Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/18

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Should Wikinews split from the WMF?[edit]

Since the current climate is one where the community doesn't trust the founder to use admin rights appropriately, doesn't believe that using unfree images harms our mission of creating a free news source, and doesn't accept a Foundation resolution on images which is stated it "may not be circumvented, eroded, or ignored on local Wikimedia projects", does this not leave our position as a Wikimedia Foundation project in some question?

Should contributors who don't share the WMF's mission of creating free content and aren't prepared to comply with the rules under which we are required to work be invited to create a fork if they want to work under different rules? The WMF and Wikinews itself has at the very core of its foundations the principle of free content and this core principle which the board resolution intended to reinforce yet this seems to have been received very poorly by much of the community here.

Yes, Wikinews is a news site and this is often cited for disagreeing with the resolution yet the project was never created simply do be a news site, there are many others already doing this, rather Wikinews was meant to be a news site with a critical difference, the content is to be freely available. It should therefore be immediately obvious that we're not going to necessarily be able to copy the same format other news organisations adopt and have to appreciate that the core aim of what we are trying to achieve means that we might find it difficult to create stories of the quality others without these restrictions can.

Until the majority of the community realise that we shouldn't neglect our core aims in a feeble attempt to compete with enormous, well established news organisations then I think we are going to continue to face conflicts with the WMF. We can compete with other news organisations by differentiating ourselves by means of our unique selling point, our content is free, not trying to copy what they do. There is a lot to be learnt from how the professionals report news but there is also a lot which has to different due to the nature of our project. Adambro (talk) 20:31, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

I think its more the WMF needs to evaluate their decisions and include the damage or good it could do Wikinews before they make a decision. If they would not ignore us in every "resolution" they make, then they make it impossible for us to do our jobs as a news agency. Adambro: if you cannot get past that fact that regardless of the mission of WMF, we are a news agency, then i don't know what to tell you. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:39, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I don't know if anyone has the resources to fund a news site like Wikinews, considering the number of images used, but if someone did, Wikinews would benefit from separating, IMO. WMF is great for Wikipedia and I am reasonably active there and I have never had any problem with the foundation's management of Wikipedia, its policies make sense for an encyclopedia but not a news site. The issue I have is that Wikimedia ignores the needs of the smaller projects like Wikinews. Anonymous101 :) 21:02, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Reply to DF: I certainly appreciate that Wikinews is a news organisation but you seem to fail to appreciate that we aren't a news organisation in the conventional sense. I'd like to see upon what you base your suggestion that the board don't consider Wikinews when adopting resolutions. Just because people here don't like it that doesn't mean the board didn't take into account the concerns here even if they do disregard it for whatever reason. Adambro (talk) 21:05, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
The image resolution for example. Where did they factor us in? And regardless of "conventional" news, we are very different from them...lets see...almost 13,000 articles...and how many unfree images? So give me a break. Seriously I am truly getting tired of this argument. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 21:07, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
How do you know that the board didn't consider Wikinews, even if you consider the resolution to doesn't support your vision for the project? Have you consulted with the board members who passed this to ask how they decided to pass it? Adambro (talk) 21:19, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
I do not see where we cannot work within this resolution. According to the very same resolution that Adambro cites, Wikinews can adopt an:

Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP):

A project-specific policy, in accordance with United States law and the law of countries where the project content is predominantly accessed (if any), that recognizes the limitations of copyright law (including case law) as applicable to the project, and permits the upload of copyrighted materials that can be legally used in the context of the project, regardless of their licensing status.

Since cc-by-nd and cc-by-nc type images are legal for us to use, it stands to reason that if we modify our EDP aka WN:FU appropriately we can include them in our news coverage. We just have to do it right and have the right license notices on said images, lest others think they can include them when they copy our articles. --SVTCobra 22:40, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
An EDP sets out in what ways we can use unfree images under a fair use rationale. Since cc-by-nd and cc-by-nc are unfree for our purposes then they can potentially be used under fair use. However, it is important to note that as soon as an image is unfree it no longer matters what license it is available under since this doesn't influence whether we can use it. It is an unfree image like any other so can only be used if an appropriate fair use rationale can be written. No modifications to our EDP can change this. I'd therefore suggest that most of the cc-by-nc etc images we're using currently should be deleted because I doubt an appropriate fair use rationale can be written. Adambro (talk) 22:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Let me emphasize a portion of the quote in the box: "permits the upload of copyrighted materials that can be legally used in the context of the project, regardless of their licensing status." We can legally use them, so there should be no reason we can't modify the EDP to include them. Cheers, --SVTCobra 23:05, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
This has been mentioned to Adambro repeatedly. Furthermore, the WN:FU is an EDP. And the EDP is *not* limited to Fair Use; it could allow any legal use of non-free copyrighted images. I do not believe M Adambro is either honest or serious in this discussion. Such a posting is normally referred to on the internet as a troll, and one should generally not feed trolls. - Amgine | t 23:17, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Amgine, I know Adambro from many months of us both being very active here. I believe him to be very earnest. Let's not resort to name-calling. --SVTCobra 23:22, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Apologies to you, SVTCobra, but this precise text has been presented to him at least 4 times I am aware of in the past 24 hours. And I've known Adambro for some years of us both being very active in WMF. I respect his efforts and accomplishments, but not his unwillingness to be a part of a community. - Amgine | t 23:25, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Well I have no appetite for your comments Amgine. You win. I have no intention to spend my time on Wikinews suffering from abusive comments from people that disagree with me rather than them engaging in useful debate so will have to reconsider whether it is worth me doing so in my attempts to improve Wikinews. Ultimately it is of course Wikinews that suffers if people like myself who voice their concerns are attacked in such a way for doing so and decide to refrain from raising issues. I can reassure you that my work with regards to images is a genuine attempt to improve the project for our users rather than trolling as you describe it. I have contributed a great deal of time and effort in dealing with images here ever since I started editing and had now felt that most of the community whilst perhaps considering my views to be too extreme at least respected that I had a reasonable argument and were able to disagree gracefully with my points. It seems that Amgine is not able to do so and resorts to commparing me to a troll. I would invite Amgine to provide any evidence to support the suggestion that I've not been honest. I don't have an unwillingness to be part of a community, Amgine is perhaps mistaking my inability to simply agree with whatever anyone says as an inability to work together with others. I greatly respect SVTCobra for taking the time to address the points I've raised even though I disagree with him and thank him for engaging in a constructive discussion. Adambro (talk) 23:34, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Adambro: I believe I was respectful the first three times I pointed out that your contention, that the resolution does not allow non-free images at all, was incorrect. I do sincerely appreciate your work, here and on Commons. My suggestion you were not being honest with this discussion is that you have raised this issue, in a variety of venues, and the community has disagreed with your opinion. So, you are not attempting to gain the community's input, but rather beating a non-living horse.
Community has the same roots as communication. It implies listening as well as speaking. - Amgine | t 23:47, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you highlight where I have said that the resolution does not allow non-free images? This is not my position and therefore I need to clarify any comments I've made which give this impression. I'm not sure how someone would come to the conclusion from reading the EDP that it disallows any non-free images but it does clearly say their use should be extremely limited which I very much agree with. Adambro (talk) 00:09, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
1, and I don't believe I have your permission to publish logs of IRC. Should I begin sifting your on-wiki edits? I have done such before. Perhaps the speed with which I found this one might indicate something. - Amgine | t 00:12, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Adambro and Amgine ... this debate about how you communicate with eachother does not belong here. This is the Water cooler, afterall, and is intended for all to read. --SVTCobra 00:36, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

This seems to have degenerated off from an initial discussion about WMF/Wikinews, to a side discussion about Image use on Wikinews, and finally to a side discussion between 2 users. I have to say I agree with the point made in the above reply given by DragonFire1024 (talk · contribs), specifically with regard to this separate idea of being a news agency first and foremost. Things could be adjusted between WMF and Wikinews relations, sure, but I disagree with a split off idea. Cirt (talk) 23:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Proposal: New citation templates[edit]

I'm proposing some new templates for citing sources where a information has been copied directly from the source. They are based on the VOA template but are modified to so the user can state the source. I've designed one for online sources and one for offline sources.

The templates as I'm proposing would look like


--RockerballAustralia (talk) 09:07, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

{{BasedOn}} does this already although your template design is good Anonymous101 :) 09:44, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah sorry but I like {{BasedOn}} better. Cirt (talk) 10:38, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Maybe have a modification of {{BasedOn}} for offline sources as well? Just an idea i had RockerballAustralia (talk) 11:12, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
Although I like {{BasedOn}} better, I disagree that they are the same. BasedOn is for an article written mainly using someone else's material. These new templates, possibly modified, could be used for a single paragraph or table lifted from another source; I once subst'd and modified the VOA template for the very reason that I only used one paragraph of their material. I also like the idea of a new version of BasedOn for offline sources, although I dunno if we'd ever use it. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 14:20, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd mainly use them for info from my own publications, which are under a creative commons licence RockerballAustralia (talk) 02:28, 2 June 2008 (UTC)
That's a honkin' big template that could end up being 20% of the page length of the article. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:31, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
You could simply add an {{#if:{{{url|}}}|[{{{url}}} {{{title}}}]|}} function for {{BasedOn}}. - Julián (reply) 23:43, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Thats probably a good idea (regardless of if it'd make the template work for above or not). I converted the template using your sugestion to work with offline sources. the url for copyright and page is optional now. Bawolff 00:12, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Default skin?[edit]

Just out of curiosity, why don't we use the extremely nice Modern skin as the default one? Its much nicer than the base one, and looks much more professional. If the Wikinews logo was a clickable link to the home page, it'd be about perfect, wouldn't it? rootology (T) 06:43, 5 June 2008 (UTC)

Making the logo clickable is easy (see mediawiki:modern.js). Making it default would require community concensuss (From somebody whos tried to get that before for style changes, Good luck, you'll need it). Bawolff 05:40, 11 June 2008 (UTC)

Flagged Revs[edit]


As of today, the "FlaggedRevs" extension is available to any wiki

community that wishes to use it. FlaggedRevs is a tool for patrolling changes, identifying high quality article versions, and changing the default version shown to unregistered users. It's highly configurable. As such, we're making it available in two configurations:

1) A minimally intrusive "patrolling" configuration;

2) Custom configurations per your request.

From Wikimedia-l (See full message here)

Anonymous101 :) 07:10, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

If there is consensus for flagged revisions, we can file a bugzilla request, which will be granted if there are no requests for seven days. See the test wiki for more info. Anonymous101 :) 07:21, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

We need to develop a policy on this before we gallop off to get it installed - who will have what rights, when to use them? What gets flagged? What should be shown to registered users / unregistered users, etc etc. --Skenmy(tcw) 14:08, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions - Time to decide![edit]

I'm getting very little (read: none) opposition on the implementation of Flagged Revisions on Wikinews. So I am bringing it here for one final opportunity for discussion before I post the bug to BugZilla to have it implemented. I'm going to give it 7 days here, and then it will be 7 days before it is implemented after the bug is posted - so you all have 2 weeks to raise any concerns, opposition, and whatnot.

I am proposing the implementation of the Patrolling Configuration. Quoting from Erik:


In the Patrolling Configuration, any user who has been registered for more than 21 days and has made at least 150 edits will be automatically given the permission to patrol changes for vandalism. Only changes made by users who are not permitted to patrol changes need to be patrolled.

In addition, sysops will be given the permission to flag versions of "featured articles" in accordance with existing nomination processes. (In other words, this gives you the ability to identify specific _versions_ of an article as "featured", rather than the article as a whole.) Finally, sysops will be permitted to define on a per-page basis that changes need to be patrolled before being visible to unregistered readers. This is an alternative to semi-protection; it doesn't make sense to use both on a given page.

We can suggest a custom configuration - have a read of Extension:FlaggedRevs to see how configurable it is. Assuming no strenuous opposition, I will submit the bug in 7 days (Saturday, 5th July). --Skenmy(tcw) 15:27, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I fully support implementing Flagged Revs. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:29, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I support FlaggedRevs in the Main namespace alone as that is the only namespace read by the standard user anld people who have never edited a wiki before (most of the commenters) may get confused if they dont see their comments appearing.Having it apply to Talk could limit collaboration. Anonymous101 (talk) 15:54, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I support the configuration you suggested, on the condition that admins only limit the visibility of unpatrolled changes when it is necessary, e.g. in cases where today a semi-protection would be warranted. --+Deprifry+ 15:56, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I fully support FlaggedRevs subject to the conditions outlined by Anonymous101 and Deprifry and look forward to us exploring the various other options which can be configured as we implement this extension. To start off with limiting this to main namespace articles make sense but I think that there are other interesting possibilities for us. For example, could it perhaps be set up so that rather than us fully protecting articles when they are archived, we make it so that they can still be edited but the changes have to be approved by an admin. This would make {{editprotected}} requests more straightforward. This would of course be useful for other pages such as templates. I think we need to consider how this fits in with semi-protection and full protection. Clearly there is a lot of crossover between the features and I think we need to decide what we'll use in what circumstances. Adambro (talk) 18:12, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
    The problem with using Flagged Revisions in relation to archiving is we open up a huge swathe of articles to be potentially vandalised, and such vandalism not always be noted.
    Not to mention the well-meaning edits of Wikipedians who think an update should be added. Where archiving is done, it works. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:24, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
    Maybe I misunderstand but if we make it so that edits to archived articles can only be approved by admins then I would have thought we'd be in the same position as now. Perhaps the problem you are highlighting is that anyone would be able to make changes to archived articles and whilst vandalism etc obviously wouldn't get approved and so not be visible, this would place a burden on admins to assess these edits and this outweighs the benefits. I can now appreciate this this is probably true and so full protection for archived articles remains the best option. Adambro (talk) 19:46, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
It would be visible to every single logged in user. The only people that don't see the vandalism are the anons. That's a secondary problem to it, and, yes, it would allow someone to wreak havoc. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:17, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
  • I'd like to see flagged revisions as long as the default version is the latest version of the page regardless of whether the edit has been reviewed. Having edits have a delay before appearing most likely will limit anonymous interest in editing. I haven't seen any statics on this but from personal experience I know that if your just passing by and have to jump through alot of hoops to get stuff done you usually just give up and move on. The average reader doesn't want to take 5 minutes trying to figure out how to make and edit just to change "teh" to "the". If anyone is wondering why I have hardly any edits to wikinews I usually just read over here and don't usually make edits. I am alot more active over at --Nn123645 (talk) 07:16, 3 July 2008 (UTC)

Request submitted here! Discussion can continue for 7 days, still. --Skenmy(tcw) 11:06, 6 July 2008 (UTC)

WN:JOIN US[edit]

Most people on-wiki were unaware of a proposal that was put before the board about the project. A brief summary is that an expenses budget was proposed. This was handed over to Sue due to money being involved, and the general conclusion is that the proposal was inappropriate. Reading between the lines in Sue's response, and looking for ways we can come up with alternative ideas to invigorate the project, the elephant in the room that only gets oblique mentions is the number of contributors.

We have a dedicated core; people who will push out three or four articles per week and keep the site alive. We need to expand that, not just the core of obsessive-compulsives, but recruit people who can do only one or two articles a week. The efforts to piggyback off Wikipedia on that are, to some extent, already in place. We have templates to use on WP to direct people to the Wikinews coverage of something, and there's the bot that reads a bunch of DPLs and lists stuff in WP's Portal: namespace. Beyond that, I'd like to see some of the contributors here who also have active accounts on WP petitioning for things like the ongoing event templates to suggest Wikinews. Be creative; when you land on a Wikipedia page think, "How could this page be made to suggest a visit to Wikinews? Could it be made as a visit to contribute? Is there a template on the page that could suggest using Wikinews?

So... a recruitment drive, and a long-term one. Preferably on a budget that would make a pennypincher blush. Advertising has been discussed in the past, there's lots of catchphrases and slogans that can be dug out of WN:WC archives. However, the focus has always been on an assumed Internet marketing campaign. What if we need to take a step back and start on paper?

I have proposed to Jay Walsh and Cary Bass that, if possible, facilities be made available at Wikimania 2008 to provide the majority of the attendees with a daily copy of the print edition. For those not going, the job will be to make sure there is a lot of material to read.

From a copy of this sent to accredited reporters, Terinjokes suggested why not do this at other events, possibly even ones where Wiki was not the focus. Well, I think if we can get a reporter to an event and help to make it happen, why not?

However, along this line of reasoning there is lower hanging fruit (i.e. cheaper and easier). Wikipedians are starting to venture into the real world and reach out for contributors. There are planned programmes to run "Academies" and get senior citizens turned into wiki evangelists and editors. Why not get them on Wikinews too? This takes the concept beyond just having the print edition distributed, but to having a recruitment brochure that people running academies, or chapters having meetups, can distribute. Finally, we get to the section headline, WN:JOIN US.

We need to hammer out how we pitch the project to prospective contributors on that page, and - I think - we need a half or quarter (printed) page pitch to make people visit that URL. I specify so short for the pitch because many of the chapters are not in English-speaking countries. Give them the space to translate the pitch for their language Wikinews, this in and of itself is an indication the project is multilingual.

Almost all the people Wikinews needs to really flourish are already on the net. The retired stockbroker who can't resist checking the markets? The schoolteacher that loves setting quizzes? The doctor who voraciously reads The Lancet? All, with very little coaching, could make useful contributions to Wikinews.

So... Thoughts, criticisms (preferably constructive). Can we formulate a landing page that quickly gets people having hands-on experience at editing? Can we put together a leaflet to encourage people to visit it? Going back to the email I mentioned from Sue at the start, I believe if we can deal with these two questions we can go back and pitch for funding to make it happen. A WN:JOIN US leaflet in every goodie bag at every WMF or WMF Chapter event, print editions at major events, and the Wikipedia Academy idea persuaded to include mention of Wikinews. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:10, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

I like to think we have a very approachable project. One that anyone with a genuine interest in contributing to, can contribute to. It's harder on the larger projects, and I think we can base our drive around, or at least include, this topic. Not "oh, Wikipedia is too full. Come help us instead!", more like "Come join in a small community of people who have a single passion - writing and reporting news".
A few points for thought:
  • How do we combat the inevitable "I don't feel comfortable learning how to 'wiki'!".
  • How do we get our users to continue contributing?
  • How do we deal with the influx of newbies?
I think I'd answer them as such:
  • We need to have a coaching system. A team of people who look after the newbies for the first month or two, just making sure they are settling in comfortably, learning the style guidelines, and writing good news. Encouraging participation and learning, not hammering down rule after rule. Mentoring / Coaching is different to Lecturing.
  • Same answer.
  • Same answer.
--Skenmy(tcw) 10:09, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

Rename {{Ready}} to {{Review}}[edit]

In essence the article may or may not be "ready" at this point, but in practice the tag is used to ask others to review the article. This is why I think the tag should be moved from {{Ready}} to {{Review}}. Cirt (talk) 17:08, 26 July 2008 (UTC)


An essential complement to this suggestion is supporting documentation - likely on the talk page - to confirm that a competent review has been carried out. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:22, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Agreed. Cirt (talk) 15:39, 27 July 2008 (UTC)


  • Support As nom. Cirt (talk) 17:09, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I think that the tag of {{ready}} gives the wrong idea to new users. It implies that everything has been done in an article, and only a final, brief review is needed to make sure that everything is in order. It doesn't imply that factchecking, or in-depth copyediting/rewriting are necessary. Of course, the {{review}} tag should say something in its box about factchecking, copyediting, and bias removal. Gopher65talk 17:15, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Majorly (talk) 17:43, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Support makes more sense. The Mind's Eye (talk) 17:51, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
  • Neutral I can't say I'm convinced that the change in name is necessary but I can't see any problem in doing so beyond the obvious need to update any references to the previous name. {{ready}} has never meant for someone else to simply come along publish it else what is the point of not going straight to publish, it has always been "I think this is ready, please take a look". Adambro (talk) 18:16, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
Well with the prior wording of "ready for publishing" I think that {{Review}} has a better meaning/implication for the template. Cirt (talk) 18:23, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Main Page[edit]

We have recent headlines usually featured on the main page. I was wondering, this is exclusively a aesthetic thing, but perhaps we could reduce it to three. It leaves a major blank side on the left when we do it the current way. Don't know what everyone idea's are but just a thought. The Mind's Eye (talk) 23:18, 26 July 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. There's quite a bit of whitespace on there to be honest. Maybe it could do with a redesign. Majorly (talk) 23:51, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
A redesign would certainly work. The Mind's Eye (talk) 23:54, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
we ahve tried several times to redesign it, but with either no concensus, or not enough knowledge/hands to accomplish it. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:57, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Then what about my initial proposal, of changing it to just three featured articles on the main page. The Mind's Eye (talk) 03:53, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
Used to be like that, but I think it was so hard to get 4 on there, that it would be as hard to put 3 back on. Also, I believe there was white space as much with 3. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:17, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Part of the problem, that I've noticed, is that the damn CSS renders differently on IE6 compared to browsers like Firefox and Safari (haven't looked at it on IE7). On FF, it's all nicely set up, all squared off, and the leads are a distinct section from the following bits. On IE6, the two columns for recent headlines and write an article/featured content get caught in the div for the fourth lead somehow, and so only take up 75% of the width they should. I think I proposed a fix once, but then realised it screwed up Firefox again. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 06:57, 27 July 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I kind of like the current setup with the 4 leads. Cirt (talk) 15:40, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
It isn't just different browsers that is the problem, it is different text sizes, different resolutions, and different screen ratios. A 4:3 ratio screen will have different amounts of whitespace in different places than a 16:9 ratio screen of the same area. There is no way to stop this from happening, other than using a fixed layout, but that creates more problems than it solves. Gopher65talk 19:05, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
The only way to get rid of it would be to completely redesign the entire main page. That means everything from Articles to text and so on. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:21, 27 July 2008 (UTC)
I tried to use magic js tricks to automatically resize text so that it becomes resolution independent. Only sort of worked (it is in my sandbox somewhere). The biggest problem with redesigns is not technical ability, as there are several people here skilled in xhtml/css. The problem is no one can ever agree on anything new. Bawolff 20:27, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Call to Keyboards!!![edit]

I have noticed how relatively small the WikiNews writing team is, and was thinking of ways to get the news out about WikiNews. Perhaps, I don't know if this is allowed but if we could email all the Wikipedia admin's, I'm sure we could get some new recruits. I mean whereas articles seem to just quickly get out there on the mainstream news, we are usually 4, 5, 6 hours behind. If we could get a fair number of additional editors we could really improve our news writing abilities. Just a suggestion. The Mind's Eye (talk) 02:36, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment Just a minor nit, but the "n" in Wikinews is not capitalised.
I'd like to see some of the other issues that have been raised recently addressed before we start spamming Wikipedians. Gopher65 pointed out that our informational and policy pages are not as well laid out as they could be. As a new contributor, he's likely in a good position to establish what are the key pages people should get directed to when they first turn up on Wikinews. From that the existing welcome templates could perhaps be revised. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:56, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for the typo fix. I'm new here too, and I agree the policy and informational pages are poorly laid out. Especially, the original reporting page, at least in my opinion. I will leave a message on his talk page, and see what he thinks about the policy pages. Where is the link to where he stated those things? The Mind's Eye (talk) 14:10, 29 July 2008 (UTC)
Errr, well, I haven't yet. I'm sorry that I haven't got around to starting this yet, but in RL I'm currently working on a large project, and that is eating up most of my time. If you (or someone else) hasn't started this yet by the time that I'm finished the current stage of my work, I'll start it up. But this could be a few weeks yet, depending on how things progress. Even if you start doing this though, I'll hop on and help as soon as I have some more free time. Right now it is all I can do to occasionally copyedit an article unfortunately:(. Gopher65talk 23:00, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Just a note, while new contributors are always great, spamming (in the literal sense of the word) random wikipedians, might result in a small army of people hating us (if someone spammed all the wikinews admins to help out at wikipedia, I'd have a couple words with the spammer). Bawolff 20:36, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Just to revive this discussion a little...
When we had the initial article on the Large Hadron Collider there were several issues with it, and really nobody here able to properly sort it out. I 'spammed' the LHC article on Wikipedia and at least one item - the so-called scientists who said it'd destroy the Earth - was resolved by Wikipedians. This approach, inviting Wikipedians to participate on a specific article, may be the way to go for the time being. If we have a nice template over on Wikipedia to stick on talk pages of referenced articles we may be able to encourage more cross-wiki participation. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:21, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Is it necessary?[edit]

Is it necessary to have a portal for every country, considering there is not news constantly about each country constantly, perhaps merging less covered portals until they get broader coverage would help with organization. The Mind's Eye (talk) 00:55, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

I think it is a good idea to keep the portals, it's a seamless form of organization updated through categories that does not require much maintenance. Cirt (talk) 01:07, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
yes, portals we must keep the portals.Jacques Divol (talk) 20:40, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Some undermaintained portals could probably be fixed so that they function automatically using DPLs. But there is no reason to get rid of them, imo. --SVTCobra 21:55, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Hey, with DPL2 we could potentially have automatically updating leads. (wouldn't that be awesome). Bawolff 23:49, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

Temporary trial full-protection of the 4 Main Page Leads[edit]

I would like to assess community consensus on a proposal to temporarily have a trial full-protect of the 4 Lead Article templates that are transcluded onto the Main Page - Template:Lead article 1, Template:Lead article 2, Template:Lead article 3, Template:Lead article 4.

w:User:Misza13 was very helpful once already with w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot, and he recently responded to my request to configure the bot to grab the 4 Main Page leads into a formatted page on Wikipedia - w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot/Wikinews Lead articles (updated hourly).

Once the templates are full-protected, I will open a discussion on w:Template talk:In the news. With the added full-protection, this assures that an administrator has looked over the article, making sure that it has gone through adequate {{Review}} before {{Publish}}. Then, choosing a published article for update to a Main Page lead is an extra step of review.

If the discussion at w:Template talk:In the news is not productive, I will ask for the Wikinews Main Page Lead templates to be stepped back down to semi-protection. Thanks for taking a look, Cirt (talk) 20:45, 8 August 2008 (UTC)


  • Comment I'm not sure I like the creep of the role of administrators which is supposed to be more like that of a janitor rather than editor in chief, making decisions about what are the most important articles. Ideally I think this should be linked to the Flagged Revisions role of "editor". I've yet to spend a great deal of time to fully understand how our implementation of FlaggedRevs works but could we have some system whereby the lead templates can have stable versions which can only be updated by "editors" but still allowing draft versions to be edited by any user (per semi protect). Adambro (talk) 21:17, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
You bring up a valid concern but I am not sure that w:User:Wikinews Importer Bot would be able to function in that manner, I am not sure which version it would grab. I think this is worth a shot for now, at least as a temporary trial-run. Plus the added review/accountability inherent in updating of full-protected templates might help with the discussion as it progresses to Wikipedia. Cirt (talk) 21:30, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Question: Would this essentially mean that only the admins would be "Reviewers?" The Mind's Eye (talk) 21:42, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
No, other articles would appear on the Main Page itself, this would just be for those 4 templates. Cirt (talk) 21:46, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I am not liking this. Since we implimented this I have been the only one updating the leads. We don't have enough active admins to keep up with this. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:30, 22 August 2008 (UTC)
  • I agree that the full protection should been downgraded if at all possible. The full protections seems to make the leads updated even less regularly. Anonymous101talk 20:02, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Please give this a chance. I have not yet proposed this at Wikipedia because I wanted to see how it works here and also work some things out over there that I am still working on. I think it is worth a try. Thank you, Cirt (talk) 20:04, 30 August 2008 (UTC)


  • Support as nom. Cirt (talk) 20:45, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support — I was surprised that the front page was editable by just anyone. I'm almost universally opposed to the existence of admin-only edit access for user created content, but the front page is one of the few exceptions IMO. Gopher65talk 20:56, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
    • Not the main page, the main page templates, the lead articles. The Mind's Eye (talk) 21:43, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support temporary protection if it helps us get to Wikipedia. Anonymous101talk 21:14, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I see no problem. The Mind's Eye (talk) 22:02, 8 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support but definitely step-down if Wikipedia judges as non-necessary or doesn't like the idea. TheFearow (userpage) 07:51, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Didn't we have this before? Thunderhead 08:00, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support IMHO there should be cascading protection on the main page (well, I'm not sure how that would work with the DPL's, and the current articles, but you get what I mean). --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 04:16, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Update: After this proposal ran for 11 days, I full-protected the four Main Page lead templates. I will keep you updated on how the proposal fares over at Wikipedia. Cirt (talk) 06:31, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Another update: Main Page Lead templates back down to semi-protection. More Wikipedia-related updates to follow in a few days. Cirt (talk) 21:29, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Well in the end we didn't get Main Page Leads onto the w:Main Page of Wikipedia this go-round, but check out the prominent page at Wikipedia, Portal:Current events - which now includes Wikinews articles for the past week. Cheers, Cirt (talk) 21:39, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
<shrug> I think any time the admins give themselves control over what is Wikinews - either in substance or appearance - there is an extreme disconnect from the community. In short, it is no longer a wiki by the definition of a wiki. - Amgine | t 22:01, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
The proposal for that portion of it is over, and all the Main Page lead templates have been backed down to semi-prot. No worries - :P Cirt (talk) 22:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews Hotline[edit]

Hi folks. As some of you may know, I've been the maintainer of the Wikinews Hotline for several years now. The hotline, currently available as a toll-free U.S. number as well as a regular U.S. number, is supposed to serve two purposes. First, it is supposed to allow for phone-based accreditation checks of accredited users. Second, it provides a place for "breaking news" reporting by telephone.

Since the hotline launched in 2005, I have paid US$880 in service fees for the hotline (it currently costs $19.98 per month to operate). I would like to stop paying for the hotline now, and offer one of three choices to our community.

  1. Some other person takes over the payment and management of the hotline.
  2. Someone organizes a fund-raising system to raise enough money to pay for another year of the hotline, in advance, and sends that to me over Paypal or something similar. I will pre-pay for a year of service. (I think that's aout $179.16).
  3. We close the hotline down

While I still like the idea of the hotline, to be honest it's gone mainly unused. I could count on one hand how many times we had legitimate news stories called in -- and as far as I know there was only one article that was changed because of what was left on the hotline. To date, we've not had even one phone call to the accreditation side that was legitimate. Given the track record, I recommend that we choose the third option and shut it down.

The service is currently paid for until September 12th. So please add your thoughts below, and if necessary we have some time for a vote. If we choose option 1 or 2, I would prefer to have the hotline transferred or the payment taken care of at least by September 5th. If nothing else happens or we choose option 3, then I will cancel the account probably around the same time. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 08:16, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Ilya, may I please be the first to thank you for your investment and time in managing this resource. I know your contribution does not go un-noticed, and while it may be a less-used feature, it is nice to have the feature.
However, while this may not be exactly what you want to hear (because of the amount of money you have already invested), there are ways we can do this for free, and I am willing to spearhead these. In my opinion, you can go ahead and not use any more of your hard-earned cash on this. Why pay for something we can get for free, right? --Skenmy talk 11:07, 18 August 2008 (UTC)
You're absolutely right that there are ways to get something similar for free. For example, even when we started the hotline, things like Skype Voicemail were already available. The advantages of the service that I had used were a) voicemail-to-email gateways, b) a toll-free number, c) ability to have a phone tree with extensions to allow for separate phone lines. While I completely agree that one can get the single-line voicemail-to-email feature for free (via something like GrandCentral for example), there's still the core issue of whether it's even needed or not. Thanks for pointing out, though, that there are some free alternatives that we may want to consider as well. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 17:24, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Would the hotline be viable as just an email address, that went to a hotline maillist for writers to subscribe to? Moderated list with a decent sized pool of mods, put the address/Tip page somewhere very prominent, like a header/footer? rootology (T) 20:03, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

The idea was that having a phone number would allow for people who didn't have access to the Internet to still submit information. As such, I suspect that Wikinews is still just a little on the small side to support such a feature, as impressive as it may be. I think it would be easier to either have a VoIP voicemail, or get the cooperation of existing Wikimedia chapters to act as proxy hotlines for various countries. For email, we already have scoop at wikinewsie dot org which goes out to all accredited reporters. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:42, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd also like to point out that I can't find the scoop address listed on any prominent page. If there's no objection, I'll put it on Wikinews:Contact us, although I suspect it could go in a few other places to make it more visible. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:48, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Just a random suggestion. Why not build something simple and cheaper that does the same (or similar) stuff? We could get an 800# DID for fairly cheap and rig it up to an asterisk box. Heck, maybe we could convince someone to let us run the copy of Astersik on the Toolserver? --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 03:19, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
While I have no doubt that with a bit of ingenuity we can get this service re-setup, I still question the overall usefulness of the service. We've had it on our homepage for years, and don't get useful calls. Maybe we've put the cart before the horse and should wait for popularity to rise before trying a phone line service again. Getting a DID#, getting a phone line and paying datacenter cross-connect fees, getting a dial-in card for the toolserver -- all that will cost more money probably than just paying the monthly fee on the existing service. In general, before we try to find which technical solution is best, let's figure out if we even need to continue having this service. I currently do not think that we should. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 04:03, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Well just as a note on the technical side... it is not nearly that complicated or expensive. We install Asterisk somewhere, pay for DID which will connect via IAX or SIP. No need for anything else - it's all virtual on our side. As for "do we need it". No, I don't think we need it, but I think we probably should have it. So it hasn't been utilized? Has the scoop@ email address been utilized? If neither are utilized then maybe we need to consider an advertising campaign of some sort to get it out there. And I don't mean just out on Wikinews - if they are here already... telling them isn't going to help. What about the other en language projects though? --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 04:09, 19 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok. Well, barring a decision of "do we need it", thanks for volunteering to get it set up :-) -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 06:55, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

Just a reminder — I will be disabling the account this coming Friday. I think everyone's ok with it. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 22:06, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I've now canceled the RingCentral account, and removed all mentions of the hotline from public pages. I've also removed the phone/fax credential verification options from the accreditation policy. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 19:51, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Suggested alternative Have Your Say Templates[edit]

Being laid up in hospital with only limited use of one of the actual hospital computers has left me reduced to following newspapers. I spotted something in the print edition of the UK's Daily Telegraph that I think we should be stealing.

They have a HYS template which is a newsprint column wide (i.e. about the same as our {{QuoteLeft}}. Within it they pose a question aimed at having some influence over the direction which discussion takes.

The example I took notes on was

Is depression a natural part of growing old?
(URL for their HYS website)

Attached to story Two million OAPs with depression miss out on treatment.

Obvious iffy area is NPOV, but thoughts please? I think with carefully crafted questions this is going to temp people to have their say. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:45, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like a great idea from the description, but I'd have a firmer idea by viewing an actual test template. Cirt (talk) 12:20, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm not a template expert, but this needs to be some sort of combination of {{haveyoursay}} and {{QuoteLeft}} {{QuoteRight}}. There should obviously be a very small speech bubble graphic and a red "HAVE YOURS SAY" heading with a single parameter for the question. Then a "POST" and "READ" option with the read option hidden if there are no comments.
Ideal is for this to create a L1 heading matching the question on the comments page and users prompted to create a L2 titled response, but I don't know if this is possible. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:31, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
{{HYS question left}} is an attempt to get the template done. Speech bubble should be at top and "Comment" isn't showing. Please help! --Brian McNeil / talk 10:00, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
All fixed up. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 18:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and put into Controversy spreads over Libertarian U.S. presidential nominee Bob Barr for example. Beta testing! --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 18:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Template seems to be a hit, seeing a lot of use and some good questions coming up. Do we want to add its removal or replacement with a "view discussion of this article" template to WN:ARCHIVE? --Brian McNeil / talk 13:25, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
  • QUESTION: Since some people will come along and just put in a brief answer to the posed question should whoever adds it create the Comments: page with the question as a headline? Eg, as I've done here. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:06, 21 September 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that does seem necessary/proper - a bot could be run to do it fairly easily (pulling the param from the template use), but just encouraging people could work just as well. Probably best to include a note on the templatePage itself.
Should the template then link to the appropriate section when you hit add comment (instead of just creating a new comment). Bawolff 03:46, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

ReviewBot - automated changing of article templates immediately after peer review[edit]

I am willing to write, run, and maintain this bot - a bot that will follow a process of monitoring new pages for the {{review}} tag, then monitoring the talk page for that article until a peer review happens, at which point it will take the appropriate action:

  • Passed: bot will change {{review}} to {{publish}}, after checking for further edits since the reviewed revision ID, and that the reviewer is not a major contributor to the article (less than 20% of article edits belong to reviewer = independent). Bot will then stop all monitoring of the article.
  • Failed: bot will change {{review}} to {{develop}}. Bot will then start monitoring article for {{review}} again, and restarts the whole process.

Here is what I propose the bot will do in other circumstances:

  • If the bot detects a change in revision ID between review and bot processing that does not match any of the rules below, it will post a message to the talk page, and keep the {{review}} template in place.
  • If the bot detects that an article that has passed review has been {{publish}}ed - it will do nothing and stop monitoring.
  • If the bot detects that an article that has failed review has been put back to {{develop}} - it will start the monitoring process again.
  • If the bot detects that an article that has passed review has been put back to {{develop}} - it will change it to {{publish}} and leave a message on the talk page. It will then stop monitoring the page (to avoid edit wars).
  • If the bot detects that an article that has failed review has been {{publish}}ed - it will change it to {{develop}} and leave a message on the talk page. It will then restart monitoring of the page.

And here are the ideas I have had that might be quite controversial - so discussion must take place before these go in:

  • If the bot detects an article {{publish}}ed before an independent peer review - it will switch the article to {{review}} and leave a message on the talk page of the article and of the editor who published the article.
  • The bot will mark any article it publishes as Stable using the Reviewer status.
  • The bot will alert editors on IRC when certain conditions occur (e.g. {{publish}}ed without review, {{publish}}ed after failed review)

This is, of course, up for discussion. This is a small tool designed to make our lives easier. --Skenmy talk 19:52, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Support everything except "The bot will mark any article it publishes as Stable using the Reviewer status." - but would support "The bot will mark any article it publishes as sighted using the Wikinews:Editor status." -- Cirt (talk) 20:09, 30 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support as per Cirt. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:10, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Support I like Options #1 and #3. #2 only if we start using Stable. I still have concerns about if an article is published then pulled back later - as I mentioned on IRC - but I leave the solution of that up to you. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 19:25, 31 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the reasons I stated below. Gopher65talk 20:37, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose per gopher. Anonymous101talk 20:41, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
    • I have struck the above votes as I think there is a broader discussion to be had here and have started on it below. This is a case where I think people have jumped the gun in the move to votes and should have allowed more thought and discussion to go into the process. Revert if you strongly disagree with the striking. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:43, 14 September 2008 (UTC)


  1. Passed: bot will change {{review}} to {{publish}}, after checking for further edits since the reviewed revision ID, and that the reviewer is not a major contributor to the article (less than 20% of article edits belong to reviewer = independent). Bot will then stop all monitoring of the article.

That means that if there are 2 edits to the article and one is review the article is failed? Anonymous101talk 17:07, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

No - because the person who made those two edits (presumably the main writer of the article) should not be reviewing the article. --Skenmy talk 17:45, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm not sure I explained myself correctly. Iam asking what would happen in this situation

What happens then? Anonymous101talk 18:00, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

The reviewer shouldn't be making any changes. The copyeditor should be doing that. I appreciate that it is petty to cause the bot to throw a fit over publishing because of a small grammar or spelling fix, but perhaps we could make it so that minor edits (based on +/-, not whether the minor box is ticked) can be accepted as non-contributions to the article? Anything more than, say, 10 characters, should be failing review anyway. --Skenmy talk 18:19, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I think the 10 character thing would be good. Also, I don't think we should add a copyeditor stage. It already takes long enough to get an article published. I forgot to log in when making this comment 19:49, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>Heh, so now reviewers aren't allowed to copyedit an article they are reviewing? I can understand making content changes. That makes sense. I suppose I won't be reviewing an article... ever again... in that case. Most of the people who write articles for Wikinews have pisspoor grammar in the first place, but, even if they didn't, no one can copyedit themselves; it just doesn't work. Which means that my choices are: 1)publish an article with grammatical errors coming out its wazoo, and 2)fix the errors, then ... oops, can't publish... then wait for the article to not get published in time due to a lack of reviewers. Given that it usually takes a day or two just to get an article ready for publication, time is already short. All this is going to do is push back the publication of articles, causing even more of them to fall into the "not news (more than 48 hours old)" category. Given how many articles we already have that are days old before they're published (if they ever *get* published) I can't see this being a good thing. Gopher65talk 20:32, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

One more thing. Sometimes I'll do nothing to an article except add an infobox and an image before I publish. Or format the sources (add/remove whitespaces in the appropriate places). That's a heck of a lot more than 10 characters, but it doesn't add any content to the article. And my one edit may still be enough for a bot to kill my publish. This is not a good idea. Gopher65talk 20:37, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Good point. Anonymous101talk 20:41, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
I know I sounded a little cross up there, sorry about that. Gopher65talk 20:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps rather than being negative, we could engage in discussion? Nothing here is set in stone. Perhaps it will ignore the contributions side of things, and the peer review will just have to be community-vetted? I'm wide open to ideas. I appreciate that bots are not intelligent, but to be honest, I see more sheep-like behaviour on here than I do in many bots. --Skenmy talk 17:30, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> If you look at the history on Sebastian Vettel takes pole for 2008 Italian Grand Prix and the associate talk you'll see some of the potential concerns I have with a bot being involved in the review and sighting process. Like many of the issues we have on Wikinews it is a lack of manpower that leads to proposals such as this. The idea is good and relatively sound, but how much is it actually going to save us? Perhaps we need to put the bot idea on hold and work on Wikinews:Sighted revisions (forgive me if there's something similar been created while I was away for this, and create this as a redirect). There are a couple of things to set as goals with that. One is to lay out how sighting and the associated reviewing should make us more credible; the other is to lay out best practices and guidelines for those who can sight revisions. With only 20-30 regular contributors - and most being able to sight - I think we need to look to the future and say how things should be done when we have 100+ regular contributors and are churning out 20+ articles a day. From there discuss and consider the pros and cons of being more practical with current contributor levels and saying you can use {{peer review}}, sight, do trivia like add wikilinks, remove spaces between sources, add infoboxes, and generally polish a little, all followed by adding the {{publish}} template. However, in saying we will accept that those who can sight should do this then these individuals carrying out the sighting need to - not anguish over - but always be wary of overstepping a not-well-defined line. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:40, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

I tend to agree. There have been a few times when I've "polished" articles to such an extent that to all intents and purposes I did a minor rewrite, so I didn't publish. It is really a judgement call, and while it's best to err on the side of caution, I hope we don't end up in a situation where essential copyediting and minor polishing isn't getting done by people who are publishing articles. It's hard to pin down exactly where the line should be drawn, so I'm tempted to just say that generalized guidelines should be set up; rather than a specific line being drawn in the sand, potential abuse should be examined by the community on a case by case basis, with appropriate action being taken (in most cases just a friendly "please don't publish if you add anything significant to an article" should suffice I'd imagine). EDIT: I also don't think that a bot could ever be made smart enough to make such a judgement call. Gopher65talk 00:34, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia discussion - Main Page leads[edit]

I have started discussion of including the 3 most recent Main Page leads from Wikinews at Wikipedia's Main Page in the w:Template:In the news section. Discussion is taking place at w:Template_talk:In_the_news#Proposal:_Wikinews_Main_Page_Leads. Cirt (talk) 20:46, 30 August 2008 (UTC)

Update: There has been some discussion and now there is a new idea/proposal. Please see w:Template_talk:In_the_news#Update_-_Proposal_for_Portal:Current_events. Thank you, Cirt (talk) 07:25, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

YouTube ad[edit]

lets face it. We need contributors. I have come to believe that the people who do read Wikinews are under the impression we have everything under control. I think that the good OR stories we put out, they see those as what we do and that we are doing good with the few regular contributors we do have. They are mistaken. So here is my idea(s). And many are going to get a bad feeling simply because of the word ad. Well don't just yet. We should think about taking a montage our best work(s) and putting it together as a YouTube video type thing. At the end we can have something along the lines of "Wikinews...Something YOU can be a part of too." etc etc. Thing is we can use that for YouTube (we can get our own channel if we don't already have one), MySpace, Facebook, etc, etc. Point is...we need more than just our slogan on our own web pages. And I think at this point, an ad(s) like the above are the ways to go. What are your ideas? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:13, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

It's something we should absolutely do. And on my account - I need videos :) Thunderhead 03:26, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
Another thing to consider is doing a loop in of the audio we have, if any, for the select articles for the ad(s). If not, we can always have someone do some audio for the ones we choose. I wish we had some background music though. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:35, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
If this is done, do you think it should be done when/if Wikimedia does their fundraising drive? Mgray (talk) 03:42, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
I don't think it matters really. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 07:18, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Why not incorporate something like at w:Template:Wikipedia ads? Cirt (talk) 07:19, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

That would probably be a good starting place (assuming that isn't off topic as its not for wikipedia). It shouldn't be to hard either, I could probably whip something up in gimp (aka cute slogan+logo type ad). Any ideas for a message?Bawolff 04:59, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
[other sort of random comment] this was kinda the original intent behind Wikinews:Wikinews ads. However that was more a display a cute slogan on someone else's web page (ex: Wikinews: Not Fox News, not BBC News, We're Wikinews.). And at one point advertisements for wikinews and wikibooks did appear on Amgine's blog (that was a very very long time ago though). However i think your proposing more establishing a presence on web 2.0ish sites than traditional advertising (which considering our contributor base, might have a stronger effect). Anyways, I think its a great idea, the only problem i could possibly see from this is if it concentrates too much on audio/video, that might imply we do audio and video on a regular basis, which we unfortunately don't. Bawolff 04:59, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Who knows, maybe we could use w:Template:Wikipedia ads to have ad banners on Wikipedia encouraging users to contribute to Wikinews... Cirt (talk) 05:13, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Bawolff (talk · contribs) I have a couple Commons friends who could probably put something together if you're not super proficient at designing w:Template:Wikipedia ads, either way no worries. Cirt (talk) 05:21, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
That sounds good. I generally use gimp like a text editor — not in an artistic manner. Bawolff 05:28, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, will keep you posted. Cirt (talk) 05:37, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh cool. Any chance you want to upload that to commons (I can convert to theora if thats an issue). 04:28, 7 September 2008 (UTC) (user:Bawolff)
I have relicensed as CC-BY. Feel free to do as you wish with it. --Skenmy talk 10:03, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

To be honest, I am glad and surprised to see such an acceptance of this proposal. I look forward to hopefully getting something going. Unfortunately I don't have the experience to make anything really. But I will do what I can to help. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:57, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Move the "other languages" list above the search box in the sidebar[edit]

Redirect arrow without text.svg
Soft redirect
This page can be found at section.

Just though I should mention this here as it is a reasonable big change to the sidebar. Anonymous101talk 10:41, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I made the suggested change. Feel free to comment at MediaWiki talk:Sidebar. Cirt (talk) 13:01, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

School journalism project[edit]

Hello, I am working on a proposal whereby my school journalism class would write articles for Wikinews. Can I get some thoughts on this? Geo.plrd (talk) 03:14, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

We would love to have more contributors to Wikinews in this manner. I would highly recommend that you yourself first become more familiar with the way the site operates, perhaps through writing a few articles on news topics yourself and successfully getting them through the {{Develop}}/{{Review}}/{{Publish}} stages. Please let us know how we can help you. Do you have an idea as to how many students would be participating, and for how long the class would last? Cirt (talk) 03:17, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
If it is approved, we are looking at 8-ish Geo.plrd (talk) 04:02, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
And when would the class/project start/finish? Cirt (talk) 04:03, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
In May, with breaks for vacations. Geo.plrd (talk) 04:08, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
So it would finish in May? So when would it potentially start? Cirt (talk) 04:30, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Hopefully it would start within the next 21 days. Geo.plrd (talk) 18:36, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
As a related note. I've been talking to this user on IRC a bit. I think this is a really cool idea. If their students wrote one article a week (each) it would be a 20% increase in articles for us - even if it is just local news. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 18:23, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
This is IMO an excellent idea. If this works, then its an angle we can use for other schools and classes in a hope that they would be interested in such a venture. I support this idea 100% DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:12, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Also, it would be interesting to know the outcome of the project. I think this might be something we can write about. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:14, 6 September 2008 (UTC)
Maybe we could work on something like this to help out teachers that would want to do something like this. Great idea, IMO. Thunderhead 06:19, 7 September 2008 (UTC)
History has shown that well-organised collaborative projects between schools and Wikimedia communities can be extremely beneficial for everyone involved. I support this effort wholeheartedly. I would suggest that, like the "Murder, Madness and Mayhem" group on Wikipedia, this project set up a page in Wikinews space both to co-ordinate their own actions and for Wikinewsies to have a centralised location to observe and contact the class. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 01:05, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Another thought - try contacting w:User:jbmurray, the coordinator of the project. He no doubt has some hints for running this sort of project, although admittedly from a more Wikipedian perspective than a Wikinewsie one (and it looks like he's currently a bit busy, so may not reply right away). Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 01:12, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
John-Beasley Murray will likely not be able to help much on this. Please get someone to pass my email address on to the tutor/coordinator of the school's project. There are specific stages must be gone through, and the earlier prospective contributors get accounts and listed on a project page the better. Then they can be given welcome messages and have the basic reading. Beyond that it is like I believe most news rooms are - you learn by doing and the old hands telling you what to do different next time.
There are specific constraints that may be placed on the students that some act as copy editors working to a specific goal on other's writing etc. If such rules are to be applied then these need outlined to the community and an internal category added to flag articles that are part of the project.
It is my opinion that we must be as flexible as possible in working with school journalism projects, they may wish to work within certain mainstream constraints that will better suit students aiming to take up journalism as a profession. [Aside: Yes, I still have an I.V. in my neck and haven't escaped from hospital - this is me "checking my email".] --Brian McNeil / talk 15:21, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
I am willing to work with you on this. We seem to be on the same page and thinking on the same wavelength. A centralized page would be of absolute necessity for this project. Also, all roles would be laid out. The two issues I see are, if we can get an override on editrights, and how to handle accreditation. Geo.plrd (talk) 15:55, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
What do you mean by "override on edit rights". As for accred - I'm interested to hear what others have to say, but my take on it is this: Give Geo, as the "Editor in Chief" a temporary accreditation. Let his crew work as they normally would, but have Geo "stamp" the articles once they are done - before passing them on to {{review}}. That way we don't have to accredit a bunch of people - but someone is still "responsible" for their work. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 06:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
None of the students have accounts, meaning that for the first 21 days, you guys would have to poke things. 14:59, 9 September 2008 (UTC) Geo.plrd (talk) 15:02, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
Only 2 days until I'm back on my own machine.
Get the students accounts ASAP, get them used to hopping into IRC to ask for checks/reviews, and get some help setting up templates for their user pages to highlight who they are. Accreditation is not needed to do Original Reporting, but in this case I'd say we need to have something that identifies those involved. I will help more when I can but have a lot to catch up on at home after over six weeks in hospital. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:42, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
The accounts will be up as soon as I finish hashing out specifics on our end. 16:41, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Live commentary[edit]

Firstly, I want to say that I am very inexperienced at Wikipedia and its "partners". I have ever just created one article in Wikipedia.

But now I have an idea. How about having a Wiki-site for live-commentary on e.g. sports events. Would be great to have, and if it gets as well-known as Wikipedia, I believe this will be very good for sports interested people everywhere :) I am thinking in terms of sport, because that is my interest, but it would be possible to cover all developing stories "live", I think.

What do you think about my idea? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Nightshadow1990 (talkcontribs) 17:59, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

It's an interesting idea, but I don't think that MediaWiki is particularly suited to any kind of "live" editing, especially if you had multiple commentators since they would constantly edit conflict each other. However, you can certainly write a report on a sports match as original reporting, and this has been done a few times in the past, and theoretically I suppose you could use a service like Skype to "phone in" the report as it happened and record the call as your reporting notes (this would also to some extent allow multiple contributors as part of the Skype call). This is actually one of the things the Wikinews hotline was developed for, but since essentially no-one used it it was recently disconnected. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 00:36, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Based on the 'not the Wikipedia Weekly' podcast ideas you could do a Skype call for a particular sporting event with multiple contributors, record it, and use it as the basis for an OR report on the event.
For example: We have coverage of Formula One racing on a fairly regular basis. If you could get half a dozen people who had a live feed of the race in a recorded Skype call they could do a commentary/running report and take notes. That would go on Commons as the OR 'evidence' for an article on Wikinews. Don't know if we've any w:Murray Walkers though. :-P --Brian McNeil / talk 09:28, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Interview seekers[edit]

Something we all really want to see on Wikinews is more OR - lots of it. Since most folk can't buzz around their country, nevermind elsewhere, to attend evnts then the best way to do this for many people is to do interviews with people, which these days can be done long-distance without such annoying things as time zones or transport to consider.

However, there is a major problem still in the communications aspect. Contcts for people can be amazingly difficult to achieve, as can actually getting a reply back. And yet, some people seem to manage it with no bother. Obviously, an email address must help a lot of people, but for those who aren't accredated and either don't want it or aren't doing enough to justify it. For example, setting up multiple emails is difficult for me with my setup (without giving details away) and the only one therefore must be kept seperate and Real World, forcing me onto a free web-based account. Very unprofessional.

Here's my proposal: Although we could post a messy request here or on a user talk page, most people simply won't, and people who are not used to Wikinews - who we seriously need - would never think of doing it. Instead, we could really use a dedicated system for people to request help arranging a specific interview, and people who are good at doing so to go out and get it for them. This would also stimulate a team effort, creating community interest from the planning stage and thus creating a better wiki-style joint effort, with iterested people jumping in to add their own questions. Hopefuly, anyway.

Anyone else buy that, or do I stand alone? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:43, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

There should be an official on-site listing of accredited users, their home-city, interests - and possibly even links to some of their OR articles (to prevent fishing around in Contribs). Sherurcij 18:32, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea. I would also add that it might be useful to list topics accredited users are interested in. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 00:52, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, that's what I meant by "interests", I don't care if you like deep-sea fishing, but if you prefer interviewing sports stars, celebrities or politicians makes a difference in how much confidence I'll have in you. Sherurcij 02:16, 24 September 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I completely miss that in your comment. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 02:20, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

Changing vertical CountryTemplates to Horizontal[edit]

Time to get horizontal baby, oh yeah! Templates like {{Kenya}} need to be changed to a wide horizontal version which will run along the bottom beneath the Sources listed (or just above? style issue) - because right now we have to either show the template, or use a nicely-placed professional looking photograph to accompany the article, not both. Articles then suffer when photos are cramped in on left-margins or trailing at the bottom; or the template does either. Professionalism says that these templates must be uniform, and cannot be allowed to interfere with our "top-right corner" where our leading photograph/map belongs. Sherurcij 09:11, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

I don't see why we should change these templates instead of creating a new set that can be used instead. What would be wrong with {{Kenya othernews}} as a footer with the map or other graphic, a list of the last 4-5 stories, and a summary on Kenya (this as 3 columns in the template). No, I don't have the technical skills to do this.
Incidentally, it isn't so much a WN:SG issue but such a template would go before the sources - unwritten policy on preferring local links over other Wikiprojects over external links. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:20, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
We could create new ones, I suppose it would save us running a bot across old archived articles; but it also risks redundancy; it's better to parameters at worst, rather than entirely separate templates. As per SG, yeah, I think I've heard that before; so over the sources it would go. Sherurcij 09:36, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
The SG issue is one I've always pushed. You go to an encyclopedia for a single page hit on a topic, you go to a news site for a briefing on more general items. Thus, for Wikinews, we want to make staying on the site the easy option instead of throwing external links up too early. I already had to fix that this morning because someone put links to Wikipedia in 2 of the leads.
For horizontal vs vertical templates I'm tending towards being against a single-purpose template with an |orientation= parameter. The code would just be too complicated for over 90% of contributors to make any changes. That "OMG! scary template!" reaction likely would discourage additional infoboxes of either type being created; I doubt we'd get all countries or topics done in one hit, so if we're starting with the most commonly used where pictures are available then the bar to creating a horizontal template for a country isn't too high.
Of course, this raises another question: How do we want to arrange information for editors writing articles - specifically the details of templates and images that can be used to decorate their articles? The list(s) of infoboxes haven't really been kept up to date and they are huge pages anyways. Would turning that into a list of country/topic links with sub-pages be better? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:48, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
    • Do we need to make the main namespace fixed width for this? --Brian McNeil / talk 10:38, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
No, you could just give the infobox a %, rather than a fixed width itself. So it runs along the bottom, centered, at 70% of screen width. Now with that said, I don't think {{Canada|Horizontal}} and {{Canada|Vertical}} are "overly" complicated to use for even the most inexperienced user; I'd still strongly lean towards that if possible. I may fool around with creating a horizontal box today just to see if I'm familiar enough with the layout code to make to work. Feel free to watchlist {{Canada}} and help out. Sherurcij 17:58, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I think Brian meant that the template itself would be complicated for the average user to modify (but if we put two templates inside one big switch statement, i don't see this being a significant issue). As a side note, many infoboxes also have a spot for a photo in them that can often be changed by parameter. Happy experimenting. Bawolff 00:17, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
As Bawolff correctly surmised, I meant that modifying the template or copying it to create a new one would be daunting where you had the complex code to do both horizonal or vertical. I take it for granted that usage would be simple.
What the proposal makes me think we need is something like the "FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS" box the BBC uses (See foot of this article for example). The key feature there is that the horizontal box is divided into three main horizontal sections, and here's how I'd lay it out:
  • Section 1, a map or other representative file photo to use as a default illustration. The infobox/template should support an optional "photo=<imagename>" parameter to replace this.
  • Section 2, the latest news from the appropriate category. To keep this manageable it may need kept to only three stories and there may not be room for the dates these were published. I would also assume this would be small text, not large.
  • Section 3, a link (or links) to the appropriate Wikipedia article(s). In some instances (eg, a country template, it may be required to take some fact about the country to fill up the space. With the switch feature several facts could be randomly included and the bottom half of this section becomes a trivia/did you know portion.
  • Heading 1 - a heading section that goes at the top of the box but which the content of only spans section 1 and 2 as detailed in the prior points. This would be something like "Wikinews: United States" which wikilinks to the appropriate portal.
  • Footing 1 - a footing section that goes at the bottom of the box, which is right-justified. Content would be an appropriate link to encourage readers to get involved with Wikinews.
Any ambitious template designers want to have a go? Try {{United States footer}} or {{Politics and conflicts footer}} as a template to see what others think? (Don't auto-include cats so it can be shown here first).
Drawback: The template will need to be a percentage width of the page - probably around 80% - but it should not shrink to silly-small (i.e. must have a minimum width). --Brian McNeil / talk 09:48, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
I made some experiments - User:Bawolff/sandbox/horizInfobox (note: at this point in time i don't think it works in all browsers. if it blows up for you, please let me know.) Bawolff 23:29, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
The example is not what I've tried to spec above. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:12, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
What's the point of the template if you have a proper image? I mean, you want to see the recent articles? That's why categories were created... And the image of the flag of a country hardly adds anything... So what's the point? - Julián (reply) 01:02, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps creating a photoshop (gimp!) image of what people have in their mind would be useful in making this happen. Bawolff 08:24, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Mockup #1[edit]



--Brian McNeil / talk 08:57, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Obviously the image and sections within it should be shaded, I did this in a hurry (but not fast enough to still catch Bawolff online). If you want to be really fancy about it you could have curved corners round the edge and the header and footer as sections that stick out above and below the box.
One thing I think this may prompt revisiting is the idea of a fixed page width in main namespace. This is how the BBC manages having reliable/consistently formatted 'horizontal infoboxes'. They recently increased the width, and it would be good to know what the most common small width is.
Please re-read the above spec I wrote once you've looked at the above mockup. The finished infobox(es) should allow the image to be replaced, so we might need to be able to vary the title as well as the image. I'm also wondering if we want to be able to vary the third (right) section content and possibly stick things like HYS in there instead of default content. Looking at discussions about Economy and business stuff, this may be a must-have for substituting in stock market index or currency rate information at time of publication. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:28, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Shading added, all corners should be rounded and the header and footer might be better with a slightly darker grey background marking them off from the main part of the IB. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:06, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Mockup #2[edit]

Here's a less garish mockup with some corners rounded...


--Brian McNeil / talk 13:01, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

If the image does not look pretty (eg fonts a mess) click through to the full-size version. I'm working on a 1280x1024 display and scaling down can mess with this - hence my above comment about setting main namespace to fixed width. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:31, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Keep looking at this second one and think - if done right - it'll be cooler than what the BBC does. :-P --Brian McNeil / talk 13:44, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
The examples I have seen, even kamnets, are nice. I am just afraid they might be too big. But aside from that I think they look more modern, a refreshing look. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:03, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Mockup #3[edit]

Short 2 column infobox[edit]

Top-left-corner.png Some extra long headline about Canadian stuff Top-right-corner.png
Location of Canada

A map showing the location of Canada

Other Canadian stories




To write, edit, start or view other Canada articles, see the Canada Portal  

Here is the template that DragonFire1024 was referring to. Unfortunately it is done entirely in HTML tables because of the differences that FF, IE7 and IE8 have in rendering the wikitables. This implements all the current sub-templates used in the current vertical infoboxes, so there would be no need to have to change anything. kamnet (talk) 19:17, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

How would this render {{Avian Flu infobox}}? --Brian McNeil / talk 19:55, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
This might look better if (a) The dates were dropped so it could be less wide, (b) The text on the DPL was smaller, (c) DPL and image vertically centred against each other. It's also missing a "More... >" link to go to the Category/Portal. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:08, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Added the "More" link, removed the date. The table's width it set at 80%, I could move it down to 50% and just let it stretch as needed. Trying that now. kamnet (talk) 20:20, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Long 4 column infobox[edit]

Top-left-corner.png Avian Flu Top-right-corner.png
More information on H5N1:
Related stories
Past & Potential Flu Pandemics
Disease Year Death toll
Spanish Flu 1918/1919 50 million
Asian Flu 1957 1 million
Hong Kong Flu 1968 1 million
H5N1 Ongoing 243
Mallard in flight

How about this? kamnet (talk) 20:14, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Getting somewhere now. :D --Brian McNeil / talk 20:41, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
I am worried also that because we often use infoboxes in place of images we don't have, that these will take away from that. Also, I still think that avian box, although I think the new one is great, is still much to big. But overall I think these are looking great so far. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:57, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
These are another option, I don't think anyone intends for a new style to completely supersede the old infoboxes - we need to keep them for archived articles, so no need to totally drop them. The existing RHS infoboxes restrict what you can do where you have images and pull-quotes in a longer article, this allows for another piece in the toolkit used to keep people browsing Wikinews as opposed to going to another site. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:05, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
The way that I'm seeing this, the vertical infoboxes should be preferred over the horizontal infoboxes. The horizontal infoboxes should be used when an article has a lot of visual information to present such as a combination of photos, charts, and quoteboxes, where the addition of a vertical infobox is going to cause too much crowding and visual distraction. <<<< kamnet (talk) 23:47, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Wow, those are very well done. An intresting idea would be to combine more then one infobox to have a two tab info-box. (for example, for bird flu in canada article, combine bird flu, Canada, and Wikinews today, as a signle infobox with three tabs. Bawolff 03:53, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Multiple infoboxes with dynamic navigation[edit]

Top-left-corner.png More Information On... Top-right-corner.png

Ugh, why did you suggest that bawolff?? *lol* ... multi tabs would be a nightmare design-wise and not very elegant. Here's my attempt at multiple infoboxes using Dynamic Navigation Noncentered boxes. Not really ideal (yet) because:

  • The ugly padded border around the DNN boxes
  • The fact that they are fixed width and not percentages
  • The first box should default to being open with the rest collapsed

<<<< kamnet (talk) 04:52, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

I suggested it because i knew it would be a design nightmare, and i was hoping that someone might have the magic answer :P. If we could make one be open to start with, I think your idea could work (and that just needs some jsing, which i could probably do). Anyways, I just remembered we do have something that might make this easier. A while back Deprify was experimenting with tabs on the main page. I think we could adopt some of that into this. Bawolff 06:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Bring it on! :-) <<<< kamnet (talk) 06:14, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Proper tabs, such as [Avian Flu][Today's Wikinews] as part of an infobox would be a pretty neat implementation. The dynamic navigation sections doesn't look so pretty, so the question is - where is Deprifry's main page design with tabs? --Brian McNeil / talk 07:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Here's my first go at it. (well actually very little of this is mine, its either the tabber, or Kamnet) - User:Bawolff/sandbox/horizInfobox#Kamnet_based (do hard refresh or it will look weird). Current issues is that my css center probably doesn't work in MSIE (fixing as we speak), it should use image for rounded corners instead of css for the benifit of MSIE, and it sizeing is slightly different in MSIE (MSIE 80% of page regadless, others 41em to 47em [em is the height of a capital M]). Note this only works in my sandbox atm as it has js dependencies not enabled on the rest of the site. Bawolff 07:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
That's looking good, but the tabs should be at the left and slightly overlap if possible. Is it possible with the tabber code to build an infobox where you could have up to three tabs and use code like {{Vtab-box|tab1=United States tabbox|tab2=Avian Flu tabbox|tab3=Latest Wikinews tabbox}}? This way we could split the content off from the tabbing and have a really flexible way to add this to pages. Obviously you'd want to be able with the same template to just have a single tab, perhaps changing the picture, eg {{Vtab-box|tab1=United States tabbox|tab1photo=White House.png}}. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:30, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Yep thats entirely possible, although
|{{first infobox|photo=blah}}
|{{2nd infobox}}
would probably work better as then you could feed the param to the infobox directly. The tabs should be at the left now (they were briefly in the middle when i was changing it to make center work on IE). By overlapping do you mean like:

tab 1tab 2tab 3

? Bawolff 07:44, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Yep, ideally with rounded corners on both sides - but we're certainly getting there. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:09, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
like my new version above? Bawolff 08:38, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes! --Brian McNeil / talk 08:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Usage of horizontal infoboxes[edit]

As mentioned above, this is not meant to see the existing right-hand vertical boxes eliminated. It will give more flexibility in page layout, and there may even be cases where we wish to use a vertical box and a horizontal one; that would be, for example, the US infobox down the left and the economy and business horizonal box as a footer.

First, I'd say horizontal boxes can be used on very short/brief articles. Page layout looks poor where the vertical infoboxes are used and the text is not long enough to push the 'Sources' heading below it. The [edit] link in the middle of the page spoils the look. The obvious solution to this is to write longer articles, but this is not always practical.

Second, it is much easier to balance a lengthy piece with several images, pull-quotes, etc. if you don't have a vertical infobox. An article with three or more graphic elements plus a vertical IB always tends to look heavy on the left. Being able to freely flow text around right and left-hand elements makes for a far more pleasing layout. At the moment, this means no infobox, and thus no way to keep people moving on to read more Wikinews content.

Lastly, the vertical boxes need organised. If you visit WN:IB you'll see that old infoboxes from 2006/7 that will never be used again are listed. We need Wikinews:Infoboxes/old or Wikinews:Infoboxes/depreciated linked to from that page but removing the clutter. There's actually a whole mini-wikiproject in putting together some help pages documenting all our decorative elements for making articles look better. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:36, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Yup to all that. I'd say HZ infoboxes on both very short and very long articles, and on picture heavy articles as well, with VR infoboxes on medium length articles with only one (or no) pictures. I like Infoboxes/old better, because they aren't actually depreciated... and it is possible that we could have additional articles on, say, Hurricane Katrina or something. Even a decade later we could still see government reports coming out:P. So Old would be better in my view.
But those infoboxes definitely need to be organized. That whole category is a PITA to use right now because it is so cluttered. I'd also suggest that we make a new Category:Infoboxes/Vertical and Category:Infoboxes/Horizontal (as well as old of both) in order to more easily find the ones that we want. Gopher65talk 20:25, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I've never been to WN:IB before Brianmc. I get my infoboxes straight from here Category:Infoboxes. Not all of them are listed there, only the ones that have the infobox Category listed in their noinclude section. Gopher65talk 20:32, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Other graphical items to revamp[edit]

While we're at it, there are some other elements that could do with a facelift.

Key for me is where there are a lot of pictures. This frequently happens for protests or conferences where we have Original Reporting. But, if you have - say - 8 photos it takes a huge amount of space to display all the thumbnails. A slideshow with navigation controls would be nice, and would allow slightly larger versions of images to be used on the page.

Related news and sources are something we're unique in displaying. Mainstream news sources will at most admit they've got stuff from AP or Reuters, we list every source. Some way to de-emphasise that information might be worth considering - even if it was just to display them at 75% font size. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:02, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

For pictures I'm thinking, something like but not as large an image or caption. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:27, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Alrighty 2nd try - User:Bawolff/sandbox/horizInfobox#image_picker (first was {{Slideshow}}) I fixed the line breaking issue so now it should be able to accept an unlimited number of photos. (however if you try to put all 4,182 images on wikinews, on a single page, the web browser might have a fit from loading so many pictures). Bawolff 10:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Bawolff, your Kamnet-based and image picker are awesome! Deploy deploy! --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 13:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Looks great Bawolff. Good job to you and Kamnet in building those horizontal infoboxes too:). Gopher65talk 20:27, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok, its now live as {{Picture select}}. (the horiz infobox is {{htab-box}}). You may need to clear your cache to see it. Current issues: no corners in Internet explorer and opera (only works for webkit (safari) and moz (firefox), any unmentioned browser i have no idea if it works or not, but probably doesn't). If you include a header (==some header==), it will become the tab title. Have fun, report any issues you have. (as for the changes to tabs that brianmc suggested, I don't really have time ti figure out how to make it work at the moment, maybe this weekend i'll try and make something)Bawolff 01:31, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Right now we have {{Pakistan-h}} and {{Canada-h}} Sherurcij 15:05, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Updated {{Pakistan}} and {{Canada}}; may need some retroactive tweaking since they're horizontal. Sherurcij 21:04, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a really bad move. Existing articles are using the vertical infoboxes. Why change them to horizontal suddenly? Why not keep separate vertical and horizontal infoboxes? There is really no reason to change the vertical infoboxes to horizontal infoboxes. I really think these changes should be reverted. I also noticed you removed instances of the vertical infoboxes in articles. Why? Because the design looks wrong? That is _exactly_ why you shouldn't have changed it. Somehow I find this a very bad decision(!) Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 21:49, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree with Van der Horn - we should not retroactivly change things. Horizontal infoboxes are good some of the time, but vertical ones are also good. We should have seperate templates. (I reverted the above edits) Bawolff 21:56, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
For example, Canadian held in China faces execution looks really ugly with the new version: File:HorizInfoboxLookingUgly.png (also anyone notice weirdness with curvy edges?) and should stay vertical. Some new articles should perhaps use the new one. Bawolff 22:03, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
I also noticed in some articles the infobox was put at the bottom (below the sources). This is not a very good place for the infobox. The infobox makes users go to other articles. They really aren't going to scroll all the way down to view the infobox. I think the only useful place for horizontal infoboxes, is somewhere in the middle of long articles, if that is appropriate as a break or something. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 22:22, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Unless you want users to abandon the news article halfway, there is no reason to put the infobox anywhere other than at the bottom. As for reasons not to put it at the top corner - because it crowds out our photographs - and we look less professional; the horizontal bottom-fed template should slowly become our default, but perhaps I was hasty to bump things through so 'fast' (okay, six months isn't fast...but still) Sherurcij 03:51, 16 April 2009 (UTC)
Its more a old articles should not be modified thing (WN:ARCHIVE) than a speed thing. Its really something that should be decided on an article by article basis at time of publish. (I'm ok with on the bottom sometimes - an infobox is essentially the same as a related news section, but again it depends on the article) Bawolff 05:46, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Creating a category for articles on the current economic crisis[edit]

I think it might be useful to create a category on the current economic crisis but I'm not sure about the name. Any thoughts? --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 20:57, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

2008 financial crisis, Financial crisis, Subprime mortgage crisis - Julián (reply) 00:58, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I'm going to go with 2008 financial crisis. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 14:25, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

creating a economics and business bureau[edit]

Is anyone interested in setting one up? I know that bureaus haven't had that much success but I think it might be useful to create one that can help new editors find help on business related articles and also help current editors work together. Anyone interested? I don't mind doing the grunt work of setting one up. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 21:17, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I am indeed. I've been covering the recent news event in Spanish Wikinews, and I'll translate my articles into English from now onwards :) - Julián (reply) 00:10, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea to me kamnet (talk) 21:49, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Created at Wikinews:WikiBureau Economics and business Anonymous101talk 18:10, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
A small corrolary, it'd be nice to see a mini-template that tracks the US$, Euro, C$ and Yen, for example, in a very small box - indicating their relative worth. If we could create such small templates that hide on the main page in a deserted corner, it'd be tres sexy :) Sherurcij 19:22, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
Bureau looks good. In regard to the currency template, I think that would be a good idea. Maybe check with User:Superzerocool over at Spanish wikinews. He does the current stock market template and I don't think it will take that much work to do a currency one. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 04:11, 14 November 2008 (UTC)

WikiVoices welcomes Wikinews[edit]

Hi, good news: earlier this month I floated the idea of writing a Wikinews article collaboratively in voice chat. The setting would be similar to this recording, adapted for the Wikinews environment. Reactions were enthusiastic and the only thing that delayed actual plans was that Not the Wikipedia Weekly was hosted at English Wikipedia. Well, NTWW is moving over to Meta under the new name WikiVoices to set all WMF projects on an equal footing and I'd like to invite Wikinews to become our first episode. WikiVoices collaborates in text and voice chat via Skype (which doesn't cost anything). If you're interested and want help getting started, e-mail me for my Skype ID and I'll lend a hand. Best wishes, Durova (talk) 19:30, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

WiiNews Skin[edit]

I would really like to use the Wikinews Custom Skin, but I can't - can an admin do summet about it please, like make it usable. cuz there isn't a monobook.php in our user namespace, so we ca't use the skin. Please? RedXII (talk) 16:30, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

sorry nope. The skin is somewhat abandoned, and not really ready for prime time use by us. (although it is still useable enough to be used on a private wiki). The wikinews skin is an actual skin (not just a css skin) the type that appears in special:preferences, and can only be installed by developers. Long and short of this, you can only use it for your own private wiki, its not happening on wikinews unless someone decides to take on maintaining it. Bawolff 00:26, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh well, but you've got to admit - it is stylish! RedXII (talk)
Personally I like the Modern skin better. I had the wikinews skin installed on my personal wiki, and i didn't really like it on higher resolutions. Bawolff 19:30, 31 October 2008 (UTC)


I've put some effort into writing a guide to jump-start new contributors at WN:ARTICLE. I would value some additional input and feedback on this.

This is intended to be something that gets added to the {{hello}} templates and highlighted as a way to start contributing without having to go through all the policies. I believe if we can get new contributors up on the front page from something like this then there is more of an incentive to read the full style guide and other documents.

Input from those who have joined the project in the past few months would be particularly valuable. You folks are the ones who still have the "noob" experience fresh in your mind. How would a document like WN:ARTICLE have helped you get started? Are there any omissions? Do we need to say, "you must read X as well"? (Eg WN:NPOV). --Brian McNeil / talk 14:26, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

It would have been quite useful when I started and I can see it being very useful to new users. I'll take a better look at it later and maybe add somethings but it looks great so far. Thanks for doing this. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 14:42, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Looks good so far. It touches on all the basics without going into such exhaustive detail that people decide to give up before they start. Since "How to write an article" is the most important thing that could go in the welcome template, I'd suggest giving it a predominant place in the template, and maybe making it blink red and green in an annoying fashion. Or make it big and bolded. Gopher65talk 15:00, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
On a related note, I'd like to suggest that we think about modifying the welcome template to be less all-inclusive. It should be specific and to the point rather than just splashing a bunch of information down on people. There is no way that most people will click all of those links. Remember, to a newbie "watercooler" is meaningless, and so is most of the information gathered there. So giving a link to it right off the bat isn't going to be a good use of their limited attention span.
Instead let us only present them with the most important links: How to write an article (which has a link to the style guide already anyway), Introduction to wikinews, and a link to an expanded and improved version of the To-Do page, in which the entire To-Do list should go. Since everything else is already included in those pages, there is no sense in bogging down the welcome template with it. Gopher65talk 15:09, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia's welcome template is quite short and we should be aiming for that. They have five or six links to essay/policy pages which I think is something we should emulate. A Wikinews:Further reading link could close off linking to a page where meta discussions like at the Water Cooler are. I'd agree with the assessment that the current welcome template is too longwinded. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:29, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>I'm not too sure Wikinews:Article layout in a nutshell is the best title for this. Suggestions? --Brian McNeil / talk 16:01, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Hello/Welcome revamp[edit]

I'm pretty much sold on Gopher65's idea of revamping the welcome template with this and more focus on getting people to contribute. I think there are a number of things to cover.

  • How an article should be laid out (This - WN:ARTICLE covers that)
  • Non-negotiable policy items - WN:NPOV being the key one
  • No editorialising, a common mistake for people raised on opinionated news
  • "To-do" - where else you can help or contribute
  • Where to find more information once you're starting to get into the project

What else? These points leave us with five links for a new welcome template, do we need another one for common mistakes like editing old articles or not understanding the templates that might get slapped on your article? I think there is real scope to be more welcoming if we have less formal texts that are easy to read and point people at clicking the edit button or filling in a new article box. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:18, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

I have done {{Howdy}} as a start on a much more attractive welcoming template. It uses the tabbing code and focuses on encouraging people to start writing. The second tab could probably do with a bit of work and a third tab for "Getting more involved" could link to the water cooler, newsroom, etc.

Shown below:

Welcome to Wikinews

A nice cup of coffee for you while you get started

Getting started as a contributor
How to write an article
  1. Pick something current?
  2. Use two independent sources?
  3. Read your sources before writing the story in your own words?. Do choose a unique title? before you start.
  4. Follow Wikinews' structure? for articles, answering as many of who what when where why and how? as you can; summarised in a short, two- or three-sentence opening paragraph. Once complete, your article must be three or more paragraphs.
  5. If you need help, you can add {{helpme}} to your talkpage, along with a question, or alternatively, just ask?

  • Use this tab to enter your title and get a basic article template.
    [RECOMMENDED. Starts your article through the semi-automated {{develop}}—>{{review}}—>{{publish}} collaboration process.]

 Welcome! Thank you for joining Wikinews; we'd love for you to stick around and get more involved. To help you get started we have an essay that will guide you through the process of writing your first full article. There are many other things you can do on the project, but its lifeblood is new, current, stories written neutrally.
As you get more involved, you will need to look into key project policies and other discussions you can participate in; so, keep this message on this page and refer to the other links in it when you want to learn more, or have any problems.

Wikipedia's puzzle-globe logo, © Wikimedia Foundation
  Used to contributing to Wikipedia? See here.
All Wikimedia projects have rules. Here are ours.

Listed here are the official policies of the project, you may be referred to some of them if your early attempts at writing articles don't follow them. Don't let this discourage you, we all had to start somewhere.

The rules and guides laid out here are intended to keep content to high standards and meet certain rules the Wikimedia Foundation applies to all projects. It may seem like a lot to read, but you do not have to go through it all in one sitting, or know them all before you can start contributing.

Remember, you should enjoy contributing to the project. If you're really stuck come chat with the regulars. There's usually someone in chat who will be happy to help, but they may not respond instantly.

The core policies
Places to go, people to meet

Wiki projects work because a sense of community forms around the project. Although writing news is far more individualistic than contributing to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, people often need minor help with things like spelling and copyediting. If a story isn't too old you might be able to expand it, or if it is disputed you may be able to find some more sources and rescue it before it is listed for deletion.

There are always discussions going on about how the site could be improved, and your input is of value. Check the links here to see where you can give input to the running of the Wikinews project.

Find help and get involved
Write your first article for Wikinews!

Use the following box to help you create your first article. Simply type in a title to your story and press "Create page". Then start typing text to your story into the new box that will come up. When you're done, press "save page". That's all there is to it!

It is recommended you read the article guide before starting. Also make sure to check the list of recently created articles to see if your story hasn't already been reported upon.

--Brian McNeil / talk 10:30, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

I like. Perhaps we should include {{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>ns:0|<big>'''Please subst: this template'''</big>}} at the top to stop people from not putting subst:.(but then perhaps not. this is a much more complicated template than the old template, maybe non subst: transclude is preferred.) Perhaps we should also link to help:editing for those who are unfamiliar with wiki-syntax (or the equivalent on either meta:/mw:, as local help docs sucks and is quite outdated) Bawolff 22:21, 2 November 2008 (UTC)
I like the idea of having multiple welcome template options to choose from, like at w:Category:Welcome templates. It would also be a good idea to work on modifying w:WP:FRIENDLY and w:WP:TWINKLE for use on en.wikinews to help semi-automate welcoming and warning, etc. Cirt (talk) 10:48, 4 November 2008 (UTC)
I like it. It's prettier, takes up less room on the page, and, while containing all key policies, it doesn't immediately overwhelm people with information. Gopher65talk 23:41, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

US Voters go to the polls[edit]

This should be an article updated all day. Would be great to have people from around the US sharing their voting experiences.Leila Monaghan (talk) 15:35, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

I thought we were trying to present ourselves as a news source, not a blog of personal adventure stories? I'd strongly oppose any kind of "update us about your voting experiences" that wasn't limited strictly to talk pages. Also, we are an international website, we are no more likely to overhaul WN for the US election than we would for the Canadian. Sherurcij 16:06, 4 November 2008 (UTC)

"Adventures in voting" as you put it can be done objectively. The more reporting the better otherwise Wikinews risks being an incredibly slow, out of date international news source. The current main page is absolutely out of date with today's news. I also think reports on the Canadian elections is also a great idea and should be planned upon.

Can somebody please help get the yard sign picture back up? I took it myself and want it under a CC commons license. Photos of polling places would also be great.

Poster designs[edit]

Wikinews still needs some promotional material. Anyone interested in a poster design competition? (No, I can't afford prizes). --Brian McNeil / talk 14:41, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

This will require one or two short paragraphs of text, that can be done independent of the poster design. I've created as a shortcut (http:// missing to beat spam filter) to the main page, not sure if we want to use this or the address as the link.
I think posters can be portrait or landscape and should be A sizes. Based on what I saw at Wikimania the size looked to be A1, but for initial design purposes working on A4 would probably be best - as long as you keep a version where text and so can be scaled up.
I don't think any of the non-Wikipedia projects have done posters so we'd be the first. We've a great logo as a starting point, but at the moment I don't have any good ideas for other graphical elements.
Lastly, printing will get paid for. :-D This was something from the meeting I had with Sue, Jay, and Michael. If we do the design the Foundation will pay to print up posters and get them shipped where they're needed. So, for example, I could take a winning design, find a local printer to run off 25-50 large copies on heavy paper, and mail them to WMUK, WMNL, and other chapters where English may not be the first language but is a common one. Obviously the office would want a handful of copies - one for their wall, and others to distribute from there to events like Wikimania.
Of course, the print edition is still perhaps our most powerful marketing tool. I'd also love to hear ideas on how we could do a weekend edition or specials for events and conferences. There is scope to pull in material from other projects there; as an example, we could dig stuff out of Wikibooks' cookbook that was recipes local to a conference such as Chilli for a meetup in Texas. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:40, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
I think that we should use either or (or even ) for the URL. Tinyurl seems unprofessional imho. For inspiration, we can steal ideas from Image:Polish Wikinews poster 2007.png and image:WikinewsNZ.pdf. Bawolff 21:43, 7 November 2008 (UTC)
Here's my go at it (note: I'm not the greatest at this type of thing, but hopefully this will get the ball rolling). - Image:Wikinews-poster-en-bawolff.svg (mediawiki doesn't seem to want to render it, but it will render fine on firefox). Bawolff 09:10, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Global Bots[edit]

Redirect arrow without text.svg
Soft redirect
This page can be found at Wikinews:Global Bots.

New writing contest[edit]

I'm certainly no longer as well off as when I was offering 100 EUR in Wikinews:Writing Contest, but I think if we can pool together a similar sized prize pot we should run another competition. 100 EUR is just under $130, which is quite a respectable prize. I think if we can all pool in 5-10 EUR each we can reach that amount again and have something people will compete for.

Anyone got anything they'd like to add on ground rules, a scoring system, or such? As previously I think we need to reward original reporting, and we need to have globally distributed judges who are doing peer review on stuff as they score it.

Of course, if people feel this would be best left until after the fundraiser I'd understand. It may be the wise choice to start a comp. in January when everyone is broke and close it in March. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:11, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

I'm wondering if we can use the Knight Foundation grants to run regular competitions over the next year and advertise them on other sites. This would allow us to have four three-month long competitions with a big prize and a special prize for the best article in the competition. This would be a relatively modest grant request, possibly asking for $1,000 top prizes and a $500 prize for best article. We could throw in a request for something like $200 advertising budget per month and it would *really* raise the profile of the site and bring in contributors. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Have we won a Knight Foundation grant? Well, that doesn't really matter for the issue of a Writing Contest. I believe that our new system of enforced but not adopted article review will make these contests easier to evaluate. In the past there was always the "self publishing" problem. However, the most recent practice of editors tracking (and listing) their own accomplishments seems to work. They are easy to audit. Not having participated, how has money been transferred? I can come up with some cash (even without holding homeless people at gunpoint) for this endeavor. I wouldn't like to send cash in an envelope. Do we use Paypal? How about a prize for archiving the most articles in a 3-month span? That could cut into our backlog. Cheers, --SVTCobra 20:44, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
We haven't won a grant, and the Knight Foundation's news challenge closed 1st November. However, their website indicates they give grants at other times too, so perhaps sponsoring "The Knight Foundation Wikinews Writing Contest" would be up their street. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:17, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The idea of directly paying a journalist or a wikignome makes me wonder if this tagline (from Wikinews ads) would become void:

Wikinews: Not the hired agent of a monied system

A non-monetary prize, endorsed by a credible celebrity, may have an even more powerful effect in attracting contributions. FWIW, I am open to be convinced. --InfantGorilla (talk) 21:30, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

LOL, well, it is not the hiring of a writer, nor anything that has a powerful effect. It is just a small pool (a few bucks) for the one who does the most work in a set amount of their spare time. Well, I assume this is our spare time ... --SVTCobra 21:35, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
When you break it down, something like a $1,000 prize for slogging away over three months hardly qualifies as enough pay. Want a prize? Throw in a high quality fountain pen.
I'm waiting on Ilya getting back to me with the previous grant application so I can see what it looked like. I've also emailed Jay Walsh and Erik Moeller at the WMF; we need Foundation backing to apply. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:46, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
P.S. InfantGorilla, I have the domain name - nothing on it at the moment. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:47, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
I've made a start on Wikinews:Writing competition as a landing page for advertising. Still no word back from Ilya on the last application, anyone got a working email for him? --Brian McNeil / talk 17:18, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I trust you have seen Wikinews:Knight Foundation proposal, which might be from two years ago. Cheers, --SVTCobra 17:23, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Ilya has said on other Wikis "You can mail me at anything at" Have you tried this? Other than that I can only report that Ilya has been inactive in recent days. --SVTCobra 18:17, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I will email Ilya when I am back on my own machine where I have email set up. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:15, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
De-nada from Ilya, so I'll go with throwing 25 EUR into the prize pot. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:41, 27 November 2008 (UTC)



When are we going to get a TV version of Wikinews? No need to pay real people to get up and talk, just have a computer or voice actor read it and have a 3d model act like they are speaking. Wikinews is the best, it's unbiased and filled with nothing but facts. So long as no one can control it using money, it could be the only source of truly fact based unopinionated news on the planet. That's definately worth sharing. So, how would you get TV wikinews a reality?

Do you think that putting a plug for it at the bottom of each wikipedia article would do? Maybe sorting out stories by IP adress to give news relevant to the reader with the option to view world news? Just some ideas. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

We want real people. Unfortunately we need money to do that, perhaps a studio and cameras etc. See: Wikinews:Video 2.0. Unfortunately we need more people as well. We have a good audio base when we have the regular guys around to record them. We also are working on Wikimedia Radio. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 02:14, 17 November 2008 (UTC)
What would be needed is someone (group of someones) who are dedicated enough to the idea to make regural broadcasts to build interest, until such a time as the project reaches critical mass (as in probably longer then 6 months). The general problem with TV, is it is an extreme amount effort to reach critical mass, and (as DF pointed out) there is an entry barrier of expensive equipment. But it is certainly possible as the previous attempts (Wikinews:Broadcast and Wikinews:Video 2.0) have shown. As far as 3D model is concerned, I don't think we have people with he technical ability to do that. [correct me if i'm wrong] Bawolff 09:15, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

Hidden Categories[edit]

Okay, its about time that we start using that cute Hidden Categories thing we can use. Specific categories "not for public consumption" like our "internal organization categories" such as article status can be hidden from unregistered users. When you register, you can set an option in your preferences that shows the hidden categories on the bottom of the screen (in its own "row" of the category box).

As a trial run, I have made the article status categories hidden. They still exist, you just have to enable it in your preferences if you wanna see it. ViperSnake151 (talk) 16:01, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

  • Oppose - I Oppose these changes [2], [3], [4], [5] made without discussion by ViperSnake151 (talk · contribs). These pages should not be hidden categories, their status should actually be emphasized instead, so that we can motivate editors to review the articles and utilize the review process, as well as make it evident to users of the present status of the articles themselves. Cirt (talk) 21:20, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
  • I generally think hidden categories are a bad idea. The status cats, while internal categories are internal, they are temporary, and important at that moment. I could see a weak case for permanent status categories (Archived, PD-article, published), but in general, the categories are there for a purpose, and the category bar should show them. (Although perhaps Category:Wikinews:Commentary pages on news events maybe should be hidden). Bawolff 06:36, 9 December 2008 (UTC)
    • Bawolff (talk · contribs) does make a good point about perhaps considering this for permanent status categories... Cirt (talk) 06:37, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Presidential inauguration - press credentials[edit]

The US Presidential inauguration is in just a bit over a month. Applications for press credentials are due on December 15th at I encourage anyone here within distance of Washington DC to apply. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 04:14, 11 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews: Shorts Videos[edit]

We seem to be doing good with the Wikinews: Shorts lately. We have a great twitter following as well as facebook. I think we need to campaign, big time, to get people who have or who can get video, or edit stuff together to invade YouTube with a daily Wikinews: Shorts Videos (not necessarily called that). I think it could be rather simple. If we have users with decent web cams I think that would be quite feasible. I am sure there are plenty of images we can use, and if people are willing to donate or take video that would be great. Perhaps I am missing something, but is there any websites that have free news type video we could use? Even if it archives of older things. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:46, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Besides commons :-P DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:47, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
I believe has some historical news videos (aka over 70 years old). Commons itself also has some news videos, but not that much. Quite often panning through a still photo would be enough for background footage imo. Since upload limits are now at 100mb, this makes the whole video thing easier than it was in the past. Bawolff 01:55, 13 December 2008 (UTC)
Actually, still shots with captions and a Wikinews Audio track would make for a not-too-bad start, and would require little infrastructure over what we already have. Chris Mann (Say hi!|Stalk me!) 11:26, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

DragonFire1024: might have some, it has quite a bit of cc content. (Anonymous101 not logged in) 11:30, 13 December 2008 (UTC)

Distribution of Wikinews Print Edition[edit]

I want to distribute Wikinews Print Edition in my local area. If I do this I will be distributing probably more than 100 copies. How do I go about getting permission to do this, and what are some things I should know before doing it? 04:36, 29 December 2008 (UTC)

Cool. You don't need to get permission from anyone to do this (you don't even have to tell us, although we appreciate that you do). All it needs is a credit line (This document was created by the wikinews community and released under the creative commons attribution 2.5 license. See for more details, or something to that affect. I believe the print edition already says that at the bottom) At the moment I think we've been neglectful of publishing the latest print editions (I havn't been that active recently, so I myself am not entirely sure whats happening with it. I'm sure others could tell you). But if we know there are people who plan to distribute it, I'm certain we'll make sure to have it published on that day. user:Bawolff 05:35, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. I just used the existing "Wikinews Print Edition" logo and made an up to date copy for today. I printed off about 150 copies, and they are sitting at the front desk of the business I own for people to take. (I am the same person as, different IP address because I am in my office) 15:17, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
That's great! If you could keep us posted on how many people are taking them, and what they think, then we'd really appreciate it too. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 16:05, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
So far about 1/4 of them have been taken. The only complaints I have heard is the fact that they are not on Broadsheet like more traditional Newspapers. I think I am going to pay to have them printed on Broadsheet in the future (still give them away for free though) sence I have the money to do it. 16:50, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
All 150 copies are now gone. Again, the only complaint I have heard is that it is not printed on Broadsheet. 22:20, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Wow, awesome. Bawolff 08:31, 30 December 2008 (UTC)
<unindent> This is very good to hear. It is a shame there has not been more reliable updates, plus a lot of regular contributors not around for the holidays.
Incidentally, if your company is paying for the printing, there is nothing legally stopping you from doing a slightly different template with a space for an advert you insert. It would justify the company's expenditure and allow the costs to be put in your advertising budget. Some Wikinews contributors might not be totally happy with that, but it has benefits all round. I'm going to write up something on Wikinews:Print edition/sponsorship - haven't worked out how we'd promote that short of some Adsense expenditure, but I think the idea has potential. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:32, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Quiz archiving[edit]

I think we should keep a copy of each quiz, with answers, as part of the archives. We already keep the talk pages. I figure a non-editable copy of one could be displayed or something...Thoughts? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 00:23, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Like this (contains most except 2007 quiz of year and some very early ones). Bawolff 07:49, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't think {{archive}} is appropriate, but I think once a quiz is no longer current it should be fully protected. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

Interlanguage interview collaboration[edit]

A certain Mike Halterman has posted to de.wn with an idea for interlanguage collaboration with a series of interviews. As a run-up to the Eurovision Song Contest this year in Moscow, he and I both would like to see a set of interviews with past contestants and have them translated into and published in several languages, with interviews conducted in a variety of languages, rather than just English.

Mike's original posting, which explains his thoghts much better than me, is here. I will say that we have a slight start already with last year's Teräsbetoni frontman J. Ahola on representing Finland at Eurovision 2008 & more, conducted by myself.

So, who else from English is up for this? Oh, only other rule is that if anyone manages it, then I'm the one interviewing Lordi. Dammit, even my username is one of their songs! Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:53, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

The original note Blood Red Sandman linked was written on the German Wikinews. I've also left a note on the Italian, French, Spanish, Norwegian, Czech, Portuguese, Finnish, and Polish Wikinews projects. Mike Halterman (talk) 23:13, 3 January 2009 (UTC)
Excellent idea and yes BRS, I'll save Lordi for you! :-P --TUFKAAP (talk) 04:20, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I emailed Lordi's Sony BMG press contact last night. She's on holiday until the 5th, so we'll see then... Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:03, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
To learn a lesson from meta:WORTNET. If we do this (which we should - translation always good, and so is interviews), i think collaboration pages should be on each language wiki, as if its on meta, no one hears about it (as not on rc) and it fades away. Bawolff 17:09, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm always available for fi⇆en translation, if needed :]. Mysid (talk) 19:27, 5 January 2009 (UTC)
Great! I'll let you know regarding Lordi, I'm negotiating for it still but I'm optomistic. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:32, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Turkey has already picked their contestant and song. Maybe I should try to get a little chat with the singer who will be going to Moscow (Hadise). Mike Halterman (talk) 03:59, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Here's a list of names we may want to start going after, based on discussions I've had with the other Wikis and also with people here.
Åse Kleveland - performer in 1966 for Norway and host in 1986. We failed to secure the interview last year but I will try again. Questions are already prepared and some can be altered or removed based on timeliness.
Hadise - performer for 2009 for Turkey. I mentioned her previously and considering there's going to be four months between now and Moscow, we probably have a good shot at talking to her.
Kikki Danielsson - performer for 1985 from Sweden. I looked into contacting her last year and never followed through. She is signed to Warner Music Sweden and I can send an e-mail to her publicist.
Lordi - winners in 2006 from Finland. BloodRedSandman has already shown a lot of interest in getting them and has taken steps to contact them.
And the following are names the German Wikinews recommended we contact:
Nicole - Germany's only winner, she won the Contest in 1982 with the song "Ein bißchen Frieden." As far as "famous" Eurovision names go in the German-speaking sphere, Nicole would be the biggest one, and she is still very visible in Eurovision-related circles and would probably grant us an interview.
Stefan Raab - German comedian and television host who has not only written Eurovision entries, but has performed one himself ("Wadde Hadde Dudde Da?" in 2000). Interesting find to talk about the background and how Germany perceives the Eurovision today.
Ralph Siegel - He has composed a large number of Germany's Eurovision entries, and continues to submit songs despite not having much success in recent years. He composed well-known entries such as "Dschinghis Khan" and Nicole's winning song in '82. Public figure, may be receptive to an interview.

Any other names anyone else would like to see or be willing to contact? Mike Halterman (talk) 06:16, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

Go for Jemini. Garden (talk) 20:52, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

I sent off e-mails to the bookers/publicists for Nicole, Kikki Danielsson, Hadise and Hanne Krogh. So far I've only heard from two and nothing in-depth (Hadise and Kikki Danielsson). I'll send out more requests this weekend. Mike Halterman (talk) 06:20, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Comments links[edit]

Many of the news articles do not have a link to "Comments". Some have a link to "Have opinions? Post a comment". Shouldn't all news articles at least have a comments tab at the top? Agent News (talk) 01:51, 8 January 2009 (UTC)

I can't say I have noticed any article in the main namespace missing a tab for opinions. The "Have opinions" option is a default on many of the article creation templates, but not all. The other options are the {{HYS question left}} and {{HYS question right}} templates. Feel free to add these to recent articles if you can come up with a good question. If you do, remove the "Have opinions" template.
Older articles will have neither as the Comments: namespace is a relatively new development. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:40, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, it was just me forgetting to turn off NoScript for Whoops xD Agent News (talk) 04:26, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

New approach to sources[edit]

I have noticed a recent increase in articles that pull information from a large number of sources. Well this is definitely a good thing, it makes it a bit harder to fact check if you're trying to hunt down a specific piece of information, and you have to go through 10+ articles. I propose that we consider perhaps adopting a hybrid inline (wikipedia stlye)/non-inline (normal wikinews style) sourcing scheme on select articles that use lots of sources. There would be no difference for readers, however people who fact-check could enable inline information so they could see where each piece of information come from. Thoughts? Would this actually help anything? live demo (hit the toggle inline citations button at bottom of sidebar;only tested on firefox and opera so far, but has no reason not to work on other browsers [however MSIE doesn't need a resson in general, so we'll see]). Bawolff 09:22, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Good idea, I suggest tons of backed up be instead put in the Talk Page[edit]

Thanks for your message. Here in Talk:Man arrested in Mississippi over Internet assassination threats against Barack Obama, I had explained the reasons and disadvantages in putting many sources. Therefore, since the focus of Wikinews is reliability amid the concern of peer viewers for back ups (for it is dangerous to just put facts not supported by reliable sources - due to libel lawsuits, unlike in Wiki Enc. Eng. where articles are edited minute by minute, while when published, the editor and creator plus Wikinews are responsible for the contents etc. in the EYES OF THE LAW), I would suggest that if there are more than 5 sources, then, the necessary sources should be put instead on the talk page as back-up.

When the publication is delayed due to scary tons of links like mine, then, the news becomes no longer current. Cheers.--Florentino Floro (talk) 10:18, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible to modify the source template so that we gave each source a name down by the bottom, where the sources usually go, and then easily add the inline refs? Also, I don't think we should use this on all articles. I suggest on long ones with many sources, and on sources that are only used for one or two small facts in the article (saves the rest having been read). I'm also not convinced we shold enforce it too strictly, at least not for newbies, as a great attraction of Wikinews is the ease of the sourcing system compared to Wikipedia. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:35, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

[Ignoring discussion on a separate issue below that is bound to end up as a flame war]. Florentino Floro: I'm not really sure how pushing sources to a talk page will help things. They still have to be checked regardless. Blood Red Salmon: I definitely agree, this should only be used on select articles where it would be beneficial. Shorter articles and anything done by newbies would continue to use the old system. It would be at the authors discretion which sourcing system to use, with most help pages recommending to use the old system. A system with named sources at the bottom is possible, but I'm not sure if it'd make things much simpler (I'll try and make something to see). Bawolff 03:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok - i added another attempt (version 2 and 3) more along the lines of what Blood Red Salmon. Thoughts? I also made it so one you click on an inline citation, the source it links to will be bolded (may have to do hard refresh. probably only works on firefox). Bawolff 06:12, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
I think this is a great idea Bawolff. One reason I don't publish articles is cause of the nuisance of going through many sources to fact-check. And I agree with having the choice of which method to use, so that we don't deter people from contributing. The talk page idea could work, but this is much tidier and easier to use. Wikidsoup (talk) 20:51, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I agree that if this is used it should be author's discretion. It really is only needed for articles that are over... say, 500 words, or over six sources. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gopher65 (talkcontribs)
[unindent] So, if anyone is interested in actually trying this on a real article, please give me a shout and I'll modify JS/css stuff to make it all work. Bawolff 07:03, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
I've not been writing here for a while, so unlikely to use it - but when reviewing, I do think it would be highly beneficial - even with "just" 4-5 sources. I realise this shifts workload from reviewer to writer, so I guess it may be unlikely to happen... Sean Heron (talk) 10:39, 16 April 2009 (UTC)

Who wants a source? Is that news? I'll answer that myself... No, it is not news.

When are you people going to let people report news?

You still haven't allowed people to report without unbearable reference material... UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!!!!!!!!

People have news to report... and you won't let them!

get yer shit straight—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

We have an original reporting policy, so get yours straight. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 12:47, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

And it ain't working Blood.

You know who the good people are, and aren't, why not leave it at that? - 12:53, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, you took the time to write a report. As far as I know, you ain't jack shit.
But your report made sense, so it's published... after that... it's on you.
Then it becomes a credibilty thing. Which it should be, as born out by the comments section on the news story.
If it's that bad, retract the story. Make an apology, or whatever.

First and formost, PUBLISH IT! If that leap can't be made, then muddle in the morass.

Being neat sux, it's a barrier to communication at this site. When will you people get over this neat complex? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs)

Hi Ed, start a blog instead of obsessing over how Wikinews tries to be credible. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:46, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Podcast, anyone?[edit]

If anyone's been over at Wikipedia, they do a podcast called Wikipedia Weekly, about what's going on in the site. Would anyone be interested in starting something like that? This would be less about news, but more about the actual events in the site. Input is appreciated. R.T. 22:59, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Not the wikipedia weekly was considering turning into a larger project that covers other wikimedia projects (including wikinews)[6]. [and as a sidenote: WN:AW used to do news podcasts]. Bawolff 00:22, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
See also #WikiVoices_welcomes_Wikinews. Bawolff 06:53, 24 January 2009 (UTC)


I may have asked about this before...but we have a weekly quiz, why not have a weekly or monthly poll? I don't think it would be much harder to make one of those than a quiz. It might be interesting, and we can make it that only 1 vote per user and IP. We won't know who polled (unless they are registered users maybe) and we can kind of get an idea of readership, based on the number or percentage of votes...Its a fun thing, it can be related to our news stories, and I think it would draw people in a little more. I don't think it would 'deviate' from the projects goals, because its not like we are asking do you prefer purple or green etc. Thoughts? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 05:33, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

From a technical perspective, this would need an extension to be installed. As it stands, the quiz extension can't be used in this way to my knowledge. (alternatively we could accomplish a poll through abuse of javascript ;) which wouldn't be too hard but would probably have some idiosyncrasies). From a policy perspective, we should determine if polls could compromise are neutrality. NPOV is important, and we should be careful that polls wouldn't cause us to gain a perspective, especially because we cannot list an infinite number of choices on the poll for every perspective that exists in the world. I think its definitly an idea worth exploring. Bawolff 06:26, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
RE: to NPOV...well we have a good policy in place since flagged revisions that a 'review' is to be done by a user with 'editor status'. We could easily implement the same policy for the poll. I think that would pretty much sum that end up. Now in terms of reporting...well we have {{haveyoursay}} and even got the tab changed. I think the reporters of articles have done a good job of abiding by not commenting. So I think we just have to have faith in ourselves. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 06:40, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


Excuse me if this is a perennial proposal - I'm a newbie! In British newspapers and news sites, it's not unusual to have a "boxout" to accompany most articles giving, for want of a better way of putting it, quick facts about the subject at hand. For instance, in today's UK The Independent, a feature on the collapse of the Icelandic government is accompanied by a mix of trivia and useful facts about Iceland.

Now, I'm not suggesting a box of trivia on each article - heaven forfend - but I can see how, for instance, my contribution Icelandic government collapses‎ would be enhanced by telling people something about Iceland itself: the type of things that muddy an article if you attempt to put them into prose.

English Wikipedia, my home wiki, has infoboxes - albeit perhaps overused - that do this for many articles. Wikinews could do something similar - a shorter, more, ugh, "fact-packed" version, horizontal or vertical (I don't think MediaWiki/CSS does true boxouts very well) like:

{{Boxout country
|native_name        = ''Lýðveldið Ísland''
|conventional_long_name = Republic of Iceland
|common_name        = Iceland
|image_flag         = Flag of Iceland.svg
|image_map          = Europe location ISL.png
|map_caption        = Location of '''Iceland''' (red) in Europe (white)
|capital            = [[w:Reykjavík|Reykjavík]]
|ethnic_groups      = 93% Icelandic
|latd=64 |latm=08 |latNS=N |longd=21 |longm=56 |longEW=W
|largest_city       = Reykjavík
|government_type    = Parliamentary republic
|population_estimate      = 319,756
|population_estimate_year = December 1, 2008
|GDP_PPP            = $12.274 billion
|GDP_PPP_year       = 2007
|GDP_PPP_per_capita = $39,167
|GDP_nominal        = $20.228 billion
|GDP_nominal_year   = 2007
|GDP_nominal_per_capita = $64,547
|established_event1 = Home rule
|established_date1  = February 1, 1904
|established_event2 = Sovereignty
|established_date2  = December 1, 1918
|established_event3 = Republic
|established_date3  = June 17, 1944
|currency           = króna
|currency_code      = ISK

Yes, I have just stolen Wikipedia's Infobox Country and cut it down to the most useful stuff. The formatting could - should - differ from WP, perhaps being more text driven ("*The capital of COUNTRY is CAPITAL. *COUNTRY is a GOVERNMENTTYPE, gaining EVENT1 on DATE1, EVENT2 on DATE2 and EVENT3 on DATE3. *COUNTRY's currency is the CURRENCY (CODE). *In PPPYEAR, the GDP of COUNTRY was PPPGDP" etc - might require a bit of conditional statements in the code, but not impossible).

What do people think? Feel free to shoot me down in flames if this idea is ludicrous! Redvers (talk) 19:58, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Not what you asked, but we have {{Iceland}}.
I don't have an editor's eye, but with my reader's eye, I like boxes and sidebars to break up a long article. They can contain almost anything that is relevant: prose, tables, bulleted lists. Some writers here use {{QuoteLeft}} and {{QuoteRight}} a lot.
I (personally) think the article you mentioned is too short to benefit from a box, but I have put in the Iceland box so you can see how it looks.
--InfantGorilla (talk) 21:41, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
What do you think of this test as a sort-of compromise between boxouts and the current v useful infobox? Redvers (talk) 22:03, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
I like the idea of having extra facts on the side (so as not to muddy the article, as you said Redvers) but I prefer Wikipedia's bulleted/list style to the paragraph/full sentence style in your test version. Wikipedia's style makes it easier to grab the info quickly. Wikidsoup (talk) 21:32, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Something like this? Redvers (talk) 21:46, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
This idea looks promising to me. By the way, when do you mean when you say "MediaWiki/CSS does [not do' true boxouts very well"? (I enjoy playing with css - maybe i can help). Bawolff 05:26, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

An extension we need...[edit]

I just found mw:Extension:Mibbit and thought that it would be the perfect extension for Wikinews; it will make IRC much easier. So I wanted to see what the community's opinion on getting the extension installed, and, if it seems popular, I will file a bugzilla request for it in a few weeks. Thanks, Anonymous101talk 13:08, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

That looks very interesting, my only concern is that it may make IRC look more official than it actually is. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:23, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I see your point, but any passing reader will probably think its official anyway, considering the fact it is linked from the main page. Anonymous101talk 13:28, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Opinions on making chat easy to get to seem to vary. For example we used to have a box on WN:IRC:

<div id="cgiircbox" style="border:black solid thin;float:left;"/><br style="clear:both"> which has since been removed. (although mibbit is loads better than cgi:irc. the removal of the box seems to imply we don't want it to be too easy to get to). Bawolff 22:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

p.s. I think the extension in question is active on beta wiki (AFAIK) - so people could try it out there if they want. Bawolff 22:25, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I was forced to nowiki your box, as it caused a popup window on IE which I at first found highly suspicious and is downright disruptive to anyone viewing the webpage. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 22:42, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
hmm, while thats interesting. Shouldn't do that under any circumstances (internet explorer is fun). Bawolff 23:44, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
Hmm, I see what you mean. (Issue was not present inIE6, nor in other browsers. looks like some sort of XSS protection...looking into that). However I was told (Can't remember who by) that the box was removed to stop one-click access by users to IRC [to force people to read instructions, and thus get rid of the trolls]. Bawolff 03:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
I assume your talking about a dialog box that says: This page is accessing information that is not under its control. This poses a security risk. Do you want to continue?. I seem to get that intermitantly. I'm not sure why. The microsoft article I found says it has to do with XMLHTTP requests that are cross domain. (which isn't used in the irc box. The opinion page ns, and some gadgets use them, but none of them should be cross domain). So anyways, thats really weird, and I have no idea why its happening. Its especially odd as I can't really get it to repeat. Bawolff 03:18, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
That's even weirder than mine. I get a request to enter a 'valid username' - suspicious because Wikinews has no business asking me to do so, until I work out where it's come from. It repeated each time I viewed it, and again just now looking at the apropriate revision. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 11:11, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
seriously? I don't have any idea why it would do that. It shouldn't access anything with HTTP authentification. (actually it shouldn't access anything outside of wikinews whatsoever). That is very _very_ suspicious. (/me goes looks at code). 20:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
p.p.s. a live version of the extension could be found at betawiki:special:mibbit. Bawolff 23:44, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
I just tried that out, and wow, it works great for an in-browser IRC window. I'm in favour of using it on Wikinews when the beta is over. Gopher65talk 13:33, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
Note, its not actually in beta - The wiki its on is called betawiki because its used for mediawiki localization. The extension itself is stable AFAIK. Bawolff 20:01, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews should assume the traditional role of a newspaper[edit]

Until recently (about a month ago) I used to be a regular reader of the New York Times. Over a period of about five years, I read the Times thoroughly every morning. However, with the changes in style and substance that have taken place due to the influence of blogs, I am finding that the New York Times and most other newspapers are becoming increasingly unreadable, due to the articles being awkwardly constructed and written in a subjective manner.

Consequently, it is becoming less apparent for myself as a serious reader - and I am sure many people are facing a similar dilemma - where I will be able to find news that is written in a sensible, mature and objective manner, with a style and content that follows the precepts of traditional journalism.

In this regard, it seems that Wikinews could step into the traditional role of a newspaper, where mainstream newspapers are currently falling short. Wikinews should be a place where any citizen can reliably turn to every day to find a full and adequate summary of the significant news stories of the day and the week written in an objective style and adhering to the precepts of the highest journalistic traditions. This would be potentially be an important and great role for the site, which would be equal in importance to the excellence of the Wikipedia project. However, at present, Wikinews fall short of such a role and in order to attain to the responsibility of assuming the traditional role of a newspaper there would necessarily have to be certain improvements and practices adopted.

The following are proposed improvements to Wikinews such that it could serve as the equivalent of a newspaper holding itself to the highest journalistic standards:

(a) Layout - A quite important facet is the layout of the site, as this is the first encounter of the reader with Wikinews. The layout allows the reader to form a judgement as to how they may be able to navigate through the site in order to adequately read and come to terms with the news of the day and week. Also, the elegance of the layout is important in determining how pleasurable it will be to read through the site as a newspaper. (For newspapers this is quite important, because many people like to spend time with the newspaper and return to this multiple times throughout the day).

Presently, the layout of Wikinews falls short in several respects:

  • The layout of Wikinews is not very elegant. The impression that the site gives is one of being purely utilitarian and at most appears to be a newswire, rather than a newspaper. (The logo seems to represent a newswire service). Newspapers such as the New York Times have historically adopted an elegant layout and typeface in order to emphasise the responsibility and seriousness of the newspaper in its social role. This impression of seriousness in reporting is one that Wikinews should also aspire towards.
  • The front page does not seem to have any thought out coherency. The choice of articles featured on the front page seem to be close to arbitrary, or at least do not appear to be the consequence of a serious thought proocess.
  • The list of articles by date again gives the impression of the newswire. Even though these articles are supposed to be headlines, many appear to have not much importance relative to other news of the day. (e.g., "Endangered Buttonquail photographed alive by Philippines documentary").
  • The links by which to navigate to other news sections is hidden at the bottom of the page. This should be more prominent and better integrated into the layout of the front page.
  • Upon entering a news section (e.g., politics and conflicts), one first encounters a list of articles by date in the style of a newswire. The sub-sections (e.g., Climate Change) provide only a list of articles that do not show that thought has been given to the arrangement or interrelationship among articles.

Recommendations for Layout

[A] The layout should be designed if possible to be elegant and dignified in the classic style of a newspaper to convey the seriousness and responsibility that Wikinews as an institution adopts within its reporting and analysis of the news.

- The heading on the frontpage should be in a classic and dignified font and probably in larger letters across the front page. - The motto "The free news source you can write!" does not convey the seriousness of the reporting. Rather, a motto along the lines of "News and analysis by and for citizens" would perhaps better convey the spirit of the site. - The front page should generally emulate the front page of a well-designed newspaper such as the New York Times, if only so that people who are used to reading these newspapers will be comfortable with entering and navigating the site. This is not currently the case. - Such a design would entail a carefully selected set of articles for the front page, organized in three or more columns, with a relevant list of articles at the bottom of the page. The list should also be less prominent than is the case at present. - The use of bright colours should be sparing. A white background is preferable since this conveys greater seriouness. The titles for featured articles should be in bold and heavy typeset. The font to be adopted should be most appropriately the 'Times New Roman' font or a similar font so as, again, to convey seriousness.

[B] The articles selected for the front page should be demonstrably those which are of most importance or of interest to the engaged citizen.

- There should be a very careful selection process by which it is ensured that the most important news stories will definitely be featured upon the front-page, that this covers an adequate range of the important and interesting stories of the day and that the stories which are of lesser importance and interest will not be featured in the front page. - The list of articles at the bottom of the page should include those articles which are still of importance and interest, but not to the degree that these should be featured.

[C] The navigation bar that holds the links to each of the news sections should be more prominent and integrated into the front page.

[D] The articles selected for each of the news sections (such as 'politics and conflicts') should also be demonstrably those which are of most importance and interest as pertains to that area of news.

- The featured articles should make certain to cover each of the relevant news stories of the day or week. - The list of articles should be at the bottom of the page rather than at the top of the page, so as to navigate more easily. - The featured articles should be those which have the most complete reporting and analysis for the relevant news story. It is better to have one adequate analysis for an area of news, than many articles on the topic which each only provide a paragraph summary. - Those articles which provide only a summary of the news should be kept seperately from the articles which provide an in depth analysis so as to make certain that a reader entering the site will be able to be confident that they will find a proper and full news article when they click on a link, rather than a disappointing and mildly informative summary.

(b) Content The content of the newspaper is the most important aspect of reporting as this is the substance that provides a newspaper with the weight by which it serves its responsibility as the fourth column within society. Therefore, utmost attention and importance must be given towards this.

Wikinews currently falls short in several respects:

  • When a reader presently enters the Wikinews site, they cannot reliably be assured that they have found an adequate source by which to know and have a basic understanding of the news of the day. The reason for this is that both the coverage of Wikinews and the content of the articles is a bit hodge-podge. On any given day, one cannot be certain that the most important stories will be covered in any depth.
  • This is evident by the fact that on any specific date in a news section, there may be only one or two new articles. Further, articles held within the list at the bottom of the page may be one years old or more. Wikinews can hardly claim to serve as news if there is very little new that is added in the way of news.
  • The articles that are provided are often merely a short summary of the news extending to little more than a few paragraphs with little or no analysis. Such an approach functions more as a newswire than as a newspaper. However, with the instant availability of news online, the service of a newswire is scarcely necessary and collaborative efforts would be much better channelled towards serious news analysis which is surprisingly hard to find.


[A] Wikinews should improve the current "newsroom" space. The "newsroom" should be designed in such a way that it can be determinately assured that the news of the day will be covered to an adequate level of depth to the highest quality standards.

- It is proposed that the "newsroom" should function as follows:

(i) There should be a 'to be covered' list of the important stories of the day and week on the site that must be covered each day in order to ensure the quality of Wikinews as a news source. The 'to be covered' should be much more comprehensive than the current 'request for articles' iasmuch as the 'to be covered' section should make sure to cover all the relevant news stories of the day and the week.

(ii) Wikijournalists can propose to write an article on any of the stories 'to be covered' either individually or in collaboration. Thus, each 'to be covered' story listed would be accompanied with the wikijournalists who have proposed or started working on the story. Should a fellow wikijournalist wish to join a story that is already in the process of being covered, they should be able to notify those currently working on the story and to join in with a collaborative effort on such a story.

(iii) Each 'to be covered' story in the "newsroom" should have a deadline as appropriate. If the story is very urgent, there can be a deadline for a first iteration of the story, followed by a second and third iteration, etc.

(iv) As is currently the case, each story should be reviewed and copy-edited by at least one fellow wikijournalist and only be approved once this meeets the highest standards for style and content. Each article should be graded and only those with top grades should be placed on the front-page to ensure that the reader is likely to encounter quality news and analysis.

(v) There should also be a space and discussion forum within the "newsroom" of 'ongoing events' that deserve coverage. It is important that there should be proactive discussion as to what events are worthy of in-depth coverage both on a day-by-day basis and over time. The 'ongoing events' would be a tool by which to track and for the wikijournalists to discuss these events and ensure that there are no areas that are being overlooked by the journalists even when these are not urgent and prominent in the news of the day or of the week. An example of this, is that there should be active tracking of the ongoing events in the conflict in Afghanistan even if there is not news that has enough weight to write a full article on this. As such, the 'ongoing events' mechanism is a tracking tool for wikijournalists by which to remain engaged and alert.

(vi) Within the "newsroom" there should also be a 'suggested topics for feature articles' section. Features are news articles regarding ongoing news. Such feature articles are particularly fertile ground for collaborative work. The 'suggested topics for feature articles' section should list the general subject areas within which these fall with a short summary of the issues and questions these should address. For example, there should be a sub-section called 'health care in the United States', with the question, 'how are young people without insurance coping with sickness?' along with other questions or a similar short summary of the issues. Then a wikijournalist can propose that they will write a feature article interviewing three youths and their experience with uninsurance. Several other wikijournalists can then offer to collaborate on such a feature story. As in 'stories to be covered' the 'suggested topics for feature articles' section should aim to be comprehensive with each relevant topic having a small section with a relevant summary of the questions and issues, as well as a space where wikijournalists can propose to cover the story, the expected time frame and their proposed approach and angle that they will adopt.

(vii) Within the "newsroom" there should also be a space for collaborative decisions as to the articles to appear on the front page, either as featured with a summary or as listed. These articles should be the most important and interesting articles as will have been indicated by the "to be covered" section and also these should only be top-graded articles.

Such a proposed system, whereby:

  • wikijournalists are made aware of the necessary topics to be covered during the day and it is collaboratively ensured that there are always articles ready to present.
  • wikijournalists have an internal tool to track 'ongoing events' and monitor whether newsworthy stories are arising as and when these occur.
  • wikijournalists have a space by which to reflect upon the feature stories that are appropriate to write and to choose to write these individually or collaboratively

would at minimum ensure that Wikinews is able to provide the coverage that is expected of a newspaper so that a reader can confidently and reliably arrive at the site everyday to gain an adequate grasp and understanding of the news of the day and week.

[B] Wikinews should ensure that articles presented have suitable and adequate content and facilitate collaborative analysis such that the articles have substantive weight.

(a) Wikinews should have certain standards by which to judge whether an article reaches a suitable level of analysis. These standards should include that an article on a subject of significance should:

- at least be a page long - have an adequate recounting of the relevant and interrelated events and dynamics - have supporting facts and quotations.

Generally, Wikinews should ensure that the articles are held to the same standards for content (as well as style and ethics, as is currently the case) as the highest examples of journalism. These should preferably be codified and held on the wikinews site.

A reader of the Wikinews site should be able to enter expecting that the content will be as adequate as can be found in any newspaper. Such a fundamental standard should be considered as the responsibility of Wikinews as a news provider within society.

(b) There should be tools to facilitate meaningful collaboration within the research and analysis of a news story.

- Individual wikijournalists should be able to offer to interview officials or members of the public towards a news article and for the full content of the interview to be posted either on the site itself or to the collaborating journalists. Independent verification would be provided by the interviewee sending an email from their own address to the reviewer of the article stating that they have been interviewed.

- For any article that is in progress, there could be a facility by which to make a call for a collection of facts on a given topic. There should be a collaborative space available on the Wikinews site, where the relevant facts for a given news story or collected and organized. This would then be the research base for the writing of a collective article. Allowing for collaboration on research and ensuring a high level of quality for the research will in turn assure good quality articles.

As an aside, probably the reason why Wikinews articles are presently so short is that there is not a sufficient independent research process prior to writing the article. This leads the articles to be shallow and not hold much weight. Therefore, it is paramount that research should be actively urged and that there be a facility by which the research tould be undertaken collaboratively prior to the writing of an article.

[C] Reviewers should be trained to not just check the style and sourcing of an article, but carefully examine and scrutinize for analytical content.

When reviewing an article, a reviewer should make certain that the article has an adequate analysis of the relevant news story. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that the reviewer ask whether the article adequately addresses: "What is the dynamic by which event X is occurring and what might be the consequences?", this being the essential question to an analysis. An article should always give a background to explain the dynamics of the event and hint at possible consequences, while making certain that the explanation provided is grounded and sourced. A quality article is one which provides the material by which an interested citizen can come to understand current affairs. Therefore, simply collecting information is not adequate, rather also some context should be provided to gain some insight into the event. Any analysis within news articles should be, however, restrained, grounded in research and not speculative. Such a analytical reviewing process may accomplish much to improving the weight and content of Wikinews articles.

(c) Style - Given the present rapid deterioration of style within mainstream newspapers, it is by upholding maturity and seriousness in its style that Wikinews has the potential to fill the vacuum by adopting the traditional role of a newspaper and offering to serve citizens responsibly in its reporting. Interestingly, it has been the influence of the blogs which has most affected and undermined the newspapers in performing their traditional role. The reason for this is that blogs are written with a certain immediacy, which leads these to being less carefully edited and refined. Wikinews can overcome this problem since it is a mediated space where journalists can collaborate and improve upon each others work such as to reach highly thoughtful and refinde journalistic output.

  • Generally, the current style of Wikinews articles is at a fairly decent level due to the reviewing process. However, because Wikinews articles do not provide much in the way of analysis, the more challenging aspects of style are not approached. If Wikinews is to be a serious source of news, however, proper and in-depth analysis is necessary and thought should be given as to the style that is adopted for such pieces.


(a) Assume intelligence on the part of the reader, while explaining all matters clearly and precisely - One of the most unhealthy trends within mainstream news sources is the stylistic construction of an article in ever simpler language with the use of everyday spoken expression becoming increasingly common. This is in order to appeal to a broad audience.

However, the historic use of careful and precise language in the written word has developed for a reason, which is that this reduces unncessary ambiguity and ensures coherence in structure. The spoken word generally takes place in conversation, where there is context already provided. The written word is by its nature more abstract than spoken conversation and therefore requires greater care in order to be properly understood.

It is also important to assume a certain level of intelligence on the part of the reader, without becoming unnecessarily obscure. This is important because, firstly, generally people are more intelligent than we might imagine. Secondly, writing in a style that does not assume intelligence and uses simplistic language, inevitably tends to cause the analysis to become simplistic and to veer towards inaccuracy, subjectivity or just vapid content and so miss the whole point of analysis in the first place. It can be said then that a good analysis necessarily has to assume a certain amount of intelligence on the part of the reader and it is the responsibility of a serious newspaper to provide this.

However, assuming intelligence is not equivalent to assuming knowledge, but rather that the reader should be able to follow a certain line of reasoning. All relevant knowledge should be provided within an analysis. Also, neither does this mean that journalistic writing should tend towards the academic which it goes without saying that it should not.

(b) Avoid writing in the style of blogs - As a mediated space, Wikinews provides the opportunity to overcome the limitations of blogs, which is their immediacy, while drawing upon their greatest strength, that is, enabling citizens to contribute to journalism. As such, it would be a self-defeating to write in a style that did any less than show thoughtfulness, deliberation and refinement in the shaping of articles. This is the greatest strength of the wiki medium and which Wikinews should aim to demonstrate to the highest standards of excellence.

I realize that the above is quite long and perhaps bold and daring in the extent of the recommendations. However, the Wikinews project provides for the greatest possibilities for a new form of journalism, while mitigating against journalistic trends that are not only unhealthy but threaten the bedrock of democracy by not adequately and suitably informing citizens. Presently, Wikinews has not yet reached the level whereby it can seriously serve as a source of news that approaches the level of services that newspapers offer. There is, however, no reason why Wikinews should not be able to accomplish such an objective and given the current decline of print journalism this can be seen almost as an imperative for citizens towards strengthening the fourth column of society. Therefore, as a concerned citizen, I offer the above recommendations as a suggestion as to how to step forwards in this direction, though certainly this is just one perspective and I would look forward to responses and further perspectives.

--Epictetus (talk) 17:40, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

Thank you for your thoughts on Wikinews. I think we are all aware of many shortcomings of the site as it is. However, the main one — an one the precludes the implementation of many of your ideas — is that the project is still very small. We do not have enough contributors and thus not enough content to do things like being selective about what goes on the front page. Everything goes on the front page because we just don't have enough stories. In any given 24 hour period we are probably lucky to have a dozen regular contributors add content or work on stories. Once we get to hundreds or more, then we can organize things into International news and Local news etc, or even adding analysis through independent research as you suggest (though this will be tricky, methinks). Bottom line is we need more users and you are more than welcome to help us grow. --SVTCobra 23:05, 24 February 2009 (UTC)
Hello Cobra, It makes perfect sense that if there are not many contributors than it is difficult to build a quality news site. Wikinews seems to be a natural place for the many blog enthusiasts to contribute their journalistic skills towards a collaborative project. But of course that's easier said than done.
In response to the issue of finding contribuors, could it be perhaps that part of the difficulty is that it is not really apparent how collaboration should occur so that the news would be covered systematically? Within Wikipedia, there is an obvious point of focus for people of common interests or expertise, this being the encyclopedia article on the subject which can be improved over time. However, Wikinews is by its nature more fragmented, because news articles last only a day or a week at most and so are more difficult to serve as a locus for collaborative effort. Since there is a tendency towards fragmentation already, journalists who contribute articles do not necessarily have the confidence that this will lend itself towards a coherent effort at providing quality news coverage and so perhaps that is part of the reason why there is less motivation to contribute than in a project like Wikipedia.
In reflection on this, the main thought that comes to mind is that shouldn't there be some sort of locus whereby contributors can have confidence that there can be a sustained effort at collaboration that will overcome the necessarily fragmentary nature of the news. What would seem to make sense in this regard is having a central location where there can be a checklist of news to be covered on any given day and that journalists can visit the checklist and contribute collaboratively or individually on whatever subject that they know best. Right now, it seems that journalists are contributing mostly based on their own inclinations, which is fine but leads to a rather randomized set of articles. Sorry for my impertinence in suggesting this as a complete newcomer, but wouldn't it be better if there were collaboration on the subject areas to be covered as the focal point? This way there may be greater confidence that a sustained effort at news effort could be possible.
Again, I apologize for putting this forward in a sudden and brash way from the outside and not as a regular user of Wikinews. The main reason that I make these suggestions is due to my own personal frustration with the lack of a good source to read the news from. Generally, I am so impressed with Wikipedia that it seems that it would be wonderful if Wikinews could serve the same role, but in the guise of an online newspaper.
I certainly look forward to continuing the conversation and I hope that I am not suggesting anything ridiculous or obvious.
--Epictetus (talk) 12:16, 25 February 2009 (UTC)
Thankyou for your suggestions. They are very insightful. I would be interested in experimenting with a more serious layout at some point when i have time (which probably won't be for quite a while unfortunatly), as I've never been happy with the default monobook layout. The Modern and cologne blue skins are slightly better but still not great. I wasn't really a fan on wikinews:Custom skin either. The datri+MrM css file is slightly better imo, although thats going in the opposite directions from what you suggest (Its in view->page style on firefox if your wondering.). Perhaps a serious design would work well. Thanks for your thoughts. Bawolff 00:24, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

OR from previous articles template proposal[edit]

This article features Original reporting and/or an exclusive interview previously done by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page for more details.

Water cooler/proposals/Archive/18

Yesterday there was a discussion on the #wikinews IRC channel where a user gave their oppion that there should be a template of some sort that would alert the reader to the fact that the article contains original research gathered as part of a previous article.

The rationale given was something along the lines of "as we do more OR, we may begin citing ourselves more often."

I thought about what they said and think it is a good idea. So, I have designed a template based on the {{Original}} template.

I thought I'd propose it here before moving it to the main template space. All thoughts are welcome. --RockerballAustralia (talk) 22:24, 24 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't think we need it. Simply put the articles you are going to cite from in "Related news" and use them as you would any other source. Be sure to attribute statements to "an exclusive interview with Wikinews" or whatever applies such as "a Wikinews investigation". --SVTCobra 18:37, 26 February 2009 (UTC)
Since all OR requires notes, wouldn't it make more sense to put in the notes of the article: see other article? Bawolff 23:07, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
hmmmm. Good point. Maybe link Talk:Whatever the othe page is. --RockerballAustralia (talk) 00:11, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Either way, I don't think we need a new template. --SVTCobra 00:20, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Vote for a Multilingual Wikinews![edit]

English: Vote here in the request of a Multilingual Wikinews! It will be a new proposal that can to change all the project. Tosão

I was just coming over here to post a link to this. I voted against and judging from my view I don't think many others would be behind such an idea from this project either. Mike Halterman (talk) 12:58, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Change "editor" group to "reviewer"[edit]

I havn't been online for about the past week, so I'm a bit behind on whats going on, but I saw the confusion over how the word "editor" is used to both refer to someone who edits (In templates: Any editor may remove this flag if they disagree, etc), and someone who can sight articles (aka the user group special:listusers/editor). I gather that many templates are being changed to remove the word editor to reduce confusion. This seems a bit backwards to me. The word editor implies someone who edits. Instead of changing the definition of the word editor, lets change the group name to reviewer (and the reviewer group to super-reviewer), or something like that. Thoughts? Bawolff 23:06, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

This seems like a decent idea, the term "editor" is indeed ambiguous and rather confusing. Tempo di Valse ♪ 23:32, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
Ehh... then again, it probably would be simpler and easier just to change the word "editor" in the templates to "contributor" or something like that. Tempo di Valse ♪ 01:34, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Note, both are pretty easy. To change the group name, we modify MediaWiki:Group-editor and MediaWiki:Group-editor-member. (and modify a few policy pages). Bawolff 01:50, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
No. Fix the templates, use "contributor" and "editor status". If we start inventing our own terminology we'll confuse people coming from other wikis where FlaggedRevs is in use. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:37, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
We ourselves have a long history of using editor for other purposes. (WN:DE is the only example i can think of off the top of my head, and not really a good example, as it was a rejected idea, but it demonstrates how prevalent the use of the other meaning of editor was). On Wikipedia, people often use the word editor to mean contributor, so new terminology either way. Perhaps to avoid confusion, we should just get rid of the word in both the templates and the user group. Bawolff 23:54, 3 March 2009 (UTC)
The terms "editor" and "reviewer" are part and parcel of FlaggedRevs. In Wikinews' case, this now means "editor" is attributed to someone acting in an editorial role were it a more traditional news/media environment. This can relatively easily be explained. As I changed one template, and mentioned above, I think we should move to "contributor" where previously editor may have been used. As a plus it makes no distinction between an IP address and any other person making an edit. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:04, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Brian. No need to mess with FlaggedRevs. Otherwise, we might as well rename admins to lead-editor and bureaucrats to editor-in-chief. --SVTCobra 00:06, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Brianmc (talk · contribs) makes a good point here. Cirt (talk) 09:37, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Is this something where someone has a handle on what templates or things like welcome messages may be impacted? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:49, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
Quick search suggests mostly older and obscure pages (excaption Wikinews:Writing an article). - a field in WN:CT, Help:Reverting, Wikinews:Inactive Policy, Wikinews:Stop Loss, Wikinews:InfoChat, Wikinews:Comment Space, Wikinews:WikiBureau Ontario, Wikinews:WikiProject template sharing (the template sharing page could probably just go die though). Bawolff 05:39, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to arrange a Lonnie Dupre interview[edit]

Have posted at wikimedia to try to establish an interview with Lonnie Dupre, the arctic explorer, USA, Age 46 Expedition Leader of Peary Centennial North Pole Expedition, and if possible arrange it through the IRC. The internet site establishes that interviews are possible easily arranged by email and phone, the request could be made about the IRC. There are many questions to be asked of this notable fellow, see his... expeditons, biography and awards on wikimedia page ... Lonnie Dupre interviewSriMesh | talk 03:37, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Reviewing articles[edit]

I suggest that we make some mention in the review policy and review templates that only users with editor status should review/publish articles. Currently, neither seems to say much about this. There have been many instances when a non-editor reviews and tries to publish an article, and it becomes lost because it wasn't sighted. Also, the policy is not clear on whether to 1) sight articles that have been published by non-editors, trusting that it went through a proper review, or 2) invalidate the review instead. Tempo di Valse ♪ 00:33, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree, though i thought there was already a policy about it. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 20:39, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
I went ahead and changed it, since nobody objected. Tempo di Valse ♪ 14:07, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

Pennsylvania infobox? (And possibly Jersey too?)[edit]

I'm not sure if this is the right place to raise this question, but since I wouldn't know where else to do it, why not? As you may have noticed, there have been a few more Pennsylvania-related news articles lately (here, [[7]] and here.) I'd like to continue adding Pennsylvania-related articles to the page on a consistent basis (and am kicking the idea around of doing the same for New Jersey articles as well).

What I'm wondering is, is there any way a Pennsylvania (and, if possible, New Jersey) infobox can be made that can be used with those articles? The articles currently have "Crime and Law" or "United States" infoboxes, which is fine, but I think a PA-specific box would be ideal, and since I plan to keep doing this with some regularity there would be more than enough material to keep it filled. Is this possible? Hunter Kahn (talk) 04:56, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

yep, fairly easy to do. Bawolff 05:47, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm sure it is...but I haven't the foggiest idea how to do it. lol. Is there a tutorial or instructions somewhere? Hunter Kahn (talk) 05:52, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
oh sorry, I meant that as in I was just going to do it (and i just did: {{Pennsylvania infobox}} and {{New Jersey infobox}}). If you're really interested, its actually pretty easy, as all you do is copy one of the other country infoboxes (they're listed at Wikinews:Template messages/Infoboxes/Countries) onto a new page, and substitute the state every time the country that you copied it from appears. (I'm also working on a meta template, as all these templates are pretty standardized, so a meta template would make it easier to change it in future if it needs to be. (for example, right now lots of them have unnessary/weird html in them that just got copied between all of them). )Bawolff 06:20, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
I created an easy tutorial thingy on Template:Country Infobox, if you're interested. (there's also instructions on Wikinews talk:Template messages/Infoboxes/Countries, but i like my instructions slightly better [but then again, I'm biased, as i created mine]) Bawolff 07:44, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Nice! Should the existing Country infoboxes use the new template as well? Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 16:05, 19 March 2009 (UTC)
Not really - its not worth the work to convert them. Its more meant to make it simpler to create new ones than anything else. Bawolff 02:33, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

Merging America into one news-section[edit]

It has come to my attention that the North American, Central American, and South American portals are hardly the event-packed places, that for instance, the European portal is. A look at the news items on the South American portal shows that news from 2007 is still showing in its news feed. I suggest merging the three American portals - for one, this is how it appears to be among most major news distributors - the Independent, BBC, the Times, CNN, etc, but also that it would bring the speed of the news feed of each of the three portals up to what it is in the others. 22:21, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

I disagree, they are different places, they should get different portals. Perhaps we should ensure we tag articles with apropriate continent tag, as often we only tag them with country tags, hence the portals becoming outdated. 22:34, 20 March 2009 (UTC) —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Bawolff (talkcontribs)
So you think we should do it the opposite way round from all other news groups? Remember, this must not be seen from an American point of view - this is a global news site - otherwise the Europeans could just as easily argue that Western and Eastern Europe are too different to group. 09:38, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
The issue would be how do we go about this? Looking at the BBC solution (on the international version of their web page) it would be Category:Americas with a corresponding portal. Depending on how that is implemented it might involve admins going back through old protected articles. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:56, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
I must strongly disagree with this suggestion. We might as well merge Europe, Middle East and Asia into Eurasia. Also, is misleading when saying that is how CNN has it, it is not. The rest are UK examples which are Europe-based. We should be looking toward expansion and not contraction; collapsing the archives for North/South America is likely something we would have to undo, if Wikinews ever takes off. As a tangent, I would be in favor of dumping portals altogether in favor of just categories. --SVTCobra 00:44, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with your tangent. I never really understood the point of the portal namespace. A DPL on the category is just as good, if not better. (In rare cases portals have become more than that - portal:Australia comes to mind, but in most cases... a dpl suffices). It'd make more sense to have a portal namespace if they contained information for contributors (aka were like wikibureau's that never really caught on). Bawolff 04:20, 24 March 2009 (UTC)
Did you check the CNN link I gave you? Apparently not. It most certainly does leave America as one portal (try scrolling down on the page). 17:02, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Simplifiying Documentation on Lead Article Templates[edit]

I was thinking that it might be a good idea to use something like many WP templates do, that is have the docs trascluded. It could be in the green box and a bit more separate, so that you can see an example of how it's used, etc. See the Infobox School template for an an example of what I'm referring to. See this page for the actual documentation on the subpage.

Something like:


{{New lead article
  |edit this=Template:Lead article 1 <!-- do not change! -->
  |imagemap=               <-- FULL imagemap code. Only if order=top
  |image=                  <-- Image to be displayed. Set to image URL (used for credit line)
  |width=400px             <-- Width of image. Generally 400px for Main Lead.
  |order=top               <-- Position of image. Leave as "top" for Main Lead.
  |type=none               <-- Report type. Can be "breaking", "special", or "none".
  |title=                  <-- Story title. Displayed as Headline.
  |link=                   <-- Headline link. Normally the same as title
  |intro=                  <-- Optional intro that also links to the story. Comes just before synopsis.
  |synopsis=               <-- Story synopsis.
  |font=                   <-- Optional font declaration line.
  |font size=              <-- Optional font size declaration line.


  • I think a system like this or fairly similar could go a long way to cleaning up template documentaion and standardizing it so that it is consistent throughout WN. —Calebrw (talk) 19:29, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I don't see how that makes anything simpler. Transcluding documentation makes things marginally more complicated than anything (mostly useful if template is protected, but doc page isn't) Removing excess parameters that are unused might make it simpler (do we really want users changing the font size?) [anyways, to summarize, read that as a "I disagree with /doc, but don't let that stop you from being bold if you feel like it"]. Cheers. Bawolff 05:01, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I think the whole lead templates are used a bit weird. What about having a /lead page for an article and then letting the {{Lead article 1}} template include that page. Currently we 'throw the information away', when there is a new lead, while you can actually keep it. So what I mean:
The advantage is not only that you keep the information of older leads, but it also allows you to change leads more easily (e.g. you can switch the information more easily from lead 1 to lead 4) and it allows authors to write a lead for an article beforehand.
If you require the /lead pages to be sighted, it gives you the same advantages as the article.
Tell me what you think. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 18:23, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
Interesting idea. The downside is, that it might screw up get a random article though (but how often is that used. We didn't even have it in the sidebar for a very long time). It also might be less obvious to new users how to change/create the lead. As it stands, the leads aren't really re-used. (and if info is needed again, you could just go into the history). Bawolff 19:37, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
@Van der Hoorn: Not sure if this is feasible, as it could be rather confusing for new editors and is more complicated than what we have currently. Also, the "random article" thing could get messed up (unless we create a separate namespace for leads). Nice idea, though. Tempo di Valse ♪ 21:05, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
I think a separate namespace is a good option. I think the confusion for new editors is only there when the lead template doesn't have appropriate documentation how to change the lead. Otherwise, it shouldn't be a problem. The advantage of having a separate lead is that you can do more complex changes to the leads on the frontpage, i.e. switching the location of leads more easily, or letting people build their own custom Mainpage with more leads than usual. You can also include the leads automatically in the news briefs for example. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 23:55, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews Accredited Reporter Identity Card (WARIC) Project[edit]

Please contribute to / expand upon / discuss this proposal, which I intend to submit to the WMF when community grant funding opens in a few months. I believe this is a real chance to get a real, tangible ID card for our accredited reporters. See WN:WARIC for more! --Skenmy talk 17:40, 7 April 2009 (UTC)

Proposal to remove the reviewer user group[edit]

We never use the "reviewer" group, as the usual "sighting" function provided by Editor status is always sufficient for Wikinews, and the reviewer's "validation" function is rather redundant. So, I'm going to suggest that we have the reviewer group removed. Thoughts? tempodivalse 14:45, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

What is the disadvantage of removing only the documentation on the group, but leaving the group itself? Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talk) 14:49, 8 April 2009 (UTC)
special:listusers/reviewer - new users see that - oh whats the deal with that, and confusion results (TINC!). Other than potential confusion, there really isn't much harm to it, more of a neatness thing. Bawolff 22:43, 8 April 2009 (UTC)