Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/7

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Discuss the Audio Wikinews suggestions[edit]

I have been doing the Audio Wikinews Full Reports for some time now, and I can tell you that 29 minutes of content is a lot of content. A sing 10 minute show takes upwards of three hours to assemble. As regards to field reporting, I'll try it out and give it a good honest effort, linking to my progress on some page or another, before we completely scrap the idea. NGerda June 27, 2005 01:17 (UTC)

And the current names are News Briefs and Full Reports. The debate here is over field reporting. NGerda June 27, 2005 01:23 (UTC)

I agree. A propo interviews: I think this gives us another option for original reporting - if a reporter interviews a person live (i.e. not via email or similar text means), they can preserve the recording of a quote that was used in an article, and then reuse it in the audio wikinews (so, instead of a person reading quotes, actually paste given quotes from audio source). --Dcabrilo 27 June 2005 01:19 (UTC)

29 minutes is a good goal -- but I'm not certain attainable at this point. Perhaps, in the beginning, News shows or Full reports should be phrased as no longer than 29 minutes. Of course, as article contribution increases, it will become easier to reach the 29 minute mark. Recordings of the article segments (my word, and I like it) could begin as soon as the article is published and edited into a show whenever enough recordings are available to construct a show. A goal, initially, might be to produce a "Full Report" or news show at 0000 and 1200 UTC -- all else failing, at around 0000... similar to the way the print edition comes out at a predictable time. --Chiacomo (talk) 28 June 2005 05:36 (UTC)

I like Amgine's proposals, they look straightfoward and robust. I assume the invidual articles and briefs are recorded seperately, then stitched together to make something you could stream or podcast? You could do a nice Blogger/Feedburner lash-up to deliver podcasts. Dan100 (Talk) 29 June 2005 13:08 (UTC)

Consider the source[edit]

Ok..on this 33(92) degree day I had a lot of beer and kiwi liquor so this idea may be waaaaaay "over the top". So if noone responds I'll just delete this verbage manana. It occurred to me that some news sources are better than others. Does it make any sense to strike a committee to assign a rating to at least the major sources (VOA,NYTIMES,REUTERS,AP etc)..like a 1-10 rating. based on fact check and npov or whatever ? Paulrevere2005 28 June 2005 22:56 (UTC)

Kiwi liquor, mm. Difficult to assign a straight rating, because people's views on trustworthiness and bias vary so much, although you could try and have a form of system for people to indicate their favourites. For example I was thinking of putting sources that I trust on my user page, but you might be able to do it more cleverly than that. My concern about rating sources is that we wouldn't want it to look like we follow particular agendas over others - one of the advantages of WN is the fact that it relies on a fabric of sources and doesn't follow the pack, that's why I think it's useful for users to say which sources they like without necessarily suggesting that 'their' sources are better, they're all different and useful. That said there are standards we could give info on. I would be interested in being involved in a source committee to help give the source directory a higher profile, widen the range and look at giving more information on policies & fact-checking for different sources? ClareWhite 29 June 2005 10:19 (UTC)

Wot Clare said. I prefer to leave judgement calls on which source has the right figures etc up to the author - chances are they're writing on a subject that's interesting to them and they know a bit about, and may well be the best-placed person to make a decision. I also kinda think it's a solution looking for a problem. Dan100 (Talk) 29 June 2005 12:49 (UTC)

Wikinews World Report[edit]

I propose a new addition to the already excellent Audio Wikinews called Wikinews World Report. The main difference between regular Audio Wikinews segments and Wikinews World Report segments is that Wikinews World Report will feature pre-recorded NPOV field reports from Wikinews reporters. This can be achieved via either taped phone conversation, Skype conference, or by uploading a recorded file to Commons. Wikinews World Report would be similar to Audio Wikinews in that before the show is recorded, users are able to freely contribute to its content by choosing topics to be covered, questions to be asked of reporters (provided that the questions would not warrant a POV response), and, especially in this case, be able to give a field report. I am willing to foot the bulk of the work of setting it up and recording demo shows right now, and I would greatly appreciate any community involvement, suggestions, comments or concerns. Here is the first Wikinews World Report demo show. -- NGerda June 29, 2005 11:48 (UTC)

I dunno if it's called the same thing in the US but in British radio these are called "two-ways", and can go horribly wrong. After that incident, and the massive aftermath, the BBC banned unscripted two-ways. I don't feel that's something we want to be getting involved in...
I also really don't think this is a suitable project for Wikinews (and yes I did listen to the demo). I honestly believe that just recording stable articles and news briefs as they've been written, then doing things with them - podcasts, streaming, whatever - is fine (all though it kinda takes people away from writing stories in the first place).
But these things just seem like (any) one person doing their own thing. If it's to be on Wikinews, it's got to be the verbatim product of a wiki page written by anyone who wants to be involved.Dan100 (Talk) 29 June 2005 12:45 (UTC)

As I hope you know, I support the idea of Audio Wikinews and WNN... However, as Dan said If it's to be on Wikinews, it's got to be the verbatim product of a wiki page written by anyone who wants to be involved. --Chiacomo (talk) 29 June 2005 14:08 (UTC)

The broadcast medium is a bit different from the text medium — what works when typed simply is not interesting or usable by radio announcers. The story needs to be transformed into a short (2-5 sentence) summary, which should still be present on Wikinews and editable. We could use something like the article briefs to keep track of this shortened content, but if we simply read what's on the wiki page, it'll be quite useless as audio journalism. -- IlyaHaykinson 29 June 2005 14:21 (UTC)
I fully support the /Brief page idea... That allows anyone in the community to edit the Briefs just as they would an article. --Chiacomo (talk) 29 June 2005 14:24 (UTC)
The wiki elements of this, as I have said, are topic choice, questions to be asked, and involvement by giving a field report. NGerda June 29, 2005 19:10 (UTC)
I'm against it too. It is simply a thing that one person or two people are doing, and not really wiki. As far as IlyaHaykinson's concerns go: there is a lot we can do with audio news (e.g. include original quotes) while still in essence just reading. I don't think it's useless. But yes, I agree that whatever we end up reading should still be developed by the community in a wiki manner. --Dcabrilo 29 June 2005 23:32 (UTC)
For the third time, the wiki elements of this are topic choice, questions to be asked, and involvement by giving a field report. And it isn't fair to dismiss an idea just because one or two people are working on it. Audio Wikinews started out with only two people working on it, and over time that grew to a community of people. That same principal should be a applied to this. NGerda June 30, 2005 20:07 (UTC)

I think something like this makes sense whenever we have an original reporter who is personally associated with certain information in a story. In those cases, the key aspects of the original reporting should already be documented on the wiki, and the two-way interview would simply be a way to follow up on it. For example, I could do a report/interview session on the Seoul forum, because I was there. Reporting like this is typically tied to an individual, so it makes sense to talk to that individual. Of course, if multiple people were involved in the reporting process, you could have an audio conference with all of them.

Please let's not use "It's not wiki" as a killer argument against potentially interesting ideas. I believe wiki should not so much be understood as a specific technology -- text-editing on the web -- but as a philosophy of maximizing openness and participation in any media form. So, if we can maximize openness and participation in something like Wikinews Network and Wikinews World Report, I see no reason why it shouldn't be part of Wikinews.--Eloquence 2 July 2005 16:36 (UTC)

Except for a major problem - this particular project is a solo project, and does not represent the general community of Wikinews. The concept is good, but I don't think the Wikinews name should be applied unless it is actually worked on by the community. In other words, Wikinews World Report appears for all intents and purposes to be a personality show, in practice rather like Larry King or some other talk radio host.
The concept of field reports is not, by itself, bad. But there aren't enough of them to do a show now, and they could valuably be included in Audio Wikinews full reports until there is enough content by multiple contributors to justify a specific "show". And there should be some way to vet the quality of the show before it is presented as representing Wikinews: at the very least an NPOV check to prevent it becoming a platform for anyone. - Amgine/talk 3 July 2005 01:25 (UTC)
Where on earth did you get the idea that this is a "solo project"? As I say in the proposal, this is open and wiki just as Audio Wikinews is. In fact this is part of Audio Wikinews; it's a subproject like News briefs and Full Reports. And, of course there will be a NPOV check! -- NGerda July 3, 2005 08:27 (UTC)

It's a solo project in the sense that you're the only person supporting it... Dan100 (Talk) 3 July 2005 10:50 (UTC)

Wikinews itself only started out with one person supporting it... and as the community grew, it became what it is today. The same is true with Audio Wikinews. -- NGerda July 3, 2005 23:54 (UTC)

Yup, people (a lot of) supported Wikinews... no-one, except you, supports this. Why flog a dead horse? Dan100 (Talk) 4 July 2005 09:02 (UTC)

Apparently IlyaHaykinson and Eloquence do support this endeavor. -- NGerda July 4, 2005 09:04 (UTC)

Ilya supports reading news briefs, not this. Elo says it could be considered occasionally as part of ORing after it's fully documented on the wiki. Chia, Dcarbilo and I are totally against it. Dan100 (Talk) 4 July 2005 11:54 (UTC)

Let me quote them for you:

If we can maximize openness and participation in something like Wikinews Network and Wikinews World Report, I see no reason why it shouldn't be part of Wikinews. --Eloquence

If we simply read what's on the wiki page, it'll be quite useless as audio journalism. -- IlyaHaykinson.

Clearer now? -- NGerda July 4, 2005 11:59 (UTC)

I want to support NGerda's intentions since the first thing I did when I saw Wikinews Audio was to write NGerda a message telling him _not_ to just read the news verbatim. In radio journalism class, the first thing they teach you about scripting is that writing for speech is not the same as writing for print. Reading print journalism that reads easily might often sound awful. But at the time, I didn't even consider the POV issues but once I noticed it I was immediately aware that it was the most significant challenge of an audio wiki project.

If I upload my feature radio work as a finished product it's not a legitmate wiki contribution and it should be deleted. But if I write up that same feature for Wikinews, it's completely legitimate, because it can be altered by those who need to improve it. So the solution, as I see it, is to turn this process around so that there is some sort of collaboration on _specific_ types of feature news stories that wouldn't suffer from a few extra days of production development. There would need to be a special designation with well-defined pre-conditions for audio feature stories, and therefore a specific namespace. The wiki exchange wouldn't result in a published news article, but in a record of what went into the production and POV decisions. This work could take place at any time in the audio recording process as basically a wiki-version of the production oversight and vetting process that happens in any news department. The reporter would be required in the end to upload all the relevant source material so that other editors can re-edit as they see fit. The Wikinews Audio reports that hit air, however, would have to be endorsed and validated by the procedural history in the special Wikinews namespace designated for audio reports.

My question is, does this resolve the POV issues satisfactorily? What else am I missing? Ultimately, I think any way that we can make Wikinews Audio meet halfway with Wikinews is worthwhile, because radio reporting is as legitmate as and sometimes superior to print. It deserves some consideration as long as there are people who want to work with audio. linkspro Jul 7, 2005, 23:52 UTC

I am far more than willing to abide by the guidelines described above. My original idea was that before the show is recorded, users are able to freely contribute to its content by choosing topics to be covered, questions to be asked of reporters (provided that the questions would not warrant a POV response), and be able to give a field report. The uploaded file, by nature would be freely editable by anyone with free audio editing software. I'm glad that we are now approaching this proposal in a civil, intellectual manner. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 02:30 (UTC)
We already prepare (or at least, that's the underlying idea) transcripts that are read on the site, where everybody has input, just like with a regular article. Those transcripts, in case of News Briefs are shorthened versions of regular articles, adjusted for reading. Full Report, which is reading articles in their entirety, are only adjusted for reading. So, they are prescripted and only read. Is this what you had in mind? --Dcabrilo 8 July 2005 02:27 (UTC)
Clarifications: Any uploaded files can of course be edited by anyone, but the important difference that an audio project has is that the material has to be recorded. Very rarely is it kosher for the reporter to read aloud a quotation that couldn't be recorded at the source. The point of radio journalism is to record the source while they are giving the quotation, and to edit that quotation into a reporter's narrative track that gives it proper context. So when the reporter decides to go to a certain source, that's a POV judgement. Some sort of online interaction about chosing among possible sources is desirable. When the reporter decides what portion of the interview to use (or perhaps to not use any portion), that's also a POV judgement, and one that has a highly visible effect on the product. Audio reports would go a long way toward NPOV if the _entire_ source recording of the interview is made available instead of just the edited product.
In response to Dcabrilo, I would point you to National Public Radio for a sample of the type of audio news reporting that I'm suggesting. linkspro Jul 8, 2005, 06:03 UTC
That sounds great, so how about I add this clarification to the proposal: All source material must be uploaded to Commons in its entirety, and biweekly, anyone who wants to edit the material can, and the entire community will vote for the best-edited version. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 17:52 (UTC)

Standardized Scripting for Briefs and Full Reports[edit]

I've typed a novel attempting to begin a discussion concerning standardization of Audio Wikinews products... Please see: Wikinews talk:Audio Wikinews#Standardized Scripting for Briefs and Full Reports --Chiacomo (talk) 2 July 2005 05:20 (UTC)

Retire {{source}}?[edit]

I'm noticing that more and more people are feeling that {{source}} is overkill, and all we need to do is just link to the source material using our standard [] html links. Having filled in {{source}} some 200 times now, I can vouch that it's a major PITA to fill in, and we've all seen newbies stumble over using this. {{source}} is very professional looking and very open, but I just think it's holding us back a bit. We must, of course, still reference everything we write, to maintain our reputation for truth and accuracy, but I just don't think we need to use {{source}} to do that. Thoughts? Dan100 (Talk) 3 July 2005 10:46 (UTC)

  • I tend to agree. The benefit of standardization does not justify this level of added complexity.--Eloquence 3 July 2005 11:28 (UTC)
  • I disagree. Although {{source}} is problematic (e.g. the automatic Wikipedia link for the "pub" parameter) being a "major pain" is not really one of its problems, and the hardship of actually having to look up the date and author of the article being referred to is outweighed by the uniformity of style that it gives (especially since such information should be looked up and given when properly citing a source anyway, irrespective of the use of the template). Uncle G 3 July 2005 11:57 (UTC)
    • Would you be OK with some people manually formatting their sources? You could always change the formatting, but those who do not like the template could opt not to use it.--Eloquence 3 July 2005 12:00 (UTC)
  • As a contributor I think retiring it is a good idea; but, more importantly, I think it still serves a crucial purpose in helping newbie readers to more easily follow and understand Wikinews's story protocol/structure. It's paramount that new readers see immediately that our stories have credible fact sourcing. Therefore, I am strongly in favor of retaining "Source". This is a site for readers primarily and contributors secondarily; imo. Paulrevere2005 3 July 2005 12:11 (UTC)
  • Keep: I hope nobody is thinking of abandoning the citation of sources completely! If we are to continue to cite sources, the {{source}} templete produces an excellent result. -Edbrown05 3 July 2005 14:27 (UTC)
  • I think {{source}} is to hard to use, but just linking to the sources looks bad. If we can find a nice easy way that still looks good, I would support the change. --Cspurrier 3 July 2005 20:21 (UTC)
  • I think we should keep it (or alternatively work out a better template). Date, author, publication, etc. are very important to see right away. --Dcabrilo 3 July 2005 20:24 (UTC)

That looks pretty conclusive to me. Question then is - what do we do with stories were the author hasn't used the template? To be honest, I can't be bothered to fix up someone else's story. So should we just allow people to publish articles with only simple links, or put the sources tag on them? Dan100 (Talk) 3 July 2005 20:57 (UTC)

Well, one thing there dan, is that it's our story, as a community. Not your's or their's. Hopefully we can clean up as much as possible. Perhaps we can find an easier way to implement the sources when editing? I know for me, I am always copy/pasting them in, which takes time, and knowing where to look, etc. So if we can find a way to solve that issue? Lyellin 4 July 2005 10:05 (UTC)

But what's your answer to my question? Dan100 (Talk) 4 July 2005 11:56 (UTC)

Clean it up when you see a simple a link, until we come up with something else. Though personally, I am fine with the current template (it really doesn't take that much to include all relevant information), though it would probably be good to remove link to wikipedia from publication entry (as it usually ends up being a "red link"). --Dcabrilo 4 July 2005 22:20 (UTC)
I agree. Don't retire it. Clean it up when you see it. Let's work on a solution in the meantime. Lyellin 4 July 2005 22:45 (UTC)
You're missing my point - people just don't put effort into cleaning up articles on subjects they aren't interested in. In a perfect world they would, but they don't. So what do we do - allow articles to be published without the source tag - effectively making it optional - or use the sources tag on articles which don't use the template? Dan100 (Talk) 5 July 2005 11:37 (UTC)
I think I know what you are asking, so I think the right way would be to allow people not to use

Shortcut:
WN:GN

When news breaks, an article should be made available as quickly as possible. In order to help facilitate this, this page lists news sources, as well as people, available to report on the situation. If you are a Wikinewsie, please list yourself in relevant section(s).

This network of pages is organized by continent, as well as a miscellaneous page:

Or, you can view it all in one page.

See also[edit]

  • Wikinews:User directory (of course, there still needs to be a link to a source of some kind, unless it's original report), but strongly encourage use of the template. --Dcabrilo 7 July 2005 18:57 (UTC)
  • Keep. The difference between plagarism and citing - is the cited source. Remember, we are writing for the reader - not the writer. Source material citation gives our readers the added tool of being able to check our source material and the incentive to pitch in and correct errors. The current system is very reader friendly and provides acknowledgement to the appropriate publication and writers. -- Davodd | Talk 4 July 2005 22:54 (UTC)
  • Keep - if you see a story where the author hasn't used the template, fix the sources to match the {{source}} template guidelines. I like how it neatly includes everything you need to cite an article. I really see no simpler way of citing sources such that it's clear that if a field is missing, the source has possibly not been fully referenced. - McCart42 (talk) July 5, 2005 00:09 (UTC)

Wikinews Future Talk[edit]

Hi,

I'd like to invite all members of Wikinews to join an open IRC discussion of the future of this project. This is currently being scheduled at m:Wikinews/Future Talk. The reason I am suggesting IRC for this venue is that it will hopefully take some of the personality out of past disagreements and that we will instead share our views openly. It should also allow a quicker exchange of arguments, giving us more awareness of what the different positions are. We have a web interface for the IRC chat, but of course a full log of the conversations will be publicly posted as well. This meeting should not be about making decisions, but about finding consensus and then continuing discussions on the site.--Eloquence 6 July 2005 05:16 (UTC)

While I respect Eloquence's desire to be as open as possible, I must say I personally have little appetite for more discussion. While there's concerns about how the new systems were implemented, and there could still be some tweaking to do with them, do really need another debate over them, or anything else for that matter right now? The system is working rather well - witness Clare, one of our newest editors, who today wrote a complete story and published it using the new system, with no trouble at all.
I ask everyone: let's put this all behind us, and follow Clare's example - let's just get on with writing stories. Dan100 (Talk) 6 July 2005 10:54 (UTC)
Ahem, yes I did :) I can't get to the IRC discussions but I hope you can come to some consensus. I don't think any of the issue are irresolvable here with further discussion and hope everyone stays at the table. Personally (for what it's worth) I think the changes really do improve the process for newcomers, the DPL debate I haven't followed but clearly there is some work to be done on building consensus in discussion. It would be a particular shame if this dispute did turn into two english wikinewses as I think there is an appetite for local stories here and we should be supporting them
Oh yes and though I think the Somalia story is extremely important (and not so far being covered in many other places), the child picture is much too disturbing for the front page (I've lost track of where else I should be saying that!) ClareWhite 6 July 2005 11:21 (UTC)
Although I appluad Clare for tackling the Somalia story, it's one that needs to be touched, I disagree Dan. We do need to discuss this- there were some MAJOR issues here, and just because a user or two can use something, does not mean something is right. Discussion is good, cause well, they are a LOT of users frustrated right now. Lyellin 6 July 2005 14:08 (UTC)

Lyellin, quite simply some of us want to stop arguing and start writing. If you feel there's problems with the new system - say so, somewhere on the wiki where we can all read it. But I'm getting tired of people who don't write articles telling us, those who do, how to do it.

I do not see lots of 'frustrated users'. I see lots of users using the new system very happily. Certainly no-one who creates content on the site is complaining. Dan100 (Talk) 6 July 2005 15:02 (UTC)

Amgine complained very loudly, then left the project, which is regrettable. I disagree with the belief that no one who creates anything was complaining. There was a great deal of argument over DPLs. I don't have too much of a problem with it; however, I feel that the way it was handled was a major problem. There was no formal polling of the users before it went into effect - those who didn't like it were basically told to "deal with it", or ignored completely. - McCart42 (talk) 22:21, July 9, 2005 (UTC)
See Meta:Wikinews/Start_a_new_edition#Open_English for others who support Amgine. I don't necessarily agree with Amgine, but to deny the existence of dissent is wrong. - McCart42 (talk) 22:28, July 9, 2005 (UTC)

Rapidly changing articles[edit]

Rapidly changing articles may benefit from having multiple subpages included via templates. The Explosions, 'serious incidents' occuring across London was a nightmare to edit due to so many simultaneous edits being attempted - breaking these high profile events into multiple templates would allow a single article to be editing at the same time. Josh Parris 7 July 2005 12:09 (UTC)

  • We have a section editing system that already allows multiple editors to edit different sections of an article simultanously. Please use it. Uncle G 7 July 2005 13:16 (UTC)
    • I'm aware of that, when I went to use it I found myself in another section. The article was receiving several changes a minute. A number of times I went to edit, I wouldn't even get an edit box. I gave up in the end. Wikimedia doesn't seem to scale. Josh Parris 8 July 2005 00:02 (UTC)
  • "Rapidly changing articles" should not be that way, because a news article is a news article at the time of writing, and a piece of history at any moment after that. Storys that are published should only be changed for continuity or gramatical/spelling mistakes. In the Explosions, 'serious incidents' occuring across London, people were editing the story to include new information as it occured. To solve this, I would propose for major events such as this a "story base", where all articles related are housed under a single page.
    • There's no reason to "solve" anything. Collaborative editing is a good thing. We've made many good articles that way. There is no reason that articles should be required to spring forth, fully grown, at their very first edit. And there is no reason that stories about situations where information rapidly comes to light from a multiplicity of sources should not change rapidly as the information is collated. The only difference between here and traditional news writing is that our open process allows everyone to see the development. Furthermore, it's worth noting that at least two news sources that we cited, the BBC and FOX, changed their on-line articles as more information became available. Note the change to the headline of the cited BBC article, for example. Uncle G 7 July 2005 18:10 (UTC)
    • I agree with Ungle G here. Also, regarding the idea of "story base" we have already begun, and used during this crisis, an infobox to inlcude the X amount of stories that have developed. In fact, we've done a pretty good job of ensuring new articles for new topics. Lyellin 7 July 2005 18:12 (UTC)

I've just started writing a lot on this but don't want to burden the Watercooler with it so I'm putting it on my User page. Summary: it was done well and the editing was effective. My main proposal: It could be worth putting into place some plans for major events like this which would better coordinate our reporting, for example we could have a list of the major news wires and people could indicate that they are monitoring them, to save on duplicated effort. This might also look at the best ways to coordinate different edits and how we handle information coming in from 'original' sources near the scene and rumours etc coming in on the talk page. ClareWhite 09:07, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

It seems the best place to coordinate that would be Wikinews IRC, simply because of the nature of breaking news events. I've talked to Eloquence about a realtime collaborative Wiki editing program, and right now, RossKoepke and I are using SubEthaEdit, but it's for Mac OS X only. another way to avoid edit conflicts would be to break up the story into sections, and to edit each section individually. That it how they get around it at Wikipedia. This is probably also a good time for me to pitch Wikinews' U.S. hotline number: (206) 339-WIKI (9454). If a breaking news event occurs, you can bet your buttons that we'll be checking that number's voicemail for any developments. Cheers! -- NGerda 09:15, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
People may want to consider wrting in a user sandbox (mine for example: User:Davodd/sandbox, User:Davodd/sandbox2, User:Davodd/sandbox3) then cut-and-paste the finished text to the news article when done. -- Davodd | Talk 09:23, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
See Wikinews:Breaking news. -- NGerda 01:08, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Editorials[edit]

I propose, not that we fully endorse editorials, but simply that we continue to allow for Wikinewsies to publish Editorials in their own namespaces (e.g. User:NGerda/Why is Bush doing this and that) and just encourage them to add Category:Editorial to the end of their article. We could then set up a page like Editorials where a DynamicPageList would be used to generate a list of the most recent Wikinews Editorials. The articles themselves, of course, will remain out of the regular article namespace and will not be listed on the Main Page. -- NGerda July 7, 2005 22:50 (UTC)

This is not a bad idea, NGerda. Currently, we can, as editors, write editorial type content in our user space. A new tag {{editorial}} or some such could both tag an article for DPL purposes and append a disclaimer of sorts to the bottom of the article (stating that it is an editorial and is not "official" or whatever). As I said, current policy permits editorial type content in user space (I think), the only additional steps would be to create a template and link to a page containing a DPL list of editorial from the main page or whatever. The Editorials page could still be categorized as articles currently are, even. --Chiacomo (talk) 7 July 2005 22:59 (UTC)
  • Although I oppose the proposal - editorials are effectvely banned as a violation of the Wikimedia NPOV policy which is not open to debate. 7 July 2005 23:24 (UTC)
Wikimedia is blinded by Wikipedia, where it is vital to an encyclopedia to remain neutral if it is to be reliable. I don't think that philosophy applies to a news organization. -Edbrown05 7 July 2005 23:42 (UTC)
I know I sound low-brow, so what if am. My agenda is to gain greater participation in what's news.
My first reaction is to be strongly in favor of editorial content, and then I think of the fiasco with Wikitorial at the LA Times. What may make Wikinews unique to the LA Times experiment is that it's grown and growing up with experience in coping with sudden content coming from out of all corners of the world. I don't know if this news organization could handle the sudden influx of opinion, and I do think the influx would be sudden.
Secondly, as a thought to control editorial contributions, NGerda's original thought seems to suggest editorial contibutions might be restricted solely one author's opinion. Or should an Op-Ed story be open to all editorial contributions. Closing an open-edit policy for editorial content seems to defy the wiki process, and yet it could serve to control edit warring. -Edbrown05 7 July 2005 23:51 (UTC)
We are, by current policy, allowed to construct our own "columns" which may include editorial type content in our own user space, right? I think I'm right -- so long as it doesn't contain libelous content. --Chiacomo (talk) 8 July 2005 00:06 (UTC)
Of course we are, the user space pretty much belongs to the user, and he or she has freedom from NPOV in their userspace (User:UserName/Whatever). NGerda July 8, 2005 01:12 (UTC)

I fully support this proposal. What goes on in the User space should be very clearly that one user's, and there is implicit authorship (which I think is a near-requirement for editorials). As long as it's legal (i.e. no libel, no child pr0n in ASCII), it should be tried. -- IlyaHaykinson 8 July 2005 01:58 (UTC)

The question is whether the community is prepared to stand behind those editorials. If they are in user space, and not linked anywhere from mainspace, then I guess it's clear it's only one person's POV, but if they are linked, then we do appear to endorse these editorials, and we would need a huge disclaimer. This also raises a question of how collaborative the process of creating editorials is? (I could argue that it is in sense that everybody can write on the same topic, but I am not sure if people see it that way) Also, why just not use one of many free blog sites available? I would like to see editorials in some form, probably not so much of an editorial as an analysis article. Lot of details would need to be worked out before we could start something like this. --Dcabrilo 8 July 2005 02:33 (UTC)

There is a way to do something like this - we could do surveys of prominent editorials on certain issues - taking care not to show bias by our choice of who we include in the survey. -- Davodd | Talk 8 July 2005 03:02 (UTC)
Users already express their opinions on their user pages. All that this is, is a page that links to all of them with a big disclaimer like: The views expressed in these articles are solely of the authors and do not reflect the positions of Wikinews, Wikipedia, or its parent or affiliate organizations; and are not articles by Wikinews. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 02:36 (UTC)
I think we should go the way of the huge disclaimer, really. What I would love to see done by users is not necessarily editorials about politics, but columns about slightly less controversial topics (science, technology, art, etc). Those still necessarily tend to be written from an opinionated, unbalanced point of view. I would err on the side of allowing it and seeing where it goes, rather than restrict these kinds of pages outright, upfront. -- IlyaHaykinson 8 July 2005 02:39 (UTC)
Yes, users certainly de facto can write editorials on their user pages right now, though an issue may be raised if it is ok for wikinews to provide free space for people to spill their mind. I really don't know if it's ok or not, I suspect it is, while somebody doesn't raise the issue :) However, if we linked to them, we would in a sense endorse it. It goes without saying that editorial is opinion of one person, but we still do stand behind them in a sense (by providing space and publicity). I suggest (as you can already guess:) to write a proper proposal and put it on vote. So, allow people to write editorials/analysis, and have a page that links to those. --Dejan Čabrilo 8 July 2005 02:43 (UTC)
In all respect, I am not so much proposing editorials, that is already done, but I am proposing a sort of Category system that would properly identifiy such writings and make it easy to find them, since they are categorized. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 02:46 (UTC)
  • I have no problem with personal opining on user pages as long as there is a Chinese wall between that content and published Wikinews product. I oppose using our news articles to advertise Wikinewsie POV views with via DPL techology or manually typed links to user subpages from the main namespace of Wikinews. I suggest that people who truly feel the need to publish opinions to share with the world should get a blog - there are a many free (some wiki-powered) blog sites out there. But this is not one of them. Advertising WN-created opinions in our otherwise unbased articles would be counter to our Mission statement, the original concept approved by the Wikimedia foundation, and Why Wikinews should be unbiased. This type of content is What Wikinews is not. -- Davodd | Talk 8 July 2005 02:53 (UTC)
What I propose does not interfere with Wikinews articles in any way, it in fact clearly separates them out from editorials. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 03:00 (UTC)
Maybe if the links are limited to use ONLY on userpages, then I believe there would be no issue of breaching the Chinese wall. -- Davodd | Talk 8 July 2005 03:04 (UTC)
What I am proposing is a category page, so in the userpage, the author would tag it, and it would only show up at Category:Editorial. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 03:07 (UTC)
Every newspaper I read has an editorial page. The editorial page is one of my favorite sections of a newspaper. How to handle it here, if the choice to pursue it is undertaken, is of great concern to me. It seems to me that a 1st reaction is to restrict editorial content to one author to avoid edit warring. Hard to argue against that. Properly presenting it is a devil. A simple link tag at the bottom of the article titled 'editorials'? -Edbrown05 8 July 2005 03:22 (UTC)
Good thing we aren't a newspaper - or we'd have advertising taking up 25 to 75% of each page and would neither allow collaboration by our readers or any audio broadcasts. :-) -- Davodd | Talk 8 July 2005 03:44 (UTC)
Also, having been a newspaper editor, I can confirm that not all content of newspapers is news: i.e. horoscopes, comics, chess strategics, classified ads, adertorials, etc. A newspaper's job is to sell advertising - and they include many non-news items to do just that. We are not a newspaper - we are an Internet-based collaborative news source. -- Davodd | Talk 9 July 2005 16:31 (UTC)
This isfar from what I'm proposing. What I propose is that editorials within user namespaces are categorized, and tagged with a disclaimer; and only the category page will link to the editorials. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 03:25 (UTC)
Is an editorial that much different from the discussion page? I think yeah. -Edbrown05 8 July 2005 03:38 (UTC)
I never said it would be a discussion page. My example was: User:NGerda/Why is Bush doing this and that. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 03:39 (UTC)

My agenda is to gain greater participation at Wikinews. Casual reader's should be given an easy avenue to comment on the news. Those comments might and will in my opinion lead to greater participation. How that can be implemented I do not know. -Edbrown05 8 July 2005 03:51 (UTC)

I believe it's in the form of Talk_Articlename/Meta, although I may be mistaken. -- NGerda July 8, 2005 03:52 (UTC)

I really like the idea of having a Category:Editorial and keeping that off the main page. It would be a great way for users to get their biases out so they wouldn't feel it necessary to put them in the articles they're editing. In theory at least. - McCart42 (talk) 03:57, July 10, 2005 (UTC)

See {{Editorial}}. -- NGerda 07:30, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Because they are not collaboratove in nature (anti-wiki, against the Wikimedia Foundation principles), as long as user POV articles are confined to the User:Xxxxx/Xxxx area and links to that POV content are not listed or advertised in the main Wikinews namespace (including links on/from the main page and/or Index page(s)), I have no problem with this.-- Davodd | Talk 07:41, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Which is precisely what I proposed ;) -- NGerda 07:42, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
Oh. So you are proposing the making official of what we've been doing all along? -- Davodd | Talk 03:47, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
! -Edbrown05 04:34, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
I wish I had a fast post... but I don't. -Edbrown05 04:40, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

And what about collaborative editorials (on non-controversial subjects) : see german wikinews? Faager - «?» 10:35, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Non-controversial topics don't inspire editorials. And you'd probably be suprised about how many things you think are obvious and non-controversial that many, many folk are diametrically opposed to in their POV. The German Wikinews' experiment is in direct violation of the Wikimedia Foundation's NPOV mandate. I'm assuming the two reasons no one has gone in and stopped it in my opinion are that few in the Foundation reas the German Wikinews and that a Wikiboard election just happened and board member candidates were unwilling to piss off folks who may be voting for (or against) them. -- Davodd | Talk 17:37, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
Anyway, collaborative editorials could be NPOV, because everyone could add his POV... so there wouldn't be any problem (wiki or NPOV), but I do realise it would be difficult to keep everyone happy, and to stop blogging-style... Faager - «?» 11:20, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
If this is implemented, I would insist that it be a collaborative editorial, a wiki-editorial, rather than people contributing their owned walled-garden editorials. And perhaps some mechanism to keep the editorials as a whole from drifting too far in any political direction. Kevin Baastalk 17:32, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm coming to this a bit late but I want to throw my 2p in:

  1. I see no reason why people should put PoV essays on their user pages. Get a blog - there are plenty of free blogging services out there - and link to it. That's what I do.
  2. Wikinews is special because we have the NPOV. If we start eroding that, we're just going to turn into Indymedia. (Take a look - they're rubbish. Do we want to become that?!). If you do want to do biased journalism, just go to Indymedia.

So, I see no reason why "editorial" fare should ever come near Wikinews, in any form. However, if people want to allow users to stick stuff on their userpages (effectively turning us into a free blogging platform - don't tell the devs!) and do not link to it from the main namespace, then I accept that (under protest). Dan100 (Talk) 16:01, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

And what do you think about NPOV (collaborative) editorials, which would be in the main namespace, and not free blogs... Faager - «?» 10:18, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
NPOV editoiral is an oxymoron; it can't exist. -- Davodd | Talk


"Do not define too closely the outlines; it is the brushwork of the right value and color which produces the drawing ... Paint the essential character of things; try to convey it by any means whatever, without bothering about technique. When painting, make a choice of subject, see what is lying at the right and left, then work on everything simultaneously. Don't work bit by bit, but paint everything at once by placing tones everywhere, with brushstrokes of the right color and value, while noticing what is alongside. Use small strokes and try to put down your perceptions immediately. The eye should not be fixed on one point, but should take in everything, while observing the reflections the colors produce on their surrounding. Work at the same time on the sky, water, branches, ground, keeping everything going on an equal basis and unceasingly work until you have got it. Cover the canvas at first go, then work at it until you have nothing more to add." Camille Pissarro (http://www.wetcanvas.com/Museum/Artists/p/Camille_Pissarro/painting_lesson.html)

The fact is, news is always POV to an extent. We report Brits getting killed more fervantly than Iraqis, is that a POV? We mob Rove, that is a POV, even if the articles themselves are not. And we link stories together, but only when the mainstream media does.

There are maybe 2 types of editorials - glorified blogs, and stories that link a number of facts and stories together. The first is not wiki in any way. The second is dodgey, but could possibly be done. Maybe.

If editorials were to rear their ugly heads in wikinews, I say: a big bunch of facts is better than a rant. Don't actually make any judgements, and don't put two different facts in the same paragraph. Ever. But let the reader see the facts and decide for themselves. History repeats itself, there should be plenty of examples you could link back to wikipedia (ie Watergate).

The only way to see if this is feasible is if somebody gives an example (maybe in their own namespace) and calls for comments. Then they can be told that it is completely unacceptable. Wisty 11:20, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Proposal: Portal: namespace[edit]

I suggest that we create a Portal: namespace for pages like South America or Health (this has to be done on the servers, but I can do it). The rationale is this:

  • It makes it easier for us to count the number of real articles we have published -- everything in the article namespace except for the Main Page is assumed to be an article.
  • It allows us to gradually move towards deprecating the {{Develop}} tag or making it optional. The reason is that the latest version of the DynamicPageList extension makes it possible to list only stories in the article namespace which do not have Category:Published (previously you always had to specify an additional positive criterion). However, this does not work as long as the article namespace is cluttered with non-articles.

I think the case for such a namespace is pretty strong, however, I'm not entirely sure what the best name is. I do believe Portal: makes sense - are there some existing pages to which it wouldn't be applicable?--Eloquence 13:42, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

  • Strongly Support. From so many points of view this is a good idea. Maintenance, database, user-friendliness, future scalability. We need this namespace. --RossKoepke 23:04, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  • I like the idea, but my only quirk is that I believe that we can come up with a more average-reader fiendly name, like Region: and Topic. Slthough Portal does include both topics and regions. -- NGerda 17:11, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
    • Section: might also work.--Eloquence 19:31, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
      • I like the idea a lot. I would vote for Portal. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:17, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
        • OK, Portal it is. :) This would also pave the way for local Wikinews portals, something we'll start to need more and more as our contributor base grows. -- NGerda 06:47, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
      • Ever since folks started tagging these portal pages with Category:Portal I figure we don't really even need a separate namespace... After all, the DPL can count the true articles. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:58, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
  • Strong Support - encourages localism. -- Davodd | Talk 07:43, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Why not just use the Category: pages? Many categories already transclude their corresponding portal page anyway... Leif 08:38, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Category is a different concept although it may look similar at first. But it is really a database and software issue. Among 1,001 other things, this would allow Google-type searches and web crawls within specific portals. It also would allow the possibility of a Canadian Wikinews - that is listed separately on Canada Google or Yahoo Canada or RSS news feeds, for example. (How many UK readers really care about the Arizona governor's election?) -- Davodd | Talk 09:36, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
      • That's simply untrue. Making "Portal:" into a namespace would not affect whether Portal:Canada could exist, would not affect web crawling, and would not affect what Google or Yahoo could do, since Google or Yahoo know nothing about internal features of the MediaWiki software and have no way of knowing what is and isn't a namespace. Leif is quite right. The category pages are quite sufficient for portals. And indeed in many cases they currently are the portals. In some cases there aren't even articles in the main namespace at all. Uncle G 10:58, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
        • I don't follow your logic on my statements being untrue. The current category page look and feel Amgine and I developed back in February does resemble the "Portal:" concept on the surface. It is a software issue. It is a database issue. The Portal database designation offers separate database entry points so webcrawlers could allow more country- or topic-specific offerings to special interest audiences without the need for the webcrawler software to be programmed to de-code our ever-changing catagory syntax. Yahoo does know wikimedia software: Wikimedia announces Yahoo! support. I'm sure Google folks also have been poking around our freely-available software. So, what, specifically was untrue? -- Davodd | Talk 10:24, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
        • Category pages are simply unusable as portals: they contain a huge list of every single story tagged in that category. They might transclude the portal page and thus double as one, but since they contain this humongous, undated list of articles at the bottom, they are not user-friendly enough to point people to from the homepage. -- IlyaHaykinson 13:35, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
          • False. First: They contain at most 200 articles. Second: Some editors, including me, like the idea that the portal also doubles as (one of) the way(s) to access the historical archive (which is one of the purposes of Wikinews, after all). Third: It's exceedingly easy to construct a redirect to the category page, which can act as the the portal without the list at the bottom, for those readers that want it. See Wikinews:Portal for more. Uncle G 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  • A proposal I brought up at Wikinews Future Talk about how best to accommodate Wikinews' expansion was for articles to be tagged in a hierarchy: An article about the Arizona governor's election would be categorized, in addition to the topics, as Category:Arizona Category:Phoenix, Arizona and would only show up on the Arizona and Phoenix Portals, and an article on Bush declaring war on Syria, for example, would be categorized as Category:International Category:United States Category:Syria. The Latest news section would be modified to only show articles tagged with Category:International. The lead articles would, of course, remain manual. -- NGerda 09:47, July 11, 2005 (UTC)
    • We're already doing that sort of tagging (or should be). The London bombing articles are tagged Category:Europe + Category:United Kingdom + Category:London, for example. The only problem is Wikipedians coming to Wikinews, who aren't used to the system, and think that categorization here works as it does on Wikipedia, where such categorization would be wrong. And the answer to that is to explain our system of categorization to them (Dan100 has made a start, but the explanation is on a talk page and is not explicit enough. I'll try to write up something akin to what I wrote up for Wiktionary.), not to create a new namespace. Uncle G 10:58, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

OK, I believe we really do need to formally decide on this and implement it, instead of just talking about it. What do you guys think about implementing this proposal within the next week or two? -- NGerda 08:03, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

If anyone does move the topic or region pages, for goodness sake update the interlinks between each page, on every page. There's probably only a hundred or so. Good luck. Dan100 (Talk) 21:29, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

In light of Clare's propospal below, have we considered how to tie in the idea of neighborhoods or bureaus into using the portals? Clare has done a great job with her proposal, so please take that into account.... ;) 68.32.193.91 02:29, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I've been working with the intention of integrating all three concepts into one and people pitching into the proposal have done so as well, so I think they will integrate extremely well and I don't think there's going to be any need for big movements. Real-life schedule allowing, I hope to add some more details that I've written offline later today.

  • Question: are people happy with Topic categories being Portals too, in this sense? It may be obvious but no-one mentioned it so far. ClareWhite 09:48, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Guys, if you support portal namespace, please vote for my request for Portal namespace in Wikimedia project in general too, which I submitted on Mediazilla. (bugzilla.wikimedia.org, Bug 1676[1]) Cheers, --Aphaia 10:49, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I've read through this discussion again and I don't think the case for such a namespace is pretty strong is true, really. The number of topic pages compared to articles is *tiny* and I don't think the develop tag is going anywhere - not least because it tells people what needs to be done and how to publish articles. So what other reason justifies it? On the other hand, it's a *massive* job to make this change properly and no doubt it will be me who has to pick up the pieces when someone makes a half-arsed hash of it. So I oppose this, completely. Dan100 (Talk) 15:23, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I've set up a Quakers category and, if no-one objects, propose running it as an experimental portal for the next few weeks in the hope of getting cooperation from my friendly Quaker readership. So far I've discovered that leaving Develop and Publish off the story keeps it off the main page and it is editable like a namespace, isn't it? We'll see how it goes anyway - that's perhaps a good place to try out any ideas you have related to these proposals. Please continue to work on the main proposal too (see below) ClareWhite 14:47, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I know this is going over somewhat established territory, but, please tell me, why do we need the Portal namespace? I thought we were pretty happy with Category:Portal. -- IlyaHaykinson 04:09, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

The reason is currently some portal like page, like Main Page, or regional portal are placed on main namespace and counted as "article". It affects statistics when we count the number of articles, or examine "long pages" list. Category is namespace to categorize pages, and you can't tune where article list under a category appear. Portal namespace with more frexibility on design might be happier in my opinion. --Aphaia 06:56, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

We've, what, 2,500+ articles? The dozen or so region/topic pages are a drop in the ocean.
Furthermore, seeing "Portal:" before the title is weird and potentially confusing to readers. Plus it means having to prefix that before putting (eg) United States into the search box. What's the point in that?
This is change for changes sake, and positively harms the project. It should not be done. Dan100 (Talk) 10:23, 21 July 2005 (UTC)
We can always pull up statistics by making a database query. We can have a DPL that outputs a numbered list that doesn't include things in Category:Portal. I think that the portal namespace is worse than a category for three reasons:
  1. The name of the page is confusing, "Portal:Africa" looks worse than just "Africa"
  2. Search will not automatically show portals
  3. The URLs are harder to give out. Instead of http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Africa, it's got an extra "Portal:" in there.
I think with the DPL having more functionality now, it makes little sense to have the separate namespace. -- IlyaHaykinson 13:17, July 21, 2005 (UTC)

Ilya, those are exactly my concerns. We must put our readers first (or what's the point?). There is no consensus for such a namespace. Dan100 (Talk) 16:04, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

  • In order to show my opinion: I agree with those opposing a seperate namespace för Portals. The little benefit of more accurate statistics doesn't respond to the cons, like simpleness of likning ([Africa] instead of [Portal:Africa|Africa]), better URL:s (as mentioned), better page header etc. The localism (making portals for every town, which I support) and "topicalism" (making portals for every topic, which I also support) could be done without the namespace. Väsk 21:50, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

See Wikinews:Portal for a way to do this without any new namespaces, using the existing ordinary category, template, and redirect mechanisms. Also see the various portals that now exist as proof of concept. All discussion at Wikinews talk:Portal, please. Uncle G 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Proposal: Portal workspaces[edit]

  • create an article feature, with new article template including the regional/topical category.
  • developing stories with category filter for region/topic.
  • these two things could possible be put on the main portal page, instead of creating a new workspace page per region/topic.

Why? Localism. all the articles would ofcourse exist on the global main page and the global workspace, ofcourse. Kevin Baastalk 02:25, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Opps. ClareWhite already thought of this. a little slow, here. sorry. Kevin Baastalk 02:31, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I've already done this. Dan100 (Talk) 21:16, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Proposal: All major topics on frontpage[edit]

I think it would be a good move to have links to all major topics on front page, like sports, business, health and so on. This should also be near the top of the page to enable easy access.--Ómar Kjartan Yasin 15:16, 10 July 2005 (UTC)

We have experimented ith this, however when we tried it, the box took up a very large amoount of space on the main page. I am certaintly open to experimentation in this matter. -- NGerda 17:08, July 10, 2005 (UTC)
Weak oppose. I like the idea and the logic behind it. But, the list would take up most of the Main Page screen. Maybe a better-designed Index page: Wikinews:SectionMenu? -- Davodd | Talk 07:46, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Hey, what's wrong with the section menu?! It's actually one of the most-visited parts of the site, according to Webalizer. Dan100 (Talk) 15:47, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Everyone can feel free to experiment at Main Page/Test. -- NGerda 07:47, July 11, 2005 (UTC)

I agree that if all Wikinews topics are listed at the frontpage that would take up alot of space. But if only the major topics are listed (the most popular, the one we find at other major newspage) that could work. Now, I'm not the one to say which topics are major topics.. ;) --Ómar Kjartan Yasin 12:15, 11 July 2005 (UTC)

The trouble with the "section menu" noted by Dan100 above, is that 'regional' categories are listed rather than 'topic' categories. I believe the news 'topic' is of profoundly greater news interest than the 'region'. -Edbrown05 15:07, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

SectionMenu (the page that is, not the little index on the Main Page) does have topics on it, as well as regions. Dan100 (Talk) 16:06, 21 July 2005 (UTC)

Linking to Wikinews from WP[edit]

I've added a small link to WN in the 'current event' template you sometimes see at the top of Wikipedia article. In order to ensure it's survival, you may want to visit the the talk page and say what a good idea it is :-).

BTW, I reckon most of the traffic surge we saw for the London bombings was because someone put the link to Wikinews at the top of the Wikipedia article (and it stayed there for some time), rather than at the bottom, where it's often put. Dan100 (Talk) 15:46, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Hotline[edit]

I have done some research into cost-effectiveness for a Hotline for Wikinews, and I decided that SkypeIn was the best way to go. It costs $30 per year for a dedicated phone number (unfortunately it's not toll-free). It is routed through a Skype account, and if no one is signed in, callers get a customizable message and can leave a message on voicemail. Phone numbers are available for Denmark, Poland, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, United Kingdom, France, United States, and Hong Kong. My suggestion is that we purchase a U.S. number and a U.K. number for one year for $60, and having it linked to a shared Skype account, wikinewshotline. Users can be nominated and voted on to get access to the account and be an operator for the Wikinews Hotline. In the future, we can purchase numbers from a selection of other countries, but for now, I think the U.S. and U.K. are enough. A Wikimedia board member has said that we need consensus among the Wikinews community before Wikimedia will pay for the hotline. What do you guys think? -- NGerda 20:37, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

I think that the idea of a call-in number is great. However, instead of having access to a single number I would suggest having a system send an email attachment with the wave file of the message to a mailing list, to which any wikinewsie can subscribe. This will allow for a more democratic approach to gathering news, in my opinion. It is also generally how the accreditation hotline is currently operated (albeit access to that is currently restricted to sysops), and except for the fact that we haven't gotten accreditation requests, it's worked well. I think that having people responsible for operating an actual "hotline" with a live person is much more un-wiki.
Specifically I suggest a toll-free number and a UK number, pointing to voice mailbox that asks callers to leave a message with a news report, and optionally contact information for someone to get back to them for more details. -- IlyaHaykinson 00:35, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
I'd like this to happen, however I think we should advertise our voicemail number before making a purchase like this. I'd hate for something like this to go to waste if no one is going to use it, the foundation could spend it on other items. Otherwise, if the voicemail seems promising, I have no objection, therefore I would support. --Mrmiscellanious 00:44, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
If submissions are emailed to a mailing list, it defeats the purpose of having a hotline to call in live breaking news. Besides, most calls will probably be from prankers or vandals, and we don't want to upset all of Wikinews with those calls. We can make it a rule that all Hotline volunteers must pass on viable leads to the mailing list or post it on Wikinews. This number can also serve as a place to call in if a Wikinewsie (such as yourself) sees a major event happen (like an earthquake), and if someone is on the other line, they can punch you through live to WNN. Plus, on the scale of things at Wikimedia, $60 per year is not very much at all. -- NGerda 00:54, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

I took the liberty of setting up my suggested version. Please call one of these numbers:

  • (866) 653-4265 (in the U.S. only)
  • +1-202-742-5918 (outside the U.S.)

Note that all voice greetings can (and should) be changed. Currently any time a message is left, it is emailed out (currently, to me; in the future it'll go to some wikinews-hotline-l mailing list). This is a paid service, but I think it has all the right features. Multiple extensions, multiple phone numbers if need be, different email routing per extension, ability to block numbers, and more. I think it's worth implementing. -- IlyaHaykinson 03:13, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

I think the mailing list approach is absolutely preferable, as it will allow anyone to join the process of evaluating incoming calls using an automated subscription system. I have tried Ilya's hotline and I like it, though we should have a contest for the best voice greetings. I don't see why a mailing list would defeat the purpose. E-mail itself is real-time, and it would not be too hard to write a bot that sends a notification to IRC whenever there's a new mailing list post.--Eloquence 03:33, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
I called the hotline as well. Very nice. Email to a list is the best idea. --Chiacomo (talk) 03:38, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Please see Wikinews:Hotline for a start of policy and administration pages related to the hotline. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:34, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Oh well. Screw my idea. -- NGerda 17:12, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

Well, not necessarily. I think your idea of a Wikinews live chat with a human is workable; however, I think it presents a large number of policy issues that should be worked out first. -- IlyaHaykinson 17:26, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
A number of Wikinewsies, including Cspurrier, brought up concerns to me about the live line, and we pretty much resolved them by saying: a) All potential newsworthy messages (even if it doesn't seem newsworthy) must be passed on to the mailing list. How we can make sure that they get passed on is that there will be multiple Wikinewsies with access to the account, so they will all receive the messages. -- NGerda 17:42, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
I do not oppose NGerda idea, but I do think IlyaHaykinson version is better. --Cspurrier 17:49, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

NGerda himself has raised my concerns - whatever the format, this will become a magnet for vandals and troublemakers. And anyway, do we need this? What's the problem it's trying to solve? Dan100 (Talk) 21:11, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

In many parts of the world, cell phone coverage is very high. This includes some countries in Africa, where there's no good traditional telephone infrastructure and the trend is to go directly to cell phones because the cost of deployment is much lower. For this reason, there's a Wikimedia-related project in the works to provide access to spoken Wikipedia articles (machine-generated or human-spoken) via cell phones, for example: Millions of Africans who do not have Internet access do have access to cell phones.
For original reporting, there is a lot of potential here. Even in developed nations, the current situation is generally so that the likelihood of having someone with a cell phone near an unplanned event of significance is high, while the likelihood of having someone with a direct Net connection is low. If we market this as a way to report news on the spot, we might get some interesting reports. Yes, there will be trolling and hoaxes, but that's why we should generally ask people to leave their name and their number. We can also check plausibility and do further research of our own. I see the problems with verifying phone reports not fundamentally greater than those with verifying original reporting coming in through the site itself. In fact, my bet is that hoaxes are probably going to be generally of a very simplistic nature. The kind of person who puts effort into an elaborate phone hoax is going to put effort into an elaborate wiki hoax as well.
So, in answer to your question - What problem is this trying to solve? - I would say that it could lead to more original reporting, especially from countries with little Internet access. Of course, the first implementation can only be an experiment, as no one from Rwanda or Nigeria is going to call a US phone number to report news. However, based on our experience with this first stage, we can decide whether this is something we want to expand further and, if necessary, seek funding for it (I believe this is something the Wikimedia Foundation could easily get a project grant for, but unfortunately, there are very few people actively working on grants applications).
If this works, I see no reason why the non-interactive and the interactive version could not be combined, i.e. by having an extension to speak directly to a Wikinewsie, if available. As with Wikinews:Audio Wikinews, let's start simple and develop the idea as we move forward, with the long-term potential fully in mind.--Eloquence 03:47, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

I think we are kidding ourselves. For one thing, while cell phone coverage is quite widespread, only the relatively rich can afford it - the people who can typically afford internet access.

But here's the kicker - without 'net access, how are they supposed to learn of Wikinews and it's "hotline"?

Furthermore, we hardly ever see big-time collaboration on articles (ie beyond typo-fixing). People rarely pick up on stories in the Workspace. And now we expect people to listen to answerphone messages via a mailing list then type them up? I do not see that as being realistic. Dan100 (Talk) 09:38, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

The hotline is configured, and posted on the Main Page. I hope that we can run this test for a few weeks and see if we get any submissions and how we handle them. Please subscribe to the mailing list — we'll see where this takes us! -- IlyaHaykinson 15:02, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

Do I not exist or something? Or did you miss the bit where I said this is a really bad idea and I totally oppose this? I mean, "got no computer?" - er, if they have no computer, how the hell are they going to see this website to get the phone number in the first place?? Dan100 (Talk) 15:27, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Actually, you never said this was a really bad idea and that you oppose it, above. You appeared to be rather skeptical — I can totally understand that. However, I think that the best answer to your question is an experiment: worst case, nobody calls or we don't transcribe some stories, call this experiment a failure and remove it.
Best case, people will program it into their cellphones and call the number when they see news. People will promote the number in areas where computer usage is lower or access is harder to get.
Definitely without the numbers being promoted, nobody at all will learn of the hotline. As for cellphone coverage: I think there are [about 1 billion cellphones] in the world. There are less internet users than that. There is some overlap for sure, but undoubtedly there are people with cellphones who couldn't afford regular broadband access. I think it's important to reach out to those people.
In the spirit of being bold, I am putting the experiment back in. I encourage you to accept it and give it time to flourish before calling it a failure. -- IlyaHaykinson 15:38, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

I think that the best answer to your question is an experiment: worst case, nobody calls or we don't transcribe some stories, call this experiment a failure and remove it. - OK, I'll hold you to that!

But I still have very strong reservations about this. This could easily turn into another "Submit a story" - which was, frankly, a total failure. "Stories" lying untouched for weeks on end. I fail to see how this can turn out differently.

I also believe this could be positively harmful. If people stary calling stuff in when they could've used the wiki, it's BAD. Stuff sitting in a mp3 file somewhere is NOT as good as it going straight onto the site.

I would've liked to see a bit more planning before putting this "live". A list of people prepared to join and use the mailing list, for a start. How do we know it's not just going to be you, Ilya? What if you start putting more time into your job, as before? Or you go on holiday? You don't "scale" too well ;-). 15:58, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

BTW, what's the username and pwd for RingCentral? Dan100 (Talk) 16:09, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Shouldn't need one; voicemail gets attached to posts to the mailing list. If you're subscribed, you'll get it. I'm working on making the archives not scrub the attachments either. -- IlyaHaykinson 18:01, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I support this addition. If we can't reach consensus, I suggest a vote. As for the argument that people are not going to learn about it if they have no Internet access -- that's not necessarily true. One goal of Wikinews:Print edition and Wikinews:Audio Wikinews is to transcend online publication through radio and print; of course, the results so far are modest, but I see no reason why, for example, promoting the hotline through a free print edition distributed specifically in African countries shouldn't work in the long run. Again, right now, this can only be an experiment primarily targeting breaking news situations, as we only have a US phone number, but we can collect useful data here for a long-term project. And no, it's absolutely not true that people in countries like Nigeria who have cell phones also have Internet access; cells are dirt cheap over there and replace regular phone infrastructure.--Eloquence 15:56, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Dan, you can always see who is subscribed to the mailing list. There is already someone other than me there. I suggest that you subscribe too, in order to keep an eye on this project and to make sure that we're not screwing it up. I agree that it can be harmful. But I am not one for prior restraint of ideas: if it starts being a problem, we can talk about taking it off. -- IlyaHaykinson 18:03, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

I can't subscribe as there's already *far* too many things to look after. If there is really only one other person beyond you signed up I suggest we remove it for now and you go do some recruiting. Unless the two of you guarantee to be online 24 hours a day... Dan100 (Talk) 21:31, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

There are a few more people signed up now (five or six). I will start promoting the hotline a bit, perhaps. -- IlyaHaykinson 23:15, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews neighbourhoods[edit]

I have written a proposal and put it here (I think). It is an attempt to bridge a gap between internationalism and localism on Wikinews. It might make sense for anyone who is interested to help develop the proposal there (or move it if there's a more appropriate page) before bringing it here for a full discussion - I'm not suggesting we do this right now but looking to people interested in the idea to develop it a bit more, come up with sample pages etc. Not that I'm trying to stop discussion here, you understand... ClareWhite 15:15, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

This would be covered under Eloquence's Portal proposal. Looks like a great idea! -- NGerda 15:34, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

I suspected as much, but you lost me with all the technological stuff. Well, if Portals are to be adopted in the way suggested soon, perhaps the ideas on the neighbourhood page give some suggestions on how we can encourage people to nurture Portals? ClareWhite 16:55, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Clare, I like your proposal very much. I think it's well stated, and I think you need to continue soliciting input and then move the page into the main Wikinews namespace as a proposed policy. -- IlyaHaykinson 19:26, July 15, 2005 (UTC)

I'd also like to point out that there are attempts to do this kind of thing floating about already as well... wikibureaus are out here. Lyellin 21:21, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

In response to my own comments, it seems like a lot of users have proposed these kinds of things in the past, or in casual IRC convo that I've seen. Clare has a quite good write-up of it on here now. Perhaps we could do a staggered rollout, almost like how we set up new languages, for the bureaus/portals/neighborhoods? In that way we encourage real activity on each one. Lyellin 21:25, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree that this is very similar to WikiBureaus, but I think the proposal is a bit more complete. -- IlyaHaykinson 21:26, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Completely agree - made the first comment as I was coming out of a nap. The idea is all there though- I'd love to see any one of these come to fruition, if we can do it. Count me in ;) Lyellin 21:34, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I'm glad someone is revivng the Wikibureau concept. -- Davodd | Talk 06:18, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

I see all of this Portal talk as scalable- and it's great that Clare pointed that out. The difference I see between WikiBureaus and the Portal pages is that WikiBureaus act more as a collaboration between journalist, and the Portal is where that work is displayed. So, yes, they are very similar and help each other out. ;) -- NGerda 08:49, July 16, 2005 (UTC)

Thanks everyone for all the comments and suggestions. I'm glad it can be useful for bringing different ideas into fruition. Hopefully we can keep developing it with all the different elements included and I'm glad that the Portal element will give it structure.
Are there any WikiBureaus already running 'in real life' that can talk about their experience of getting people participating? Bureus suggests something more professional than portals/neighbourhoods to me, perhaps that could be a level that they get to when they are producing consistently good news articles, they could use the status to apply for computers etc.. er, anyway, I don't have time to write now, I'll go mull over it... ClareWhite 09:38, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Clare - I don't think there are any surviving from when they were originally proposed. That being sad, what seems to me to be the issue is how to integrate a neighbourhood/bureau/whatever into the portal page. Once we do that in a logical manner, we're set, and I agree with your proposal - a slow rollout would be best. Perhaps a London Bureau, cause of you and Dan ;). I'd think we'll have to wait on the Computers/applying stuff, but as a long term goal ;) Lyellin 02:37, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I would encourage that this actually start not based on the city with the biggest current concentration of active Wikinewies (London, or whatnot), but rather with a neighborhood where Clare or anyone else can find a large team of very active people: for example, some community college, or some small neighborhood paper that is willing to make this experiment. I'd rather see not how some Wikinewsies can do this, but rather how well we can work with non-Wikinewsie people. -- IlyaHaykinson 13:23, July 19, 2005 (UTC)

I've now rehashed the proposal into a deluxe, split level affair to reflect the discussions above. Please continue to develop it as you see fit! ClareWhite 08:14, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Progress[edit]

Wow, that was a lot of work! I just moved all of the current portal pages over to the new Portal namespace. One thing I want to really stress is that this system depends on proper article categorization. Clare and others who are interested in the whole neighborhoods idea: I've sorta outlined how to do this for my own city at Portal:Santa Ana, California. Enjoy! -- NGerda 01:36, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

I just added a proposal to that: Wikinews:Water_cooler/proposals#Proposal:_Portal_workspaces Kevin Baastalk 02:26, 22 July 2005 (UTC)
Yes, that's the idea I've been going off of. -- NGerda 03:20, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

For once, I'm opposed to rushing into this move. What is wrong with just Africa that it has to become Portal:Africa? A notcategory filter in DPLs already removes it from lists. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:21, July 22, 2005 (UTC)

Two different but similar things[edit]

What I see being discussued here are two different things, aiming towards the same goal. I'd like, hopefully, to see more discussion here, because well, I think everyone wants to same thing. Firstly, with Clare's idea, what has developed has become almost a seperate little site, still here, but with some of it's own workings. In the end, a mini-community in it's infancy. Now, who knows what will happen to it, but Clare clearly has proposed it working for a bunch of things - topics, regions, etc. The other thing I see being discussed here is the Portal namespace idea.

THat's seperate in my head. I don't know all the technical debate that may be going on between Ngerda/Ilya/etc about it, but what I do know is, I think the portals do less of a job of creating a community. In essence, we've had them in some form, for awhile. Either as portals, or as category portals, and each time, they tend to die- they get swallowed up by the issues of having a main page listing the articles, etc. With teh Quaker issue, I see the ability to have a bit of seperation, but nothing major, and allow a community to occur. Instead of dying like the other portals have, it has the chance to survive, because it is a bit away from the beaten path. I'd like us to at least consider the interactions here, and what would be better for regions/cities/communities - a portal, or something like Quakers. And please, be cautious when creating new ones - let's form communities, not try to create them from a portal page. Lyellin 00:43, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Talk?[edit]

Perhaps we can use the idea of the Future Talk fo rthis topic? Perhaps a Local Talk? NGerda talked about that a bit, I like the idea, and it would allow us to try and not intersect/overlap/get mad at each other. Lyellin 03:21, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

A talk through sounds like a good idea to ensure all the ideas are fully coordinated. The portals debate is still confusing me but I don't really see that as being separate from the neighbourhood idea: I do think that it is easiest to maintain if developed communities grow out of an exisiting infrastructure of portals. The Quaker page is a good way to see how neighbourhoods can develop and I'm interested to see what the effect will be of bringing in Quakers otherwise unfamiliar with Wikinews. I really don't think it should be seen as a separate mini-site though, there may be some tolerance on policies like NPOV (Ilya's suggestion) and there are added features we can bring in to make it a friendly community and easy to upload stories, ideally it would become a feeder for the main page and an attraction to Wikinews, but it is still an integral part of Wikinews, not different. It would be sad if it were as we wanted to encourage localism. ClareWhite 08:18, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I do think that it is easiest to maintain if developed communities grow out of an exisiting infrastructure of portals - the problem with that is that it doesn't happen. One or two people pitch up, briefly "adopt" a page, then disappear again. The only way these things can be sustainable are if established groups of people set up shop.

Calling the mini-site idea mini-site doesn't imply they're "seperate", just what they are - mini, er sites, within Wikinews. Anything that's good enough in a mini-site can easily be published on the rest of Wikinews (although I only told someone that in IRC - see how crap that medium is? If I'd said it on the wiki, you could all read it). Dan100 (Talk) 08:42, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

moving protection against vandals[edit]

One idea came to me: we could protect articles once publised from moving, avoiding moving vandals (like WoW). In my humble opinion, there is little good reason to rename published articles. Being developped articles would be renamed, but published articles are generally not: they are almost set-in-stone. And if necessary, we can ask a sysop to move it to more appropriate name. So we could say "sysops may protect a published article on his or her discretion". Not whole protection, but only from moving.

If you find anything I miss, please feel free to point it out. --Aphaia 09:55, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

You'd be suprised how frequently "published" articles get renamed, actually. I wouldn't support move-protection, because renaming is so common, and I wouldn't like to see it restricted only to admins.
Vandals like WoW are very easily reverted - with MediaWiki 1.5, even move reverting is easy. I don't know if non-admins can do this, but if you go to Special pages on the left, then Logs, then select Move logs, you'll see a recent list of pages moves, plus a 'revert' link. Just remember to select 'move Talk page too', as it's not selected by default. There's also the new page-move rate limiter, so mass-move vandalism is now impossible (apparently, he's still trying, but just failing every time!). Dan100 (Talk) 10:25, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Non-admins have the (revert) button on the move log page too. Very nice. --Chiacomo (talk) 13:52, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Vandal related: RossKoepke (I gather) and I have both been around with the recent vandal only able to revert changes but powerless to stop it spreading. What will is there in the community for a 'Vandal-blocker' status that doesn't give Admin power but does allow trusted users to block obvious vandals? ClareWhite 12:28, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

ClareWhite, I am not sure but I doubt if it is technically feasible unless you hold the right to perform blocking but vow not to use anyone without vandals.
Dan100, ah okay. Thank you for information. --Aphaia 14:01, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

It is actually technically possible with the new MediaWiki software, although no-one has written the code.

A very similar idea was raised on the Wikipedia mailing list recently - the general consensus was that any one of the adminship privileges is still very powerful. It was generally agreed that anyone who could be trusted with one of the privileges could be trusted with all of them - so just apply for adminship. I agree entirely with this - I would not trust anyone with the block button who I did not trust with protect and delete too. Dan100 (Talk) 15:45, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Userpage move protection[edit]

I propose that we protect all userpage and usertalk pages from moving. The only purpose anyone would have for moving a usertalk or userpage would be for vandalism. Agree? -- NGerda 16:40, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

Support. It works really well. We English Wikiquoters protect all admin user page from move and also users' who request for this protection, because most of active users have been suffered this mischief. Also we protect major project pages like VP or VfD, other favorite target of moving vandal(s). --Aphaia 18:46, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Editors like to sometimes change their name, which can be done by moving their own user pages. Generally you shouldn't fiddle with other people's pages in any way without express permission.

There's nothing to prevent people who want user page protection asking for it - any takers? Dan100 (Talk) 09:19, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Category: world[edit]

I think we need to discuss Category:world, variants of which are happening in the Portal discussion and on the Mainpage (where category:lead etc is also being suggested) - as in whether or not to flag news as being of world interest enough to go on the main page. Personally, I'm concerned because (I may well be wrong on any of these assumptions):

  • there isn't clear agreement on whether or not we should be making a judgment on what 'should' be on the main page, Develop and Publish currently give people the chance to submit what they want. People would have to consider whether to put 'Category:world' on their story when there is no agreed policy
  • New users may not realise that they have to add Category: world onto their stories to have them appear on the main page
  • exisiting stories would need to all be updated so that they don't all disappear from the main page

Particularly if we do go over to the ideas proposed above in Portals and neighbourhoods, would it not just make sense simply to use the Develop and Publish tags for the MainPage only - or is it too late for that? This would mean articles tagged only with their Categories would go only onto the Category portals(s) UNLESS someone puts Develop or Publish on them and then they would appear on the main page for the approval of the community. This would be the most simple way of putting good Portal stories through to the main page and you won't find new stories submitted to the main page disappearing into a portal by accident. ClareWhite 08:11, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I think the reasoning behind proposing these new cats was to start putting different levels of "importance" on Main Page stories - I oppose this. Here's my comments from the Main Page talk page discussion: I just don't see why this is needed. RSS feeds don't differentiate their articles, yet they are very popular. Our Latest news box is very much like a RSS feed, and I've always felt that's one of its strengths. It puts all published stories, big or small, on an equal footing.
I also don't see it as a problem that we have "wackynews" next to very serious "hard" news. Our readers can differentiate what's important to them themselves - we need not make the choice for them. Dan100 (Talk) 09:28, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Dan and Clare, I understand where you're coming from. The reason why we are considering World is because in the near future, we will have so many article submissions that we won't be able to fit them all on the main page. In addition, we wouldn't want all of the articles from Wikinews neighborhoods to show up on the main page. We can explain in the intro box for creating a story that category tags are necessary for display on pages once the article is published. The reason why we should start tagging articles now is so we are used to it and we can work out all of the kinks before the article rate gets too high. We also need to start location categorizing like this now because when we do fully switch over, we want articles to show up in all of the portals. One thing we still need to decide: How are we going to name all of the location categories? (e.g. Category:Charleston, North Carolina, USA or Category:Charleston, North Carolina). -- NGerda 16:53, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
My suggestion has always been that regions, countries, and first-level subdivisions (i.e. states, provinces, etc) get their own top-level categories. So Category:North_America, Category:United_States, Category:California. But anything more local has its parent level in the category, so Category:Los_Angeles,_California, Category:Downtown,_Los_Angeles, etc. -- IlyaHaykinson 17:59, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

In the event we start getting 30-40 articles a day, we can change to Ilya's lots-of-little-DPLs layout. Not having "neighbourhood" articles on the main page is easy to fix - just use a category:publishlocal or something instead of plain publish. Dan100 (Talk) 17:29, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

In the spirit of the famous phrase by former speaker of the US House of Representatives, Tip O'Neal, who said that "All politics is local," I notice there is no reference to 'region' in that quote, but rather there is a reference to 'topic'. The drive at Wikinews to drill down to the local level should, I believe, follow in the path of 'topic', and not in the path of 'region'. It is a more evolving approach, but of course my assumptions can be wrong. In charting a course towards local regional reporting, does Wikinews head there by pursuing the 'region' itself or the 'topic' itself? I believe the 'topic' is of more primary interest than the 'region'.
  • The "Category:World" 'region' is essential, or is that what the category 'Oceania' is meant to address? -Edbrown05 18:55, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Write and edit articles[edit]

Here's a proposal. It's going to be a big shock to many here, I can tell.

Let's write and edit news articles.

We really, really need more people writing new articles, and (in particular) editing and expanding existing stuff. Recently we've had articles which seem to be so far short of NPOV they could've been copied off Indymedia. Please people, put some more time and effort into writing and editing articles. Dan100 (Talk) 16:10, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Dan, it's interesting to hear that coming from you, but I agree. -- NGerda 16:55, July 20, 2005 (UTC)


Programme Idea for WNN - Hiroshima 60 Documentary[edit]

Hi,

2005 is 60 years since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki

I felt it would be a good use of WNN (and Wiki ideas in general) if someone was able to produce a NPOV documentaty concerning the the events.

A rough proposal is at: WNN:Hiroshima 60 Programme Idea

If this is more of a WikiPedia idea than WNN then please redirect me to a more appropriate forum.

The WNN project is not an official part of Wikinews. It is a test project. There are no "set rules" by the community for WNN since as a test it is basically a small group of folks trying out an idea. If you want to do such programming, I suggest that you be bold and try it, the people doing WNN are not special and have and have no more authority in this matter than you have. -- Davodd | Talk 23:04, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
Well i like how you have a script posted on the wiki for community member to review and make edits as they feel are needed, WNN keeps things wiki-ike, anyone who wants to can submit something to be out on WNN, all that's requires is community support, and having a script helps the community know what they are voting for.--Ryan524 09:27, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Reverting of page moves to approved Portal namespace[edit]

For some reason Dan100 reverted all of my page moves into the approved portal namespace. The move to Portal was approved by the community, and the namespace was made on July 21st. Dan's revert moves were not approved nor discussed, and he offered no explanation for his actions anywhere. -- NGerda 07:04, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

Well, I think that Dan100 and I have been bringing up the fact that the decision to move things to Portal was by no means "approved". The namespace has been discussed above. Originally a few people, including myself, supported Eloquence's proposal. At some point I brought up that simple category tagging should take care of our need for portals and withdrew my support for a whole separate namespace. Then Eloquence created the namespace, and you moved pages around. I have been bringing up the fact that the new namespace makes no sense to me, but you haven't responded to any of my comments, whether on the water cooler or on your talk page.
I continue to disagree with the Portal namespace at this time. I think that it's unnecessary. Thus, I support Dan100's moves back to the main namespace. -- IlyaHaykinson 15:17, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

I must also point out that Vask also very strongly disagreed with the move. Dan100 (Talk) 15:36, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

The namespace got a whole lot of support before your opposition, and I made the switch before the opposition votes came. It is simply that I had not seen your comments yet. If a proposal is greatly supported, and the switch is made and shortly after people express opposition, it is not ok for you to override everyone else and revert all of the page moves. It should be discussed, not ridden over. -- NGerda 16:23, July 24, 2005 (UTC)

I believe that Wikinews:Portal will satisfy the concerns of both those that want the portals and their acoutrements moved out of the main namespace and those that don't want any new namespaces created. Discussion on Wikinews talk:Portal, please. Uncle G 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews Future Talk 2[edit]

I am proposing a second Future Talk. This one will focus upon the the portal/neighborhoods proposals on the en Wikinews and the future of Audio Wikinews and WNN. If you will be able to come please add you name to the list on Meta. Like the last one it will be an open, unmoderated IRC session taking place on #wikinews. --Cspurrier 16:43, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

Do we really need this? The last one was extraordinarily dull and not particularly productive. What's wrong with just using the Water cooler, as we always have? Dan100 (Talk) 17:00, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
I disagree, I found the last one to be interesting and productive, an irc chat is of course no substitute for the water cooler, but it is great for clarifying and proposing news ideas. --Cspurrier 17:19, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
I completely agree with Craig, the last Future talk was very productive, and I am looking forward to being part of this one. We can have an audio conference as well. -- NGerda 17:29, July 24, 2005 (UTC)
Ack, The Monday suggested time is scheduled during normal work day hours (2, 3 or 4 p.m.) in the U.S. Please remember that official wikinews policy is set via wiki-based discussion - not chats - which by nature exclude people either from various geographies from participating due to time zone differences or those who do not have IRC software installed on their computers. -- Davodd | Talk 22:56, 24 July 2005 (UTC)
There is no need for IRC software: just use the Real-time chat link in the site notice. -- IlyaHaykinson 02:19, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

I'm looking at the agenda on meta and I'm at a loss to why people think such matters need IRC discussion. Let's get a few things straight:

  1. Nothing on IRC is recorded (or if it is, it's not easy to find). Everything here on the wiki is visible to anyone, and is forever.
  2. Yes anyone can use the CGI interface yadda yadda yaddya but why should they? What about the people who can't make any of the times? It's the middle of the night for half the planet...
  3. We have 3,500 registered users and more than a dozen 'regulars'. A small group having a back-room discussion simply isn't terribly wiki-like and it's a bit rich to think they could 'impose' any kind of decision on the wiki, which begs the question of why bother in the first place.

I can't see anything on the 'agenda' can't be discussed here. Let's take deletion requests: the current three day time limit arose after I made a proposal about it here on the Water cooler, invited everyone I could think of to the debate (via their talk pages), we had a good ol' debate, we came to a consensus, I asked did anyone disagree with the final proposal, no no-one did, then I updated WN:DR. (NGerda you'd do well to take that onboard.)

Today is Monday. Everything on that agenda could be fully and openly debated right here, long before next weekend. Dan100 (Talk) 08:52, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Lol, just realised that most of the agenda items link right back here to the cooler. So if you have anything to say about those issues, don't wait until the weekend, just edit the wiki and say what you want to now! Dan100 (Talk) 09:06, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Accredited Wikinews Press Badges[edit]

MrM-proposed-pressbadge.jpg
  • I know NGerda currently has a design laid out as well, what I'm proposing is the design you see to your right. The card measures roughly 3.45 in. (8.76 cm) W x 2.15 in. (5.5 cm) H when cut, around the size of a credit card. The current one by NGerda is a little large IMO, and I think this size would be perfect for such a credential note. --Mrmiscellanious 05:11, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
    • First, we need to watch using the Wikinews logo - it is a trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation and is not public domain so we need to have the Foundation's permission before we print their logo on anything and use it for personal reasons. Second, in my nearly two decades as a reporter I NEVER worked at a news organization that issued press badges. In fact, the only press badges I ever had were made by PR people of events I covered - or by government officials so I could park my car on city/county propoerty without being towed while interviewing an official for a story. I suggest people just go to some online-place like [http:www.vistaprint.com VistaPrint] and get business cards printed up with their contact numbers and email address. It would be more useful, since you can get hundreds of them. Just hand out your card at events or during an interview. -- Davodd | Talk 04:03, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

portals, neighbourhoods etc etc[edit]

I have moved the neighbourhoods proposal to Proposal:local, hopefully that's a better place as several people have had input. Everyone who's suggested ideas in the related discussions above please try to incorporate them to make it great. ClareWhite (no tildes, I make it 1740 gmt)

I think this is a wonderful idea, and we should start discussing the process and timeline for implementing it. -- NGerda 18:05, July 26, 2005 (UTC)

That's great - please also add more to the idea itself so it's solid enough to be inplemented! ClareWhite 07:40, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Aah, I don't get this! Portal pages, categories, namespace bloody article pages. What's going on? Here's how I think it should work:

1. there is a category that many people want to/are writing about, let's say Burundi.

2. Nobody's written much about Burundi before but they are now so let's add it to the Wikinews:section menu. The category page is editable and directly accessible through /Burundi, like Quakers and Rwanda are (this is the bit I'm not getting because I just tried this and it didn't work)

3. Lots of people discover they have a shared interest in Burundi and they start communicating on the portal page. They add features such as the easy-submission box (see Quaker's workspace) or the Template feature of Davodd's.

4. A community builds up, news articles about Burundi get better and better through collaboration

5. The portal applies, and is granted, Wikinews Bureau status

6. Lo! You have a Burundi bureau!

7. Or it doesn't and the community goes flat, but no matter because you still have a more highly developed category page than you did before and, if, in the future someone comes back and is interested again they can revive it.

There's something I'm not getting here - could someone please write out the process for making a Category page a Portal page? And perhaps explain the difference? Thanks ClareWhite 13:38, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

  • The Category page exists merely as a way for MediaWiki to spit out a raw list of articles in a given category organized alphabetically. The Portal page, on the other hand, is where the topic or region has its story organized in a "pretty" way as the community sees fit. I think the category page should just have a transclusion, {{Burundi}}, at the top to display what is on the portal automatically. -- NGerda 18:02, July 28, 2005 (UTC)
    • All categories have pages. This is often forgotten, on Wikipedia and Wiktionary as well as on Wikinews. The category pages can be useful. Transclusion is in fact not necessary for portals at all. Using redirects instead, with the portals actually at the category pages, has several advantages. Uncle G 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
  • See Wikinews:Portal for how to make a Category page into a Portal page. It contains step-by-step instructions, and there is now a set of templates to make the process exceedingly easy in the case of geographic portals. (I expect that a similarly simple process for creating full topic portals like the Quakers one, complete with submission facility, can be created and then documented there.) Discussion to Wikinews talk:Portal, please. Uncle G 20:47, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
Hooray! I've just followed Uncle G's instructions to turn Burundi into a Portal! Wow, it was exciting. I'm not quite sure if I did it the right way round but it seemed to work.

May I suggest that we use Wikinews:SectionMenu to keep a track of portals: since it is a manually built list we can use it to promote 'active' categories though of course many more exist and people will be able to find the ones they really want by clicking on the big categories. I've used the Quaker example to show a third-level of sub-divisions from Major topic > Sub topic > Local sub topic. It looks rather neat. (Is it controversial to have Religion as a sub-category to Culture and entertainment by the way? Because that's what it is). ClareWhite 11:05, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

WikiNews Network[edit]

A WikiNews Network proposal is up for vote here. I would strongly encourage people to read the entire proposal before voting on it. -- NGerda 04:43, July 31, 2005 (UTC)