they should have done the emails (whether the current accreditation system is acceptable, I don't know). However they didn't do emails, so why not use them for what they're giving us (and they do give us a lot), and do the stuff they don't do with a seperate wnf.Bawolff 04:57, 25 September 2007 (UTC)
The current accreditation system works with the U.S. gov't. I could but won't bore you with an example. Wikinews has its shit wrapped pretty tight. WMF is some limp rag. They should hand over to Wikinews the trademark and slink off into the darkness. -Edbrown05 05:09, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm kind of new here so maybe this is already being discussed somewhere else. But I was just thinking this afternoon that it would be useful if wikinews editors could solicit missing information directly from the parties discussed. Since there aren't really any official editors of the wikinews, the way it would have to work is that sufficiently senior members would be given the right to conduct wikinews correspondence through a scripted web mail system. All mail sent and received would be made a public record with editing only to hide email addresses (if necessary) and tracking tokens. The tracking tokens are used to insure that only replies to sent requests are accepted (ie: no spam). Dan Oetting 02:54, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Good thought, but it would become over-whelming to try and track all correspondence.
The realm of the reporter is focus on the report (all those separate voices are noise).
Disassociated from this is the track that WikiMedia is trending toward. "We don't want anything to do with Wikinews". International law is baloney because there is no law. Just because WMF rates itself as a "hosting" service, to think that it bears no responsibility for Wikinews content is BS. Wikinews is a content provider and WMF is the host. If the "SoSueMe" loses all meaning under a shell game arrangement that WMF wants to play, then I think they are losing donation money to the foundation. It may not be eloquent, and it may not be responsible, but it is Wikinews. -Edbrown05 09:49, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
A failure to stand beside its community says volumes. -Edbrown05 10:17, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
You may have a mistaken idea of what I was proposing. I don't want a system that puts all the correspondence into each news article. I'm proposing a separate system that would archive specific email correspondence between the wikinews editor/reporter and the participants in the news event. The news article could then reference this archive as a source. The WMF should have no problem with such a correspondence archive because it would be not unlike a public bulletin board or the talk page of a wiki. Dan Oetting 19:17, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

I emailed Mike Godwin to ask him to look over this discussion...


I take what I think is your view, which is that Wikinews should be spun off into a separate organization. But Erik disagrees with me about this, and obviously he is not the only one.

The reasons are chiefly ones of liability and WMF's structure. WMF takes the view that we're a service provider, not a publisher, so that we can partake of the legal protections available to service providers in the United States. Once we're generating original content, or our agents are, we lose that protection. Issuing press credentials would tend to make most courts see us as the publishers of any problematic content generated by Wikinews.
I believe an analogy is in order at the moment. WMF is like the phone company, and you don't expect the phone company to issue you with press credentials because you do interviews by phone. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:33, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
So WMF is a service provider of chat. Hmm, how did they raise a million to do that on their last funding drive? -Edbrown05 08:16, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
The position taken by wmf that only supports second hand news or sources for all its projects is so weak that it makes me want to puke. That is why wmf doesn't even deserve an upper case treatment in these sentences. Go there wmf, and watch what happens, because it disempowers it kills you.
Get sued, more the better to wise people up. And the defenses against it are strong. And I hope staff like Godwin are getting paid for their work, because if they are not, it is no wonder they have ideas presented as above.
I disagree with forking, now wmf wants Wikinews to fork off. ziff! -Edbrown05 08:49, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
WMF does not want Wikinews to fork off, they are interested in helping us set up a separate entity to handle accreditation, credential verification, and legal liability. Everything else remains the same. The objective here is to set up something with a little wider scope, we hope to have other news sites involved with their reporters also being accredited and perhaps encouraged to contribute on Wikinews.
At the moment I think this discussion is going nowhere and I am going to wait until Craig finishes his proposal. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:30, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
I understand that, using David Shankbone's words that Wikipedia has a become a "kindergarden", is a possibility that some might envision here. I am not sure now of the relationship between wmf and Wikipedia. -Edbrown05 09:55, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia has a lot of unsourced content, can that be supported by wmf? -Edbrown05 10:00, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Or is WikiPedia another bastard child? -Edbrown05 10:05, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Or what about Commons. Is a picture worth a thousand words.? What about Wiktionary? <sources please for your definition>. No, it is original stuff people are working toward and wmf is trying to dodge it.
If that is the case, whom is the favorite foundation I send my contribution to? wmf? I don't know anymore. -Edbrown05 08:56, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Sunday Edition[edit]

This is a proposal for regular contributers to PROMISE at least 2 articles every Sunday for a special Sunday Print Edition of Wikinews. The content could also be set up on a temporary mainpage that we can switch between every week.

The print edition should consist of a good deal amount of very in depth news articles on whatever. The paper could be divided into sections like News, Life, Business, etc etc, and have like 5 or 6 sections and like a page devoted to commodities, and news images.

Sundays are very popular here in the US for newspapers. It is a tradition to get a Sunday paper that us usually thicker than a US yellow and white pages phone book combined.

The idea is to somehow implement a way to get the print edition onto news stands around the globe, but to be realistic, start out on a National/local level. Remember, our license allows us to sell the print editions as well. I would say charge anywhere from 25 to 35 cents (US cents) for the only printed actual newspaper with no ads, coupons, comic etc etc...just 100% pure news thats in depth.

Thing is we need people that can devote the time to write the 2 articles a week, mind you for a good in depth article, you have a week to do them so no sweat on the research. We also need to formulate a layout that might be able to change somewhat every week.

This is a good way to get more articles per day and to actually have a motivation to write more. Thoughts??? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:34, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

I think that we should have a roster type system for this? Ie, a person can nominate themselves a week in which they want to write one of these long articles. Also, if this is going on sale in the US, would this force these in-depth articles to be localised to the country they are being sold in?
Not necessarily. People turn to news papers for just that...the news. And when I read papers on Sundays, I don't mind where the news is from. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:25, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
We need to decide a global pricing system - 25-35 cents here in NZ is only enough to cover 2 pages and run at a loss - it's an average of 20c a page, at least where I am. Matt | userpage | contribs 21:31, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
It would have to be a price that when a reader picks it up and says something like "Holy cow! A big newspaper for such a cheap price?...." that they would be more apt to buy it. Also we would need a very attractive cover page that would never have a full story on the front, but would have at least a few paragraphs. We need to be very very creative :) DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:52, 19 September 2007 (UTC)
What kind of size (ie amount of pages) are you looking at producing? --Nzgabriel | Talk 06:22, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Interesting idea. Could you give an example for what would make a good topic for, say, a theoretical edition this Sunday? I might be interested in doing some Health articles.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 09:46, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

I think anything would be a good topic - the goal is more that Sunday newspapers are just plain bigger... more news, of all types. Lyellin 02:59, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
RE: NzGabriel: Pages can be any amount...but the fact that Sundays in the US are the day for newspapers, we would do highly in depth articles on whatever topics we decide on having in the paper. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:12, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Always being last with the news[edit]

I've been trying to post a couple of stories in which I have been in contact with people telling me the story. Whenever I publish here, some parsimonious idiot unpublishes with some daft comment to the effect of - "wikipedia must be last with the news", or, having removed whan I there I've later obtained links to other organisations that have picked up the story, "this story is stale". How do I get round the wikinews censors. until I know the answer, what option do I have execpt to keep changing the tag to 'publish' each time I see someone has removed it. Why do these idiots assume that a valid story is fabricated until some tabloid publishes it - usually with half the details wrong anyway. What kind of "news" is it that only allows the re-reporting of what's already been in the newspapers, expesially when you have contributors, like myself, who are close to the sources and just want to get the news out, protecting anonymous sources as any self-respecting journalist does? 13:33, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Someone telling you the story is not good journalism -we need to be able to verify your sources. Please read our Wikinews:Original reporting policy closely. BTW we are not Wikipedia. Please do not simply publish the article when people are trying to explain to you what is wrong: ask them how you can improve in specific cases. If you can show proof of your original reporting notes to a trusted member of our community who also respects journalism ethics, we will publish it. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 14:05, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

"Featured Story" on front page[edit]

Is anyone against renaming the front page featured story section "Featured Original Coverage"? It tends to be original reporting, anyway, but just to emphasise this element? -- Zanimum 15:13, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Its not always just so happens with David's contributions, its just been all OR lately. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 15:38, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I know it's not always OR. But by making sure that OR is always prominently featured, even if it isn't the most important story, it will let readers know that we have a slowly-growing team of writers out in the field, and hopefully encourage them to participate... -- Zanimum 17:49, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Sometimes a non-OR article really deserves that spot. I am, however, not against removing the "Featured" labeled altogether, because of the confusion with WN:FA.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:22, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Nah. Let's just leave it as "Featured Story". I'm not confused between "Featured Story" and WN:FA at all. "Featured Story" = "Third lead" to me so if we remove it, it will look like something is missing. And "Third lead" just doesn't cut it like "Featured Story" does. FellowWiki Newsie 02:47, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

Ontario Votes?[edit]

This is a great topic, sure. But do we really need all these interviews on the main page? Can't we put them someplace else?

We could, but we currently don't have a great number of articles. I personally feel we should wait until we have a great many articles before puting some articles elsewhere. Bawolff 20:29, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews/BBC collaboration discussion[edit]

I started a discussion on possible cross-collaboration between Wikinews and BBC News. Please comment and please add to this proposal. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:25, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

News radio recordings[edit]

Coming from the Spokenwiki project on Wikipedia, I've been wondering is there a similar project here for Wikinews to do NPR-style radio news? And as such, is there a need even or interest? I realize that articles change so frequently until way after the event has occurred but does the Wikinews community have such demand for its older articles or newer ones for the blind? Davumaya 01:38, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

See Wikinews:Audio_Wikinews. If you can get it going on a regular schedule a few radio stations have offered to play it --Cspurrier 01:42, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
Great! I'm going to do the weekend's news in just a moment. Trying to find the audio file for the little news jingle too. .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 05:40, 14 October 2007 (UTC)
I think theres a couple hanging arround in commons somewhere by commons:category:Wikinews. Bawolff 06:47, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Briefs: If people desire more control over content and order of the stories in the Audio Wikinews Briefs, please then create the brief before the next day and populate it with your preferred order and length of story content, please also proofread it for flow. Should you decide a change is needed in the recorded brief after its done, please notify me on my talk page so I can re-record that section. .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 22:35, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Two lead images[edit]

What do you all think of this? User:Matt/mainpage2.

It uses Template:Lead article/test which shows both Template:Lead article with large image and Template:Lead article with large image/2.

It allows us to show two different image leads at once fairly simply, and doesnt change the spacing a huge amount (at least for me, it actually fills up a heap of ugly whitespace).

Opinions/thoughts/complaints/insults? Matt | userpage | contribs 22:06, 15 October 2007 (UTC)

Opinions/thoughts/complaints/insults? I choose the last =P. Now, speaking honestly, I think it has two three cons:
  • It is seen horribly in my screen; too big. Just for you to make an idea, from the "COTA" logo, I can only see the C without having to scroll.
  • We would have to update it very regularly... In Spanish Wikinews we used to have four leads (the main, one below the main, and two on the right, just for you to make an idea). Well, days in which wen we didn't write many news, we could update one, but the rest weren't updated, so the main page really sucked because we didn't always have a picture.
  • Emmm... Not many news site have to "leads with large image", do they... CNN, BBC, Reuters... They all have one main...
That's my humble opinion. Regards, Jurock (reply here) 22:26, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
Good point. Although often we get multiple ones deserving the main spot, I think my newest idea on the technical water cooler should solve the problem of not having enough leads (itll allow infinte lead stories). Matt | userpage | contribs 23:07, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The space around the lead image seems a bit voidish, could we do more horizontally cropped photos or add short story text next to each image when it loads? .:*:*:DAVUMAYA:*:*:. 06:09, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
The problem is the space changes with the resolution of your browser. Bawolff 06:45, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

Making the lead article template less confusing[edit]

The other day I was asked to fix a problem with the lead article template and I noticed how difficult it can be for people to get it right. I propose replacing the current method with something like how I've done User:Darklama/Headline. --darklama 22:50, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Looks nice. only problem is can you specify font colour and stuff like that? Bawolff 22:11, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes you can specify the font and color with {{{font}}} and {{{color}}}. There is also a {{{shadow}}} property for specifying a background color for the text. I probably ought to add some sort of option for how transparent the shadow should be though. --darklama 01:04, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, i moved into template, and I'm going to try and merge into the current system sometime soon. Bawolff 06:46, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

An "Upcoming Events" section[edit]

The Wall Street Journal has a weekly piece on 'what to expect this week', which lists major announcements that are going to be made by organizations, governments, upcoming games, etc. This is an extremely useful item for people looking out for certain types of news, but I haven't found it made available on any other part of the internet, or on WSJ's own website. Would this be a difficult new aspect of WikiNews to implement? A 'future' version of pages similar to the 'August 2007' type of "What happened during..." pages Wikipedia already has, that lists expected announcements and decisions?

This is a good idea, and the BBC has a similar section. Our issue is we don't have enough people to do a "Upcoming news" section justice. Let's say we try and dig up one expected significant event for each forthcoming day of the week, there are days we have less than five or six articles, so you may have nobody cover a listed event. On the other hand, things like this can go into briefs. We could have a section on the front page that covered expected upcoming news like company profit or earning announcements and such. The actual news can go in the briefs.
Where this is useful on a news site is it is a way of saying "Come back tomorrow, and the next day." I'd love to attract a few stock market geeks to Wikinews and do things like that. ("Company xxx is releasing their results on Wednesday" followed up with a paragraph or two synopsis in the briefs on the Wed.). --Brian McNeil / talk 15:48, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

Relevance tool for searching/displaying news items[edit]

Hi, I am sorry if I am out of line posting here.

I have no idea how complicated a process it would be, but is it possible to give a tool for displaying news items found in Wikinews in order of the date the article was written? This would make certain issues easier to navigate in terms of their relevance to current situations.

Sorry, I think you guys do a great job. I appreciate your hard work and dedication. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by User: (talkcontribs)

Yes, there is. It's called Wikinews:Digests. For example, yesterday's news. We also have categories, like Category:Internet, Category:Health, Category:Africa, etc. FellowWiki Newsie 01:52, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
There is also category:February 1, 2006 and friends which some people may find easier to browse. You can also list news articles in a category in order of when added to category or last edit, but that is more complicated (See WN:DPL) Bawolff 23:24, 1 November 2007 (UTC)


Many moons ago Amgine set up a page where people were invited to write Wikinews adverts. Poking around on Wikipedia I found Template:Wikipedia ads. Let's steal it and put it on our Comments pages. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:05, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Good idea; I keep the Wikipedia ads on my Wikipedia page.
Umm, I don't really see how they're relevant, but if you feel like it. On a side note the wikipedia advert template (last time I looked at it) figured out which ad to display by the reminder when the current number of ads were divided by the number of edits. Due to the fact that we get significantly less volumes of edits, especially at certain hours, using the timestamo instead of edit count might be a good idea (See the quote template on my user page). Bawolff 23:22, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Adding a poll and an article rating/comment combination extension[edit]

I was surfing around and asking around and darkcode in IRC gave me this neat little link for a combination comments and polling extension, which allows you to rate an article and comment on it at the same time. I like this and I think we should consider it given the fact that our comments section is a show stopper.

Also, I would like to introduce a simple front page poll...maybe updated every day or other day. But I then realized, I have no experience with making bots or extensions. So I sniffed around the link above and found a simple poll which allows anyone, anonymous or registered to vote on a simple question. It needs a little modifying, such as the messaging system, but I think that it should just be a vote, and take out the messaging assuming we use the combination extension above. Here is an example poll currently in working order...feel free to vote. (I did NOT create this poll...just found it).

Thoughts? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:09, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I like the rating articles idea. But I do like the poll idea. FellowWiki Newsie 17:22, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree: I like the poll, but I don't like the article rating system. --David Shankbone 18:07, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Mabie we can just use a format almost like the one that we already use for the quiz:

Do you think Muslims should be banned from wearing veils at polls?

This poll sucks!!!

But we would have to remove "Incorrect answer", etc, and we would have to add the poll results instead.

We cant use the current quiz system as it doesnt record results. I love the idea of a rating system, and I think integrated comments will be very helpful as well. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 20:30, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, I change my mind. We can stick with our current comments system, and use mw:Extension:AjaxRatingScript. We already have zachs extension for comments that uses our existing system and layout just without the JS. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 20:33, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
The ratings could be discouraging to news users. And they may be discouraged to write articles. FellowWiki Newsie 20:35, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
At least they dont get some of the rather trollish comments we get on the comments pages anyway, or at least not as many. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 21:03, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Rather than a rating system, I would prefer a "Yesterday's most viewed articles" applet based on the new statistics system. See Wikinews:Water_cooler#Stat_requests. Ratings can really demoralise you so I don't really like it. I would support a poll extension though. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:08, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Google News[edit]

Okay, I know we have attempted this before, but is anyone up for brainstorming about how to make a play again to be listed on Google News? I see far less prestigious sites listed, and considering the names and news we have been publishing lately, I think they will take us seriously. But we should make some good-faith attempt to address their issues. --David Shankbone 17:22, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

[edit conflict] Also, another issue is that we allow anyone to edit and Google thinks our articles could contain unverified information. FellowWiki Newsie 17:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
That's what I meant by lack of editorial control. --SVTCobra 17:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Brianmc has explained to me that Google won't list us (even though they list blogs) because of our lack of editorial control. There is no "editor-in-chief" that can be held accountable for the reliability of the news. But if you or anyone has ideas about how to change Google's mind, that'd be great. --SVTCobra 17:38, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

There may be ways to address those issues. A blog can contain unverified information as much as our site. How do we contact them? Maybe if we broach them again we might get another result; or they might give us specific remedies that mesh with out philosophy. --David Shankbone 17:48, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

We've contacted them several times and still we get a no. We created and still a no. FellowWiki Newsie 17:50, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Letter I wrote to Google News[edit]

Dear Google News,

I am one of the editors of Wikinews, which is a sister project of Wikipedia. We are a group of fifty reporters and editors, with an accreditation system and an editorial process, that collaborate and write news stories, many of which are featured on Wikipedia.

For Wikinews I have interviewed Presidential candidates Senator Sam Brownback and Congressman Tom Tancredo; ACLU President Nadine Strossen; writers Augusten Burroughs and Gay Talese; and a variety of luminaries in a broad spectrum of fields.

We have an editorial process that ensure disinformation is not spread and we review each and every article. If you were to visit our website and look at any number of articles currently displayed, or within our archives, you will see the content is accurate and engaging.

We would like our articles to be listed with Google News. How can we move forward on this?

Best regards, David Shankbone

Follow-up to Google News[edit]

Dear Google News, to respond to your criteria:

- have news content that is original to the site

  • Yes, definitely. I have interviewed over thirty people for the site. Although we do some news compilation, we have a strong bent toward original reporting. For instance, one of our editors interviewed former British Cabinet Minister Tony Benn; I've interviewed two Presidential candidates (Sam Brownback and Tom Tancredo), ACLU President Nadine Strossen, Augusten Burroughs, the High Priest of the Church of Satan, Gay Talese, and a variety of other people. We report on events around the world that happen in our communities.

- don't solely promote their own activities

  • No, not at all. Although we do cover Wikipedia fairly well, those stories are only about 2% of all stories written.

- are written and maintained by a clear organization, one that has multiple writers and editors

  • Definitely. We have over fifty editors and reporters on the site who constantly monitor the stories in addition to the reporting. We fact check our stories and ensure there are no errors or misquotes. For our interviews, we record and transcribe them.

Once our stories are finalized, we put them in final format so that they can no longer be changed by anybody.

Please let me know if I can provide any other information.

David Shankbone

Flagged Revs[edit]

Why don't we install flagged revs? Then we can simply ask google to use the latest verified version of each article. We can simply make all admins able to mark articles as verified, and it also allows us to make anons see the latest verified version by default. If anyone wants to try it out, [2] ask me on IRC for password. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 20:55, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Can you un-flag with that system? Overall I think this a simpler and better solution than what I suggest below. I can't think of any reasons not to have that system.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:03, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, each revision can be rated on a scale of one through (some number, I think 10) which shows as a nice bar on three elements, including accuracy, and can be re-rated at any time. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 00:47, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
This sounds like a good idea regardless. --David Shankbone 00:56, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Evil Poll[edit]

Should we install the FlaggedRevs extension, with the following settings/changes:

  • Sysops can review and flag revisions as quality.
  • Other users from a "editor" group can review and flag revisions as quality
  • Bureaucrats are given access to the Special:Userrights interface, but only able to do what they can currently (+sysop, +bot, -bot) with the addition of +editor and -editor. Sysops will also have access to +editor through that interface.

Feel free to make changes to these, but note what you changed directly below this message and the time at which you did, so we know what votes were before a particular change, without having to dig around in the history. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 04:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Oppose, don't like the Editor group nor the quality idea. On the Dutch Wikipedia, it's simply any established editor who can approve version that are not his own, and once they're approved they remain so. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 17:55, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The editor group would be given out to basically any active non-vandal. Simply an autoconfirmed-style system but with manual approval (no process, just an admin giving it to regular contributors). We can customise the different scales (if we want), so instead of that we could do things like Prose, Accuracy, etc. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 01:09, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Why hold a vote now? FlaggedRevs is months away from even being technically able to be deployed on Wikinews, shouldn't we wait how it fares on German Wikipedia? --+Deprifry+ 19:20, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Steven Fruitsmaak's solution[edit]

I emailed this to the wikinews mailing list but only got one reply... --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 00:03, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Date: Sun, 28 Oct 2007 18:11:37 +0000
Subject: [Wikinews-l] My plan for the big push

Dear all,

I've had this idea that I would like to share. Do you know how people
can say that Wikipedia is a very popular site because every time they 
look something up on Google, they see the Wikipedia article among the
first links provided? I think that is one of the best proofs of 
Wikipedia's success, and so I also think we should urgently make it one 
of our priorities to get Wikinews' stories onto Google News.

Some of them actually get on there already, thanks to 1) other news 
sites reusing our content and 2) Wikinews Reports, our blog which Jason 
Safoutin (User:DragonFire1024) got onto Google News. Getting our content 
stories on popular sites has been tried before, but some attempts failed 
because the stories needed to get copied manually, which can be time 
consuming. That when Craig Spurrier (User:Cspurrier) set up this great 
script at, a url he happened to own (apparently 
that hasn't been updated recently). Another recent improvement has been 
the site set up by Brian McNeil (User:brianmc).

So you see, we've ended up with 3 different external sites which were 
set up for 3 different reasons. My idea is to merge these 3 together, as 
I think this would get all of our news stories on Google News. I think 
the best way to do it is to set up Craig's script on, and 
move the blog over there too. That way would provide not 
only email addresses for reporters, but also a blog similar to what we 
have now, and it would get all our stories on Google News.

So, what do we need to get on Google News? I'll tell you:

- Reliable information without vandalism. They don't want stuff anyone 
can edit. However, we can have an approved-versions format, like the 
German Wikipedia has. This would involve trusted users who could approve 
of story updates.

- The outward appearance of a typical newspaper setup. We need some 
evidence of a community behind the stories.

- original reporting. Google News is a news aggregator itself, so it 
won't list other aggregators.

- Articles in a format google news can aggregate.

Google News refused to list because 1) the site 
didn't show evidence of a community of journalists and editors, and 2) 
was in fact an aggregator of stories from Wikinews. We can change that 
by merging all 3 sites together. That way, we can have a review process 
for Wikinews articles to ensure quality content, on a site with a 
community behind it, and in a format that Google can handle. If we want 
to do this, we need original reporting on . This can be 
achieved if all OR is originally published on that site, and then gets 
copied onto Wikinews.

I've been told that is still being set up, that we 
shouldn't do this because we wouldn't want to risk what we have now, ... 
but I think we should, because things would be less scattered, all goals 
would still be achieved and it would get all of our stories on Google 

Sorry that this turned out to become such a lengthy post, let me know 
what you think of my idea! I'll quickly summarise:

1. I think getting all of Wikinews' stories on Google News is a top 

2. I think we can achieve this goal by merging our Wikinews Reports blog 
and into our current reporter site
cheers, User:Stevenfruitsmaak


Is it a radical suggestion that once we publish that only people with certain editorial abilities can make changes, and not just anybody? I think the Wikipedia "Anyone can edit" ethos doesn't work so well on what we are doing on this site, but works well for an encyclopedia. What about creating a tier between User and Admin called "Editor" that allows accredited reporters to make edits, but nobody else, once an article is published? That solves one major problem for Google News. I agree, I think it should be a priority to be on there. We also have a good deal of high-profile original news reporting that has happened lately not only with my work, but also with Gabriel's and Brock's. Whether anyone thinks their focus is too specific, it helps us achieve the OR benchmark they want to see: original stories. We also now have some big names under our belt. I think once a story is published, we shouldn't allow anyone to edit it. I think it hurts more than helps. However, in Wiki fashion, we should still allow anyone to write stories. --David Shankbone 00:11, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

David is right. We have been responsible for some of the biggest news stories of the year maybe; Benoit, Webcomics, London Bombings back in 2005, Interviews that have been scooped etc etc. Personally I think google is just being pricks, but whatever. But yes I also agree that the anyone can edit works more for WP than WN because we archive, they do not. But I have also called for in the past to have some kind of editorial process. I agree with David on this...Steven too. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:21, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, on many levels that makes sense. I don't think the foundation would like it. Also, anons do still help us with spelling and grammatical errors. And what if an anon or "regular" user published, would it take an editor or admin to unpublish? Or won't entry level people like anons and regular users be able to publish in the first place. However, the foundation may be willing to listen to our problems on getting listed on Google, which is pretty necessary these days. --SVTCobra 00:27, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
They do help, but not enough to make editing available to them in exchange for denial of Google News, which will expand our readership greatly. I'd be willing to make that trade-off. We have people like Wikisoup, who does gnomastic editing and is much appreciated, and we don't have to have a high bar for giving "editing credentials" but to leave us wide open, I think, hasn't proven useful to the project. We're a different animal than many of the other projects. In the few months I've been here, I think we've more than shown the potential for the project, but to expand it and make it more attractive, I think we should consider options. Google News, I agree with Cobra, is pretty necessary. I think Steven also raises interesting work-arounds, but I think "" should be the premiere site. I don't know. Perhaps we should start a new page devoted to Google News to make a push for that. It will bring us more readers...which will bring us more contributors... --David Shankbone 00:40, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Well IMHO, the foundation needs to look at us as a news site and treat us like one. We require needs that are far more different than WP's needs. For us to be a successful news site, we need to do certain things. If that means an editorial process, or what David says, then I am will to sacrifice that, if it means making Wikinews better. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:42, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I think there is a way to meet the foundation's philosophy but curtail it to the needs of WN. Afterall, even on Wikipedia they have thought about changes that are even more far-reaching than what we are thinking: --David Shankbone 00:55, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
See the discussion on flagged revs above. That will allow us to do a editorial-like system, within the foundations requirements (made for wikipedia). (Note: Discuss flaggedrevs above, as itll centralise discussion) Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 00:49, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The semi-protect does nothing for accounts older than a few days. We need a process IMO...especially as we approach 10+ articles a day. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:41, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Should we come up with a proposal and have a techie help us come up with a way to implement it? Maybe there won't be a need - I currently have an outstanding request to Google News; but likely we'll fail that if history is an indicator. So maybe we should plan for the worst? --David Shankbone 03:59, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The systems already made, FlaggedRevs. If there is consensus I could get that set up and running quite easily. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 04:54, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
  • Don't see why we would need to create an Editor status... Actually if Flagged Revs means that anons won't be able to edit, I'm against it. We have to think about Wikinews first, if this would damage the Wikimedia spirit of collaboration I would rather have my solution described above, of merging thenewswiki-script into . --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 17:51, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Steven. I don't like where this conversation is going. Anons do contribute often and with substance. Look at any of the breaking stories we've covered. Huge contributions by anons and not just small edits. On breaking news that is our strength. On interviews, obviously less so. "Anyone can edit" does work here. Abandoning that aspect of Wikinews to get just to get listed in Google News is not the way to go. Jcart1534 18:22, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
The issue is more: do our published articles need to be edited, or should they be edited by anons? Why would it be un-wiki to have the collaboration take place in articles that are being prepared? We aren't preventing anyone from contributing, we are trying to make the contributions more productive and channeled for a current news source. We are different from Wikipedia in that way, or we aim to be. The issues Google News raises are valid. "Just to get on Google News" is no small thing; it'll vastly increase our traffic and our reach. I don't think anon contributions are particularly substantive. We're something of a latchkey operation right now, that if we do receive a bump in readership and contributions, it will be more difficult for us to keep up with problematic edits if we do not have a corresponding increase in contributors. --David Shankbone 18:34, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I for one rely heavily on spelling and grammar fixes anon readers make to my articles. I tend to publish articles timely, and they get changed after publication a lot. Nobody replied to my alternative solution explained above, but I'd like to point out that Flagged Revs is not the only possible way to get on Google News. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:53, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes our published articles need to be edited. Look at today's lead. It has been modified many times since publishing. That is the nature of the beast with breaking stories. And why not by anons? Even if you force anons to register what is the difference? Maybe I should let you explain more before getting worked up! How do you envision the process would work? Jcart1534 18:57, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm not particularly sure, this is really just us batting around ideas. I suppose the idea i have is that we start to make more use of "ready" tags and not rush to "publish" if it means that once we publish there is only a minimal amount of editing undertaken (obvious problems, for instance, like spelling). If our "ready" stage was where we undertook the bulk of edits, additions, subtractions, etc., that could be the place for the "everyone contributes" ethos. But once we publish news stories, they should be in final form. I say that knowing that mine are anything but in final form, but I can change my own behavior. If this change--making the more bulk of edits and contributions at the "ready" stage than the published stage--would allow us to be a part of Google News, then I think it's a worthwhile step. Additionally, it will improve the quality of our published articles. There are also problems with the idea: that it will take longer to publish; that nobody will actually do anything with them. I also think Steven's idea of creating a mirror site that is not edited, but I'm exploring all ideas. But without a doubt, I think we should push for Google News publishing. --David Shankbone 19:18, 7 November 2007 (UTC)
Are you suggesting a return to a more formal write, mandatory review then publish system? Bawolff 21:44, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

There has been a misunderstanding here - flaggedrevs means each revision is rated and marked as quality, and it can still be edited. It just adds a notice saying it hasnt been reviewed and may be inaccurate. We could then (if we wanted) set it up so anons see the latest marked revision, or just keep that part how it is. Matt/TheFearow | userpage | contribs 01:11, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Symptom of success as opposed to actual success[edit]

A number of people have brought up how Wikipedia shows up on the top google hits. However, Wikipedia didn't get there by petitioning google, or by search engine optimization. Wikipedia got their by being the thing that everyone linked to. A number of Wikipedia rivals don't seem to understand this- w:Conservapedia for example has tried to do a lot of search engine optimization when they should be improving content. If we have enough content and make it of high enough quality, google will have to link to us as news. It may make far more sense to focus on being so good that they need to link to us rather than trying to keep dealing with their bureaucracy. JoshuaZ 00:48, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

You are correct. Bawolff 20:02, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
No I think you're wrong, because they already list our Wikinews Reports blog, just not Wikinews, because of their bureaucracy. Admitted, if we were the Wikipedia of news they'd probably change their rules, but for now it would be nice for us to have them list Wikinews stories. That said, sounds like we're still not an inch closer to a solution.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 17:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I haven't been contributing here for a long time, so I'm a little out of the loop, but I just wanted to say that I agree with the thrust of JoshuaZ's comment. We shouldn't change our policies to suit Google News - Google News should change their policies to suit us. The goal of this project is not to fit in with the existing media, it is to change the way news is reported, just as Wikipedia has changed the way encyclopedia's are written. Perhaps I'm a little extreme on this; I think we should abolish the develop/publish system entirely. "Publishing" is an outdated concept which we should have left behind with the printing press. Articles should be edited until they are no longer news, and then they should be locked. I do support FlaggedRevs, however, for the management of vandalism. - Borofkin 03:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

"Meet the editors" video[edit]


Hi all,

I had this idea for a promotional video for Wikinews, which everyone could contribute to. You know the video of all different locations in the world? Wouldn't it be great to have a video that starts with the Wikinews logo and explains what Wikinews is, and then you see some of our editors who've filmed themselves in world-famous locations, e.g. "Hi, I'm Jason reporting from New York City," , "Hi, I'm Brian reporting from Brussels," , "Hi, I'm Frankie Roberto with the news from London," with the Big Ben in the background, "Hi, I'm Rico Shen reporting from Taiwan," in Taiwanese, and some different languages like "I'm Julian from Buenos Aires" in Spanish, etc. We could write a script collaboratively and put together all the video fragments we receive. A bit like the Jimmy Wales video for the fundraiser.

Thoughts? Volunteers?

Reactions here: Wikinews:Video_Wikinews/2.0/Yap#.22Meet_the_editors.22_video

--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 21:40, 12 November 2007 (UTC)

Wikinews/Wikipedia search option[edit]

I was wondering if anyone else thought providing the function of looking up a search term on Wikipedia might be a good idea in cases where no search results are found (or even in all cases, I guess it wouldn't matter). I can't count how many times I've tried to look something up on Wikipedia in the Wikinews search box, only to have it tell me that there are no results and have me scratching my head until I get the bright idea of looking to the top left of the screen. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't notice this kind of thing, and I know Wikipedia's function is unrelated to that of Wikinews and all, but it seems like it'd be a minor thing to add. Perhaps just a section at the end of the search page that says "Search for '[search term]' on Wikipedia!" or something to that effect. Any thoughts? 21:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Thats easy to do (depending on how far you want to take it), and a great idea. I'm sure there are also many many people who click on a link from 'pedia, and don't realize theyre not there anymore. Bawolff 00:02, 28 November 2007 (UTC)
I've modified mediawiki:Searchsubtitle to have a wikipedia search link. Other things we can do is, move link to bottom (like wikipedia does) have search boxes for wikipedia at the bottom. (like commons does w/ mayflower) Bawolff 00:27, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

"First on the scene" tag?[edit]

Can Wikinews have a tag to, post-publishing, mark off articles where we covered it first, before the mainstream media? This would include things we covered, and then the mainstream media ignored, just things where we got it to the public first.

Examples, that I can think of:

  • Anarchists threaten "mayhem" at 2010 Olympics‎ was covered today by a free daily in Vancouver, despite the post having been up Sunday evening, and about something that happened Saturday.
  • Anna Nicole Smith dies wasn't the first article, but it was posted before Google News had indexed anything, minutes after CNN announced, and Google usually indexes quite quickly. This one almost takes the cake. So this wouldn't qualify for the tag.

I'm sure there's dozens more out there. -- Zanimum 17:13, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Oh, the Benoit article editing thing, too. -- Zanimum 17:23, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
I think we should start focusing more on increasing our readership and participation than in internal self-congratulations amongst the 15 or so regular contributors on this site. --David Shankbone 18:35, 11 December 2007 (UTC)
be bold, make one. Bawolff 00:15, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
What if it were to be integrated into Template:Original reporting like in User:Greeves/Sandbox? Greeves (talk contribs) 16:37, 22 December 2007 (UTC)

Exchange rates[edit]

I added them at Template:Exchange rates (actually, under its subtemplates). I wrote at WN:BOT next:

You may see at Template:Exchange rates a list of exchange rates subpages (templates). Program generates exchange rates from one or more (presently, from two) official places. It uses data from European Central Bank and from National Bank of Serbia (only for RSD). --millosh (talk) 01:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
So, there are two questions: --millosh (talk) 01:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  1. Does community wants that program to run and to periodically update all templates (let's say once per 6 hours)? --millosh (talk) 01:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)
  2. If yes, as I know only very basics of economy, please tell me how do you want to look those pages, do you want some more data (if you want, tell me where to find) etc. --millosh (talk) 01:27, 12 December 2007 (UTC)