Wikinews:What Wikinews is not

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This page is considered a guideline on Wikinews. It is widely accepted among editors and considered a standard that all users should follow. However, it is not cast in stone, should be treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions are expected. Edits should reflect community consensus and best-practice. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

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Wikinews is an online news source and, as a means to that end, also an online community. Therefore, there are certain things that Wikinews is not.

What Wikinews is not

  1. Wikinews is not paper. Thus, Wikinews has no size limits, can include links, can be more timely, etc. It also means that the style and length of writing appropriate for paper may not be appropriate here.
  2. Wikinews is not a soapbox, chatroom, or discussion forum. However, we do allow some polite discussion of the topic of the news articles on opinion pages.
  3. Wikinews is neither a "mirror" nor a repository of links, images, or media files. All content added to Wikinews may be edited mercilessly to be included on the site. By submitting any content, you agree to release it into Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License (however, Wikinews does incorporate many images and some text which is licensed under a more restrictive license into its public domain and CC-BY articles).
  4. Wikinews is not a free wiki host or webspace provider. You may not host your own website or blog at Wikinews. If you are interested in using the wiki technology for a collaborative effort on anything other than writing journalistic news articles, even if it is just a single page, there are many sites (such as or Miraheze) that provide wiki hosting (free or for money). You can even install wiki software on your server. Or you can refer here for a list of web hosts.
  5. Wikinews is not a theater of war. Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement. Rather, approach the matter in an intelligent manner, and engage in polite discussion. Do not create or edit articles just to prove a point. Do not make legal or other threats against the Wikinews project, Wikinewsies, or the Wikimedia Foundation. Threats are not tolerated and may result in a block.
  6. Wikinews is not an encyclopedia; that is, it is not an in-depth collection of non-newsworthy information. Just because something is a true fact doesn't mean it is suitable for inclusion here. Try Wikipedia instead.
  7. Wikinews is not censored for the 'protection of minors'. Community consensus is never to censor content that may be considered objectionable.
  8. Wikinews is not a dumping ground for failed Wikipedia articles. Just because it got deleted from Wikipedia doesn't mean it's likely to be better received here, especially if the original article was not neutrally written, had no sources, and had nothing to do with current affairs.
  9. Wikinews is not Wikipedia or any other project; it is a unique and distinct project with its own policies and processes.

What Wikinews articles are not

When you wonder what should or should not be in an article named "whatever", ask yourself what a reader would expect under "whatever" from a trusted news provider. There is consensus that Wikinews articles are not:

  1. Wikinews articles are not press releases. There are a variety of press release aggregators who provide this service; check the Reference desk (or try News sources on Wikipedia) for links to some of them. Wikinews articles address the 5 Ws and H where possible, and attempt to present newsworthy articles which are balanced and have multiple sources, which press releases by definition do not.
  2. Wikinews articles are not source documents. Our sister project Wikisource is a repository for static documents; articles on Wikinews can and should be edited ruthlessly which would be inappropriate treatment for a source document. Also, many news-related source documents are copyrighted — verbatim copying of a source document could not reasonably be considered "fair use".
  3. Wikinews articles are not advertisements. Especially, they are not political advertisements. Excluding opinion columns, which are currently not allowed, an exclusively one-sided article, either pro- or con- the subject of the article, is a form of advertisement.
  4. Wikinews articles are not scientific papers or critiques of same. Articles might review or synopsize science, but must be written to be read by a wider, lay audience than that of a science journal — use of jargon must be limited and qualified.
  5. Wikinews articles are not encyclopedic articles. Each article relates a specific event in time and all further edits should be to provide more information on that specific event in time or correct mistakes in the article. If the information is on a breaking news story it should most likely be included in the article for that story, however if it is a breaking development in even a day-old story, it most likely belongs in a new article. For instance, criminal cases often last months or even years, but events in the case should not be included in one article but articles on each separate event as it happens.
  6. Wikinews articles are not editorials. Articles should restrict themselves to reporting news and not commenting on the news or newsmakers.

Possible measures in response to violations of these rules

  • Changing the content of an article (normal editing)
  • Changing the page into a redirect, preserving the page history
  • Deleting the page altogether if it meets grounds for such action after discussion on the Wikinews:Deletion requests page.
  • Changing the rules on this page (of course only when a consensus has been reached following appropriate discussion with other Wikinewsies)

See also