Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2012/March

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Email Notification

I wish there was a email notification if something happened on your article so that when they are reviewed or developed they can be looked at right away. I get push notification to my phone, and I believe this would help storys from going stale which is a huge issue in our class. Inpayne (talk) 02:31, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

Fwiw, in your user preferences under the "Watchlist" tab there's a way to generate an RSS feed from your watchlist — or there's supposed to be; I haven't tried it so don't know whether it works. With warnings that if someone else gets your key they can read your watchlist; if for example I were going to try a stunt like that (since I have both a gargantuan watchlist, and privs that impel me to be extra-cautious about security) I'd use a declared alternate account with a minimal watchlist. --Pi zero (alt acct) (alt talk) 14:05, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

I agree that there should be some type of notification system. I have set up a RSS feed but it was not useful when I was trying to watch my story. I also added it to my watch list. Maybe instead of email notifications maybe if you put something on your watch list then you can receive notifications which can then be sent to phones. Something like how Facebook or Twitter notifications work. I think stories would have faster turn around time and less stories would become stale if we could follow up quicker. Kelsey_lyn

Removal of automatic welcoming?

Has anybody thought of removing the automatic welcoming bot? Getting a bot welcoming you the moment you create your account is not what I call a personal and friendly welcome.--Hallows AG (talk) 10:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Support

Oppose

  • Oppose I have some stuff I'd like to talk over on this, but this poll was created without any discussion first. Second time recently; I hope we don't go back to this trend. (We all used to do it, but in retrospect it wasn't very smart.) Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 13:12, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose I too have at least a bit I could say on the subject. (Probably BRS or someone would say it first, and I'd be left with a lame 'I agree with xem', but still.) --Pi zero (talk) 14:00, 2 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose This isn't 'perfect', but it leaves people with no excuses when they post encyclopedic pages and we zap them, or when we mark wikipedia-style news articles as not ready. I did the whole nine yards on welcomittee, manually placed the welcome template on hundreds to talk pages, and saw very, very little return on the time invested. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:09, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedian mindset

I've had an aha moment about where Wikipedians are likely to go wrong when approaching Wikinews. When articulated, such insights often look either trivial or misguided. So I'm going to try to articulate it.

The heart of the matter, I think, is a common Wikipedian experience of contributing, and how that experience relates both to AGF and to the Wikipedian guidelines. Every contributor's experience is unique; I'm just saying there's a common trend here.

  • When someone contributes something, and it isn't vandalism, it's expected to be treated as inherently valuable; folks should bend over backward to try to incorporate it. Failure to do so is likely to be perceived as dickish, perhaps suggestive of assuming bad faith; there's a real sense of entitlement about the value of non-vandalism contributions.
  • The guidelines are not something to be read, frankly. Information overload. I saw this myself when I first opened an account on Wikipedia (about five years ago, now): I could see the web of policies guidelines essays and help pages was inhumanly vast, and trying to learn it all was out of the question, so I figured I'd start with copyedits here and there and gradually pick up the most important things by osmosis, then later I could investigate specific points when needed.
  • For the most part, the guidelines are not something to be used to reject user contributions; that would be bureaucratic dickishness, violating the non-vandal's entitlement. (Using them to improve contributions is okay.)

Having learned these lessons from Wikipedia, you come to Wikinews. Naturally you don't read the guidelines, certainly not in detail, as your experience tells you that would be both hopeless and possibly dickish. If someone outright rejects your contribution, your gut instinct says they're being dickish, possibly assuming bad faith, and if they cite the guidelines for what they're doing, that's even worse — bureaucratic dickishness.

Contrast with a strategy likely to produce success and a positive experience: Approach Wikinews with a sense of humility, hoping to produce something good enough to publish. Carefully study our guidelines with an eye toward the thoughtful principles underlying them (rather than as bureaucratic red tape to be suffered), talk to people and ask intelligent questions based on this attitude and study, and then write and submit an article. --Pi zero (talk) 17:11, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

I note you used the meta definition of DICK, and it has two things in it which do not apply here. (i) Wikinews is not an encyclopedia; (ii) We do not have an AGF policy. The latter needs incorporated into Wikinews:For Wikipedians, and could logically link to the first. Your early experience with Wikipedia is similar to mine — policy-wonkery overload. There is indeed vastly less scope to 'pick things up as you go along' here, and assuming such is possible is, as you correctly identify, the number one failing of Wikipedians trying their hand here. so, ...
  1. We port meta's "don't be a dick", somehow work in mention of 'apparently legitimate' contributions not always being "inherently valuable"; and, that being referred to policies and guidelines is, frequently, because they differ radically from those elsewhere.
  2. We take yet another stab at revising {{Howdy}}; my immediate reaction is to suggest moving the For Wikipedians link to the top, but that would not suffice as reasonable steps to show we're trying to address what you've identified. We could do with WN:TFM (Wikinews:The Fine Manual) as a bullet list which fits on a single page, has minimal links to lengthy policy/guideline documents—with those present being things like "Wikinews' Neutral Point of View is not the same as Wikipedia's", "Wikinewsies do not have to assume good faith, rather to never assume"—but, this would likely have to be kept on top of to avoid creeping-featuritis.
What you say is obvious to established Wikinewsies, but has not been this well-articulated. We all, largely, know the policies here; we all know the bar is set far higher than at Wikipedia; what I'll rephrase as "the expectation of [an] entitlement" we see with people familiar with Wikipedia, and - to a lesser extent - Commons, could only be met if three or four of the best-qualified reviewers had a half-dozen clone-slaves each to nanny noobs and remake their copy from whole cloth.
What you've identified, pizero, is the self-same thing I saw with, and showing a marked difference between, the two groups of UoW contributors. The first, far later in their studies, assumed they knew how to write news, then promptly editorialised-away. The second read more of the policies, and guidelines, exhibiting a more humble approach; thus, they were more successful.
The above paragraph, I think all regular contributors will agree, was perfectly exemplified with a certain recent application for credentials. Quote: "I refuse to be treated as a student to whom the master can assign homework assignments to". --Brian McNeil / talk 18:58, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Comment We're thinking about similar issues, but I have another take on this because I’m thinking about the design. Perhaps it's the teacher in me, but none of the Wikis have a very good "front door" orientation and design and so they don't make it simple to do what people want or need to do. On top of that, people are told it's their own fault if they don't get it. This design approach is then related to the mindset and to the culture that is produced from it. So much of this could be avoided with a new design.

  • The situation honestly reminds me of the old MS-DOS, or pre-Windows, attitude, which PC users held religiously many moons ago. The old MS-DOS thinking, to simplify, was this: "Learn as many archaic codes and type each one of them in manually every time you use them because it's good for you. Why? Because that's the way we do things around here. Why? Because." So you had to type long, mindnumbing filenames from where you had it to the place you wanted it to go thousands of times, over and over, just like punishment at the chalkboard. The overall effect was that PC users read their manuals from front to cover to memorize as many archaic codes as possible -- but deep down they knew they would never use them anywhere but on their PC. Then Steve Jobs came along and made things so simple that all you had to do was take the computer out of the box and turn it on, then drag the file icons to where you want them to be. The manuals were short and had lots of pictures in them, and you realized you didn't need them anyway. Apple Mac users got things done while PC users struggled. Apple users were also not code dweebs and developed a different culture. They actually focused on the surface issues that were important to them, which was the real reason why they bought a computer in the first place. Eventually, PC computer manufacturers adopted a window-like system that seemed to look an awful lot like the Apple Mac, although nobody wanted to admit it. Then everybody started computing like this and nobody would ever think about going back to the old MS-DOS. UNTIL: They created a new generation of Wikis with archaic codes, mind-numbing policies, and processes that few can understand. History repeating itself?
  • The lesson from Apple if applied was this, The front door is important. Make it intuitive. Let people do what they want or need to do. If people are struggling, something is wrong with the overall design of the project. When the design is right, people won't be the dweebish bores we loathe. We can do cool things!
Why can't the Wikis tackle the obvious design problems? It's NOT our fault. We just want to create a people's encyclopedia, a people news service, etc. But the awful design of these Wikis costs us so much wasted time and energy and produce a lot of "unpleasantries" (to avoid the "d" word!) Crtew (talk) 19:19, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

In a perfectly designed wiki-environment, people could just concentrate on learning the encyclopedia or news skills they need to do the job! Crtew (talk) 19:57, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

  • I assume you're largely referring to the arcana of wiki markup. I believe thousands of hours have already been poured into attempts to make a visual editor; believe me, that is a hard promblem from an ICT perspective.
The problem here is not markup, or formatting. To use the vernacular, "Wikipedians know that shit". The problem, in the case of the final year UoW students, many couldn't tell the difference between editorialising and news (an all-too-common issue exacerbated by the Murdoch empire). With Wikipedians it's, frequently, use of passive 'to the point of needing life-support' voice. And, as pizero is pointing out, they know there's huge swathes of guidelines and policies; what they don't realise is these are what you call "[the] news skills to do the job".
Apple, I think, is not a good example here; I've done tech support, and seen PiCniC with apple users, and more failure to listen when how to fix a problem like connecting to a WiFi network is explained [PiCniC: Problem in Chair, not in Computer]. Apple is a good example of UI design, as-opposed to the forced evolution of Microsoft's offerings. MediaWiki markup is remarkably simple, and powerful, when compared to something like LaTeX; the issue is that a visual editor which does not royally screw that markup is so difficult to write. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:56, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

Awards overhaul

I'm not at all proposing any BIG FORMAL STUFF HERE, JUST casually ASKING: have there been any recent discussions about adding/removing/updating awards/trophies/barnstars here? Anyone ever made up a new one from scratch? .......it's just been on my mind recently. Bddpaux (talk) 21:58, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

  • Be Bold! they're usually made up when someone has the itch to give a new award. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:49, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Proposal for WikiLove deployment at Wikinews

More info at mw:WikiLove.

Per Requests for Additional Deployment:

  • This is a poll to assess community consensus to deploy the mw:WikiLove extension locally on Wikinews.
  • Reasoning: This would easily address the issue raised above by Bddpaux (talk · contribs).
  • It would make it quite simple to award users with Awards/Trophies/Barnstars locally on Wikinews.
  • This will help to recognize current contributors of content and in other areas of help on the project.
  • It will also serve to foster community awareness and appreciation for others' efforts on Wikinews.
  • Hopefully, it will also bring in more contributors and encourage current contributors to pitch in through more varied means.

-- Cirt (talk) 03:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Support

  1. Support. As proposer. -- Cirt (talk) 03:11, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Support This will bring up some advantages as I don't recall seeing anybody giving awards anywhere in Wikinews when I was here.--Hallows AG (talk) 09:42, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Oppose

  1. Oppose I would seriously consider resigning if we deploy that here. I approve of Bddpaux's interest in trophies/awards, but I'm opposed to trivialization of sentiment. --Pi zero (talk) 04:04, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    Can you back this up? Have you seen trivialization of this sentiment, after deployment of mw:WikiLove on any other wiki sites? -- Cirt (talk) 04:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    Wikinews is not any other project.
    Two small thoughts.
    • I perceive a correlation with the inappropriateness here of AGF; both have to do with looking beneath superficial appearances.
    • An (approximate) quote from Tom Lehrer: "... 'Darling, I love you and I cannot live without you, marry me or I will kill myself.' Well, I was a little disturbed by that until I took another look at the envelope and noticed it was addressed to 'occupant'."
    --Pi zero (talk) 06:09, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    Yeah but do you have any data to back this up from other wikis, or just assumptions? -- Cirt (talk) 06:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    You've missed the point of my first point. --Pi zero (talk) 06:38, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    I respectfully disagree. Your point appears to be based on conjecture. That's totally fine, and you're of course certainly entitled to your opinion, I just wanted to point that out. -- Cirt (talk) 06:47, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    Two minor points: I doubt it is possible for the sort of data you're asking for to exist. And, if it can exist, its absence seems no more fundamentally advantageous to your position than to mine.
    My main point atm is: even if such data could exist and were available, it would be irrelevant. My first point in the earlier comment, "Wikinews is not any other project", is a succinct explanation of why such data would be irrelevant. My second point in that comment, about AGF, provides some supporting detail on an idiosyncrasy of Wikinews that bears on this case: AGF already places attention on a superficial level, changing the nature of the system on which WikiLove would operate. Data for other projects (the sort of data I still don't think can exist :-) would not have any meaning for us unless the other projects involved were projects that don't have AGF. --Pi zero (talk) 08:21, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  2. Oppose This is Wikinews; Wikinews does not do "easy and fun". Giving someone positive feedback in a near-automated manner devalues such feedback. --Brian McNeil / talk 10:20, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
  3. Oppose ...but, hang on just a gol'darned second! I'm kinda ambivalent about the entire gist of "Wikilove" stuffage any-hoo........but, let me toss this out there: give me a few months to doctor up a few new awards and let's all talk like good neighbors about those awards and the proper vs. improper disbursement therein.....then I promise I'll give serious thought to voting "yes" to Wikilove.....ok? Bddpaux (talk) 20:15, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
    Okay, sounds good! ;) -- Cirt (talk) 21:01, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Comments

  • IDGAF. I'd prolly do it manually anyway. I can't see the supposed benefits amounting to much; neither am I convinced a swarm of horrors will be unleashed. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 10:27, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Note: Removed the poll template, as there's not consensus for support at this time. Could revisit later on down the road. -- Cirt (talk) 15:18, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

United States and variations of America

Proposal: To allow the use of “America,” “American(s),” or “American+modified noun” in articles where there is no ambiguity that the word used refers to the United States, U.S. citizens or a U.S entity or phenomenon. In cases where there could be ambiguity, for example a story about the meeting between members of the Organization of American States, the current defaults “United States” or “U.S.+modified noun" (U.S. citizens, U.S. administration, etc.) should be observed.

  • The proposal would extend the current Wikinews default by expanding the variations of America beyond quotes, names of organizations (American Association for the Advancement of Science) or recognized adjectives (like American English vs. British English, American football vs. soccer). The current policy is to avoid variations of “America” where possible.
  • The proposed use is standard for other international news organizations. For example, the Associated Press Stylebook allows for the use of both “America” and “Americans”. The BBC uses “Americans” in its news stories, such as in the story “Should it be legal to pay for bone marrow donations?” (March 14, 2012): “Thousands of Americans who need transplants die every year because they cannot find a suitable donor, advocates say.” Reuters uses it: “Most Americans back ‘Buffett tax’ (March 13 headline).
  • The use of “America” and “Americans” are universally accepted terms for referring to the United States and its people and is recognizable to audiences around the world.
  • Historically, the term “Americans” was used since the founding of the country as the “United States” refers to a relationship whereas “Americans” referred to the place (or the “... of America” part of U.S.A.). The preposition "of" acknowledges that people who live in the United States do not believe they are the only people who occupy or have a claim to "America". Other countries in the hemisphere don’t have this naming situation and peoples in the hemisphere refer to themselves more by their specific places (“Canadians,” “Mexicans,” “Brazilians,” etc.) in the hemisphere. It is widely accepted in the United States and elsewhere that "Americans" can be used to describe people of the Western Hemisphere but word usage typically dictates what is understood by the reference.
  • Avoidance or the limited uses of variations on “America” at Wikinews is unnecessarily restrictive and can produce writing that is awkward or unnatural.

After an initial discussion, I would like to introduce this proposal as an open poll.Crtew (talk) 14:41, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

You are proposing to explicitly repudiate Wikinews's policy of neutrality. The idea is obscene. It would be excessively polite to describe this proposal merely as having no merit. You have been whining about not having a community discussion about this all through the protracted community discussion that we have had on the subject as a favor to you; because you didn't like the fact that everyone else could see what's wrong with your position while you were blind to it, you preferred to claim it wasn't a "real" discussion. Your behavior on this matter, Crtew, has long since passed into the realm of "troll-like" — not of course true trolling, for which disruption is the point, but that difference of intent makes less difference than one might wish to the effect. You're pulling the time and attention of reviewers away from the news to attend to this absurdity, and every time we take the time to point out a fundamental flaw in your reasoning, you escalate the disruption. I (for example) never even tried to correct various misconceptions you left strewn along the wayside as you went along, because I'd have had to invest hours, and vastly more text than it had taken you to express the misconceptions in the first place, and there was considerable doubt whether it would have been useful (but the trade-off is that those misconceptions are left lying around like unexploded bombs). --Pi zero (talk) 15:11, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Wow, I intended this as a thoughtful proposal for rational consideration. I'm sorry you feel that way, and it's definitely not the reaction I was shooting for as it doesn't address any of the specific issue(s). I'm not exactly sure what trolling is, but it sure doesn't sound good. I can assure you that making some negative action was definitely not my intent and I didn't realize that a style guide discussion would be disruptive. Apologies for any toe stepping here ... Isn't this the place for proposals? Crtew (talk) 15:26, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
We've been addressing the issues for some time; I reckoned that wasn't what needed said at this juncture. Besides which, I'm honestly having difficulty thinking of a way to explain the nature of this problem to you that we haven't already tried, without successfully getting through to you. One doesn't like to repeat. I've already pointed out there is no positive reason to use "America" rather than "US" (don't want to repeat that). Perhaps a soliloquy on what "cultural imperialism" means? Or perhaps an improved analogy, since the one about Tibet fell flat — if the Chinese wanted to be referred to simply as "Asian", effectively excluding eveyrone else on that continent (including India), would that bother you? If not, it should. We actively strive to avoid calling anti-abortion activists "pro-life" even though they want to be called that.
Where this takes place isn't the issue; I was addressing the fact that it's still going on. --Pi zero (talk) 17:01, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

First, let apologies that this is still going on. But I understand what Crtew is talking about. I'm an American and from the United States. Unfortunately, the United States of America was blessed with a difficult name. There is no other way to call us anything. Yes, people from Canada are American as well, but I'm willing to bet they refer to themselves as Canadians- and they are proud of it. There isn't another name for people from the United States. If we really want to remain a neutral status, it would be best to say people from Canada, people from Denmark, people from China. --- Sshall4 (talk)

Pi Zero. I don’t understand your argument. Are you implying that the Associated Press isn’t a neutral news organization? They use the term “Americans”, and they are one of the most respected news organizations in the world, where Wikinews does not even close to their reputation and talent. --- jshellmann (talk)

I just feel like that people all over the world refer to United States citizens "Americans" and that it is a natural term for us to be called. Canadians are Americans but they are referred Canadians by the globe just like Japanese, Chinese, South Koreans, etc. I feel like calling Americans still lets Wikinews be neutral because it is what we are called commonly.

  • I thought this was resolved, and that I would not need to remind people that Wikimedia projects have an obligation to consider, and work to alleviate, "Anglo-American bias". Wikipedia, rightly, lists both w:America and w:American as disambiguation pages.
There is no issue where an organisation, or individual, self-identifies as "American" - examples, "Donald Rumsfeld declared, 'I'm proud to be an American warmonger'", "The American association of Pedants today declared the election of their new president is invalid, due to a hanging past-participle."
Wikinews should be actively avoiding "American" and "America", in countering the "Anglo-American bias" due to the majority of contributors originating in these countries; and, as Pi zero put more bluntly above, because it is a form of cultural imperialism.
Regarding putting this to a poll likely to be stacked by votes, from the United States of America: Polling is evil. Ideally the project works on 'consensus'; the consensus, to-date, has been to take account of the world outside the United States.
Speaking from experience, I've visited around twenty countries; only in "America" did I find it difficult to find broadcast news about the world-at-large. In saying that, I don't mean "major international" news, I mean less-insular that the local station, and more in-depth than CNN's running 10-minute bulletin. On that basis, I would suggest that taking the above proposal as-given would simply be extending that insularity to Wikinews; it would encourage contributions which generally accepted an "American-POV" and be detrimental to the project's mission. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:32, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Wiki news author name beside the date of the News

Hello, First of all sorry if I can not speak English well(I am actually from another language of wikinews), hope I be able to communicate my suggestion to you dears, Maybe it can be a help. Isn’t it a good Idea if every Wiki news author has a confirmed template to use above news, so Wiki news author name is shown near the date of the News like other News Websites? Im not talking about signature, It should be something short and formal, like a Formal complete name, and users should not a able to change it for a long period of time (for example atleast 6 month or a year or maybe more)Something like this articles, [1][2][3]--KhabarNegar (talk) 15:00, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi.
The technical term for what you're asking about is byline. We don't use bylines. A byline would imply a sort of 'ownership' of an article, discouraging others from touching it, and as a wiki, we don't have that concept. We want people to feel free to correct typos or whatever. --Pi zero (talk) 15:55, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Articles are attributed to Wikinews, not to individual authors. This is much like major news agencies who rarely cite the author(s) name(s). What is done, at least for accredited reporters, is the use of hidden categories. That's largely a way of 'keeping score' such as seen here. The biggest problem with use of a byline (what you're proposing) is where someone submits an important story, but it's practically rewritten from scratch. Leaving the original byline is misleading, removing or replacing it will upset the original contributor. --Brian McNeil / talk 15:56, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
      • Thank you for listening to users proposals,

Dear Pi zero. Sorry I think because of my bad language knowledge I didn’t make my point clear, here I was talking about Wiki news. I didn’t talking about all Wiki projects. Wiki news is a completely different project than Wikipedia. Actually we should have all correct typos and stuff like that before publishing an article by our reviewers. So if a news is published we don't want to change it. Am I right?

In our own Wiki news when news is published we cannot say "Oops sorry we make mistake so let’s correct it". Because this will damage Wiki news image, help me am I right on this or its wrong? You know there are some people which are amateur news writers and some people who are here to advertise a business[4] or a political view, that makes wiki news a mishmash of every stuff. You place yourself in shoes of a news reader. You will not have time to read all news, so you will choose some of them how… first by reading topics, then you can read the byline so to know who is the writer. How she thinks. And about what topics he is professional and trusty. Isn’t it better?

Brian McNeil Your right about this may make the original contributor upset.

Cirt The positive point in using a byline "at lease using it by some confirmed authors" is that it will make Wiki news more reliable and trusty. for Example if you see a certain author of Wiki news is really professional then you will read the news which is written by him, So I think a byline will make Wiki news more reliable.

Who can use a byline: 1- Who which is confirmed by Wiki news society, For example we can have survey and if an author is confirmed by majority because of his good articles which meet the guidelines we agree on. 2- … 3- …

Anyway that was an Idea. Really Thanks for comments. Hope we make Wiki news the first News site that people go for when they want to read something mature & professional. I don’t want to make you accept something that you think is not good. Thank you for your time. Cheers, love you guys KhabarNegar (talk) 17:26, 18 March 2012 (UTC)

I understood you to be speaking of Wikinews. On English Wikinews, our use of flaggedrevs allows edits to be submitted for review after publication. Flaggedrevs prevents these edits from becoming part of the published version of the article unless they are accepted by an authorized reviewer. Our policy on post-publication edits is:
  1. For the first 24 hours after publication, substantive changes may be submitted for review.
  2. Beyond 24 hours after publication, only correction of typos, and other non-content changes, are permitted. These sorts of changes can be made indefinitely; we even fix typos in archived articles from years ago, if we find them (unless, of course, the typo would alter the meaning in a way that would violate the spirit of non-substantive change; then we'd have to issue a {{correction}}).
Even more than a day after publication, we don't want people to hesitate to fix typos. --Pi zero (talk) 02:00, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Pi Zero. I don’t understand your argument. Are you implying that the Associated Press isn’t a neutral news organization? They use the term “Americans”, and they are one of the most respected news organizations in the world, where Wikinews does not even close to their reputation and talent. For the editor of a "news" organization, you sure are against others expressing their first amendment rights. --jshellmann (talk)

I'm looking at the Australian constitution. Where is this first amendment? Also, getting over the fact that you're assuming Wikinews is a USA based thing, how is Pi Zero representing the government of the United States in order to prevent you from making one of the selected forms of speech you are entitled to by law? --LauraHale (talk) 01:06, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Pi Zero. That’s Interesting, We have the same rules. Thank you for your opinions on byline using. Guys I sometimes use Alexia, in order to see how many readers are eager to visit wikinews.org you may also use that tool in order to track the statics and understand the ongoing situation. It’s our situation right now [5]. I wish all languages try their best to make our rank in Google better because we are all in the same boat (wikinews.org), and that’s one of the reasons I came to your good site, en.wikinews.org, Let’s work together in order to get higher rank in Google, because wikinews.org ranking is related to all languages success. KhabarNegar (talk) 06:29, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Print Edition

I started reading Wikinews Print Edition when I was 9 in 2008. It's sad that the greatest part of Wikinews is now defunct. There was once a link on the Main Page. Anyways, I feel like rebooting the project. Zach Vega (talk) 03:00, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

There has been discussion recently of starting it up again as a weekly print edition. The person to ask would be Brian McNeil, who unfortunately has very nearly zero net presence atm due to, I believe, the tragic death of a laptop this past weekend. --Pi zero (talk) 03:20, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
Yup. One dead laptop :(
I'm in the local library at the moment, but time is limited.
Zach, what I was looking at was the use of w:Scribus (a rather nice FLOSS DTP package). I'd got nowhere, but was looking to make up templates and have a few scripts to pull down a week's worth of articles and quickly put them into the templates.
PHP or Python would do for the scripts. The point would be to strip infoboxes, and all markup. Identify a list of images used in the article - or a selection of appropriate image categories where none present.
Scribus would then allow scripts in it to pull articles into front page leads (with cont'd on page x), images to be inserted, and the non-lead stories to be flowed into the rest of the document.
Now, the reason I'm looking at doing this with a proper DTP package as-opposed to simply stuffing things into OpenOffice (as was done previously) is: to allow the templates to be amended to include advertising space, and Wikinewsies to then see if they can get local printing and advertising. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:41, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Awards Overhaul, Part Deux

OK....see below for what is really just a small bit of an idea. Can someone please close the gap between the "big" line and and second line? I can't figure out the syntax. I'm not really officially proposing this yet....just playing around. IMO, I think we should have several "small" awards for people just starting here.Bddpaux (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2012 (UTC)


Pencil tip closeup 2.JPG The Order of the Modest Pencil
Great work! Keep it up! or something something else.Bddpaux (talk) 20:44, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Tried tweaking it. Better? --Pi zero (talk) 21:09, 22 March 2012 (UTC)

Yeah, I think so! Bddpaux (talk) 17:49, 23 March 2012 (UTC)

Award Proposal

OK, from above: I'd really like to see us initiate more small awards here. I think small reinforcers along the way will count for alot. So this is anyone who:

  • Performs any five edits (excluding talk pages). That's it.....from there we'll head toward something like, "The Order of the Excellent Pencil" or something. Anyone can give it, anyone can receive it....simple.

How 'bout we give it a try? As far as encouraging newbie involvement.....god knows it couldn't hurt! Bddpaux (talk) 14:59, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

I'm struggling with how to say this. Caution seems in order. The thing about Wikinews is, we aim to not publish things unless they're good enough, that's what makes the project and its publications worthwhile, and we want to help newbies learn to reach the standard rather than lowering the standard to meet them. Given that, we shouldn't make the mistake of thinking that "Nothing Can Go Wrong" with encouragement. Encouraging newbies certainly sounds like a good idea, but here are a few things that can go wrong with it. I'm not spending hours to try to think of the perfect ways to say these, so if they sound grumpy, please blame me rather than the concerns I'm poorly expressing; and I could easily imagine having missed some really important ones.
  • Encouraging someone who really doesn't mean well toward the project.
  • Leading a newbie to expect to be coddled.
  • Cheapening praise.
--Pi zero (talk) 15:22, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


I hear you, and I'm with you in all respects. But, as I've struggled to say, I think there's value in "easing" newbies into learning the style of things here, which is why I've encouraged newbies to just do some plain-old copy-editing on developing articles....."drop in a comma here and there".....I've said, things of that ilk. I think another thing is this: let's be grown up here—the award is just a little digital "thing"....that's all it is! But the value lies in, "Somebody noticed what I did. What I did here matters." Down the road, the general idea (at least for me) is that journalism matters unto itself. But, Wikinews can be a scary place for a newbie. That's an easy thing to forget. Bddpaux (talk) 00:52, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
and by-the-by, I NEVER want us to lower our standards here.....never. I've told newbies, "It's quality over quantity here that counts." Bddpaux (talk) 00:55, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

The opportunities for copyediting are rather limited. I'm an example of someone who acclimated to the project by that route — and it took me about a year.

Like so many activities, encouraging newbies is trickier on Wikinews than elsewhere. I see encouraging newbies as an incomplete "half" of what's needed, and am concerned that addressing that half without the other could simply exacerbate the lack of the missing half. The other "half" is communicating the project ethic to newbies. I'm thinking (as we discuss this) of trying my hand at a short-list of elements of the project ethic that we'd like to convey to newbies. So's we know what it is we want to make sure our encouragement helps to convey. --Pi zero (talk) 02:09, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Something I think we could make a bigger deal of is someone's first published article. That's a really big step; the learning curve is short but it's very steep. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 00:58, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
The old trophies were calibrated against a bygone expectation in terms of sheer numbers. --Pi zero (talk) 02:09, 26 March 2012 (UTC)
Ok, that's cool...I feel ya'. Let's try this....let's down-shift away from the "5 edits" thing; it'll just be a generic award for any newbie. Great job! or Very persistent! or whatever. Bddpaux (talk) 19:45, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Wikinews News briefs

I'm seeking feedback in general and for a proposal on what to do this summer. I also have a question.

1. We're beginning our third week of Wikinews News Briefs. We have revived the audio project after it went dormant between August 2010 and March 2012. Does anybody have any suggestions? Crtew (talk) 16:57, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

2. Right now the work is being done by a college instructor and his students, which creates a continuity problem during the summer months. Would anybody have any objection to bringing a college radio news team on board for the summer and using their personnel and facilities to do the assembly, reading and recording? By then, we will have a revised project page that explains the new process coordinates duties. The Wikinews editing process will remain the same. I'll continue to provide some editorial supervision off Wikinews during that time. Any thoughts? Crtew (talk) 16:57, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

3. The RSS feed is working but does anybody know anything about the Apple iTunes account? Crtew (talk) 16:57, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Note. I've been meaning to (and hopefully will during this week) put together templates {{script develop}} and {{script review}}, so that we can have a well-defined separate workflow for reviewing a script without risking accidentally publishing a script before production of the audio (or, in general, video) whose script is being reviewed. As long as we don't insist on an easy-script-review gadget, it should be reasonably doable. --Pi zero (talk) 18:36, 27 March 2012 (UTC)
  • The college radio thing sounds great! Just tell those young'lings not to get there feelings hurt everytime a script gets bumped back to them! Bddpaux (talk) 20:50, 28 March 2012 (UTC)