Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2009/August

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The Mediawiki install over on Wikinewsie is pretty much in a usable state. It has always been talked about moving obituaries completely out of public view, so this would seem the logical place to keep them. When needed on Wikinews a full export/import of the article can be done and we're good to go with simple addition of cause of death and so.

At some point I feel we should vote on such a proposal, but we actually need a more well-defined proposal too. First to define why obits are not on the main site, second to keep a record of which ones we do have.

When David Shankbone interviewed Shimon Perez there was an issue with us having a prepared obituary. I don't know where they searched, or what terms they used, but they (Perez's press watchdogs) came up with the prepped obit. This was before we were in Google news, so I assume that was in their main index. So, I'd say prepared obituaries should be out of sight to avoid subjects finding their own, as well as to avoid some moron finding it, ignoring the huge 'prepared' template at the top, and doing something like tweeting it to the whole world.

As I say, I think we need a record of what obituaries we have prepared. On Wikinewsie I would suggest a page in the public namespace with links into the closed area where the obits are. Here on Wikinews I propose a template added into the prepared stories page giving names, links to their Wikipedia page, and to the public page on Wikinewsie.

A last point would be to have an introduction and/or invitation to draft obits here to be moved to Wikinewsie fairly quickly. A process to request a wiki markup version from wikinewsie should be in place too.

Thoughts? Other suggestions? Remember, discuss prior to voting. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:48, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I think it does need to be somewhere slightly hidden. I've been thinking about a few that I want to do, but didn't really want to pop in story prep. for however many months it might be. How would access to the closed area be regulated? Dotty••| 07:11, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
The regulation of that is already in place, access to Wikinewsie is restricted to admins and accredited reporters. --Brian McNeil / talk 07:55, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm a bit worried about that, being the free news source that you can write. Somebody like me would then be unable to access the obituaries and so wouldn't be able to participate in that area. Dotty••| 07:59, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Could the magic word __NOINDEX__ help here? It adds "noindex" to the page's meta tags to discourage search engines from indexing the page. Adambro (talk) 12:38, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
I just added __NOINDEX__ to Wikinews:Story preparation and to Wikinews:Story preparation/Obituaries. We should figure out a more automated way of adding __NOINDEX__ to all the related subpages. Cirt (talk) 12:50, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
You added it to the {{prepare}} template last year and so any pages which use that template shouldn't be indexed. Adambro (talk) 13:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Ah, quite right. Cirt (talk) 13:39, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
Uhh, but I thought noindex would not function inside the main namespace. ViperSnake151 (talk) 22:13, 25 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I'm not so sure about this. I think that Wikinewsie should be used as little as possible - only for things that are highly sensitive, like embargoed material or investigations. Wikinews should be the free news source anyone can edit. As far as obituaries go, i don't see why we have to hide them from the public view: as it is, the {{prepare}} notice explicitly states the article is not correct, and with noindex on the prepare template, there is practically zero outside traffic on the Prepared stories. Tempodivalse [talk] 12:42, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Vector skin redesign

There was some discussion about redesigning the main page to fit in more with the new Vector skin, which, if we can get it working fully with Wikinews, may become the new default skin. You can see a preview here.

Everybody seems to have their own main page design in a sandbox somewhere, so I thought it would be better if we could all give our views on what needs to be changed and what it should look like and then maybe we could get some sort of consensus and an awesome main page could be designed more collaboratively than at the moment.

So, please post any comments you have on how it should like, what should be where etc.

Thanks!   Tris   21:32, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

  • If you want to turn it on for your account. My Preferences > Appearance > Vector > Save --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 18:07, 6 July 2009 (UTC)


First is getting Vector debugged and polished up a bit. I really dislike how the (c)/TM is left-justified. I put in the CSS to hide the page title on the main page, newsroom, water cooler, and quiz. There may well be other pages where this needs done. People need to switch to the Vector skin and poke around links from the main page. There may be a need for some new page heading templates similar to those on the newsroom and so. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:39, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Other issue (not sure if its an issue), floating tocs seem to not word wrap (for example, the ToC on WN:WC). Bawolff 04:27, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Things needing to be fixed

I'm going to be on wikibreak for several weeks. Some of things i fixed for the various gadgets were to work arround problems with the vector skin that have been subsequently fixed. Once mediawiki gets updated (I have no idea at what point that will happen), the gadgets will break again most likely due to the temporary fixes no longer being needed. Anyways, if everything breaks again, the following changes would probably have to be made:


Remove the last 9 lines. specifically, delete:

//make jsMsg work. Hopefully devs will fix the issue in vector at some point.
addOnloadHook(function() {
var div = document.createElement('div'); = 'mw-js-message'; = 'none'; = 'left'
var sitenotice = document.getElementById('siteNotice')


Change line 22 from:

addPortletLink((skin !== "vector" ? "p-cactions" : "actions"), ";void%200;", "Review", "ca-peerReview", "Do a peer review on this page");


addPortletLink("p-cactions", ";void%200;", "Review", "ca-peerReview", "Do a peer review on this page");


remove line 10-12. Specificly, delete the following:

       if (skin === "vector") {
       personal = "personal";


change line 4 from:

   var actionPortlet = (skin === "vector" ? "actions" : "p-cactions");


  var actionPortlet = "p-cactions";

Hopefully that would fix the upcoming issues when they occur. Bawolff 09:02, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

Make Vector Default Skin

After a month of votes - I am going to step in here as someone who has not voted and declare this vote as No Consensus, thus no action to be taken. It appears that a section of the community do not feel that the skin is ready to be made the permanent skin yet - whether or not Vector is at it's final revision. Many have also expressed concern about gadgets and skin tweaks not working - another very good point to make. I don't think the community as a whole is opposed to Vector - I personally use it as my day-to-day skin for Wikinews now - however the points raised make it far too difficult for me to, with a clear conscience, close this vote as having gone either way. I would suggest re-opening this poll once Vector goes fully stable / in a few months time, and seeing how the votes lie then. There is not much point in allowing this to go on any longer than it already has. --Skenmy talk 20:33, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I have closed the bug request (19865) filed by ShakataGaNai as INVALID, citing this vote. The bug was raised far too prematurely. --Skenmy talk 21:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Background image

As mentioned elsewhere I'd like to see a newspapery background to go with the (hopeful) change to Vector. This image looks to me like the sort of candidate I'd start from, and right license to be reused. It's also big enough to enlarge to a 2000px+ width and keep those with widescreen monitors happy. What does need done is fading it down so that the rather dark top doesn't interfere with the text and logo at page top. --Brian McNeil / talk 16:00, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Oppose I personally prefer a solid background. I find textured backgrounds like the one you've linked distracting (even faded). Other news sites also tend to have clean backgrounds. Of course, I can override in my skin file if need be, but I think others (including anons) may feel the same way. Superm401 | Talk 21:09, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Oppose Textured backgrounds tend to be overly distracting, and they can get in the way. Especially with vector, i would look a little unusual in places like the sidebar. Plain or very simple backgrounds are the way to go. TheFearow (userpage) 04:26, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Oppose I think texture backgrounds are a bit too distracting, especially with a skin like Vector. With Monobook, this might not be much of a problem, but it would look a bit awkward in some areas like the search bar and sidebar when viewed in Vector. Solid backgrounds look nicer IMO. Tempodivalse [talk] 12:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Simple Wikinews?

anyway this could happen? -- (talk) 00:21, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

I really hope not-I'm not a big fan of Simple English thingys apart from the Wikipedia one. I mean, simple quotes?! Honestly, it's not a quote if you change it. And to be honest, it's not like many of our articles are that hard to understand. And, we barely have enough contributors to keep the "complex" one going, let alone another one. Right, I'll stop now! Just my two cents.   Tris   00:52, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
I would like a try at creating it though Simple English Wikinews. --TheGoldenGoose (talk) 00:58, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
If something like the recession comes up again, it wouldn't be the easiest thing to explain. I think the main Wikinews is barley ticking over as it is, until we can firmly get a good community of contributors going here we can start thinking about other projects such as simple Wikinews but I don't think that'll be happening any time soon. --James Pain (talk) 13:06, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • The place to look into starting a simple Wikinews would be Meta, but as James and Tristan point out, it would not work. The request for a new wiki would be declined if you could not raise enough interest, and even here we're at a point of 'only just' enough contributors to keep the project going. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:28, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • Well, aside from that, they're not accepting any new Simple English projects. –Juliancolton | Talk 15:43, 26 July 2009 (UTC)
  • I have to second Brian's comment about the fact that we have a hard enough time keeping people here, let alone having a second english edition.--ShakataGaNai ^_^ 16:24, 3 August 2009 (UTC)
From what I know, a new WMF wiki will only be approved for creation if it is in a language that is recognised by ISO. Simple English is not a real language, so a SE-WN will never be created. (The reason some simple english projects exist is because they were created before that rule was implemented.) Tempodivalse [talk] 21:10, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Also, It was voted on in the past, and the result was no - meta:Wikinews/Start_a_new_edition#Simple_English (of course the procedures for creating new languages has changed since than, so the other reasons given are probably more valid). Bawolff 22:33, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

A 'Press Corps' page

something like m:Press Corps is needed for people to post

- events coming up that they'd like to see covered, 
- events they'll be attending, 
- willingness to attend events for a wikinews story, and their gear/skills

so that people who want a story on an event can coordinate with those in the area. Is there a place now to announce "There is an event in DC that someone should cover" ? something like the geonotice template hat makes announcements show up on the watchlist page for people whose IPs are in the area might be useful. Sage was wondering if such a page existed earlier this week. sj (talk) 07:01, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Maybe you can breathe life into
See also Wikinews:Requested_articles
--InfantGorilla (talk) 17:34, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
We have pages like Wikinews:Happenings/Ontario as well; we really need to merge all these things into a single page and encourage/require all accredited users to watchlist it. Sherurcij 01:56, 5 August 2009 (UTC)
There has been quite a lot of attempts to create something like this, and they always seem to fade into the background quite quickly. At one point there was also m:Scheduled attendance for Wikinews or Commons but that actually got folded into m:Press Corps. I think m:WORTNET was also meant to coordinate these types of things. As it stands, most people just post to mailing list and wc. Bawolff 22:37, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

Regional subcategory system

Per a discussion between Gopher65 and I at Wikinews:Deletion requests, I thought of a workable method for introducing regional subcats that does not require contributors to have local knowledge. For each nation, we create Portal:Country/Regions. On that page, we would split the country down into it's provinces/counties/whatevers, with each one being a new title. Regions within could get subtitles. Under that title we list all the major towns and cities in that region, and each region and settlement that had it's own category would link to it. This allows us to add cats for regions etc. that may not be mentioned specifically in articles without them becoming hopelessly impossible to maintain, and it makes it easier for editors looking for city/region cats to find them. This, in turn, means readers can select categories for specific regions they are interested in and see a good crop of articles. Also, this way we can both address Gopher's concerns at the DR and keep on creating as required. So... What do other people think? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 14:26, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

Comments moved to below section.
  • One of the key issues here seems to be recent interest in dealing with regions of Pakistan. In looking at that, I'm seeing a lot of problems. First, there needs to be consistency with Wikipedia for category naming - and to some extent for where we have a category on something they just have as an article (eg Pakistan's ISI). Pakistani regions are pretty big, so I propose the following checklist to work through for the country.
  1. Create all subdivisions as defined on w:Pakistan - regardless of minimum article count
  2. ensure all sub-cats of Category:Pakistan match appropriately with Wikipedia
  3. VfD all Pakistan sub-cat portals
  4. List sub-cat regional capitals on category page, where min article count met create sub-cats
  5. Propose list of non-capital major cities to be listed to aid in categorisation
How does this sound? I think for the problem we have we'll need to do this country by country - with tiny places like Switzerland left to last. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I've hacked my way through this and am going to submit a deletion request. That's not all of the way through the steps here, but clarifying some of what we should and should not have will help progress this. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:04, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Ok, that sounds reasonable. I'll agree to that. Gopher65talk 13:42, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Seconded Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:58, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
I've pointed Ali Rana at this discussion since he created a lot of the categories and was tagging stuff to be added to categories. This would be a lot easier with someone who knows the country's geography a lot better than me. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:48, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Category:Islamabad Capital Territory and Category:Islamabad seem redundant since Islamabad makes up 90% of the capital territory. --SVTCobra 13:51, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
There were a couple of articles I excluded that talked about events 60-100km from Islamabad - these may be in the territory but not in the actual city. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:56, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Unless I am blind, then all articles in cat:Islamabad Capital Territory are also in cat:Islamabad.--SVTCobra 14:07, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
You yourself pointed it out - the city makes up 90% of the territory - not all of it. If we break a country down into its accepted regions, then we should cover all of them, and name consistently with Wikipedia. An article could relate to something in the 10% not actually part of the city - we should have the correct category for it already. Another article could refer to a planned event such as a conference in Islamabad. There it might be appropriate to list in the city category but not in the territory category - this due to the conference location having a casual relationship to the actual region. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:27, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
The proposals that have been listed here are exceptionally commendable. They do not only resolute towards a great standardised system, but also pinpoint away some confusion in the future. What I need more clarification on right now are the regional portals. Blood Red Sandman has suggested Portal:Country/Regions...I am assuming that essentially means that instead of Portal:Sindh, Portal:North-West Frontier Province etc, we have a single Portal:Pakistan/Regions listing all the Provinces in one page. The idea sounds great to me and I agree with it, but the question is, is that likely to be done with all countries? Take the 50 US-state portals we have right now into consideration....what to do with them? Ali Rana (talk) 07:42, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

<unindent> Let's steer clear of the US state portals for the time being. I have a gut feeling many of them could or should be deleted as, even with DPLs and a lot of US news, a portal could easily list two year old stories under a topic category.

Not only is it that I can't see a solution like Portal:Pakistan/Regions where there are 8 regions scaling well to Portal:United States/Regions, I - to be honest - can't actually see any use for the sub-page. Is it for Wikinewsies working on articles? Or is it for general readers? I think the points identified so far are for Wikinewsies, the data needs to be laid out in such a way that the correct categories can be found and added to an article. This means that when you go to Category:Pakistan you need to be able to identify which of the sub-categories are the regions, and from there you may need to get a list of major cities in each to allow an article to be more accurately categorised. Templates might be a much more useful solution here, and I could see Portal:Pakistan/Regions being pulled in by a template to provide useful information. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:33, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Brian, I was just wondering if its possible to incorporate a portal into a category. By that, I basically mean that instead of creating a separate portal page for a region, we integrate the data/templates required into the region's category page instead. From that perspective, a reader would not only be looking at a category but also at a built-in portal attached within. This new concept may not align with the conventional look-and-feel that categories are supposed to have, but then again - this is Wikinews, and a model like this could be productive for regions that don't deserve portals or otherwise have too few articles to have a portal. Le me know if it sounds wild. Ali Rana (talk) 14:07, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
First off, regarding my Portal:Country/Regions idea: it is for Wikinewsies working on articles, and it was only an idea for where to stick the list of cities. I'm open to that being shunted around; the key point is that we have one somewhere so that people can work out regional cats without needing any knowledge of the country in question. As far as the US goes... We're going to need to deal with that one separatly. My suggestion is that for nations like the US where there are lots of subdivisions we figure out some way to split the country down into regions that should broadly be recognisable by anyone with a map (Wikipedia has these for most towns) e.g. northeast, southeast etc (but obviously more specific to each contry, maybe with some overlap for towns that could be considered either). The US is easy - we can split it by state. We then make each of these first-level divisions with the full list of subdivisions and town within, and make that collapsable, so that if we take the US example a contributor need only expand the staate(s) that are relevant to show their regions. As to Ali's portal idea: I don't think we should have a full-on portal since that would replicate the problem of separate portals, but maybe we can give it a portal 'feel' to it by making it prettied up a bit. For some areas with many articles we could maybe work out some kind of 'portal lite'. If people like that idea I will split off another section and we can discuss layouts etc. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 17:15, 13 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh, and what Ali was saying about what he thought I meant by the use of Portal:Country/Regions - while it wasn't what I meant, that might also be a decent idea for a sort of semi-portal type... thing. Designing such things isn't much of a strong point for me, partly because I ain't great at the 'looks good' side of 'looks good and is functional', but mainly because I haven't the first clue how any of the markup works. Also, what sections we'd have and what DPLs would take a lot of working out for all these pseudoportal ideas. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:58, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Categorisation issues

Split from above section

A more fundamental problem is that our use of categories is a little unconventional. The general idea of categories is that content should be in the most specific subcategory. However, that is often not the case on Wikinews with an article being in both the California category and the United States category. I assume this is due to how the dynamic page list extension works. If we want to have a list of recent US stories we have to add all US stories into the US category. This is very undesirable, not least because it results in enormous unmanageable categories. I think our first step in making the category system work is to see whether DPL can or could be made so that it can list all articles in a category and its subcategories. Adambro (talk) 18:32, 11 August 2009 (UTC)

I don't like that. It would mean that people who accessed the page could not simply click on the relevant category for, say, the continent or for crime and law to get the latest news there. Wikinews relies on keeping the interest of the casual reader for as long as possible. Again, this is something that works on Wikipedia, but not so well here. Even if we get the latest subcat content to list in the parent cat, there are problems with, say, category:Aviation with the subcat Category:Garuda Indonesia. If an article only had the airline's cat then it would be hard for newcomers to find the aviation category. That proplem would greatly increase with more regular use of geographical area cats. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:51, 11 August 2009 (UTC)
I've split these comments about the wider use of categories to a new section. I appreciate the point you are making about readers using the link to categories like Category:Aviation to find other stories they might be interested in but I hope you can also accept that categories such as this or Category:Europe for example are becoming more and more unmanageable and that makes it difficult for us to ensure that content is properly categorised. Elsewhere, the more conventional use of categories makes it much easier to identify when a subcategory is appropriate because as content is more specifically categorised it is removed from the broader category, meaning content in these broad categories is kept to a minimum. I think we need to find a solution that removes the current need to add articles to both broader and more specific categories. Adambro (talk) 14:50, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
If we want to depopulate things like continent categories I see two issues to deal with. First, it must be possible to select articles that fall in these categories with DPL even though they might only be listed in a sub-category. Second, is it reasonable to only list in, say country sub-categories? A story could cover three or four countries agreeing on legislation to be implemented Europe-wide. Doesn't this then merit listing in the main Europe category as well as the relevant country categories?
I have generally been opposed to the shotgun categorisation that sees nearly everything labelled with continent categories, but some balance needs to be struck. I suspect we must define a categorisation system, then look at where changes to DPL are needed to make it work. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:03, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Regarding your first point, I would agree. As I said in my first comment, DPL would need to be made to include articles in subcategories. On your second point, I'm certainly not of the opinion that categories such as Category:Europe should be empty beyond the more specific subcategories. Clearly, as you note, there will be instances where an article will be relevant on a broader level. So, for example, an article about a new law in the UK would go in the main UK category (assuming of course there isn't a UK laws sub category), whereas an article about an accident in London would only be in the London category, rather than the also the UK category as would be the case now. Both would show up on the UK portal via the DPL. If for example the accident in London is only really a regional story then it could also be added to Category:Local and the UK portal DPL set to exclude such articles. Adopting this system would enable broad categories like the UK to contain articles most relevant to that subject, rather than simply articles relevant to our audience on that national level. By using appropriate categories like Category:Local will still retain control over the significance of stories. Adambro (talk) 17:10, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

While we are looking at categorisation, to quote myself from WN:DR "I would also like Wikinews to have the ability to search only for articles in (a) certain category/ies to allow the big ones to be more useful, as well as the ability to search only for articles not in (a) certain category/ies to allow for easier categorisation [by searching for articles that could be added to cats without articles already there showing up]". I reckon the devs could probably put that together for use if there was enough of a consensus to get it. Anyone else want it? Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:24, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

Not the only one to think of this see bug and vote/comment. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:39, 12 August 2009 (UTC)
Done Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 15:48, 12 August 2009 (UTC)

If, as suggested, better categorisation cannot be done without changes to DPL, what changes are required?

  • If I want to display all Pakistan news is it a DPL selecting cat Pakistan and all sub-cats?
    • Should it be possible to exclude people sub-cats?
    • Should it be possible to exclude organisation or company sub-cats?

Basically, I think we need something with a little flexibility. I'm not going to look at DPL2 as an option because the on-wiki changes required from switching would be massive. What's needed is additions to the existing DPL so you can select all articles in cat Pakistan and sub-cats where the sub-cats are in the category regional divisions. What would be the DPL syntax for that? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:42, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

From what i gather, what is wanted is to be able to say, list latest ten articles in category foo, or any category thats a subcategory of foo, or any subcategory of a subcategory of foo, and so on to an infinite depth. I don't think thats going to work. First of all, I'd imagine that would not be efficient in the slightest, but the more serious issue is vandalism. Say we want to list all articles in North America. Someone adds category Europe to category:Alberta. Suddenly we've got europe articles in the North America DPL, and we don't know how they got there, and the vandalism could be on any of some 60 odd pages (if not more). Bawolff 02:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
Categories can be protected by implementing flagged revisions, but I'm not sure that is a direction we want to follow. A similar (but not the same) problem is with redirects. Currently they are often not sighted, which means vandals can change the redirect to some other page, without us noticing. I usually sight redirects when I come across them, but I believe there are many unsighted redirects. Cheers, Van der Hoorn (talkcontribs) 12:21, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Request for input

There's a proposal on the strategic planning wiki that I think some Wikinews folks might have some insight into... if you are experienced with photographs and the challenges of getting them (particularly of celebrities), would you mind terribly taking a look at strategy:Proposal:More photographs and posting your opinion on the proposal's talk page? Thanks! Philippe (talk) 07:03, 15 August 2009 (UTC)

Wikinews Accredited Reporter Identity Cards

I have listed this proposal (originally at WN:WARIC) on the WMF Proposals website. Please take a look, and add / improve / comment on the proposal! [1] --Skenmy talk 16:28, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

FYI: Discussions on a possible partnership are occuring on Wikipedia

I wanted to notify everyone here of, and invite participation in, a discussion that has been taking place on Wikipedia which can be located at: w:Template talk:In the news#Use of Wikinews.

For some quick background, I started the thread linked to above a couple of weeks ago, and it lay dormant until earlier today/yesterday (depending on our local). Yesterday, the "stewards" of the ITN section caused something of a stir by delaying and debating the inclusion of Ted Kennedy's death as an item for ITN. As a consequence of that, I was able to kick start discussion on the linked to proposal again.

It may not go anywhere, but the basic idea is to partner with all of you here, and to essentially feature what you guys select for your Latest News items in some manner, on Wikipedia's main page. I think that it's a good idea (obviously), because I think that it allows for a reduction in duplicated effort, features our relationship as being cooperative, and boosts Wikinews' profile somewhat. Since the consequences of such a proposal would obviously affect the project here, I figure that I should notify you before going any further.

Note that there is a lot of conversation on the linked talk page. it's not all essential to the proposal though, since most of it deals with the Wikipedia ITN process flap that happened in the previous 24+ hours. I just don't want anyone to be intimidated by the wall of text that you may be presented with. (my signature shows as Ω on Wikipedia, by the way) Ohms law (talk) 09:05, 27 August 2009 (UTC)

This is not an old discussion. I have been advocating for Wikinews to have more than a link on Wikipedia's main page for quite some time now. In my opinion, it's not going to least not the way I or you want it to. Wikipedia has and will always be about power and control. And if they don't have control over something, usually total control, they don't want anything to do with it. My whole argument about the situation is also this: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. Not a news site. Ideally there should be no news section on Wikipedia, and the news that is written there should be done here. But Alas, I digress. That would be a dream come true. Until then, there is no reason why Wikinews cannot be presented on WP's main page in a form that is more than a URL. I would love to partner with those who write the news on WP, but I just don't know if it will work. Speaking of work...I do that quite a bit in real life. I will keep up on the conversation and comment when I can or where needed. Let me know if I can help :) DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 10:57, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
There has been progress since I got involved in Wikinews, and I would certainly agree there is a perception that the Wikipedians controlling the WP ITN section of the main page enjoy a feeling of ownership of that section. However, I would counsel Wikinewsies with strongly held views on this not to engage in the WP discussion until they have read all the background and rules on their ITN section; even then, don't wade in dictating demands and expect a reasonable reception. --Brian McNeil / talk 11:55, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Being active on both projects, I think it's a good idea to have the big news from here on there. Wikinews is a lot more neutral and well-run, as there are many, many more contributors here than working on the ITN section. Why not more closely link to projects? It's a perfect solution, in my eyes. hmwithτ 14:41, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Comment: I helped to push forward a reformat of w:Portal:Current events to more prominently display Wikinews articles. Unfortunately, at this point in time it appears over at Wikipedia there is significant resistance to doing something similar for Template:In the news - in what seems to be related to some ownership issues. Perhaps over time this attitude will change. Cirt (talk) 15:55, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
I think it's a great idea to implement this. We have more editors working here than at en.wp's ITN, and have a greater selection of news items. Plus, being so prominently displayed at en.wikipedia's front page could easily double our reader base, and probably gain us a few additional contributors as well. I don't see why it shouldn't be done. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:56, 27 August 2009 (UTC)
Hello again folks. The ownership issues are the central reason that this discussion (and a more general "reboot" discussion) are taking place now. The current group of editors who are squatting on the ITN process were able to fly under the radar for a long time simply because most people just don't pay much attention to it, but they kind of kicked over an anthill with the Ted Kennedy story, which provided an opportunity for me to restart this proposal. Brian is right that you shouldn't wade in to the discussion with guns blazing, but some additional participation showing that there support from "the Silent Majority" would certainly help. Acquiescing to the demands of a cabal by not participating certainly isn't going to help the situation any.Ohms law (talk) 06:01, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

Conclusion - What next

The summary of the discussion on Wikipedia is that their In The News (ITN) section will not list Wikinews content. Those fundamentally opposed to doing so put across the argument that the section's purpose is to highlight Wikipedia content relating to current events, with additional criteria that the article has been significantly revised.

Arguing against that, well, it's tilting at windmills.

As was pointed out in the discussion, there are a variety of templates on Wikipedia to link to relevant Wikinews content. Most en.wn regulars know these, and add them over on Wikipedia when their articles are published. As Cirt points out above, there's also been work undertaken (some DPL magic and a bot IIRC) to automate listing Wikinews content on Portal pages. Sure, these are less trafficed than the articles themselves, but I'd expect that smaller audience to be more likely to edit a wiki, and to be familiar with core principles like NPOV. I.e. people we'd ideally like to recruit.

Another point occurred to me while going through the discussion on Wikipedia. The articles that WP's ITN section links to almost always have a 'current event' warning template at the top. For a prime example of this, w:Template:Recent death.

For that particular template, what's wrong with adding an additional parameter (say, wikinews_obituary=<articlename>). Where the parameter is not present, the template appears as it does today. With the parameter completed with the title of a Wikinews article, add an additional line displaying an icon-sized Wikinews logo, the text "Wikinews obituary:" and the title as a link to our article. I'd also want something in there to link to a landing page or introduction here on Wikinews emphasising the project is different, and how to contribute.

Obviously, something similar would need done with the other Wikipedia recent news event templates.

I don't think I need to explain how this benefits Wikinews, even though these recent news event templates are generally removed after a week. What's needed is reasons why this would be beneficial to Wikipedia as well. In the case of the recent death template I'd think the obvious point here is that those descending on w:Ted Kennedy to write an obituary instead of an encyclopedia article can swiftly be directed to the right place - and in the case of the Kennedy death, the exposure for Wikinews would be huge.

Can we build a list of the relevant templates on Wikipedia and get sandboxed versions with the changes we'd like? What about additional local templates we might need? I could see good reason to have an obituary template for our category pages on people. Having a notice they're dead, and a link straight to the obituary article, makes sense. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:20, 28 August 2009 (UTC)

we're not at all done discussing this. Let's not prematurely jump to conclusions. Go to w:Template Talk:In the news and post a statement in the RFC, please. It's only a foregone conclusion to keep Wikinews off of the WP mainpage if we allow it to be so. Ohms law (talk) 06:54, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
ps: there's a discussion underway to delete the current events templates, which is probably going to go through, since the proponents are dead set to do it. I don't think that those templates will stay deleted, but now probably isn't the time to be attempting to add to them. It is a good idea though, and I would certainly support doing something along the lines of what you're thinking about here (regardless of the front page issues, as well) Ohms law (talk) 06:58, 29 August 2009 (UTC)
Can you point me at the discussion to delete the current events templates? --Brian McNeil / talk 21:27, 29 August 2009 (UTC)