Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/5

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Language learning and news


I am currently a silly American who cannot speak or read other languages, but I do know (from my Latin classes in high school) that it is easier to learn languages by having a relevant vocabulary. Here is my idea: Have a language learning section, where the news stories are meant to match up so that one could see it in oh say French, and then have the english translation next to it.

don't do like generalists medias: talk about famine & misery please


to inform, you must quantify informations importance.

so, one of biggest problem in the world is the famine; so please don't do like generalists medias talk about famine & misery everyday(what s happen everyday is not normal; you could have been born in these countries!) do you understand me? do you understand my revolt?

Vev on the french wikipedia

I do not understand you. I did understand that famine is a big problem, and that I could have been born in country with widespread famine. I do not understand whether you want us to write more or fewer stories about famine. Try again? Pingswept 14:19, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I say please, quantify & classify informations. so hard to understand? imagine 2 articles: one about famine as each days in somalia & another one about a princess that die in a tunnel. how will you treat these two informations? newspaper in france quasi never talk about famine in ethiopia but talked during more than one month about lady death in alma tunnel

so, how will treats informations?

for sure write more & more about famine, inform us. Vev on the french wikipedia

I understand what your trying to say; our coverage is unevenly spread - much on the Western World and little on everday, but important events in the third world such as famine. A discussion took place a whil back about this very topic; it was decided to make a special effort to write about Africa. But that is very hard to do when very few of us have personal links there.

I suggest you write your article at the French Wikinews. Good luck!

(oh and that women was the Prncess of Wales... try not to offend anyone, we do have a few english contributors here) → CGorman (Talk) 18:26, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

hi! "try not to offend anyone" be offend, for what?

if you don't have information about world hunger & others events, contact international humanitarian association like Action Against Hunger, Médecins Sans Frontières, The Hunger Project. Wikinews role is to inform. world hunger is one of the biggest events so talk about. thank.

it s fantastic to see that this topic interest people :s Vev on the french wikipedia

I've noticed that Wikinews does'nt have any articles on Scotland - a sizeable English speaking nation that I can assure you is anything but uneventful. Scotlands not alone, just look through the country categorization! Anyways I think we should have a country of the week scheme whereby each week we as a group make an effort to write at least on article about that country. This would allow us to internationalise our coverage and indeed probably educate ourselves a little bit too. Im going to create a page (be bold... and all of that) for it now and hopefully it can be up and running for next week.

Then all i've to do is wait for Amgine to object! → CGorman (Talk) 19:16, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Wouldn't a Scotland article be considered part of the UK? <grin> Seriously, I think the idea is good and noble, but participation should be strictly voluntary. Also I would not want you to get disheartened by any lack of participation if you launch it now, when relatively few folks are involved. For instance, we only have about 16 people who regularly create new stories. We also have a bunch of folks who choose to strictly edit - including some who never (or rarely) write an original story. We should not make those folks feel bad since the job they do also is essential in keeping quality of product and user interaction at the highest possible level. Lastly, if we have a writer who only wants to write about what's going on in Toledo, Ohio, then we need to be clear that they are just as welcome here even though they will only ever write U.S. stories. -- Davodd | Talk 21:13, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I like your thinkin' CGorman. To Davodd: of cause participation is strictly voluntary, that is the wikiway. ~The bellman | Smile 22:21, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'd have to give a stinging rejection here, for form's sake, but I happen to think this is a great project idea. (I even have a story on Scotland idea or two...) Good projects sometimes start slow, and may or may not take off. Sometimes people can participate regularly, and sometimes not. But a really good idea can survive the ups and downs. Great start, CGorman! - Amgine 22:36, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Scotland article be considered part of the UK? Not if the article was Ireland beat Scotland 34-12 in 2006 RBS Rugby clash! Anyways I believe that we should over time begin to categorise items more specifically, a person looking for an old article on Scotland in two years time would have to go through perhaps 2000 or so articles in the UK category. As for participation, I would be happy if the project produced just one article a week in the first few weeks - that would still be 52 additional articles a year on areas that are otherwise completely missed by Wikinews in its day to day work. Anyways I would imagine that the figure will rise as the year progesses. → CGorman (Talk) 20:59, 31 Mar 2005 (UTC)

A need for Wikinews Local


It would be great if there were a Wikinews Local where you can get local news information by country, state, county, city, or Zip code. It would just go under the "navigation" section of the left hand side of the screen.

This is possible, in a way - but not in the Nav bar - since a glbal site like this would have so many choices that it would be unusable. We do have specific country local pages, like United Kingdom. We also can use /subpages. There is no reason why we can't have a Main Page/UK .. a demiportal focuesed on UK news... or even Main Page/Chicago for metropolitan Chicago news. The only thing that is keeping this type of thing from happening is no editor has taken it upon herself to create such a thing and we do not have enough localized news yet to fill up those channels. But, it will happen eventually. So, be bold and start writing - making Wikinews into the site you want. Roll up your sleves and help out. :-) -- Davodd | Talk 08:43, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I nearly did this over a month ago (CGorman might remember me mentioning it). However, the bottom line is that there's neither the need nor the demand for such a page. I was going to run it as a 'flagship' project, that would hopefully inspire others to do similar. However, I think in its current small size Wikinews needs to concentrate on more global topics right now. Localisation will certainly come, just maybe not yet! Dan100 (Talk) 19:22, 2 Apr 2005 (UTC)

In the navigation menu (the one behind the wikinews logo, in the left column) there is a link to Article workspace, but no one to Wikinews:The Newsroom. It seems to me that is the last the equivalent of the Comunity Portal and so it should be inked in the navigation menu. AnyFile 10:38, 4 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Thinking ahead on 'Latest News'


I am not sure what "News Brief" means, but I do think it fairly summarizes the main reporting thrust of those whose interest, like me, lies in reporting 'World News'. Maybe "World News Briefs" would be the proper terminology and proper news section terminology for breaking down the growing Wikinews story contributions that are now being offered up and presented without categorization.

"World News Briefs"
"News by Region"
"News by Subject"

These news 'by region' and 'by subject' are already defined on the main page and only manually get updated. If the Wikinews software would simply stop the contributor from saving their news contribution until the 'category' issue was answered, the contributor would be forced to do the work themselves prior to the news story submission.

The issue of many news stories submissions must be resolved before the contributions get lost in an alphabet soup of hodge podge. It was bold and brilliant to put 3 lead stories up. It is working. Can we put order to the chaos that is the 'Latest News' section.

My thinking is a breakdown by header:

World News Briefs... <--this is a hyperlink to the main page
  • news story... <-- this is a top story in the section
  • news story... <-- this is a top story in the section
News by Region... <-- this is a hyperlink to the main page
  • Antarctica... <-- this has a recent news contribution
  • Mars... <-- still waiting!
News by Subject... <-- hyperlink to categories available by reader interest
  • Entertainment
Man testifies Jackson molested him in 1990s

-edw 08:38, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Allow me to further refine my point.
The proper wikinews instinct is already in place.

News by Subject
Crime and Law
Politics and conflicts
Science and technology

The "Latest News" news section will be more difficult to post a contribution to, but part of the process of posting is to encourage the contributor to properly categorize the story during the posting process. -edw 16:29, 5 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Can I just say I'm not a big fan of listing articles on Latest news by category? I do understand where you (Ed) are coming from - the daily list of articles is getting very long (which is good - we're writing lots of stories!) - but the current 'newest on top' format makes it very easy for someone checking back to the site just to quickly see what's been written since they were last here. Certainly that's how I use it when I'm updating the RSS feed - to be honest, if we did divide Latest news into cats, I'd have to abandon the RSS feed because it would be too hard to pick out what's new each time I check. This would be a shame because the RSS feed was 'by popular request' and has many hundreds of subscribers.
What you might want to take a look at though is the Index pages linked to from the Main Page in the Regions/Topics box. They recently had Dynamic Page Lists rolled out across most of them so as long as editors stick to using the same categories (the ones in the index box) new stories automatically get listed on those sub-pages. In my opinion it's working quite well, and we need to start thinking about moving that index box higher up on the Main Page again. Dan100 (Talk) 15:16, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews article on Wikipedia


Just an idea, nothing concrete yet: We could polish the Wikinews article on Wikipedia to Featured Article status to try to get it on the Main Page in the "Today's featured article" section (and also to have a good, neutral document about the project to point people to who haven't tasted the Kool Aid yet). Perhaps this could even be an international effort, with each edition working on the Wikipedia article about Wikinews in their language. Thoughts? Is it worth spending editorial resources on?--Eloquence 06:47, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

We can certainly try! I've edited it a tiny bit before now I think. But we should probably ask Raul first to see if he'd accept an article on another Wikimedia project being on the front page of Wikipedia (could be seen as free self-advertising). Dan100 (Talk) 15:20, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I came to Wikinews to detox from FA Staus addiction! I spent so many hours polishing Ryanair, Economy of the Republic of Ireland and Celtic Tiger (2 of them have been/will shortly be on main page)... but I suppose i've recovered since then and could work on another one! I started working on Sport in Ireland a little while ago; but got fed up! As Dan said, check it with Raul first though. → CGorman (Talk) 17:29, 7 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I propose to consistently use an icon for off-site links to subscription based services. To facilitate this I've created an icon the same dimensions as external.png (monobook style), uploaded it to Commons as PD.

Feel free to use it (or to create a template with it that can be used. E.g. {{subscription|url=...|title=....}} example: --Hooloovoo 15:12, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Soft news has gotta fly or Wikinews is gonna die


The hard news market has got a grip so tight on readership that it is virtually impossible for an up-shot like Wikinews to penetrate. I have read reporting of my own compared to sources I was unaware of at the time of my reports, and the content is virtually indistinguishable from the varying unknown sources to me at the time of my writing. So how does that make Wikinews special. Sadly, with the exception of some original reporting, we re-state the news that already exists. We are not contributing to the news, we are simply repeating it like innumerable other news outlets.

In answer to that, to be newsworthy, I am believing we must offer something different. The only thing that can gain greater participation is to welcome, undertake, and facilitate the reporting of the little stories that make up the true fabric of our lives. I remember laughing at a "tooth" story where a little boy reported losing a tooth at an 'approximate' time, noted to the second when it was lost! My laugh was wrong, but my recounting it now means it was memorable news. I remember typing into Wikipedia the search for... well, you just about name it... and it was there.

You just name about anything that can happen, which it would... and it was there at Wikinews is not only an admirable goal, it 'is' the goal. And it is all newsworthy. It means that anything goes. Which is exactly what I am thinking should be done here at Wikinews. The smart, the stupid, the insane and inane. Everybody knows what category they are in. -edw 07:18, 10 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Debates


On IRC, we've discussed the various options for having something like op-eds on Wikinews. One idea that I quite liked was to hold debates on topics in the current events. This would allow us to present a range of opinions and arguments on a current topic in a practical and fair manner. We avoid unwanted opinions like those of nazis or racists not by excluding them, but by picking debate topics where they are not relevant, a selection bias which is inherent in the wiki model anyway.

Wikinews:Debates is a proposed stubby framework for this idea. As a first example topic, I have chosen the BitKeeper kernel debacle. The debates could be held on IRC and then transcribed to the wiki. Debaters could either be editors on Wikinews, or prominent experts on the subject -- in any case, we should always have people from the various different points of view.

What are your thoughts on this idea?--Eloquence 19:35, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I was worried when I saw the title, but my fear was unfounded. Seems like a good idea to offer a more interactive service and fairly show both sides of an issue. Good luck. → CGorman (Talk) 20:33, 11 Apr 2005 (UTC)
To me "Wikinews:Debates" looks like an invite for the public to have a place for random rants. Maybe: "Wikinews:Roundtable" instead? -- Davodd | Talk 01:21, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Writing to Wikinews Portuguese Edition


Carlosar 13:09, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)--This is something that I am testing. You can try, if you want

Put your story HERE.


  • The sources section doesn't need to be translated(just copy and paste, as it is).
  • Put a link to the original text. Example:[[en:Your_text_title] .
  • The article title doesn't need to be translated.
  • There is no guarantee that your text will be published. The only thing we can do is to try to do our best. This is a test, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't work.
  • Write simple, clear and formal sentences and phrases.
  • Keep sentences short, limiting them to 15-20 words
  • If a sentence contains multiple ideas break them into one sentence per idea
  • Don't use complex words and sentences
  • Some words such as "which, that, who," are often omitted when writing text. Avoid this.
  • Consider the literal meaning of words and try to express this instead
  • Do not use words that have more than one meaning. Example: use "painting" instead of "picture"
  • Avoid words ending in "ing" such as "rowing", which can be a noun or a verb.
  • Don't use ";" and hyphens
  • Use articles in front of listed items, for example: instead of: the judge and jury, use: the judge and the jury

After writting your story in English, translate it to Portuguese.

Some Free Translators:


Hello, After reading the idea for Wikinews weekly, I had the idea to create a daily print edition. This edition could be either a single page summary of the news and a quick bit about the Wikinews project or it could be a full collection of the news stories. Other options are having it be manually created and edited or auto generated. The major downside to a print edition is that there is no way to keep it up to date after it is printed. However I tink a print edition could expose many people who would never hear of Wikinews other wise to it. If enough people are interested I would be glad to work more upon this. I created a mockup of this in pdf form at --Cspurrier 19:42, 18 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I like the idea, and I like your mockup. If we were to use this however, I think we ought to create some more wikinews-specific style elements and make it more information-dense. Perhaps we can use this format, at least for a time while Wikinews is young. It might also be suitable for Wikinews-week or week-end (if we ever get around to that). -- Redge (Talk) 20:40, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I love the mockup. I would certainly make copies and pass them around if it was created regularly. I'm a bit skeptical that we can find someone willing to produce a PDF every day, though. That's the advantage of a weekly edition - you only need to produce one a week. It also gives the content a little bit longer to mature. - Borofkin 02:44, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Special Main Page


Look at it.wikinews. They made a special Main Page for he new Pope. -- 17:23, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • That may be an idea for English wikinews in the future, though I would advise not to use it any longer than a day or two though... -- Redge (Talk) 20:40, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)
  • Note that Category:Pope Benedict XVI should include all coverage of the new Pope, and that the category page itself can be expanded along the lines of Category:Pope John Paul II (or further, even). Uncle G 10:33, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)



Might be a good idea to allow people to post cartoons they draw. Could separate into categories, like political, religion and so on.

  • I think this is a great idea, however there are two problems, first is by definition a political cartoon can not be NPOV and the secound lesser problem is finding people to draw them that are willing to allow the cartoon into public domain or GFDL. If these two problems can be worked out I think this would be great for WikiNews --Cspurrier 17:34, 22 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Lead Stories Policy


I think that for an article to become the one of the three lead stories, it first needs to be reviewed by a process such as the one proposed above, also it has to be put there by someone other than a contributing author to it as a contributing author may think because they contributed to it that is near perfect or something, but if someone who didn't work on the article thinks its worthy then I think that's a better measure, obviously we need to determine then what constititutes a contributing author, obviously if you only revert vandalism in an article you won't be and I think also if you fix mistakes like spelling, grammar, etc you are considered a contributing author, i am thinking you need to add at least 1 paragragh to be considered a contributing author, though there are those who contribute a lot to an article without adding a paragraph, so what do you all think?--Ryan524 16:55, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]

I disagree, I think we need to encourage more people to add stories to the leads rather then discourage. If we can get the lead to be replaced more often it starts to matter less how important the lead is. The other big problem with a policy like this is it prevents breaking stories from going up while they still are breaking news. I think a policy that prevents a contributing author from posting it to leads is a very bad idea. If we do this we run into cases like the plane over DC story where we had so many people add to it you have almost no one who could under this policy add it to the leads. I think people are normally a good judge of the quality and news worthiness of what they write. The other issue I have with this is that having a story as a lead is not a big deal, it just means you covered something newsworthy and others agree with this. The solution is a policy of frowning upon putting your story as a lead not prohibiting it outright.--Cspurrier 17:07, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree with what you said, it not to discourage changing the lead story but rather changing it to a story that shouldn't be lead, in the case of a story several people contribute to an exemption could be in place, or someone could make it the lead before modifying the story themselves or something but I see some of the three lead stories everyday should not be there, or should not be in that position like maybe the lead should only be the third lead, etc, and I don't want to bother switching it cause it could possibly start revert wars very easily, even though there is the 3 revert rule.--Ryan524 17:25, 24 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Wikinews 101; no one here owns a story

If you don't like it, or if it's factually wrong, or it's NPOV, or there are misspelled words, just be a good wiki-citizen, please, and edit the story. The watchphrase here is, "edit; don't control."

Paulrevere2005 20:28, 25 May 2005 (UTC) (copyediting provided by Pingswept 02:56, 26 May 2005 (UTC))[reply]