Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/archives/2018/January

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Graphs aren't needed for every news article, but for certain articles, a graph can offer valuable visual piece of information. Now, for articles like Belgium stops telegram services, I sketched a graph using chartjs, and saved the output in a .png file, and used it for the article. But I made a few mistakes, you can see in the file history. File:Telegram Belgium usage.png This is not the best way to handle graphs. How do we handle graphs. I know there is a graph extension enabled on English Wikibooks, but the output of it is not aesthetically pleasing. Of course, something is better than nothing, but how about ChartJS? By the way, output of chartJS is way better than that of Extension:Graph. There should be a way to deal with the charts. Right?
•–• 15:12, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

The disadvantage is it would not show output when JS is disabled in the browser. We can use the .png file to save the back when JS is disabled.
•–• 15:12, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

Opinion page comment indicator

We're probably missing out on a lot of cool discussions simply because there's no way to tell if anyone has commented on a given opinion page. Yes, the tab appears red if the page hasn't been created yet, but created with comments and created but empty appear identical. Yeah, "Well you could just put it on your watchlist," but that only works proactively. If I just happened to be clicking into an article about something I didn't really care about and happened to see there were comments on it, I'd be more likely to participate. Darkfrog24 (talk) 02:42, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

You would get "New Messages" on the top right panel if someone comments on the article you have created [which is also in your watchlist by default]. I know that does not help, but you should know.
2605:3E80:700:10:0:0:0:320F (talk) 02:46, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Actually there's a bug somewhere; I've been creating articles using the button in the welcome template on my talk page, and none of them have been created with "Watch this article" checked; I had to manually watchlist the older ones. Yngvadottir (talk) 04:12, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
That's curious; first I'd heard of such a bug. --Pi zero (talk) 05:25, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Yngvadottir: at Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist, do you have " Add pages I create and files I upload to my watchlist " checked? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:57, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
No, I didn't - and I had watchlist threads I start checked? I don't recall messing with those settings at all: all I generally do is select Monobook and shitcan the Media Viewer, so I'm thinking those were the default settings here for some reason, but thanks for the tip. Yngvadottir (talk) 08:17, 10 January 2018 (UTC)

Missing authoring and reviewing tools at the site

I've documented a few missing website features at User:Gryllida/Tasks. Tasks are presented in an arbitrary order, followed by an order in which they may be implemented in phases. Is this good? What tasks can be added or rearranged? Gryllida (talk, chat) 02:23, 11 January 2018 (UTC)

Some perspective re dialog tools going forward: User:Pi zero/essays/vision/dialog. --Pi zero (talk) 00:03, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Proposal: "Soft close" en.wikinews

Wikinews EN is inactive. A lot of people on wikipedia:Project:Village pump/Proposals have suggested pulling the plug. But that, in my opinion, is too far. How about a "soft close" like what was done with sv:? KATMAKROFAN (talk) 04:40, 1 December 2017 (UTC)

It is excellent to hear that the English Wikipedians are concerned with the health of a sister project. - Amgine | t 04:45, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
Don't believe everything that you read on the internet. Moreover, Wikipedia is not the correct place to discuss that. English Wikinews is active, thank you for your concern, adios.
•–• 04:57, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
If you had followed the links, you would have realized they are considering restoring a Wikinews link to the main page on en.WP. This would certainly have increased the traffic to en.WN, and yes it would likely help with new contributors.
Wikimedians, no matter their project, should be aware of and hopefully invested in the well-being of all the Foundation's projects. The fact their discussion has misinformation in it - Jimbo was rather opposed to the establishment of Wikinews, but he also did not want current events articles on en.WP - only shows how poorly the en.wikipedians know this project. Telling them to go away is not going to improve that. - Amgine | t 05:03, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I can't speak to the concerns with sv.wn (I don't understand Swedish and I can't even find a good translation of the discussion) but this site is not dead. It doesn't have sufficient activity, that's true but it's nowhere near dead enough to justify shuttering the project. Plus, the community here does not support that idea. It's unfortunate that en.wn has to keep on fighting to exist and it's also unfortunate that we definitely do not have as much activity as we should but without a much more serious downturn in activity and a community consensus to do so, this proposal is a non-starter. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:21, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
The proposal, regardless of whether sincere or trolling, was presumably inspired by the recent LangCom decision to apply a soft close to Norwegian Wikinews, a decision on which I immediately requested (and received) clarification from LangCom over at meta since I perceived the soft closure of Swedish Wikinews (which did not go through LangCom) to have been severely flawed in implementation. --Pi zero (talk) 13:40, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
(I've been asked to provide a link; note this was the third attempt to convince LangCom to close Norwegian Wikinews, the first two having been unsuccessful. Link.) --Pi zero (talk) 14:11, 1 December 2017 (UTC)
I agree that the English Wikinews is almost dead in its current state. The activity here is really extremely low, especially given the fact that there are so many native speakers of English worldwide that the activity could in theory be very high. However, the policy for admitting new articles must be changed radically. Now it's almost impossible here to contribute anything, if you have to wait every time until your article has been approved by the reviewers, after which it is practically always "out of date" because the news is older than 3, perhaps 4 days. De Wikischim (talk) 20:03, 5 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: tell me how do you think I got to have 262 published articles here? Approving the articles is also confirming if everything including NPOV, copyvio and info in the article is true. That reducs risk of something incorrect getting published unlike other versions of Wikinews. We need to change the policies? How about discussing about newsworthiness on nl.wn? A twelve year-old's rape incident on Indian independence was declared as not news. Just because you are struggling between the style of a blog and a news -- often letting [someone's] opinions in your articles, that does not mean every article on English Wikinews is marked stale. And why would not it be. You ask a week old articles to be not deleted even after agreeing it is stale -- what kind of news org publishes a week old article? Speaking about review -- if given a chance to review your own articles, or publish without reviewing, your articles, which were under minimal length, factually inconsistent or contained opinions would be shared and Wikinews would get a bad name.
•–• 01:42, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
This is not the first time I have heard someone saying "there are so many native speakers of English worldwide". I don't know what makes people think that. Number of Chinese Mandarin speakers is almost equal to number of Spanish, English and Hindi speakers combined. I have never seen anyone say about Chinese Wiki<insert any project>. Spanish Wikinews has high production rate despite having review requirement which means reviewing the articles is not creating a problem -- however not reviewing articles increases problems. Hindi Wikinews is in incubator and Arabic Wikinews has low output. There are various other factors to consider -- considering how many come from well developed nations with easy and/or cheap access to internet, freedom of expression, censorship and what not. Someone from Middle East could end up in jail and possible lose their lives if they are caught writing a news article with Shari'a does not approve. China has state controlled media, meaning national news would be vetted in government's benefits. So is with Turkey. Also note that many English speakers English, who are not from the US, Australia, New Zealand or England have one more languages to speak. Canadians speak French, South Africans have Afrikaans, Indians, well, a lot of other languages, and Europeans have their own romance languages (Pakistan has Urdu, and the list goes on and on). So, it is not so simple to comment about the number of editors just by the number of native speakers. This would explain why Spanish and Chinese versions of other Wikimedia projects are not in the top three for having highest number of articles. Ignoring the count of news articles written by a bot on one Nordic language Wikinews, English Wikinews is ahead of any other version. Next thing that needs to be considered is when did the project start. [Well, French Wikinews has the second most number of articles -- but then they don't have a "minimal length" criteria so even -- "Germany wins 2014 FIFA World Cup, defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time." can be published on fr.wn as news] pt, de, es, pl, and ru are in the close range while zh and ar has very less number of articles. TL;DR: number of native speakers does not matter.
•–• 08:48, 6 December 2017 (UTC)
@De Wikischim: It also appeared to me, while I was still participating here actively, that the number of stories that passed review was very low. I don’t know if my impression was clouded by the fact that many of my own stories went stale while waiting for review. It is most discouraging for someone to put in a lot of work without achieving publication simply because the reviewers are too busy doing things other than review. Ottawahitech (talk) 16:06, 14 December 2017 (UTC) Please png me
Yes, this is exactly how I for my part have experienced the general way of working here lately too. Some weeks ago I had the intention to start contributing a little more to the English Wikinews because almost every [really, in my view] important news item is missing here (and instead, most of the time published on Wikipedia where it does not really belong). But I will not do so further as long as everything here stays the same. Perhaps the English Wikinews will not survive in the long run as an autonomous project; even in that case, there will still be some other language versions left with enough ongoing activity. De Wikischim (talk) 16:28, 14 December 2017 (UTC)

  1. Mandarin
  2. Spanish
  3. English
  4. Hindi
  5. Arabic
  6. Portuguese
  7. Bangla


Well, it appears that KATMAKROFAN (t · c · b) is going through a "soft close" sooner than Wikinews. --SVTCobra 02:54, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Have you yet thought/talked about using WikiTribune?

I would wish I had more time. I would have translated articles from WikiTribune more often for my home nl.wikinews. It's just a matter of writing policy for those articles, i.e. in fact accepting cc-by-sa for them. The quality is very good, they have yet been reviewed, and it's an initiative of Jimmy Wales propper. It brings me to my question: Have you yet thought/talked about using WikiTribune? For this English version, it's just a matter of copy-paste, and a means to attract people: new readers and -not unimportantly- writers. It might be the thing this project very much needs. See the feed here. Ymnes (talk) 20:07, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Even if we considered it a trust-worthy source (which we don't and probably won't), we don't republish material from elsewhere. We aren't here to promote a competing site, even if it weren't for-profit. --Pi zero (talk) 20:22, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
There is no promotion of another site at stake at all. I'm talking about mutual strenght and en.wikinews needs that very much. For many experts 'security of continuation' is the most important goal in organizational theory. There is change needed here, I don't know if you have observed that yet. Ymnes (talk) 20:46, 6 January 2018 (UTC)
Nothing against you, but there is no mutual strength involved. WikiTribune is an entirely different sort of project, for-profit, that was undertaken by Jimmy Wales without even notifying Wikinews ahead-of-time let alone tapping our local expertise for advice on what does and doesn't work. Also, with what Wikinews is, we could not possibly import WikiTribune material wholesale; nothing to do with licensing, it's a matter of procedure — as I mentioned, we're not here to promote someone else's output, even if they weren't for-profit. It's also doubtful we could even use WikiTribune as a source.

Regarding the need for change at Wikinews. When Wikinews was forked some time back (well, it was called a fork, though they didn't copy our article archives), one thing both groups agreed on — those that left and those that stayed — was that the difficulty of review was a problem that needed to be addressed. They addressed it one way, which didn't work out for them; I have an alternative approach in mind (cf. yonder). --Pi zero (talk) 22:58, 6 January 2018 (UTC)

Not even five weeks into publishing “news,” that website started publishing articles which did not meet “newsworthiness” or “neutrality” needed for this project. -- (talk) 00:05, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
And the licenses are not compatible. Wikinews text does not have "attribution" clause. --2605:3E80:700:10:0:0:0:320F (talk) 02:47, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Of course Wikinews has an "attribution" clause, in any article where-ever you want it. Under each page you can read the following license: "under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License, unless otherwise specified." (I repeat; "unless otherwise specified", that's why I mentioned "It's just a matter of a writing policy for those articles") It's not a matter that you can't, it's a choice, and after my opinion a huge opportunity. It's the same founder so it will nearly not lead to suspicion or wrong thoughts. It's just a needed to get rid of old habits and unproductive beliefs and to adopt a future that brings you further with this project. Ymnes (talk) 12:52, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
smh. Wales co-founded Wikia and Wikipedia, but the aims are totally different. WikiTribune's articles are decided by their supporters, and journalists are paid. At times, they write something that is not news, or something that is not neutral. Their license is CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikinews uses CC BY 2.5 There is no Share-Alike attribution clause. Extract from Creative Commons CC BY "lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation." CC BY-SA "lets others remix, tweak, and build upon your work even for commercial purposes, as long as they credit you and license their new creations under the identical terms." Just like how Wikipedia's content can not be reused on Wikinews, this can also not happen. And if you really want to increase the numbers of articles written, why don't you translate articles from Voice of America, the text is available under public domain. You can set up a bot to do that. Translating will increase the output, but it would decrease user's interest to write since a bot can do more than what a human can do, without complaining. Do you want a separate identity, or want to be called a WikiTribune/VoA mirror? (talk) 13:07, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Why do you write so much text about the licence again??? What a nonsense... I repeat for the 3RD time: "unless otherwise specified"! I cannot talk when nothing of what I wrote has been read seriously. Don't see the limits, go for the opportunities. That should have been done much earlier. Ymnes (talk) 13:14, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

Cuz license iz a just bullshit.

Please be serious. The license is no problem, it can be solved easily with new policy for WT articles. (VOA is a totally other organisation) And people keep on writing articles here, when extra articles from WT are being inserted here. It's actually on the contrary: as soon as this project is a success again, more people like to be a part of it. Ymnes (talk) 13:28, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
Afaict you have missed several important points that I have made, none of which have anything to do with license (lest there be any misunderstanding, all of my remarks here have been through my primary registered account; IP remarks here are not from me). Since I have stated these points already, and got no indication that they were even misunderstood (the impression was more that they were overlooked), I fear that if I tried to repeat myself, my effort would be for naught. --Pi zero (talk) 13:56, 7 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I missed a point. The contrary is actually what is going on. I don't think this is a place were new ideas land or grow easily. People really seem to think they can read my mind, but forget what I wrote down in text. That is not how exchanging opinions work imho. Yesterday you said that I don't know what initiatives you have underway here. Can you tell what plans en.wikinews has to be save for the future and get back activity here? Are you prepared to change your stance to what news must be according to rules here? Cooperation (which is very much different from competition that you wrote on my talk page) with WT seems not to be in your minds because you made rules that they should obey to. I wouldn't have obeyed to them either, because a project needs to be active. What are the plans then for the future here? Ymnes (talk) 17:41, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

This discussion is the first I ever heard of WikiTribune. As such, I am looking at it with a fresh pair of eyes (bloodshot as they may be). Immediately upon launch, WikiTribune saw some heavy criticism, such as "The Problem With WikiTribune". Nonetheless, they'd probably say many of the same things about Wikinews, so I took a look at their archive of articles. These are some of the problems I see:

  • Lack of editorial control: Although they have a few professional journalists with actual degrees in journalism, they seem to be able to publish with just one contributor to the article.
  • Lack of stable versions: In some instances, articles continued to be changed and updated up to a month after initial publication
  • Synthesis articles: Like Wikinews, a lot of their articles are synthesis articles, but with the sources as embedded links and not listed below as sources in Wikinews style, nor as citations in Wikipedia style. How do we know they use reliable sources? In some cases, they appear to use Twitter as a source (not sure if it was just for quotes or for facts).
  • Other embedded links: I also found embedded links to products for sale on
  • Opinion pieces: They also seem to carry a bunch of articles which are much like Op/Ed pieces editorializing in newspapers. This has long been seen as a gross violation of WN:NPOV.

These are my initial concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 19:34, 7 January 2018 (UTC)

There is a lot of misdirection and grumbling here. Simply put, we absolutely could use WikiTribune in two ways: we could entirely port over material from that site to this one because the license allows for it and we could cite it as a source. The idea behind the former is one that I have also floated here. It turns out that the Serbian Wikinews had a similar experiment where they cross-posted free news from other sources and it actually saw a decline in the usage of and editing at their site. That may not be a foolproof example but it's a good cautionary tale. (See more here: m:User:LauraHale/Wikinews Content Import Analysis.) The second option of citing WikiTribune is entirely legitimate: they are a professional news service and have credibility. I think your idea is not bad in principle and it's unfortunate to see a kind of knee-jerk reaction against it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:23, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Hi, koavf. Regarding use of WT as a source, from the first announcement of WT we here doubted whether we would find it acceptable, and thus far nothing has improved our confidence in it, so atm we probably (in any given specific situation) wouldn't accept it as a source.

(Tbh, it's not knee-jerk as I understand the term. It's not that we are rejecting-without-consideration new ideas we don't want to hear, but that we have already considered and rejected old ideas. I admit I'd rather be putting my energy into tackling state-of-the-art challenges than revisiting things we already figured out don't work.) --Pi zero (talk) 04:52, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

(edit conflict)No, the licenses are not compatible. Wikinews can not import it. Moreover, there are concerns about its credibility. Breitbart claims to be professional news service, but they are not credible. (talk) 04:56, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
IP, that's a garbage assertion: Wikinews is CC BY and WikiTribune is CC BY. There are no logistical or legal concerns with integrating 2.5 and 4.0 material. That's frankly a crock. And the journalists at WikiTribune are credible. Do you have any actual reason to think they aren't? Anything fraudulent or any hoaxes perpetrated? Honestly, that's just petty revanchism. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:58, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

@Koavf: From Wikitribune’ TnC “Text to which you hold the copyright: When you submit text to which you hold the copyright, you agree to license it under 1. Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (“CC BY-SA”)” BY-SA can not be used on BY projects. (talk) 09:02, 9 January 2018 (UTC)

Good point. To be fair, I was looking at the legal FAQ which says that all content is CC BY. Obviously, this is a serious problem on their end. And, strictly speaking, we certainly could have BY-SA content here, just marked accordingly. E.g. we have fair use pictures and those aren't free at all. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:28, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
Fair Use image has nothing to do with this case because if you read the footer, "All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License[...]Copyright on images may vary, please check individual image pages prior to duplication." That case is totally taken care of. And per WMF's Terms of Use Wikinews' text has to be under CC BY. And allowing some articles on main space with different license will just add confusion and will be troublesome -- Wikinews should avoid mixing of licenses. (talk) 12:32, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
If you actually look at the footer on every page, it reads (emphasis added): "All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License, unless otherwise specified." There can be (and is!) content on here in the public domain, for instance. It would be trivial to add BY-SA content and just mark it as such. (ND, NC, or fully copyrited would be a different story, tho.) Having content with multiple licenses may be desirable or not, I'm honestly not sure but again, you're making bald assertions which are simply baseless. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:17, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
Additionally, the Terms of Use were written as such in response to the locally-determined license—they aren't obligatory on us. We can choose to change them any time we want or for any document we want. Again, a radically different license like NC or ND would maybe have some legal implication or actually be disallowed but there is literally nothing stopping us from having all the BY-SA 4.0 content we want as of tomorrow. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:19, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: You stated: The second option of citing WikiTribune is entirely legitimate: they are a professional news service and have credibility. On what basis do you make the claim, WT has credibility? Would you say the same about Breitbart News if they released their stuff under a compatible license? --SVTCobra 18:50, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: They have a professional staff with experience, cite reliable sources, and have an editorial process (i.e. they aren't a self-publishing platform). Additionally—as far as I'm aware—they haven't posted any hoaxes, fraud, or sensationalism. The same cannot be said of (e.g.) Breitbart. —Justin (koavf)TCM 03:32, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Professional staff: Breitbart has many times the number of professional journalists (with degrees) that WT does. Reliable sources: The link you gave me showed that they consider Buzzfeed and Rappler sources of "hard news". Really? What is their editorial process? I have seen articles that only one person edited. Not even a single letter needed to be changed? ... I am obviously using Breitbart as a devil's advocate example, but I am hoping it illustrates my point. But let's flip it. Should Wikinews import Buzzfeed stories if they were under a free license? Also, Justin, you didn't directly answer my questions, nor address my above bullet-pointed concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 03:54, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Buzzfeed has actually published several excellent pieces of investigative journalism. They also have sheer garbage listicles. I'll flip it as well: what in principle would convince you that (e.g.) WikiTribune were credible? And as I pointed out, Breitbart has published things which we know aren't true and they aren't committed to actual journalism anyway, so no, I would not be in favor of rehosting their content. Having degrees is neither necessary nor sufficient, nor did I say it was, so you need ot explain what your point is. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:59, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Breitbart has also published investigative journalism. My main point is that they are both extremely biased. And all three, WT, BF and Bb, are all too small to be sources for general news; they don't have the manpower. Besides the odd investigative piece, they are mostly keyboard journalists like Wikinews. Look at Buzzfeed's top story today about the US Ambassador to Netherlands. It is written entirely using Twitter and YouTube a sources. WikiTribune considers Buzzfeed a source of hard facts, so they might write a story from that. So we have source material that can be questionable, filtered by a news group with a definite POV, then filtered by a news group that purports to be fact based and neutral but has a track-record of less than a year. And we are just going to assume all is good? Personally, I am not comfortable with that. And no one has yet explained to me what WT's editorial oversight is. And what about their lack of stable versions? How do we avoid their opinion pieces? And I don't think we can assume NPOV at WikiTribune. Mr. Wales is an opinionated man. A for-profit news organization which does not have advertisements, does not have reader subscriptions, but is reliant on donations is ripe for a large donor POV. What if the Koch brothers dangled a large donation for favorable coverage of the oil industry? Nobody would know. At least we know who steers the POV at Fox News. What would it take? Well, solving some of the editorial concerns I have; a longer track record; perhaps getting accepted as a reliable source at Wikipedia. --SVTCobra 14:21, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
Stable versions may also be a sign that the news website does give floor to improvements. One can have a different opinion on wanting them, but it's simply not true that a stable version is reflecting the truth better. When the example of ambassador Hoekstra is concerned (I happen to be Dutch), his appearance is a disgrace for the fact that one of the most powerful countries in the world is sending such a liar to our country. We don't have no go zones - Mr. Hoekstra should visit the big cities in the USA to find them. And no-one was burned at all in our country: no minister, no politician, no-one. So tell me where the bias is in the story of Buzzfeed, when they used televised material. I follow the news very closely from more channels and newspapers. There's nothing untrue in the story and Mr. Hoekstra didn't take his responsibility to answer to journalists. Dear SVTCobra, your story is rather weak. It's POV too. Ymnes (talk) 17:08, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: What is this hard perspective or bias you see in WikiTribune? You're alleging this as tho 1.) it's basically understood (which is true of Breitbart, of course) or 2.) you have some evidence. I don't see what the bias is or is supposed to be. But even if it were biased, I disagree that the news should be or has to be neutral but factual and comprehensive. What passes for "neutrality" or a "view from nowhere" is often just false balance and gives a platform to lunatic fringe theories as tho they are somehow equivalent to the truth. Questions about how we vet sources or avoid (unnecessary/distracting/biased) opinion are very good fundamental questions but I don't see how they particularly relate to WikiTribune. E.g. if they cite a BuzzFeed claim and that claim is incorrect, then that is a good reason to find them less credible. Do you have any evidence of that or is this just some hand-wringing and hypotheticals? Keep in mind, I'm not opposed to the philosophical discussion about what constitutes truth and how can it be known but I'm still not seeing what the exact problem is in this case. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:22, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Oh, and re: them being too small, sure but so is ProPublica and they do excellent longform investigative pieces. See also the Center for Public Integrity or The Christian Science Monitor etc. etc. There are many small but citeable news outfits. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:24, 11 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: For what it's worth, my questions weren't rhetorical. You're free to not respond, of course but I want to resurface that those were legitimate questions. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:22, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: OK. Do you really think it is a fair comparison? CS Monitor and ProPublica may be on the small side of things, but each has over 50 full-time journalists. WikiTribune has what? 5? CS Monitor has a 110 year history, Probublica 10 years. WT: 9 months. CS Monitor has won 7 Pulitzer prizes, ProPublica 4, compared to none, of course, for WT. ProPublica is not in the business of publishing general news, they do specific investigations which are then published in much larger outlets. CS Monitor also has a narrow focus, though it does its own publishing. Are you now going to show me the same courtesy and answer some of my questions? Cheers, --SVTCobra 21:53, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: To be clear, I am not alleging bias. I am merely pointing out the potential for bias. How does Wikinews prevent that from seeping in, should it become a problem. WT seems to encourage anyone to write for them and if the writer 'witnessed' an event, their word is good, as far as I can see from this: How to write a piece of journalism for WikiTribune. It does not mention anything about editorial oversight. If WT saw a huge number of anonymous volunteers would their editors be overwhelmed and all kinds of stuff published? I think these are legitimate concerns. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:05, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: I did answer your questions--what remains? Yes, I agree that WikiTribune does not have the pedigree of ProPublica or The Christian Science Monitor (obviously, no news outfit which is a few months old could). My concern is that there is some prejudice against them preemptively and to thinking about this critically. I would be concerned if I saw the site publishing pieces which are not newsworthy but again, I haven't seen that. Has anyone here actually seen WikiTribune publish something bad, slanted, etc.? —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:30, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Well that's the whole assume good faith vs. never assume philosophy. This thread is getting very long, but I am pretty sure, nobody explained to me what editorial oversight there is at WikiTribune. Look at this article. One editor and published as "under construction". Who (if anyone) checked Peter Bale's work? Nine months isn't even enough time to build up a reputation to get Sysop rights on Wikinews, and even Sysops can't self-publish. But you just want to open the door to WikiTribune and assume the best. Why do you assume the best? There are lots of other websites that publish with open licenses. There was once an effort to accept VOA news which are published in the public domain. They have hundreds of journalists and a 75 year track record, yet it was declined here. --SVTCobra 22:45, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@SVTCobra: Because VOA's interests are primarily in being a propaganda arm of the United States but the interests of WikiTribune are to combat fake news. So we are on the same page in our mission. And Wikinews has been on life support basically as long as it has existed, so I want to make it stronger. If that means somehow working with another news outlet or having radical solutions to the problems of why this site doesn't function, then I am open. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:54, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Koavf: Another way of wording it, VOA's mission is to combat fake news in repressive regimes and dictatorships where there is no free press. VOA is, however, very fact-based. They of course rarely speak evil of US foreign policy and they are pro-democracy. I don't know when they have been caught getting actual facts wrong. VOA's main controversies involve the US gov't been unhappy with their editorial independence and they have won the Payne Award for Ethics in Journalism. Now, will someone please explain to me how WikiTribune has a good editorial oversight? That Peter Bale article is just trash. I could have written a better one in 5 minutes. --SVTCobra 23:08, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Shots fired. (BTW, WT has review model, and so does eswn, yet many articles I translated were published with serious factual errors due to machine translation) — (talk) 19:44, 10 January 2018 (UTC)
  • @Ymnes: I have skimmed some of the pages of WikiTribune and have some questions about your suggestions. As I understand it, and please correct me if I have misunderstood, you are proposing to import some articles from there into English Wikinews.
  1. If these are not recent articles, would they become a sort of "archive" of WT work?
  2. If the articles overlap with or duplicate some content already here, what would be done with the imported content?
  3. Would these articles have to undergo the English WN review process (or more likely a modified version of it) i.e. what would be the quality control process?
  4. Do you have a draft policy or suggestions for such a policy?
That's for the community here to decide. I'm working on Dutch Wikinews, and we must translate them first. We have different rules as well. We don't understand why en.wikinews doesn't work like Wikipedia (without reviewing beforehand). News is getting old very quickly, so a review is disturbing the goal of the site. This weekend an article was written on nl.wikinews that I didn't trust: I took it out of the publication, we discussed it, and afterwards it was republished. It's more practical to work that way. Good articles are lost here, because of the procedures.
Having said that, if it were me to decide what would be best here, I would answer:
  1. I would start with the process on a certain moment and forget all the old articles;
  2. When an article has an overlap with a recent article here, give the credits to the writer here and forget the WT one;
  3. There's no need to review a fact checked article. Especially with WT articles an extra review is too much;
  4. Today I happen to have translated the first article from WT. I made a banner that states the correct license for this article (CC-BY-SA 3.0, which is an exception to the standard license) and that mentions the source with a link to WT. You can find the banner in this article (the banner is at the bottom in grey background).
Good luck! Ymnes (talk) 19:47, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

Source question

Someone wrote an article on Dutch Wikinews with Irish Independent as a source. Does someone know if that is viewed as a trustworthy source? (in general) Someone else added information from the BBC and that news site is more cautious in stating whether Jessica Falkholt has died yet. According to the last article her situation is critical but she didn't die yet. That is Friday, where II takes the conclusion that she has passed away yet.

It may be a minor mistake of a quality newspaper, I don't know that. Because it is written in English language I hope someone knows how to estimate Irish Independent as a source? Ymnes (talk) 17:01, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

@Ymnes: Irish Independent should be considered a reliable source. It is the largest newspaper in Ireland. That being said, articles about actresses in Australia is a bit outside where they have journalists on the ground. They may have made a mistake in thinking that she would pass immediately after life support was turned off. BBC doesn't comment that she's alive or dead. I suggest searching out some Australian news sources. That should clarify things for you.
Irish Independent is normally not even borderline for being considered reliable. If you do come across some true borderline cases w:Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard has a searchable archive for all of the sources that have been evaluated over there. It can be helpful. Cheers, --SVTCobra 17:52, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for your quick response! I just wanted to verify this. Just off the record: the largest newspaper in the Netherlands (De Telegraaf) and in Flanders (Het Laatste Nieuws/HLN) are not considered to be very reliable. That's what made me cautious. Thanks! Ymnes (talk) 18:06, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: For my part, I don't remember anything about the Irish Independent, and have no great insight into it specifically; that also means, I haven't heard anything especially bad about it. But, we at en.wn do practice a "two-source rule": we ask for two mutually independent trust-worthy sources corroborating the focal event of a news article. (Common sense applies, of course; two is a minimum, while if one were really suspicious of a story, one would want to be especially sure of it.) In traditional journalism, the two-source rule is all about verification: get two independent sources verifying the story before you run with it. At en.wn our two-source rule contributes to almost all of our review criteria — copyright, newsworthiness, verifiability, neutrality — but even so, verification is still one of those. --Pi zero (talk) 19:51, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for mentioning this. At nl.wikinews we have banned the two media I just mentioned. But I'm trying to get more international insight as well. E.g. two British tabloids may lead to a nonsense story as well, as well as Fox in the US. Breitbart is far beyond what we accept. Ymnes (talk) 19:59, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: Yes, I realize tabloids can sometimes be the biggest, but Irish Independent is not considered a tabloid/gossip newspaper. But I found this: The Sydney Morning Herald says she's in critical condition. SMH is considered reliable and they are in the city where she is. In this case, Irish Independent seems to have jumped to conclusions. --SVTCobra 20:14, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
That's indeed what I noticed. The certain writer on nl.wikinews uses Irish Independent a lot as a source. I wanted to be sure that it's just one fault and not a habbit that they had jumped to conclusions. Ymnes (talk) 20:23, 12 January 2018 (UTC)
When I find a piece of news that I want to write about, I might see it first on Yahoo or even social media. If that user reads Irish Independent and gets article ideas from there, but if they don't pertain to Ireland or Europe perhaps the user should be encourage to{{ find sources that are more local to the event or sources that have a proven international presence. If something is happening in Norway, for example, I am not going to use The Dallas Morning News as a source whether or not that's where I read it first. Cheers, --SVTCobra 13:36, 15 January 2018 (UTC)

@Ymnes: BBC says she died. They posted less than 1 hour ago. --SVTCobra 03:07, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for notifying! I have added it to the article (fyi we don't apply 'stable' versions, because we believe the project has also an archive function). Ymnes (talk) 17:07, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: As a matter of interest in differing approaches, en.wn is very proud of its archives, a major asset of the project (over twenty thousand articles) which we put much effort into curating — but what we mean by 'archive' is different from what (I think) you mean. We mean our articles to be snapshots in time of what was known when it was fresh; there's no way to judge that later, and neutrality is also lost since observers are biased by knowing what happens later, by evolving ideas about what happened, etc. Curation of our archives involves categorization, occasional slight formatting changes, typo fixes that don't change the meaning, and of course issuing {{correction}}s in the (hopefully very rare) event they're needed; modifying the content of archived articles is anathema, we consider it rewriting history and a violation of our sacred duty as guardians of the truth. --Pi zero (talk) 18:33, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
That is an opinion (pov) that I don't share. I even feel it as an overreaction, but that may be my pov. Ymnes (talk) 18:41, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: I only meant to share some insight into the en.wn approach to these things. To my understanding, nl.wn has an entirely different approach, which is fine, but all the more reason to clarify how the en.wn may be different. --Pi zero (talk) 18:45, 17 January 2018 (UTC)
We try to avoid too many rules, with the goal to be a place where more readers or writers feel free to be there. In some cases, they can be very informing articles whilst they are still news articles and not encyclopedia articles, like here or here. Ymnes (talk) 18:53, 17 January 2018 (UTC)

Model Change

As a WN editor/admin/bureaucrat from a long time ago, I don't know a good number of people here any longer (though some familiar names still surface). However, the things that made WN a less-than-successful environment in the early days continue to persist: namely, the relative lack of (comprehensive) content, difficulty acquiring new long-term contributors (i.e. newbies find it too difficult), and lack of industry appreciation for the goals of WN to produce an open-content NPOV news source. The result is a stale homepage that is best described as a collection of random articles written in newspaper style.

I propose that WN reinvents itself around a different model of how it defines "news". Over the last decade or so, many new ways of news have emerged. First was the WP way of news -- instead of dating articles and writing them in the style of a newspaper, the community collaborates on a single encyclopedic news article. This provides a surprising amount of content that is often a fantastic way of getting information. Second, we have the reddit / twitter way of publishing news -- basically, some community-curated list of links and some discussion/reaction to those news. Third, we have the buzzfeed-style listicles that share the news but abandon newspaper style of presentation in favor of bullet points and illustrations.

I think that the above models are just as ripe for an NPOV & open content treatment as the original newspaper model was. A community-curated list of headlines and short summaries for news events may go a long way to providing context on the news without requiring a long journalistic write-up. We could greatly simplify the model by not requiring pre-publish review if the content is mostly sources (and instead move to a post-publish measure of trust or something), and thus lower the bar for contributions. This may reinvigorate the people that come here. Style wise, I'm thinking something like a larger version of an "in the news" section from en.WP, with more emphasis on comprehensiveness and sources, and basically far less full-length content than now.

Thoughts? -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 16:12, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

I disagree with several basic aspects of what you're saying, which interact at a deep level. You are treating our notion of news as if it were a superficial thing; you are making assumptions about what our purpose here is; and you are making assumptions about the causes of difficulties here. These are all clearly connected; you have to divorce our purpose from the sort of output we produce in order view our notion of news as superficial, you have to treat our notion of news as superficial in order to suppose that our purpose is separate from it, and your view of what the difficulties are is dependent on your assumptions about what our purpose is. (I could imagine trying to write a detailed essay on these issues; in fact, I have considered doing it, but I'd probably have to spend days or weeks on nothing else, might not produce something I was satisfied with by the end of it, and meanwhile would neither support the living project nor make progress on the actual improvements that are underway.)

Wikinews stands for fact-based worldview over opinion-based worldview; that's the essence of our neutrality policy and is deeply entwined with our review process and the fundamental belief that news, as opposed to, say, the output of a blog, is vetted before publication. Notably, the workflow model of Wikipedia, with all its complex mix of strengths and weaknesses for an encyclopedia, is totally unsuited to news production. The world desperately needs this place where people can learn, and practice, fact-based news production. As for what we need, see User:Pi zero/essays/vision/sisters. --Pi zero (talk) 16:34, 13 January 2018 (UTC)

I come to make the above proposal with awareness about our notion of news, and with context of history and not just assumptions -- please recall that I was involved in this site while policies were being formed, and lived through a lot of the same difficulties that appear to exist now. I see the same kind of newbie trouble that was causing us trouble 12 years ago, and the same kind of lack of content that we had back then.
I am suggesting that the concept of WN struggles to produce lots of content, and (your 2-year old essay notwithstanding) little is changing over time. Instead of wishing for things to change, we could redefine the site. I'm proposing some specific ways that could happen -- there is nothing the WN foundational charter that says that we have to produce longform articles, and there are many ways of generating fact-checked short-form summaries that are meaningful and comprehensive. My proposal is to seriously explore those models as they can also be ways of sharing news. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 16:46, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I am aware of what part of the project history you were in on (though I acknowledge that others reading this thread, now or later, might not be, so there is some use is mentioning). It seemed, and frankly still seems, that you're not really aware of the assumptions you're bringing to the table, though the ones I was addressing are visible in your post that I was replying to (and more subtly visible in your followup). Within the rules (which the Foundation doesn't care all that much about anyway, judging by the way they've treated us) we would be allowed to produce output that would have no value to the world, and such that the process of producing it would have no value to the world either; I care passionately that we... not try to do that. It was, in fact, tried, by a "fork" of the project (it was called a "fork", anyway), which failed miserably. --Pi zero (talk) 17:17, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Please let's not pretend that someone knows what someone else is aware of, knows, understands, etc. We're not dumb, and it was said to me here as well (it seems to be a WN habit). The golden rule is that the messenger wasn't clear enough, when the message didn't land. Change is very much needed here, so exchanging ideas and opinions should be facilitated very much. One should not fear the reply, because that's not good for the process and progress. Ymnes (talk) 20:43, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Ymnes, there is circularity in your apparent reasoning, of a sort similar to what I noted in IlyaHaykinson's remarks (although the latter case is perhaps more subtle since IlyaHaykinson is likely to understand the principles of the project better). When you say it "needs" to change, it strains credulity to suppose you would include in that the sort of change we're already laboring to bring about; evidently you want your kind of change, and it's a pretty safe bet you're also using your own notion of how you want the project to work as a criterion for judging "success". Putting all that together (and not meaning to ridicule but rather to clarify the nature of the circularity), one would have: "This project is failing to work the way I want it to, therefore it needs to change in the way I want it to change." --Pi zero (talk) 21:48, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Are you really acting a wizard again that predicts who understands something better than someone else? You can't read minds, sorry for you. When 2 billion people understand English and one views the number of articles written here, than don't blame me saying that change is needed here. I don't tell you how to change. Probably not only the project but also the attitudes here should change. Please be open-minded and don't judge messengers, but react on the message and work on a solution. Please don't give some kind of message that I or others are too dumb too understand that this project can go on without change. Ymnes (talk) 22:28, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I know of nobody here who advocates not changing anything. Nor has anyone accused you of stupidity, that I'm aware of. I'm trying to make rather nuanced points here that I fear may be getting lost due to differing levels of fluency in English (which I've never made any secret is the only language I'm able to converse in at all). My estimations of who likely understands more or less about things are based on the available evidence. --Pi zero (talk) 22:45, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
"I know of nobody ... anyone accused you of stupidity ... I fear ... differing levels of fluency in English" For god sake stop being personally... Ymnes (talk) 23:29, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
Please tell me what is not clear in the sentence: "2 billion people understand English" and no-one is here to write articles??? Change something, but don't blame me! User:De Wikischim, User:LIVE NIEUWS and I (the major bees of nl.wikinews) have tried to give an article to en.wikinews. To give one away although we have our own project. Like regular people, that want to give their knowledge away for free, and we (like many others) hardly succeed here... If I believe you, it's all the fault of others, not of the procedures here. Others fault? Others? This is a wiki man! Ymnes (talk) 08:06, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
I've observed a high correlation between open hostility toward review, and lack of success publishing here; which makes sense since taking advantage of feedback from review is how one learns about the project and writing for the project, and thereby improves one's success rate. (It follows logically that if someone is hostile toward review, they are less likely to understand the project.) --Pi zero (talk) 13:01, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
In my opinion, Ymnes is 100% right with his critical reaction. The great problem here is that you are practically the only active revisor here (for now at least), so both the approval and publication of every individual news article written by whosoever depend fully on your personal judgment. I hardly believe Wikinews in English will be able to survive if nothing changes. As for my part, I tried for a short time to write some articles here on what I consider to be relevant news items (and with the secondary aim to gain still more writing experience in English) but I've lost my motivation thanks to the (or perhaps rather: your) policy here. --De Wikischim (talk) 17:02, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
It seems unlikely that people are (in general) not reading what I write, but repeated themes here indicate that the things I say are not getting through. When someone with a positive attitude is interested to learn about the project, its strengths and weaknesses, and what can/should be/is being done to improve things here, they'll likely find me pretty easy to draw out. --Pi zero (talk) 17:42, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@Pi, can you please refrain from judging the messenger? It's the message...! Ymnes (talk) 20:26, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The message isn't useful because it isn't backed by cluefulness about en.wn. I don't have to be psychic to know that, I only have to be clueful about en.wn and read the message. And it would pretty surely be a huge waste of time to respond with carefully thought out discussions of ideas, because those being responded to have provided ample evidence that nothing said to them will get through. Alas. --Pi zero (talk) 21:11, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
@IlyaHaykinson: I definitely think this is worth exploring. Can you gtell me a little about how things worked when you were active? I had something on the front page in 2005/2006 but then dropped off for several years. —Justin (koavf)TCM 01:02, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I think that a 'review' is only necessary when the project is really very large. With a small community it is workable without a review, as a small community (I think) you have to be able to set up a lot more flexibly. WikinewsNL works so well, and we look at each other's articles. Not even by one reviewer but by several people. I don't say it's the best solution for fact-checking, but certainly not the worst. I would also like to see more 'orginal reports' here too, I miss that, because that makes the project a bit more unique. Wikinews has a lot of potential, but the road to it is a bit difficult. --Livenws (talk) 16:26, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
I have not sought to criticize nl.wn policies/practices; in fact, I have avoided doing so, as I feel sister projects should not seek to force their views on their siblings. If I were to submit material to nl.wn and were informed it was unacceptable due to differences of local policy, I hope I would not complain about it. I'm happy for nl.wn to continue pursuing its thing, while we continue pursuing ours. I do understand that nl.wn users are enthusiastic about their project, and that's good; enthusiasm is important to a volunteer project. I'm not really inclined, though, to take nl.wn as an exemplar for en.wn. --Pi zero (talk) 16:56, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Original reporting is good. :-)  --Pi zero (talk) 17:35, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
Indeed! Face-smile.svg- I like to write such articles and usually with some nice pictures.(like this one: [1], it's well sourced also) --Livenws (talk) 22:28, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@LIVE NIEUWS: It looks as if nl.wn and en.wn have different approaches to original reporting (my sense is that this is an area where Wikinewses often differ). I see synthesis sources cited. Is there information in that article that isn't in the cited sources (we would require documentation of the original content, here), or is the original part the images? --Pi zero (talk) 22:44, 15 January 2018 (UTC)
@Pi zero:- An image can serve as a source on our project. I write an article from my personal experience. Then I search for sources from media that cover the information that I wrote. In this specific article (link above), practically everything is covered. With the exception of: "that all buses were jam-packed". Also: I have extracted a number of additional facts from the sources - such as a few figures and a statement from someone -. --Livenws (talk) 00:06, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
<nods>A picture being used as a source seems straightforward to me. For a while I suspected, in reviewing the recent airborne-sedan article, I would have to verify the description of the sedan as "white" from a picture of it (though I subsequently found one of the sources did actually say in text that it was white). --Pi zero (talk) 00:15, 20 January 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that things worked much better back in the beginning of WN. There were more people involved, and there was a bigger social movement to invent citizen news etc, so there was a lot more experimentation in the early days to establish what this site would be and how it would work. However, the fundamental problems (not enough content creators who stick around; not enough original content; too difficult for newbies to get started) all existed back then and were only possible to deal with due to a much larger number of active editors. I have no problem with the review process -- it standardizes the more informal process we had for the first year or so. In fact, obviously, some review is necessary.
My proposal is that the current model is not working. I don't think there are too many people who look at en.WN and say, wow, what a useful news site. Of all the people here, believe me that I value the output of the community. However, I think that there are other ways of creating value for society through news that also adhere to NPOV and yet solve the problems of getting more involvement. I think the problem is that we expect this site to generate long-form content, and propose that we stop doing so in favor of shorter-form content that requires far less time and trouble to create. Instead of going for a tiny number of long-form articles, we could go for comprehensiveness and to redefine "news" as "things that are happening that are important to surface". This could take the form of even a single paragraph that links back to WN, and yet provide context to the world that is not often seen on other sites. By lowering the bar required to create a long-form article, we could let people with some information about the world contribute more freely. We can then curate, regulate standards without a lot of work, and drive for comprehensiveness. -- IlyaHaykinson (talk) 06:13, 16 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree and this is really consistent with how many news outlets work: not all of them try to report all things equally and even for a paper of record like The New York Times or a 24-hour news station like CNN, they will still have very small references to news that they can't really devote substantial time to cover (e.g. blurbs in a "World News" section or the scrolling chyron on virtually every mainstream news show). Since it is wildly impractical for Wikinews to be the place where someone goes to actually become informed at the moment, it is much more possible to have a handful of articles, some original reporting, and a decent amount of blurb-based news that points to our sources. In an ideal world, it would be better for Wikinews itself to be comprehensive but that is wildly impractical. Note also that Wikipedia links to Britannica and Wiktionary has references to the Oxford English Dictionary--even if we want to have the best news site, it's not the only one of value and that's especially true for how our model for writing news and having sources works. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:29, 16 January 2018 (UTC)