Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/6

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User comments[edit]

I'm not sure if this has been discussed, but one thing that is sorely missing from Wikinews is the ability to post comments and opinions on the stories. The discussion pages would not work for this because they are on a separate page, and are used for other discussion. All that would be needed is a section on the bottom of each article called "User Comments". - TalkHard 04:04, 22 May 2005 (UTC)

I personally think the discussion page is better suited for this. It often represents an evolving opinion and argument, whereas the article represents a finished product. We are unlike other news organizations in that users can already comment all they want to, in fact they can help shape the articles. DouglasGreen 03:34, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
The discussion page is for editors working out the article, and is not of much interest once the article is complete. I'm talking about comments and opinions and discussion on the finished article. A way for the readers to participate and add something. It's ridiculous that a site like this doesn't allow readers to participate this way. - TalkHard 08:23, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Er, can't readers participate and add something by just clicking edit? With a wiki, having a blog appended to each page as well seems a bit gratuitous... I think I have to agree with DouglasGreen on this one. BryceHarrington 23:00, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I am in favor of having three tabs: one for the article, one for "editor discussion" (i.e. the Talk: namespace) and one for "reader discussion", something like a Comments: namespace. -- IlyaHaykinson 02:07, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
Is it currently possible to do this? If so, it probably would be better to set it up this way. That way, I presume it would still be possible (if we wanted) to use it like a template and put the comments on the article page, and would be able to lock the article without locking the comments page. - TalkHard 06:32, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
What I'm suggesting is not at all a blog, although most blogs do have this feature (with good reason). Currently you can only contibute as an editor. You cannot contribute your opinions about an article as a reader. In fact, with lots of blogs (Slashdot for example), many people only read and post opinions about an article without reading the article itelf (just the summary) - this shows how popular this feature is. - TalkHard 06:32, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I think that would be a good dea for the diffrent tabs, because it would be nice to be able to post comments that are not dealing with how the article is written but just comments on the content itself.--Ryan524 14:49, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I don't see how it would add anything to Wikinews. Opinions are being blogged everywhere and people come to Wikinews for news, not opinion. It's not like it would do any harm, but it would distract from the focus of Wikinews as well as the emphasis on neutrality. What about under Sources, having a spot for Comment? With links in the same format to good blog posts, particularly those that link directly to a Wikinews story? People could then be encouraged to put comment on their blogs and add the post to the Wiki story? ClareWhite 14:22, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

News outlet survey[edit]

How about we conduct a survey of major online news outlets to realise what we are up against to be considered a viable source. A particular outlet such as the BBC, could be assigned to a single user for a week. That user then compiles an article count every day including average word count of articles. Also, the number of stories in a particular field (Sci/Tech, Politics, etc.) could be tallied. Pictures per article. Non-article output. The number of hits for that week. All of these will help inform us what we are missing and how we need to improve to compete. --OldakQuill 11:36, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

I would guess that we would need to run a couple dozen news stories per day of interest to an international audience, plus increase the average length of the stories from our current 2-3 paragraphs to more like 6-12 paragraphs. Achieving that would be quite a feat, but even so won't make us stand out from the crowd. To become considered a viable source, I suspect quantity will be less important than quality.
There's three ways wikinews has the potential of becoming higher quality: a) Making each news story better researched and written than others, b) Providing a better selections of stories (e.g., no daily Michael Jackson trial updates), and c) Important original reporting of stories not carried by traditional news organizations. BryceHarrington 20:39, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
To be honest, your proposal sounds like a complete waste of our resources instead of collecting all that data, how about writing an article? We know what we're up against, its just a matter of reaching that standard in our own unique way! → CGorman (Talk) 20:51, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
I think we should focus on the first and last items that Bryce mentions above. With collaboration, we may be able to out-research and out-write the major organizations, and we can already do a great job with underreported stories. While I like Oldak's suggestion, I don't think much reseach is needed to find out where we're lacking, and I don't personally put much importance on matching the large organizations' output (though I would be interested to hear how we stack up). Pingswept 20:54, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I tried to see if there was a way to get news.google.com to report the number of articles per day for a given news site but couldn't figure out how to do that. In any case, my own wild assed guess is that cnn.com probably runs several dozen international stories per day, each of which is on average about 10 times the length of the average wikinews article is. WikiNews does between 6-12 stories a day, half of which probably wouldn't qualify as of 'international' interest. Of course, I would probably ding some non-trivial proportion of the news stories as falling more into the "entertainment" category than the "news" category, but even still, we have quite a ways to go in order to catch up.
But, I think we have a potential ace up our sleeves if we can sort out how to use it: There is a vast treasure trove of high quality, reviewed, open source material from our sister project Wikipedia. If we can figure out a way to legally leverage that for WikiNews articles, we will be able to significantly improve on both story length and quality, and do so for very little time invested. I experimented around with this over the weekend, to see how quickly a news story could be bulked up with material from Wikipedia and it's pretty impressive. However, since Wikipedia is GFDL and WikiNews is Public Domain, there is a license incompatibility that has to be solved first; I hope it can be solved soon so we could start doing this! :-) BryceHarrington 23:14, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. Much of that "10 times the length" is background information, which we could easily cut and paste from Wikipedia. - Borofkin 07:47, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

talk about famine misery[edit]

each day, there is famine misery violence. why you don t talk about these subjects?? you are following the stupidity of classics medias. please quantify informations, if each day there is famine in the world talk about it please. --Vev 18:04, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

We all agree that famine is poorly covered in the media. One of wikinews aims is to cover such tragic events that are underreported. → CGorman (Talk) 22:02, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
Vev - why don't you make a habit of submitting a story on these topics each day? I would definitely like to see more stories on this topic, but prefer writing on other topics myself. 24.20.224.228 07:50, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

News on Desktop[edit]

I have an idea for a small app people could download that will show importnat news items on their desktop, i can make one compatible with Windows 98+ as long as the user has a free copy of the .NET Framework 1.1 but before i make the app i wnat to know if anyone would use it, it would only be able to get new news updates when you are connected to the internet, otherwise it will show you whats saved on your computer.--Ryan524 17:10, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

From what i was told on IRC most people just seem to use the RSS feed, but if anybody rather use this, just leave a note here or on my talk page and i can make you the program.--Ryan524 17:56, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Internet Radio Broadcast[edit]

Anyone think importnat articles from wikinews should be broadcasted via shoucast or some other streaming media server? I could work on it, get it hosted, and contribute to it, but i need help, anyone else interested?--Ryan524 21:21, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Some people have already to work on this see Wikinews:Audio_Wikinews. I am sure they would welcome your help. --Cspurrier 21:24, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
oh, lol, yeah well i leave a message on one of their talk pages, thanks for the info. --Ryan524 21:29, 18 May 2005 (UTC)
The one is place is just several audio files, i mean actuall straming audio you can listen in any media player like winamp or windows media player, ect. I have a server, i just need help, my plan is to work kinda like the news networks do with one hour shows, less commercials then them thogh, just enough to fund the stream server. And playing the most recent ogg file they make at the top of every hour is also an idea for the sation, if anybody is interested in helping out, just let me know.--Ryan524 00:22, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

WeatherMap[edit]

The remarkable weather map (DV's?) needs to be moved way up up up adjacent to the last developing story. It was one of the first things that drew me to WN. It is lost on most browsers as the page through, and that is a shame. --HiFlyer 15:37, 23 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews podcast?[edit]

Anyone up for creating a Wikinews podcast via Skype or another method? It'd be great for me to have a NPR-style news clip every morning on my iPod when I wake up, or at any other time of the day. Anyone else think this is a good idea? --Mrmiscellanious 00:01, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • This is an awesome idea! It's not a huge task to undertake, either. This would be an awesome feature- one that could have great results. Think of a public domain audio-newsfeed. Local and independant stations could rebroadcast it, internet stations could, etc. There are, of course, problems to think about. Consistancy would be lacking due to the nature of the project, making it posibally sound unprofessional. It is also hard to create in practice un-editable sound files of stories that are changing. This sounds promising -Xcjm 03:56, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • I guess I could release a few by myself (I have a little space where I could demo a cast or two) and see if anyone would like to join me later on in releasing more than one per day. If anyone is interested in making a "unofficial" one in the meantime, drop me a line on my talk page. --Mrmiscellanious 00:18, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Try looking at Wikinews:Great ideas - there is the beginning of an Audio news project there. Common is hosting some media files already (I haven't gotten around to listing this on the audio news page yet). Try looking there at commons:Category:Wikinews. - / 00:21, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

If anyone is willing to audio Skype or audio iChat me and read the broadcast every hour, I'd be willing to convert it to a live QuickTime broadcast to anyone who wants it. NGerda 00:38, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Categories[edit]

Okay, im suddenly really excited about this site again; now this may be partly because i am avoiding doing uni work, but it is also because that automagically updating pages are really cool. Anyhow, to start off, a question - is it possible to have sub-categories; ie, is it possible to put an article in category:Canberra and have that article automagicaly in categories ACT, Australia and Oceania? If so is this desirable? do we want an article about street vendors in New Delhi to appear in category Asia, despite not being directly related to Asia as a whole?

Anywho, my next question is why is central america and the mid east thier own regions, but Asia is just one region? How does russia fit in? Should an article about Russia go in the europe category or the asian category? What about one about Moscow? or Siberia?

Now since we have already divided Asia up into 2 bits - Mid east and 'Asia', it seems like we should divide it up a little more - It does after all contains two thirds of the world's population (just China and India are over a third), and it is so diverse.

Wikipedia lists the normal break up of Asia as North Asia (basicly just Russia - what we do here is dependent on what we do with russia more generaly), Central Asia (the -istans, mongolia and Chechnya), East Asia (China, Taiwan, Japan, the Koreas), Southeast Asia (the ASEAN nations - Malay Peninsula, Indochina and islands in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean), South Asia (The Indian subcontinent), West Asia (the mid east; which we already have).

Now that would be an extra five cats, which is probably too many, so my proposition is to turn mid east into 'south and west asia', and then have 'north and central asia', and 'east and southeast asia', which is an overall adition of one. If we wanted we could rationalise this even further by making 'south, west, and cetral asia' instead of 'south and west' and 'north and cenral' (but that would be dependent on how we treat russia).

Now before everyone says, "why should the continent of Asia be divided up when europe, africa, oceania etc. aren't?" Asia is already divided into 'asia' and mideast' and the americas, which depending on where you come from is either one continent or two, is divided into three regions. I would personally like to see central america got rid of and replaced with latin america - infact if we did this we would retain the same number of regions as we have now. Also there is the little matter of Asia containing two thirds of the world's people...

The other choice as i see it, is that we scale back to just six regions corosponding with the continents - Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania, South America, North America - ie, we get rid of mid east and central america. Then we divide each continent up futher in thier own pages. ie. north, south, western, central, eastern europe etc.

Sorry for having written so much, but bare with me just a moment longer, because this is where the less controversial bit of my proposal starts: i think that we should have one or possibly two lines under "Please participate in the Wikinews design contest for our multilingual portal and skin!

Water cooler - Mailing list (http://mail.wikipedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikinews-l) - Site news (April 18) - Real-Time Chat" at the top of every page, which is basicly the links that are currently in the index box on the mainpage (except that i think the region one's should be modified as stated above, and that wackynews should be re-named). Another idea is a map with linkable sections for the different regions, that could be put on the mainpage - anyone have the time/ability/energy to do this? It could even use an enlarged version of the wikinews map. I think that could be quite nice actually.

Thankyou for reading my stream of consiousness. ~The bellman | Smile 13:43, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Proposing infoboxes[edit]

Ok, I am sick and tired of vertical stories. I want some horizontal action — and better story layout. And honestly, I think our users want better news presentation.

Therefore, I bring you my experiment: Violent rioting, deaths follow disputed election in Togo (the wonderful article is by User:DouglasGreen, the infobox is so far my creation). The infobox is constructed from templates: you can make your own infobox using templates like Template:InfoboxStart, Template:InfoboxEnd, Template:InfosectionStart, Template:InfosectionEnd and Template:Infosection, or pre-build one like Togo/Infobox.

The purpose of these infoboxes is to mirror the news design of pages like this one at the BBC. The right sidebar (the infobox) is extensible, somewhat template driven, and not horribly unfriendly to use.

Please let me know what you think. I would love these infoboxes on every article. -- IlyaHaykinson 08:56, 1 May 2005 (UTC)

The infobox idea is great, though some issues do arise. Firstly, it seems to be suitable mostly for political articles and those that have many new articles about a certain issue - like reports. For example, I don't know how this could be used in an article about Romania, for example, where a certain economic growth figure is announced, or some policy change takes place, etc. Would the "Recent stories" area contain all recent stories about the country of the article? Like Togo for example? Or just recent stories on the issue - the actual Presidential Elections. I think "recent stories" and "related stories" is rather similar. Or were they intended to be for two significantly different purposes? Secondly, the "Country background" background area is great for providing context, but how about for articles about countries which are already well-known, like the USA for example. In the case, I presume that section would link to key Wikipedia articles about the issue - in the case of new casino opening in Las Vegas, it would be about Las Vegas maybe. That's a great idea, because it would get people more engaged in finding extra information about Wikipedia. Especially since having Wikipedia as an information source is a great advantage for Wikinews in comparison to other news sources. Finally, I like the infobox idea on the whole and it's a great concept -- I'm really glad that Wikinews is getting more and more "customisations" that depart it from the uniform Wikimedia look to that of an actual news site. Ronline 09:15, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
An awesome idea, and looks great. ronline: if i understand correctly recent stories are intended to be all stories realted to Togo, and related stories are intended to be about the election in particular. I'm gonna start using it, and see where it takes us. I think this would work espessialy well for country of the week. ~The bellman | Smile 10:51, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I'd say let's give it a try. But first let's see what others think, and how we can perfect it further. Because it is a pretty bold move, and once it's out there, it will be quite hard to change. I think the presentation needs to be changed a bit as well, to make it look a bit better. Ronline 12:12, 1 May 2005 (UTC) PS: By the way: from the technical side of things, the feature is really well done - it's customisable for every article yet template-based enough to ensure a common look and to enable global changes. Congrats, Ilya!
I've checked over all the templates that the feature involves, and the infobox idea is actually more exciting than I first thought! The only thing I would recommend is that the Country background area be customised in every article and not be included in the actual Infobox template. This is because different articles, even if they are about the same country, will require different "Background articles". Really waiting to see this implemented globally! Ronline 12:20, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Ilya, thisis an AWESOME Idea. I love. I agree with Bellman, it works great with country of the week. I'll try to start using it as well. Lyellin 17:10, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the positive comments. Ronline – I totally didn't mean to have this be the exact model that we have to use for all countries, topics etc. I figure for some countries or topics the infobox should be pretty filled out, while for other topics it may need to be more empty. I guess we'll see how to use it after we start adapting it for topics other than Togo. -- IlyaHaykinson 18:14, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I like the new infobox and have adapted it for use on my latest story, Issues of World Press Freedom Day raised in U.N., Africa. I think the new layout offers a couple of advantages: 1. Collects all the story background and source info into one very nice looking sidebar 2. Removes things like "Sources" from the table of contents of the page so it is just Contents. So I'm going to start using it. DouglasGreen 12:25, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I added an info box to 'Swiss cement company Holcim Ltd sees net profits jump 67%' yesterday. They really look professional! → CGorman (Talk) 14:28, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I think this infobox system can be used wider than just bussinesses and countries: I've implemented a version to the first article in the Chili Finger Incident: Woman finds human finger in bowl of chili at Wendy's restaurant. Tell me what you think. -- Redge (Talk) 17:47, 3 May 2005 (UTC)

I've experimented with trimming down the Infobox a little in my article Turbolinux adopted by China's largest bank so that it is short, since most of our articles are rather short. The stuff I kept was (1) top 3 related stories (2) location map (3) external links. And I moved the Story Sources out of the infobox and back underneath the article, since those can get really long when you have 7-10 sources in an article (also the Story Sources are more closely associated with the article, than the other stories and external links). I notice only one minor issue: my top 3 list of stories actually includes the story itself, Turbolinux adopted by China's largest bank, as the first item on the list. Can the programmers make it so a recent stories list does not refer to the page that it is on? That should be 3 different stories... Also, can we somehow automatically generate dates at the end of "recent stories" titles? Some of the recent stories in our lesser-coverage countries might be months or years old... DouglasGreen 23:57, 4 May 2005 (UTC)

I made some more changes to the look of Turbolinux adopted by China's largest bank, so feedback is welcome. 1. I put the page in table so it doesn't flow around the infobox, but is in a straight column of text. 2. Then I dropped the image down to the middle left of the article, removed the image frame, and used a table to set it off with lighter colored caption text. Opinions, anyone? DouglasGreen 01:00, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Caution flag rather than stop sign?[edit]

I think the flag icon we have is a bit drastic. When you throw that flag on someone's article, it's like their article is being arrested and thrown in jail. That's detrimental, because when people see the "red hand of danger" slapped across their article, it probably is a little offputting to them. This tends to drive up the temperature of debate as the article is being fixed I think. I suggest that maybe we need 2 levels of icons. One level can be the "red hand of danger" as it currently is. The other one can maybe be something like a "yellow caution symbol with a question mark inside it", indicating that the article is about half-way decent and not a total loss, but it has some issues can be addressed. Then maybe people won't be so affronted when they get a yellow flag. Just a thought. DouglasGreen 23:59, 2 May 2005 (UTC)

I think this is a great idea. Many articles are mearly in need of slight work but get taged with a powerful flag that angers people This idea could help a lot. --Cspurrier 22:12, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
I agree, but have been too scared to change it. - Simeon 10:00, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I do not think the best way of doing it is to change it but rather create a new tag with the milder image and text --Cspurrier 20:23, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I don't think flags are needed at all. If someone doesn't like an article they should be willing to do some editing work themselves instead of throwing up a flag like a dog dropping pooh, going on their merry way, and leaving a pile of crap for someone else to clean up. I actually put up a flag yesterday and in retrospect, it was not really necessary to do it; just easier than researching and editing the story. I suggest we eliminate all flags except speedy deletion and that process(speedy deletion) be limited to 24 hours with a straight majority rules vote.

If that(eliminating flags) won't fly, then I agree with Eloquence that "speedy removal of tags is as important as their speedy addition"; and that we need to design a way to speed up the consensus decision making process.Paulrevere2005 12:21, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Slogan[edit]

Does the current Wikinews slogan/tagline, "the free news source that you can write" feel unprofessional to anyone else? I would tend to think the average reader, who doesn't understand the concept of a Wiki, could misinterpret this as a bad thing.

While the current one is accurate and descriptive, I think the "Wiki" in Wikinews pretty much says it all to those who are interested. Should Wikinews change it's slogan to a more reader-freindly (as opposed to author-friendly) one?

A very cheesy example would be Wikinews: For the people's right to know. Feel free to suggest your own if you support the idea. -- Noclip 23:30, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Great idea Noclip, however I think that we should go off of something like this: Wikinews: The independent media revolution starts here. NGerda 00:04, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
How about a simple, "Free the News!" BryceHarrington 20:21, 15 May 2005 (UTC)
I like "Free the News!" it is simple and says what we need it to say. --Cspurrier 20:25, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

The slogan used to say just "Wikinews: the free news source [beta]." But it was changed, I think because somebody didn't want Wikinews confused with a regular news outlet. They wanted to emphasize the collaborative writing aspect of Wikinews up front, so we didn't misrepresent ourself and give the wrong first impression. However, it could use some improvement. How about, "Wikinews: the free, fair news source from people like you." DouglasGreen 03:01, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

Hmm, none of the above proposed slogans (including my own) really strikes me as summing up the point and purpose of Wikinews in a memorable way. Maybe we need to think harder on what Wikinew's killer feature really is?

One of the aspects I like most about WikiNews is how completely different its approach is from standard news media. Those news media just feel like they're speaking for the interests of corporations, for one reason or another, and have lost a lot of credibility and relevance. To me the power and value of WikiNews is more that I can trust that while it might be biased, it'll be biased in a unique way from everything else out there, thereby gaining balance that I probably wouldn't find otherwise. I like that it comes from ordinary people like me, and I like that I could get involved in it too, but those aren't the reasons I keep reading it; I read it because I feel that the stories it prints are items that the community feels are worth presenting as news, not just because they'll drive up readership, or because the reporter has to meet his story quota for the week, or because the story fits into some ulterior editorial agenda. I may not find all the stories very interesting, but at least I won't get the sense that I'm being fed filler or lies. ;-)

BryceHarrington 07:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

"Wikinews; Non-partisan,up to the minute and collaborative; written for you and by you(if you dare)." Paulrevere2005 12:29, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree with BryceHarrington, but I thought my proposed slogan hit the necessary points. "Wikinews: the free, fair news source from people like you."

  • Free. Because some news sources are moving toward restricted, paid news. Wikinews will remain totally free.
  • Fair. Because NPOV is part of what makes Wikinews different, not only from MSM media but also from other participative outlets like OhMyNews, which are partisan.
  • From people like you. Explains the Wiki aspect, since just saying "Wiki" alone doesn't cut it, since 98% of people don't know what is a Wiki. Also, "people like you" means ordinary folks and their interests, not some bland corporate product. Also, I don't think it's a good idea to focus on "writing" the news, rather than "reporting" the news, I don't think the word "write" belongs in the slogan. What about other Wikinews formats such as audio and video? They are Wikinews, too. DouglasGreen 04:06, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

I think DouglasGreen has all the points that appeal to me, but could be a bit punchier: what about "Wikinews: free, fair reporting by people like you"? ... or even "free, fair reporting by real people" Cmwhite 08:19, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

  • people "like" you doesn't pull them in. when you buy anything; or buy into anything, you want it for yourself. imagine you go to get a tennis racket and the sales guy says "this is just made for people like you"..it really doesn't work. also i think we have 2 real powerful hooks.
  1. 1 is the non-partisan thing. the bloggers have got the partisan thing/ we've got the non-partisan thing and i think a lot of people are hungry for some cold,hard,objective factual reporting and thats our #1 feature.imo so i think that should be highlighted. maybe "non-partisan" is not the right word but I don't think "fair" is either.
  1. 2.Now our second hook is "collaborative". We've got it in spades. I just did a yahoo search on the word "collaborative", I thought it was relatively insider type lingo...over 20 million sites popped up..it is a good,strong,positive and modern word. It should be in our slogan somewhere. Paulrevere2005 22:53, 17 May 2005 (UTC)

"People like you" was intended to mean "collaborative", it is not just marketing hype. There is a difference between "made for people like you" and actually "make by people like you", or actually made by you. It is a statement of wikiness and an invitation to participate. I don't mean to say that is the only way it can be phrased, though. And "fair" means "non-partisan". Also, in response to Cmwhite, it maybe could be made punchier, I don't know. But as I recall the typical news station advertises themself as your "source of news" not "reporting"... could be wrong though. DouglasGreen 14:18, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Mediation Alerts Needed[edit]

While taking part for the first time in our dispute resolution process,[[1]], I noticed how the same few "regulars" were participating. Since the concept of "consensus",I think, depends upon a broad sampling of community opinions; I suggest that there be an "alert" button on the main page so that all of wikinews will be notified that a mediation is underway. I was fortunate that Dan100 was able to come up with a solution in my case, but, in general, I think it would be better to have more community participation which means the whole community( not just the regulars)needs to be notified if a dispute is underway. Paulrevere2005 23:18, 13 May 2005 (UTC)

We could have a page where people link to things they want us all to see. Perhaps here, on the Water cooler. - Simeon 10:01, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Newsrooms[edit]

Wikinews Newsrooms could be Wikinews offices located around the country, with space donated by business owners. It would be a community newsroom where Wikinewsies can collaborate on articles, assist one another in finding media for articles, and print and distribute Wikinews Print Editions to their communities. Local offices could also be in charge of recording Audio Wikinews and Video Wikinews programs. At first, computers could be available at a "bring you own" policy, but as donations raise, we eventually might be able to buy computers. The goal of this project is to raise community awareness of Wikinews, create a physical meeting place for Wikinewsies, and to further increase the quality (and quantity) of Wikinews articles.

We need to get a list together of people who are willing to devote space, time, resources, etc. If you know any friendly business owners, give 'em a ring. NGerda 00:23, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Promotion[edit]

I think Wikinews is a great resource, but it definitely needs more participants. Possibly there will be enough people that just happen across the project in time, however I wonder if some simple actions could help stir up participation. Some ideas:

  • Since the open source community already has a strong participatory philosophy, they would be a good audience to target for new members. A fringe benefit is that they are also a good source of people to help improve the software and technical underpinnings. Here are some ways to appeal/recruit from this group:
    • Encourage more stories related to Open Source, Linux, and technology, especially unique reporting that the various OSS-oriented news sites and blogs will want to link to.
    • Write articles about Wikinews (the intent, history, technology, or whatever) for other news sites like Newsforge, LWN, etc. Make sure to outline the process of getting involved, project principles, etc.
    • Encourage addition of the Wikinews RSS feed to as many tech-oriented aggregation sites as possible.
  • Recruit from and advertise to journalism schools. Several reasons for this. College kids tend to have more free time for things like this. If they're studying journalism, they're probably also quite interested in writing news, and likely will be looking for opportunities to get their foot into the industry. Wikinews gives them a forum to test their skills and gain feedback from peers. WikiNews benefits by gaining participants who probably are a tad more knowledgeable in reporting than the average Joe. In the long term, it will also build a base of awareness and respect for WikiNews in the news media, as these folks rise through the ranks.
    • U.S. Journalism schools: http://www1.stpt.usf.edu/journalism/j-schools.html http://www.journalism.org/resources/sites/schools.asp
    • Snail-mail the deans of journalism schools with a letter about WikiNews inviting academic participation, and encourage them to forward it to their professors
    • Find the addresses of Journalism school professors and email them about the project, encouraging them to mention it to their students.
    • Encourage professors to use Wikinews as a forum for student projects.
    • Find magazines and news sources that college journalism folks read, and get articles printed there about Wikinews. Point it out as a great way for students to gain practice in news reporting.
    • Encourage college-oriented Wikinews/Wikipedia participants to print out flyers about Wikinews and post them in bulletin boards in their school's Journalism building or near where journalism classes are held.

BryceHarrington 20:57, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

Voice of America news[edit]

As an experiment, I have added three stories from The Voice of America. VOA is funded by the US government and hence, its content is in the public domain. Its stories generally try to maintain the appearance of objectivity, though there will often be hidden or visible bias. Nevertheless, this is a lot of good content, including original reporting, that we can modify to bring in line with our NPOV policy. This also follows the precedent of CIA World Factbook and US State Department factual and historical information used on Wikipedia.

The stories I imported are:

Based on my experienece with the first one, I would suggest that such stories should generally not be published immediately. Instead, I propose the following procedure:

  • Stories where POV issues could arise should be listed on Template:Developing stories for a period of 6 hours minimum to give editors the time to add balancing information. If the importing editor feels that there is no POV issue, they may publish it directly.
  • Only a maximum of 3 VOA stories should be listed on Template:Developing stories at any given time, to avoid editorial overload by mass imports.

I have created Template:VOA-by to attribute stories, and Template:VOA-POV to mark them for NPOV processing.--Eloquence 23:37, 15 May 2005 (UTC)

I am Strongly Opposed to any attempt to publish other news organization's POV articles when we refuse to allow even reviews of our own. VOA is an often biased source, and this "process" circumvents current Wikinews policy and practices. Furthermore, it has been added as a justification for having already done so without community input. - / 02:11, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
If it is an "often" biased source, that is exactly what this process seeks to address, by putting these articles through a routine check that other articles don't have to go through. This is an additional safety measure which is not meant to circumvent existing procedures.--Eloquence 03:35, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Wow, deja vu. This situation is very analogous to something that happened early on in Wikipedia. We were fairly desperate for content in the early days to get up to a critical mass. I started adding articles from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica that was in Project Gutenberg. At the time there was some strong objections to doing this, for several reasons: Being written in 1911, the articles were often pretty biased - Euro-centric, sexist, and very 'dated'; many were plain wrong due to discoveries made since the articles' writing. Yet, despite all this, they were accepted and gradually digested. Apparently they were valuable enough that others continued adding all the remaining articles in there. A lot still haven't received enough editing to get them properly cleaned up, but the more important ones have gotten quite a bit. Of course, Wikinews is not an encyclopedia, so this is not an exact parallel, but the point is that a wiki project *can* deal with and digest biased material into valuable collateral. Just as the EB stuff was of use to WP, I think the VOA stuff could be of value to WN.
Also, an extremely key lesson from Open Source applies here: It's much easier for a community to edit than to create from scratch. Many of the most successful OSS projects got going because they had something that existed that they could tweak and build on. Writing a story from scratch is much harder than making some improvements to an existing story, even if it is biased. (Probably *especially* if it's biased - blatant issues will probably draw editors like flies!)
Anyway, I think this is a very cool idea and hope to see it continue. I think the potential bias issues are easily dealt with. A key strength of Wikinews is its ability to weed out POV, and so I would bet that seeding it with well-written POV articles will be a great way to achieve well-written NPOV articles. ;-) BryceHarrington 07:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
This might be true with articles which have the time to be reviewed repeatedly before going live. On Wikinews articles have a very short editing lifespan, about 2 weeks tops. Very few of them get the necessary attention, because contributors work on news which is interesting to them. Unlike WP, many articles on Wikinews have extremely small numbers of contributors, or even single authored.
What this is likely to mean in practice is that articles from a biased source will be submitted, given a surface examination, and passed on. The facts will not be checked, there will be no verifiability, and we will simply be one more distribution channel for a news wire. - / 07:59, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
  • The whole issue of government news releases needs to be examined as to whether or not any of them should be used on a NPOV site as a source or story foundation. I think they don't constitute "news" under our definition but are, instead, an only slightly veiled advertisement for that government's pov. I agree with Amgine that these VOA things are pov "en masse"; as are the reports coming out of the Pentagon,#10 Downing,the Whitehouse,Putin's office,Bin Laden's tapes etc. Perhaps as a NPOV site we should ignore all of them...and no, I'm not kidding. Paulrevere2005 11:58, 16 May 2005 (UTC)
Voice of America does publish government editorials, but it also publishes news. According to the Wikipedia discussion on the topic, "The VOA does require news stories to be confirmed by at least two sources before broadcasting it, and the VOA does have journalism standards requiring integrity. Overseas sources rate VOA news as reliable, second only in importance to the BBC World Service." We will of course not republish government press releases, but this is different from VOA's news content, just like People's Daily stories or, to a lesser extent, BBC stories are; the main difference is that the US government has the wisdom to put its contents in the public domain.
Amgine's argument that we lose "verifiability" is somewhat weak, given that our stories frequently rely on a single source [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], or more often on two or three wire service reports. Most of our reporting is already effectively synthesis from wire services and other news producers; verification consists of plausibility checks and adding sources.
The process I have proposed here is intended to guarantee that VOA articles are given some eyeballs for publication. We can, less formally, require that instead of Template:VOA-POV, such articles should simply be listed on Template:Developing stories for at least 6 hours, so that others have an opportunity to edit them and register objections. I also suggest that we create a Template:Comprehensive dispute tag, as an alternative to the NPOV dispute.
This is in line with my original review outline, where I wrote: Relevant information on the topic should be included, while keeping in mind timeliness. Given that an almost infinite amount can be said about any topic, objections in this category carry less weight than those in other categories. The publication of an article should generally not be halted for this reason, but at most delayed, to give other people time to edit it; an NPOV dispute carries stronger weight, in that it pretty much blocks the publication until everyone agrees that the article is neutral. If we count "add more material" as a valid objection against the neutrality of an article, that is essentially a tool to halt the publication of any article.
I agree with Bryce that VOA articles can be a useful seed; when we have enough contributors to cover all topics without using other sources, it makes sense to stop using them, for the simple reason that even if we make it clear that they have been edited, there will always be an appearance of bias due to the nature of the source. In general, I welcome rewriting VOA articlse to remove all major traces of VOA content (and, consequently, the {{VOA-by}} tag), and, as I said, I only want to import such articles at a rate at which we can reasonably deal with them.--Eloquence 13:13, 16 May 2005 (UTC)

It makes sense to me to use VOA articles as a seed, and rewrite them to our satisfaction. I believe most news outlets which subscribe to news services such as AP rewrite their wire articles also. This practice is not unusual. We could continue doing so indefinitely. DouglasGreen 03:30, 23 May 2005 (UTC)


Stock Photo Usage[edit]

I wanted to bring up the use of stock photos and how they can be misleading. Recently, I considered the front page post about the Bush/Georiga/Grenade misleading because the stock grenade shown next to the article is not the grenade that was thrown. While this may be minor bit of misinformation, someone skimming the articles will think that this was the grenade thrown. I added in some text past the end of the summary on it's own line that the stock photo was not an image of the model of grenade thrown. If a photo is "needed" then I see a disclaimer as an effective method of pointing out when a stock photo is a stock photo, and when a photo is actually of or pertaining exactly to the event and a user can use that as a basis for information gathering instead of window dressing. Anyways, I guess I want to bring up, Should stock photos be used because we want an image associated with an event/If so should they carry an obvious disclaimer? --ORBIT 20:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I say any stock photo that is not accurate of the story should carry a disclaimer. --ORBIT 20:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I agree that photos can often be misleading, and should be carefully labeled for that reason. I myself have put such disclaimers in the past. It's not too difficult. They could have said, "Photo of a grenade" or "Grenade shown is not the one described in article" or "Stock photo of a grenade, <date of photo>". Even giving a prior date for the photo is enough to establish that it is not a photo associated with the current news event. DouglasGreen 03:37, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Hurricanes[edit]

(Based off a post I made to w:Talk:2005 Pacific hurricane season)

As some of you may know, the hurricane-related articles were among the most-clicked articles on Wikipedia last year - in fact, I recall w:Hurricane Frances was *#1* at one point. Either above or below Main Page, I don't recall which.

For last year's hurricane season, I don't think we had Wikinews. This year is different. The Pacific season has started with a bang, as Adrian promises to be a very newsworthy storm. The more well-known and well-read Atlantic season begins next week, and all expecations say it will be as active as last year.

So far, I've made Wikinews entries for every major milestone along Adrian's course, and plan to make them for each subsequent storm, regardless of impact. (Well, I mean, I would make one about the formation of Karl, and maybe the dissipation, and that's it. And time will tell if this is necessary) (For those of you who don't know, Karl was a storm that formed in the Mid-atlantic, reached Category 4 strength, and dissipated, without ever threatening land; I figure, if we make an article about the formation of a storm, closure requires we make one about it dying)

Anyway. So far, I've linked every story (two so far) under the Wikipedia article for Adrian (Presently w:2005 Pacific hurricane season, likely soon to get is own article). Now, this could get long for a large storm, but then again, a large storm will get its own article (Adrian will likely deserve one before the week is out) and thus have room for a long list of links.

Now imagine if we have another Hurricane Jeanne or Ivan this year, and everyone who comes to look at the article sees links to Wikinews articles. I would daresay it's the best advertising Wikinews can get. Even better would be original reporting from strike areas. If we could get reporters and photographs from areas hit by storms, that would increase our usability and profile tenfold. Wikinews, not Wikipedia, would become a reference in news articles, raising the profile here more.

Yes, the Wikinews article at present is mostly a clone of the Wikipedia article, but the differences are, the Wikinews article has the ability to expand beyond that, especially with local reports which would be just awesome. Also, the Wikinews article will still be there - so even after this article says "Adrian dissipated on this and that date", there will still be articles chronicling its formation, strengthening, strike, and effects. So while Wikipedia remains up to date, Wikinews serves as a useful archive without having to go through Wikipedia's page history.

I post this here to get your comments, and to ask you a question - The way I've proposed making articles, our articles will fill up quickly with archived links. Should we make a "2005 hurricane season" (or "2005 pacific hurricane season", or what not) category that we could link to from Wikipedia, rather than linking to every individual article? Or should we perhaps make a portal page that would be a digest of all news stories, somewhat similar to when CNN.com has their hurricane special section? (Of course, the most recent and most pertinent articles would be linked on Pedia using the Wikinews template).

I look forward to your thoughts. --Golbez 21:15, 19 May 2005 (UTC)


No WikiNews on WikiNews[edit]

After today's article 'User claims Wikinews parrots mainstream media, offers little original reporting', I think it would be preferable to set a policy that WikiNews should not report on (or at least, should not 'review') itself. It just opens the door to people posting criticism (or promotional pieces) as valid news. BryceHarrington 04:32, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

It's certainly hard to maintain NPOV when reporting about ourself. However, I would caution against a blanket policy. I'd like to continue to look at the value of articles individually. The recent one, as has been pointed out, was more of an open letter to Wikinews.--Eloquence 15:14, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
I'd love to see a "weak guideline" or something that says that, generally, we leave reporting about wikinews to other news sources. Pingswept 20:45, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Suggested "Review for publication" process[edit]

Wikinews has been growing rapidly and I think we need to revisit how articles are published. We now have a print and audio edition, and articles are syndicated across the web when they are first published. If articles go on the front page with problems, as they often do, they will show up in those editions and be unable to fix, which will affect the reputation of Wikinews.

Here is how I think we can improve it.

  1. Create a second step in the publication process between "Developing Stories" and "Published". The second step could be called "Review for publication", and would be found in the Article Workspace above "Developing Stories".
  2. When an article is considered finished by its author(s), it would be moved up to "Review for publication". Other people could then push down whatever comments are on the discussion page, and add the following signed, bulleted list to the top of the discussion page:
  • Spellchecked - ~~~~
  • Style checked - ~~~~
  • Fact checked - ~~~~
  • Policy review - ~~~~

Spellchecked is obvious. Many of our articles have misspelled words. I recommend the use of Firefox's SpellBound, since you can use it to right click in the text area and spellcheck right in the page. Also it has American and UK English dictionaries.

Style checked means checked for grammar, punctuation, and Wikinews style conventions. It also should be checked for clarity and readability, short crisp sentences with active verbs, and correct usage of English.

Fact checked is one of the hardest. I think whoever fact checks an article should go over it line by line and verify all statements against sources or general references. Also check for accuracy of quotes and the possibility of plagiarism.

Policy review means reviewed particularly against POV, but also other policies in general as they develop.

I don't mean to make Wikinews too "bureaucratic", but I think these suggestions would help improve and focus our efforts. When all four things have been done, preferably by some person or persons besides the original author, then it can be moved to the Published category and put on the front page.

Comments, anyone? DouglasGreen 16:35, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I like this idea.--Ryan524 16:46, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
I think this is a good idea, but needlessly formal and will slow publishing down to much. Adding the list to the top of the discussion page, is a good idea but does not need to become required. I think it should be used to let people know what you have done and what needs doing rather then a required policy. Also both the print and audio editions are checked by hand before publishing. The print edition uses yesterdays stories so they are almost always ready to be published. I skim every article before it is added to the Print edition and will delay any thing that looks to be in poor shape or NPOV. Overall I think things are working well as is, as Wikinews gets bigger these ideas might be a good policy.--Cspurrier 16:50, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not, I agree with everything Cspurrier just said + bureaucracy is always an unintended consequence and is the spritual enemy of the wiki approach....we can't let the enemy through the front gates; he'll be sneaking inside on his own without us throwing out a welcome mat. Paulrevere2005 22:05, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

I myself thought that it would speed up publishing. The alternative is to let your article hang out in the Developing area in the odd hope that someone might look at it hours or days later. You don't know if they did or not. Also, we can use the list of things to check to split apart the checking process to get it done faster. It is a tool to help Wikinewsers organize their efforts, like many things that we use, not a bureacratic enemy. Furthermore, my personal estimate is that more than half of the articles that hit the front page have not even been spellchecked. If even this minimal amount of checking is systematically not done, that leads me to conclude that other forms of checking have been omitted as well. I have seen blatant NPOV articles and articles with factual error hang out on the front page for days. Once these articles are syndicated across the internet with Wikinews name across them, it undermines our NPOV policy and damages Wikinews reputation. I believe that an extra step between writing and publishing that I have described (call it editing) would help the process. DouglasGreen 12:06, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

  • It would be easy to simply pattern wikinews after regular newspapers, who also use the collaborative approach often with 2 or more reporters on the same story(e.g.Bernstein and Woodward) followed by sifting the story through layers of bureaucracy until the final product is milquetoast mush.

There is no problem at all here with unfinished articles being on the front page that can't be fixed simply with more and broader participation. More rules and controls are simply the lazy way to deal with the concerns imo. and More rules and layers of control are the essence of bureaucracy . The first comment re; this proposal mentioned " I don't mean to make Wikinews too 'bureaucratic'", which says to me the proposer recognizes that danger himself as being inherent in this proposal.

Bureaucracy is the antithesis of freedom, imo, and this site's slogan discussion was all about freedom.

This wiki does not belong to any of us; it has a life of its own; and we have no right at all,imo, to shackle her with any more rules,regulations,constraints than are absolutely necessary and I simply support the view of Cspurrier that this change is not necessary now. Paulrevere2005 14:56, 25 May 2005 (UTC)


  • Wikinews 101; no one here owns a story.

If you don't like it..or if its factually wrong..or its NPOV.. or there are misspelled words..just be a good wiki-citizen,please, and do some reading and edit the story..the watchphrase here is

Edit; Don't Control.

Paulrevere2005 20:28, 25 May 2005 (UTC)

Let's try to avoid dogma of any kind. More systematic review is an idea that is valuable and needs to be reconsidered again and again as Wikinews grows and matures, just as it is for Wikipedia. Any review process must be consensus-based and wiki-like, of course.

As for the specific proposal, I am skeptical, for two reasons:

  1. We still haven't managed to stabilize the quantity of our story output. I think we should have a stable 25-30 stories per day before reconsidering review.
  2. A similar process has been tried before. Although this one as the benefit of being simpler, I think it would suffer from some of the same problems, notably, that articles simply don't receive the full level of review and never get published. One could argue that this is a desired outcome, but I think for now, going by intuition and consensus whether a story is ready should be sufficient. It seems to work reasonably well.
  3. My personal conviction from past experiences is that a proper review process needs to be software-assisted, very fast and simple, focus on revisions rather than pages, and be directly tied into the discussion process. I think the solution will be essentially similar to the one that should be used for Wikipedia (I'm not talking about the upcoming article validation feature), with some parameters tuned to adjust for the timeliness factor of news.

So, my suggestion is to be patient, build Wikinews, and revisit the review issue as the software gets better at supporting basic workflows and revision tagging.--Eloquence 12:39, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

That seems reasonable. Thank you all for your consideration. DouglasGreen 17:32, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

Batten Awards for Innovations in Journalism[edit]

Is anyone interested in pursuing this?

The deadline is June 9, so pretty short notice.--Eloquence 19:14, 29 May 2005 (UTC)

RSS feeds for development process[edit]

I propose creating automated RSS feeds for article development stages, including

*Submitted articles

  • Prepared articles
  • Developing articles, and

*Final review articles (as proposed above).

  • Disputed articles (added June 1, 2005)

In preparation, I propose changes in the workflow technical organization: I propose that moving between development stages be done via categories rather than page moves and manual linking. I propose this because:

  1. It would make stage promotion/demotion easier and faster.
  2. It would make implementation of RSS feeds for development simple.

The following categories would thus be implemented:

*Category:submitted

*Category:review

In addition to the pre-existing:

category.

(Submitted articles may be an exception, but an RSS feed can be generated from changes to the submission article or something similiar.)

Furthermore, categories can be assigned at the top of the article, using templates which also add a tag at the top of the page, identifying the development stage and linking to discussion of the stages and the workspace. (with the exception of the published template)

The workspace article would then be modified to use the category feature much like the Category:politics and conflicts and other articles use for "Latest News". Articles can therefore be moved between stages simlpy be changing a tag in the article. Wikinews:Proposed_Workspace

Furthermore, a mechanism for the main page to automatically aggregate articles in the "Published" category can be set up, further simplifying the process. The mechanism could work like this: The day articles would be coded like this:

=== [[Wikinews:2005/May/30|May 30, 2005]] ===
<DynamicPageList>
category=May 30, 2005
category=published
count=20
</DynamicPageList>


And would therefore look like this:

May 30, 2005[edit]


Then, RSS feeds can be easily implemented for the development process, and the stages can be traversed without leaving the article page.

I've done all the neccessary coding, and set up a full working model of my proposal at Wikinews:Proposed Workspace, please try it out and see what you think, and discuss it here or on the article's talk page. But it can't be perfectly functional without the day coding (because the days would still have to be manualy updated on the main page), and it wont be popularly used unless it's swapped w/the current workspace. So those essentially are the two changes i'm proposing at this point - i need community consent or "buy-in" for them. That's the purpose of the vote below. Ofcourse, discuss away, as well. Kevin Baastalk 20:57, 2005 May 30 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

I'm a bit vauge on how and why articles move between the stages, and who is responsible for moving them. Doesn't it go without saying that if an article doesn't have the editing tag attached, then it is up for review? Review is part of the wiki-way. What is different about this review?
I suppose the issue is whether we take the positive or the negative approach. Do we tag an article to declare that is is good enough, or do we tag an article to declare that it is not good enough? Doesn't the abscence of one of the disputed tags imply that the article is publishable? - Borofkin 00:36, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
This is a workflow, not a mandatory one, but for people who like organization. The point of it is to accelerate article development. People can surely avoid the whole workflow and just write it themselves and put a "published" stamp on it. Or they can use this method, demonstrated on the WikiNews:Proposed Workspace page.
The only real difference is the method here, and that there's the optional "final review" stage, that people can skip.
you can tag an article however you like. if you think ti's publishable but not sure, you can put a final review on it. (promote it), if you think a published article is substandard, you can demote it to either final review or development. whatever. re. abscense of tags=publishable: what you consider those articles currently in development to be currently publishable? i think not. they need development, hence "development" tag, and respective category in workspace. Kevin Baastalk 01:06, 2005 May 31 (UTC)
I must admit, sometimes when I've written something, and don't intend to work anymore on it (because I'm off to the pub), I'd like to add a tag so that people take a closer look. Although just sticking it on Latest News usually has the same effect. - Borofkin 01:11, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Vote?[edit]

Please vote on this. Kevin Baastalk 03:33, 2005 May 31 (UTC)

  • Please do not vote on this. For starters, don't vote on everything, and secondly, this proposal is nowhere near ready to go to a formal vote, even if a formal vote turns out to be appropriate. Not enough thought has gone into it, as demonstrated by the fact that (until I fixed it just now) many of the prepared stories were sporting two separate "prepared story" boxes and two separate "prepared story" categories. Kevin_Baas, how did you not spot the existing big prominent black boxes at the top of the prepared stories, before you added your second one? They aren't exactly unobtrusive. Look to see what existing mechanisms are already in place. Uncle G 02:20, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
    • I did spot them. I thought that it would be rude to remove them. Apparently you didn't think it would be rude to make rash accusations against me and insult my intelligence. (and you had every opportunity to respond on my talk page instead, if this is a personal issue for you) Oh well. I've put a category:prepared tag on the big black box template - that is completely inobtrusive and doesn't hurt anyone, so i expect you'll be happy with that compromise, esp. considering that wikinews is a community forum.
      • I made no accusations against you and did not insult your intelligence. I simple asked you how you didn't spot the existing tag and category, which the tag and category that you have just created exactly duplicate. Your answer to that appears to be that you did spot them, but rather than seeing that they already were the mechanism that you had thought you had just invented, you bizarrely considered actually removing them in favour of your reinvention of the wheel. Uncle G 05:23, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
        • you accused me of not seeing them, and you still do, even though i told you i saw them. by accusing me of not seeing them, you tacitly insulted my intelligence, and you still are, by stubbornly retaining this assumption when i've already told you it's false. regarding: my answer "appears" to be: the apparent world is the true world uncle G, and you are obviously not assuming good faith in doubting everything that i say. Or maybe it's just that you're not listening? notice i said that i did not consider removing them - i left them there, and you got mad. i did not think i already invented that mechanism, i was trying to improve upon it by making a more coherent system with less steps. notice the "prepared stories" are now displayed automatically in the new workspace, and move automatically to "developing stories" with the simple switch of a tag, instead of having to move the page, add the reference to a page, and remove the referecne from another page. that system never existed before, and therefore i cannot "reinvent" it. Kevin Baastalk 05:36, 2005 May 31 (UTC)
    • But what does this have to do with voting? anyone can see that contrary to your statement that the proposal is "nowhere near ready", the proposal is completely ready. you don't have to vote. no one has to. they can all do whatever they want, except, ofcourse, tell people what to do, as that would result in a paradox. oh, and they can't remove what other people wrote in a forum. Kevin Baastalk 03:09, 2005 May 31 (UTC)
      • The proposal is nowhere near ready because it's been around for less than a day, hasn't been discussed, and clearly hasn't had much research put into it, otherwise the existing mechanisms that it entirely duplicates, to no gain, would have already been discovered. And it's not just for the "prepared" stage of story writing that you have reinvented the wheel, by the way. Please do more reading, particularly of Wikinews talk:Article flags and Special:Categories, to see what mechanisms already exist. Please stop inventing duplicates of existing mechanisms. We don't need two parallel forms of exactly the same thing. Uncle G 05:23, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
        • The proposal is ready to be reviewed by the community. I am submitting it before the community because I am ready for them to review it. if you are not ready to discuss it, then don't discuss it. I am not inventing duplicates, i am proposing changes to replace the existing system. i can't very well propose them with out showing people what i'm proposing, and i can't very well jsut go and replace them without making a whole lot of people angry. So, neccessarily, I have to make a working model on the side of the existing one - thus, for a while there will be two systems: the current one, and the experimental one. It's always wise to build a new car before dismantling the old one, no? Kevin Baastalk 05:36, 2005 May 31 (UTC)

I would appreciate if no one would vote on this proposal. There are a range of reasons for this:

  • The community has not discussed the proposal, so the community hasn't had any input on the proposal.
  • After a proposal is discussed, if and only if there are points of contention which cannot be resolved in another manner, a poll might be put up on Wikinews:Polls. However, Wikinews does not have a polling policy, so there is no reason to believe a disagreement would ever be resolved by a poll.
  • Polls tend to be divisive. That is, they don't actually work to overcome differences between community members, but instead to entrench them in their opposition to each other.

- / 03:26, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

What he said. Kevin Baastalk 03:33, 2005 May 31 (UTC)

  • I would just like to second the rather cogent comments Amgine made, and encourage Kevin to work on the proposal, and set it up for discussion, perhaps on a personal page, if that has not already been done. Lyellin 03:39, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
    • Is it not set up for discussion? I have a full working model! (minus the day article code) I don't understand what I'm being encouraged to do. Kevin Baastalk 03:46, 2005 May 31 (UTC)
      • may have said tha tout of order. Encourage discussion on the proposed page. See if there are comments. If they are critical, work to improve the model, and allow the community to digest it for awhile. Lyellin 03:50, 31 May 2005 (UTC)

Possible adjustments[edit]

I think that the tag should go at the bottom of an article, as not to distract from the article's content. NGerda 19:16, May 31, 2005 (UTC)

I made some adjustments myself: primarily, replace review w/disputed, and simplify. Kevin Baastalk 16:23, 2005 Jun 1 (UTC)

Daft[edit]

No offense to the people who've put a lot of work into this, but we dumped 'article stages' a long time ago because they do not work. This site was effectively still-born under the bureaucratic weight of this, and only came to life after it was dropped. The 'proposed workspace' is complex, confusing, and completely off-putting to new users. The current format is simple, easy to use, and clearly works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Dan100 (Talk) 11:01, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

<applauds> Thanks Dan, you've articulated my feelings exactly; the system did not work before; just by repackaging it, it will not work again. Things are going fine as they are - althought I would like to see SOS removed from the Article workspace because its just too messy for new users. → CGorman (Talk) 11:32, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

No you didn't. This is completely different. Take a look. You still have developing articles. You still have published articles. You still have prepared articles. Right? is that bureacratic weight? i'll tell you what's complex and confusing: moving a story from developing to published, or prepared to developing. And you know waht? that's putting off to others. So i'm proposeing that we take steps out of and simplify that process - as opposed to putting steps in and making it more complex. The system did not work before?! the system is the one you're using now! only with a few things taken out.

  • you don't have to edit any pages but the article itself to publish an article: put a published tag/category on it. You already have to do this, no extra hassle. this is the mminimum amount of work one could possibly have to do.
  • you don't have to edit any pages but the article itself to move an article from prepared to developing.

Lets count out the steps in the current process to publish a (prepared or developing) article:

  1. edit article
  2. add published category
  3. click save
  4. click on main page (sidebar)
  5. click on day page
  6. type in page name (posssibly copy and paste)
  7. click save
  8. click on workspace
  9. click on developing stories (scroll-to)
  10. find and delete story
  11. click save

Lets count out the steps in my proposal:

  1. edit article
  2. add published category
  3. click save

Lets count out the steps to turn a prepared story into a developing story:

  1. move article
  2. click on workspace (sidebar)
  3. scroll to story preparation
  4. click on story preparation
  5. click on prepared stories
  6. remove story
  7. click save
  8. click on workspace (sidebar)
  9. click on developing (scroll-to) (or story preparation->prepared stories = 1 more step)
  10. type in page name (posssibly copy and paste)
  11. click save

...and now you have to go back to the article to edit it

Lets count out the steps in my proposal:

  1. edit article
  2. add developing category
  3. click save

Does anyone have a problem with this? CGorman? Dan100? Kevin Baastalk 14:44, 2005 Jun 1 (UTC)

Can you clarify something? Does your system use DPLs? The problem (BIG problem) with DPLs is that they list by time of last edit. Therefore, the ordering of articles is constantly changing, which is very confusing to everyone. If they didn't act like this, I think would be a good idea. Dan100 (Talk) 20:14, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)
And I feel the need to publically apologise to Kevin. He has clearly put a lot of time and effort into this proposal; I should not have called this 'daft' and it deserved a more considered reply. Sorry Kevin! Dan100 (Talk) 20:15, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Thanks, Dan100. Yes it does use DPL's. I sent in a request to MediaZilla for some feature enhancements to dpl, including static page-ordering, sorted by a fixed timestamp (such as page creation). Kevin Baastalk 21:08, 2005 Jun 2 (UTC)

OK, when DPLs are fixed so they list by time the category was added, then this will work. But until then, we're stuck with the existing (inferior) method. Dan100 (Talk) 10:01, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

complicates process[edit]

I feel the changes would make the process somewhat more complicated and less inviting to new users. I also don't like the "developing" tag on the articles at all as no matter where it is placed it takes away from the story. Paulrevere2005 12:13, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That was my concern also, I just don't like the development boxes. → CGorman (Talk) 12:28, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The point is to make the process simpler by removing superfluous steps, which it does. I've proposed a feature on mediazilla where a user can create a page from a input box on the workspace page, and the page would start w/a template instead of blank, thus the template would already have the "develop" tag, date, and source templates. Then, all the user needs to do to publish it, is change the "develop" tag to a "publish" tag. it couldn't be any simpler than that! (i've also requested cache invalidation triggers, so the dpl's will update properly)
as regards the development boxes, people are welcome to work collaboratively to improve them, or make them not show up altogether, if that's the consensus. Others have told me in chat that they like the idea that it's there, "distracting" from the article - the point at that stage is not to read the article as a finished piece, but to work on the article - and the box says "hey! i'm not finished yet! edit me! (if for no other reason to remove this stupid box by changing the tag to "publish")" But in any case, this can proposal can be considered as/in independant "pieces", so to speak. Kevin Baastalk 16:45, 2005 Jun 3 (UTC)
Regarding the developing infobox, I feel that we can either make it much smaller and less noticeable (able to be achieved with calmer colors), or just making the box invisible altogether. NGerda 16:56, Jun 3, 2005 (UTC)
I am thinking that it just should say on the bottom: "This areticle is still under development and may not contain accurate or compleat information at this point. Please click here for more information about the diffrent stages of an article." or something like that.--Ryan524 17:02, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I changed some wording in the model: I think we should use the word "status" instead of "stage" - i think "status" is more appropriate, such as status:disputed, or status:published. Kevin Baastalk 17:07, 2005 Jun 3 (UTC)
In any case, to make what i said above more clear: the box has the psychological affect of making people click "edit", if for no other reason than they "just don't like the development boxes." The point is not to be liked, the point is to make people click "edit". Kevin Baastalk 17:09, 2005 Jun 3 (UTC)

Kevin, do you have links for the Mediazilla bugs? Just so I can have a shifty, like. Dan100 (Talk) 22:38, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

most of these probably aren't related:

Kevin Baastalk 02:41, 2005 Jun 4 (UTC)

Does jumbling matter?[edit]

Thinking more about a previous proposal, it would result in the constant changing of ordering of articles within each day, so we wouldn't get stories from way back floating to the top, which is the problem with more widespread DPL use (witness the region and topic subpages). Now, I am thinking that would be quite confusing to the "check-back user", ie a user who checks the site frequently. A user might say to himself, "ok, the story at the top of the Latest news list when I last looked was about Ryanair, so this story about the UN must be new, because it's listed above Ryanair", except that the UN story was in fact already published last time he was here, it's just gone to the top because it was last edited after the Ryanair story. (Does that make sense?!)

On the other hand, I do like the thinking behind this proposal. As I see it right now, the 'jumbling' is the main 'blocker'. What do other people think? Is this a problem, or not? Dan100 (Talk) 22:38, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't know what a DPL is, but I guess I'm one of the "check back users"(when I'm just reading the wikinews) Dan is referring to and I would find the scenario he outlines to be confusing. Paulrevere2005 03:06, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I am definitely a check-back user - I subscribe to the RSS feed. I look down to the last story I recognize, then drag all the interesting-sounding ones above that to tabs. It just makes more sense to me to have stories in order of publishing. -- Phyzome is Tim McCormack 13:44, 2005 Jun 14 (UTC)

Thanks for the input :-) Does anyone else out there have an opinion on this? Dan100 (Talk) 15:25, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't care about order within each day. My browser (like most) changes the color of the links I've already visited, no matter which order they're in. At this point I'd prefer ease of contributing over any of the concerns brought up thus far. --RossKoepke 16:31, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews:Babel[edit]

Hello! In serveral Wikimedia projects Babel templates are used. (e.g. in Wikipedias;Wikipedia:Babel). Now my question: Is there something comparable here? If not: Do you think it's senseful? I think so, because a better communication between the serveral Wikinews editions would be very good. At the moment, the templates are already used in the French Wikinews (see here). In the German Wikinews, there is a discussion about it going on (see here), and I think, there, those templates will be used, if enough other Wikinews editions do so, too.

Thanks for your replies!

Best regards, Mg22 20:23, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

(And please pardon me, if this is posted at the wrong place)

This something we are interested in, IIRC the problem was that they would have to all be copyed by hand from Wikipedia. I think some one had a bot they were planing to use to do this. --Cspurrier 20:25, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, copying them by hand would be hard work, but they would be very worthwhile. And one more thing: If someone speaks a language Wikinews editions are existing in, could he/she post something like this there? Those templates only become really useful, if all Wikinews have it!

Best regards, Mg22 20:36, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'll translate and post this message to the Dutch Wikinews. -- Redge (Talk) 12:04, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm up for starting the Babel template. I'll offer to start copying the text for each language and bringing it over, if people are wanting to have it. -Martinman11 02:04, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

That would be great, thanks --Cspurrier 02:17, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've started moving the text over. I will be busy from this posting to about 10:30 or 11:00 am EST but as soon as I am available I will be working on this again. P.S. I'm using the Wikipedia Babel as the source. -Martinman11 09:37, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The Afrikaans section is mostly finished. Still have the categories to work on. Work will move alot faster once I get to my main computer. Also, on the section titles there are links to the Wikipedia articles about the languages, and I cannot seem to get the links to work from Wikinews without having the "Wikipedia:...". If any one knows how to fix that it would be a great help. Thanks. -Martinman11 15:57, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Hello again! I have started to add some templates to the German Wikinews (see here). Best regards,Mg22 17:49, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

If "Truth is always the first victim of war" aren't the statements by either side always POV (pov of the side giving the statement/report) ?[edit]

Since Propagandizing by both sides is always a part of any war; I am proposing that we not report claims by either side in a war as fact unless those claims are independently corroborated.

In editing an article US claims it killed approximately 40 insurgents in Iraq it occurrs to me that the claims or statements by either the "insurgents"/Osama crowd, or the coalition forces are rarely independently corroborated and therefore blatent POV. e.g., in this particular article there seems to be no real evidence as to who was killed(do we accept the U.S. claim that they were all "insurgents" as a fact?) or how many were killed or even by whom they were killed(marines or airplane bombs).The Reuters report seems somewhat self contradictory in these 2 paragraphs;

"Seven precision-guided U.S. air strikes on the outskirts of the town of Karabilah killed the insurgents who were stopping vehicles at gunpoint and threatening Iraqi civilians, said a U.S. military statement.

The military said there were no U.S. casualties when Marines engaged large groups of insurgents armed with rocket-propelled grenades, machine guns and AK-47 assault rifles."

I can't figure out who did the killing..the precision guided bombs or the marines or both? I am even wondering if there are 2 separate incidents being reported here? Also, the Reuters photo shows a blown up car; maybe it was part of the roadblock? or just waiting at the roadblock? I can't tell from the sources.

Truth is always the first victim in war; so it is always POV to report an uncorroborated claim by 1 side as fact; imo. Paulrevere2005 15:06, 12 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I don't really see the problem here. We should *never* be reporting a claim by *anyone* as fact. Do you think that this has been occurring on Wikinews? And if so, please tell me where so I can fix it. - Borofkin 03:11, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Actually, in reviewing the stories, I couldn't locate one that was a problem in this regard once the editing was completed. Borofkin is right. Sorry. Paulrevere2005 11:57, 14 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Original Reporting Translation Network[edit]

I have started WORTNET to coordinate translations specifically of Wikinews stories containing original reporting (see also my announcement on wikinews-l). Please sign up if you speak more than one language!--Eloquence 04:00, 15 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Spread Wikinews![edit]

Eying the success of Spread Firefox, I figure we could do with something similar, so here's Spread Wikinews! Please add more ideas, etc! Dan100 (Talk) 11:23, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Conference attendance[edit]

Someone should get accredited and get a press pass for the Web 2.0 conference (http://www.web2con.com/pub/w/40/media.html). Should be a great opportunity for original reporting. -- IlyaHaykinson 22:43, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)


Wikinews:Featured articles[edit]

Eloquence wants us to list the "best of", particulary by the weekend in time for his presentation at an important conference with OhMyNews in Korea, so here's Wikinews:Featured articles. Use the digests to find our existing articles

I've listed some guidelines on the Talk page, which I hope people like, but I'll copy them here so we can talk about them:

  • Golden rule: Don't list stuff you wrote yourself. Be objective.
  • Only chose the best few from a month - these articles should be our "best of the best"
  • They must be formatted correctly (including sources)
  • Have pictures (they should make a good visual impression)
  • Be well-written - see the Wikinews:Style guide
  • Cover the news event comprehensively,
  • But don't ramble - let's highlight good, tight prose here
  • Try and chose articles that were worked on by several editors, to highlight the collaborative nature of Wikinews
  • Try and highlight original reporting - but only items which are in some way more interesting than average, or were missed by the mainstream media

There's only one goal I feel *must* be used - you can't list your own work :-). Oh and please don't edit articles to "bring them up to standard" - our articles are supposed to be a record of what happened at the time, and you'll also make them float to the top of DPLs, which is b a d. Anyway there's no point - this is supposed to be the best of what we published, not the best that we can make now :-) Dan100 (Talk) 11:17, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think it's fine for users to list their own articles. The users themselves probably remember their best work the most accurately. If someone objects to a given article being listed, they can remove it. NGerda 17:55, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
This is a joke! No way should you be able to list your own work. I actually think we should have a voting process akin to the wikipedia one for all candidate articles. → CGorman (Talk) 09:42, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
OK, I'll spin the self-nom bit out to a FAC page (I thought we might need to), if no-ones done it already. Elo just needed something quickly for his presentation (bet he didn't use it though ;-) ). Dan100 (Talk) 09:16, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please have a look at Wikinews:Featured article candidates :-) Dan100 (Talk) 22:24, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Requested articles[edit]

Me and Dan100 have been having a disussion about 'stub' articles which I see has also been going on in the deleted requests too. Though I see his point about abandoned articles being too prominent, I would like to see a more formal 'requested stories' area in which people who want to see stories can post links and a summary, something inbetween the Submissions area, which is very rough and quite difficult to pick stories out of, and the proper developing stories.

I sort of wondered if it could be in a separate section, called Headlines or Breaking News which could simply be headlines and links within the story (like the stubs now). When you click on the story you would at least be able to follow it up and we could be more explicit about saying 'If you want this story on Wikinews, you have to write it'. Stories on this section would just last for 24 hours, if no-one develops them (and moves them to Developing stories), they die. If they did not at least supply a summary sentence of the story, they could also be kicked off, to maintain a standard.

My thinking behind this is that we should have coverage of all stories that people believe are news enough to want to put them on Wikinews, but that many regulars (like me) often don't have the time to fully develop a story before putting it up and so are torn between putting it in Submit a story, where it gets buried amongst the press release, or putting it in Developing stories and then regretting it (like me) when they realise that they are being called away from the wiki and simply won't have time to develop it anymore. A Latest Story section should be complex enough to avoid abuse by press release-posters (to any more than the current level) but would give important stories a place on the front page while they are still relevant. Thoughts? ClareWhite 14:52, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

We did have something very similar - if not the same - under 'Requested stories' on the Workspace, but someone replaced it with a link to Submit a story. In fact (about six months ago) it used to be on the Main Page, until I took it off. The reason why I pulled it was because no-one was writing them - it was just a list of red links (people made the title) and the source links. It was extremely rare for someone to actually write a story from it, and it looked pretty poor.
However we could try it again, especially with the scrap-them-after-24hrs bit. That would prevent us getting lots of horrid little un-written articles lying around, which is what is happening now. We could ask people to use five tildes ~~~~~ to date submissions - that only puts a timestamp. We also have more editors around so perhaps people might start writing some of them. But it's another 'chore' - clearing out the ones which haven't been written each day... Dan100 (Talk) 15:22, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, Clare, I'll get on it right away ;) NGerda 17:36, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)
again, another point where let's be slow, and see what other users think, eh? Since we've tried something like this before, let's hear what people have learned from that experience? Lyellin 19:16, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I've set up an Article request template. It looks something like this:

This article is a requested article.
If this article is not developed within 24 hours, it will be subject to immediate deletion.


Community input is, of course, greatly encouraged as well as appreciated. NGerda 19:53, Jun 23, 2005 (UTC)

I like it. Taking into account other comments, I think the formatted articles are the most successful ie a sentence and a link or two. Red links are frustrating and give other editors nothing to go on but I do think it's a good step between submit and developing and that there should be a return to 'request' actually meaning request. I wasn't around for the reasoning behind the change but as someone trying to get to grips with WN I found it a bit obstructive.
Also, I think it widens our range, plenty of news sites have short headline services, particularly for breaking news and we should also have a better way of alerting others to new stories.
To the 'this is a developing story bit' is it worth adding something like: 'If you think this is an important news story, you can develop it yourself.' And then can people change a tag to Developing once it moves on from being a stub?
As for whether the stories should go on the front page, perhaps we could see how it does on the Workspace for a while first? ClareWhite 09:06, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Recorded Wikinews[edit]

There has been some great work done creating sound versions of Wikinews in various programs. The "proof-of-concept" has worked well enough that at least one webcaster has talked over creating a solid format for recorded news content, and would like to have two "top-of-the-hour" type daily news briefs, and a daily news show of up to an hour.

Which is great! except there aren't any solid guidelines for the programming which has caused some discussions about the project.

Here is my suggestions for how recorded wikinews should be guided:

News briefs, articles, and shows should be scripted[edit]

Each date category includes a link to create a daily news brief, a useful place to build a collection of short news briefs which also serve to give people an over-view of the day's news items. The news briefs are editable by everyone.

Articles would be drawn from Wikinews articles, which are of course edited by everyone. The specific script for a given article may need to be modified from the actual article to make it more readable, but the basic layout and content will not be changed. If a script is used instead of straight reading of the article, a [[Article name/Script]] article will be created to show what was actually used in the recording.

Shows will be put together by a variety of people, and will effectively be an announcer giving introductions to stories which are previously recorded, or just linking the stories together directly. A script of which stories are included, and in which order, will be developed for each show, and should include the announcer's voice-over. Due to the nature of news recording the development time for this script may be very compressed, but it will be on Wikinews and may be editable by many people during its creation time frame.

Interviews and field reporting[edit]

The nature of Interviews and field reporting do not lend themselves to wiki development. Until the other recording projects are established, I would discourage the development of interview or field reporting - based news recordings because they are contentious and not collaborative in nature.

Distribution[edit]

The webcaster I've spoken with would like a single, static url for each Audio Wikinews product. This could probably be accomodated on Commons, with new versions uploaded to a single static name. Updates would need to also be uploaded under a unique file name for archiving; it's possible we may be able to use creative redirects to eliminate double uploads. Since the webcaster and others have suggested a specification (described below), my suggested naming convention would be:

  • Audio Wikinews Brief A
  • Audio Wikinews Brief B
  • Audio Wikinews Show Part A
  • Audio Wikinews Show Part B

Specification[edit]

News briefs[edit]

The requested news products are a top of the hour type news brief, detailing the top stories on Wikinews. This should be updated at least daily. There should be 2 five minute segments which do not have overlapping content.

The reasoning for this format is to allow content users to have alternating news briefs, or string them together for slightly longer news briefs.

News show[edit]

The initial request was for an hour's worth of content. Due to the variability of Wikinews story count, I suggest a 29 minute show, probably with one or two "breaks" for maximum flexibility for content reusers. If there is enough content available, two 29 minute shows should be prepared, allowing reusers to run them sequentially to get 58 minutes worth of content.

- / 27 June 2005 01:15 (UTC)