Wikinews talk:Accreditation policy

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Thanks Ilya, for a great start on helping Wikinews cross the threshold from glorified news aggregator/re-writer to becoming a legitimate hard news outlet with original reporting.

I will be among the first to volunteer to march down to the next press conference at my local city hall, however I have a few questions about what the expectations are of a Wikinews reporter:

  • How is a report filed from a single contributor's point of view going to meet an objective standard of "NPOV"?
  • The police and the court system both like to hear from multiple witnesses whenever possible, because it has been demonstrated time and again that relying on a single witness has the potential to place the entire investigation or hearing at the mercy of that single witness' biases and selective memory of the events in question. Won't we have the same issue?
  • How are we to know whether a reporter has not selectively quoted someone out of context, or selectively chosen biased interview subjects while ignoring other potential sources to drive the story in a certain direction?

The requirement of upholding "NPOV" for lone reporters operating in the field will be problematic to say the least, especially given the shifting definition of "NPOV" which I've never been able to pin anyone down on for a clear definition.

This line from the formal definition of NPOV on Meta isn't reassuring:

"it's difficult to achieve immediately as a single writer"

Is there some policy page written up that explains how to reconcile eyewitness reporting with NPOV?

It's always fun and games until the yelling and screaming starts, so I hope we can offer any potential field reporters a very clear definition of how one goes about morphing one's point of view after witnessing an event into "NPOV".

DV 10:48, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

By the way, this issue ties in nicely with the bizarre discussion of "datelines" over on the talk page for the Wikinews Style guide. — DV 11:09, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think that this is an issue that we should try to tackle by experiment. It is indeed easy to see the many problems associated with sending a lone reporter out into the world, and getting a biased result in article format. However this is what happens in the world every day in many major newspapers: they don't send out legions of different-minded reporters to cover the same story. Instead they rely on journalists trying really hard to identify their biases and correct for them, and on good editors to nitpick until the story covers all bases.
My suggestion is to try to have a go at this and see how the first few original-reporting articles go. They should always (and especially initially) be subject to a lot of scrutiny by users: perhaps we can create a new Editor Tasks section for original reports. We might also try to establish guidelines of not having the original reporter list their own story on latest news, to prevent biased stories from getting onto the front page. Additionally, I think that original reporting should be accompanied by detailed logging (typed up notes, uploaded audio of interview) the reporter used: if they don't have notes, they couldn't really report it well!
Basically, I think that the question of original reporting isn't an easy one to answer, given the bias implicit in the origin of the reported data. But I want to start answering this question now, while we have a chance to form some consensus. Credentials aren't the only pre-requisite for original reporting, but it is important if we are to get access to some events. Hence this process being set up. -- IlyaHaykinson 11:35, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
The problem with "experimenting" with "NPOV", is that it is not negotiable on any site run by Jimbo Wales and his adherents. All Wiki foundation-run sites treat "NPOV" as dogma that cannot be violated under penalty of being banned from the site. NPOV is a Foundation issue which is non-negotiable. ("Contributors who disagree with these Foundation issues have been known to leave the project.")
Meanwhile, those major news outlets you refer to have a more sophisticated view of the world in which they work with an "editorial face" that is determined by the publisher or owner of the news organization.
"Editorial face" is a subtle and nuanced concept that is difficult to understand or characterize until one reads enough different stories from multiple news outlets about the same subject to realize that "NPOV" is a facade. It doesn't exist except for in the rarefied world of these Wiki sites.
Going out into the real world and performing original reporting - hard news reporting - is at direct odds with collaborating with "wiki love" in a virtual world that is detached from the reality that operates oblivious to any of the ideals espoused on these sites.
There's a reason why there is a multi-billion dollar media industry powered by high-priced lobbyists, spin doctors, PR agents, and other manipulators of how we view the world.
This infrastructure is in place to protect us from what would happen if just anyone reported the news.
And we're going to send someone into that battlefield with one arm tied behind his or her back as long as we maintain this fiction called "NPOV".
Going out into the world all bright and starry-eyed under the illusion that we will find the truth is incredibly naive.
The honest thing to do is to declare our biases and agendas from the outset, and then pursue our reporting under that umbrella.
Until someone provides a reality-based policy for original reporting that stands up to critical analysis, I'll stick to reporting the weather.
DV 11:58, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
This is a great discussion about original reporting and ethics. However, accreditation has very little to do with either, exclusively.
The accreditation is a tool to develop our abilities to collect original sources and document them online. Any article developed through the use of a press pass will still be editable by everyone; the primary difference will be the notes provided by the Wikinewsy will be an element of the sources. - Amgine 17:03, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)
If accreditation has very little to do with original reporting, perhaps I am the one who is incredibly naive as to what the intended goal is here. It appears you've missed my point entirely.
How can Wikinews establish an "accreditation policy" without first clearly defining the rules of conduct for reporters once they are accredited?
Sending a reporter out into the field to gather their own point of view about an event or an interview subject, without a clearly defined set of rules to establish Wikinews' expectations for that reporter, will only result in someone eventually being banned for violating "NPOV", or at least being labeled a "POV-pusher".
"NPOV" is not a toy to be played with or "experimented" with, at least not on any site run by the Wikimedia foundation.
To address your specific point, any resulting articles will be editable by anyone, but even if all of the notes gathered by a reporter are posted online for all to see, those notes will still represent the point of view of the reporter, with all of the biases and failures of memory inherent in using a single point of view.
We won't have any way of knowing which notes were not posted, by the way. It will be very easy for a Wikinews reporter with an agenda to selectively choose which notes to contribute and which notes to throw away (or not even take in the first place), after which all of us back here sitting at our desks will only have those selected notes to work with, not realizing that there was more to the story than met the eye. Hardly a recipe for this mythical "NPOV" that everyone keeps bandying about.
If you think such a discussion is not appropriate on the talk page for the launching point for these reporters, please let me know where you think such a serious discussion should take place.
DV 02:28, 21 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Doesn't seem that Jimbo Wales will mind single contributors Dan100 (Talk) 10:11, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)



Many thanks Ilya! This is a great framework for the accreditation process on Wikinews. Can't wait to see it in action. - Amgine 17:03, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Great idea, sadly some form of card is necessary for many people to take you seriously as press, most media lines won't talk to you without such ID. Tawker 04:19, 11 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Policy Discussion


There are a couple of details I'd like to ask about:


  • If a Wikinewsy becomes inactive for a period of time, should their credentials be suspended or revoked?
  • May a Wikinewsy request their credentials be suspended for a period of time, thus avoiding having to go through a re-accreditation process?


  • Can an e-mail verification be allowed, for organizations which prefer to do everything via the internet?

Credential ID

  • Most verifications will request a credentials/id number. I propose this number be the username id number. (For examplly, my internal id number is 980; you can see yours in your user preferences.)

- Amgine 17:30, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

My thoughts:
Inactivity: I think that a trusted Wikinewsie at one point in time remains a trusted Wikinewsie later as well. We should strive to make everyone we trust an accredited reporter, so that we can have people go out and collect news. A Wikinewsie can request that their credentials be suspended, but I fail to see why they need to do so. The policy should be modified to say that a Wikinewsie can request to revoke their own credentials, though.
Verification: Yes. Perhaps Eloquence can create a spam-filtered email address that points to the same list as the voicemails?
Credential ID = User ID: good idea.
-- IlyaHaykinson 03:39, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

A few questions from me:



Would there/should there be any mechanism for recovation, for instance if an author's work doesn't live up to expectations? I hope it will never happen but we need to be prepared...



Would the awarding of Wikinews credentials be permanent? Some of the wording makes me think it would only be for a specific event, ie a Wikinewsie would need to re-apply for credentials for each occasion they need it?

Dan100 (Talk) 20:27, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I would say that the credentials should only be revoked if the reporter misuses them. Issues of writing should probably be dealt with in the same manner as any other edits on the site. The current policy's criteria for revocation say it requires "abuse of credentials" — repeated filing of very outrageous stories is probably "abuse" enough.
As for duration: they were meant to be permanent. Please edit the policy if it doesn't seem that way! -- IlyaHaykinson 21:35, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)



Gaining credentials should not be a prerequisite of doing original reporting, should it? If indeed not, I think we should make it clear that anyone can still do original reporting on their own initiative, and that credentials are only a means to an end (gaining press passes). Further, we should probably add a disclaimer similar to the one about admins ("Admins have no special editorial rights") - that gaining credentials doesn't make anyone more 'important' than anyone else - I believe every edit should be judged on its own merits, not by who made it. Dan100 (Talk) 20:58, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree. Please feel free to make those changes! -- IlyaHaykinson 21:35, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)



So maybe this isnt the right place to put this, but ive had this idea, maybe good maybe bad, that people who do OR should not be allowed to write articles about what they did OR about. ie. say i get an interview with bob brown (aussie politician) i would then post a transcript of the interview to a special protected page, and it would follow something similar to the requested article process. The reasoning behind this is that it might stop some POV. yes yes, i can already hear you say sock puppets, and instruction creep, it was only an idea. Anyway, whatever the merit of the idea, i think OR's primary aim should be the creation of free PD (GFDL/CC?) source material (rather than articles), that can then be used by ourselves and others in the creation of news articles. The bellman 14:28, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Just another idea i had, perhaps people granted credentials should have to disclose there real name (two reasons, one, accountablity, two, i just read an article which contained some OR from pingswept, and read something along the lines of "in an email to Pingswept..." which felt a bit silly). Also maybe they should be given email address (or perhaps wikimedia...) and then all email through that email address would be viewable by any admin, and could have some fancy button which would make specific emails veiwable to the general public. Anyways, these are all just random ideas, but since it 2 am where i am, and ive had a little bit to drink, i take no responsibility for thier quality. The bellman 15:12, 5 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Id Cards


In response to the “Wikinews will generate a printable template for a Wikinews ID Card” on the Accreditation policy, I created a mockup of one of these id cards at let me know what you think. I am not very happy with the text qualitly but I am not sure how to improve it --Cspurrier 01:16, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Very nifty! Definitely a great step in the right direction — and even if it's not perfect, something is way, way better than nothing in this case. -- IlyaHaykinson 05:46, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I would be happy to help create some very nice business cards, but there is a nagging question about producing cards in the first place.
Has anyone asked if these cards are cool with the Wikimedia Foundation? I recall there was some controversy surrounding the issuing of any sort of cards to non-Foundation board members or staff - I think I read about this issue on the Foundation mailing list.
The potential trouble is that a card may imply that one has the ability to speak on behalf of the Wikinews organization, which is somewhat weird for a wiki. Furthermore, people outside of Wikinews have no idea what the distinction is between Wikinews (which is ostensibly administered by the Wikimedia Foundation) and the Wikimedia Foundation itself.
Perhaps we should find out more, before someone from the Wikimedia Foundation is put in the awkward situation of asking for any cards to be returned or destroyed - especially once they are already handed out.
Just my two cents. — DV 09:09, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Production of Id Cards


I like the printable version found on page and have a suggestion. I am sure there are a lot of companies that would be willing (for a profit of course) to design an ordering page, that could be accesed by either a password, or a freely accessed page with that design as a base for an online ordering facilitation.

With the consent of others, I will ask a current owner of the site to include the above design as part of the design-online engine that will allow for the creation of the identification cards for the selected members online, to be shipped out to the member at a nominal fee. Right now that site is under the construction, so it is the best time for to propose a price point to them for a card. Now, I have seen plastic membership cards being sold in single quantities online before, but usually at a great price ($20-30 per piece). This is not what I would like to see for the members. Multiples (1000+)are normally sold at about $10 per card. I think a fare price would be somewhere between those numbers. I propose asking for an "at cost" price plus obviously mailing costs. I would like to find out in next posts of how many people would back this up, and if we could set a standard across the board for all members to use unified card design that would separate us from amatures. I will point at this time to a demo site at that has the right structure for us to use for the card design interface. I am sure if had their logo there, we could use that technology to our purpose.

I would like to refer to the original concern though of:

Has anyone asked if these cards are cool with the Wikimedia Foundation? I recall there was some controversy surrounding the issuing of any sort of cards to non-Foundation board members or staff - I think I read about this issue on the Foundation mailing list. — DV 09:09, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Hoping for the best for all. — GA 12:30, 02 May 2005 (UTC)Reply

It's pretty easy to make your own card; but I agree that we should have someone who's good at it make them for everyone. I'm pretty sure that someone is "some wikinewsie" and not some third-party website trying to satisfy the masses. It cost me under $10 to print and laminate a single card; buying laniards and printing cards in bulk (you can fit two+ to a sheet of stock; perhaps 6 to a sheet of 11x17) should get this down to even less. Perhaps we could collaborate on a template, for the list of pending accreditees? Sj 07:37, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I currently have a template in Photoshop that I use to create the cards for users that become accredited. I email the card to them. NGerda 07:38, Jun 19, 2005 (UTC)
I think NGerda's method of emailing the cards is probably best since that way it would be harder for unaccredited people to falsely clail accreditation. Of course it would seem like this is the sort of thing that the Wikimedia Foundation might want to cover the cost of. I guess it's not even official here by Wikinews though, let alone according to the Wikimedia Foundation. Theshibboleth 21:18, 21 August 2005 (UTC)Reply

Making the page protection clear


I notice that the actual list of accredited users doesn't mention that the page is protected. It is, of course, but it wouldn't be clear to the average person validating an accreditation, and knowing that most pages aren't protected could make them suspicious. Could an admin add a short mention of the page protection? --Peeja 19:34, 26 May 2005 (UTC)Reply

Does this work outside the US?


This seems to be how to get a press card here - It seems only to be open to professionals. My interest in this is as a photographer, not as a journalist. 15:31, 31 May 2005 (UTC)Reply

That is for cards recognized by the police, and is only the universal standard in Ireland. It is true that many places will only allow professional journalists "PRESS" access. However, many others are content as long as you can demonstrate that you produce copy and publicity, and are not a freeloader looking to get a free ticket / backstage pass. Correspondingly, the Wikinews criteria might include agreeing that the person in question is interested and capable of writing/recording good copy/photos/audio to cover events they attend. Sj 07:33, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I presume UK and Ireland. NUJ cards are the standard in the UK afaik - although as I haven't got one I don't know for sure. (ps signing my previous IP edit)Secretlondon 16:25, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Meta's Press Corps and coordination


See the discussion on meta about accreditation and providing press badges to Wikipedians.

Should Wikipedia and Wikinews have separate lists of accredited press people? Probably. Should they use separate systems for accreditation and unaccreditation, in terms of principles and voting? Perhaps not... just for simplicity.

Can they take advantage of the same group of accreditors -- the same phone/fax/email verification? Perhaps so. Please discuss. Sj 08:01, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This is really something that national chapters need to do since the actual accreditation process will vary by nation. Also, neither Wikinews or Wikipedia are organizations but national chapters are. --Maveric149 04:39, 21 July 2005 (UTC)Reply
Do we have a US national chapter? --AllyUnion 22:02, 8 November 2005 (UTC)Reply
No, but there has been some discussion and I believe a list has been established to discuss formation. --Chiacomo (talk) 22:05, 8 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Food for thought


How would you get a press badge for the White House? I think we do need some kind of accreditation policy such that we might be able to get a person into White House press core... --AllyUnion 22:07, 8 November 2005 (UTC)Reply


I just added my thoughtss on this on my blog, just have a look :

Around Wikipedia : Wikinews cannot issue press credentials to its users


Is that only true in some countries, such as France? Angela 13:29, 11 November 2005 (UTC)Reply

Actually, it is true in every democratic countries where freedom of the press implies editor's liability. Soufron

Uhm, this is only somewhat true. In the USA and the UK, as I showed you, there is a distinction between Publishers and Editors, and Publishers are specifically not held liable. In this case, Wikimedia Foundation is the publisher. - Amgine 23:38, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
This means that wikinews reporters won't have "real press credentials", in many countries, but an accreditation policy will sill allows organizations to grant wikinews reporters some privileges of the press. We should probably explain what types of press regulations wikinews can not comply with on the accreditation page. I'm not sure this is as big a problem as people might fear: many French organizations would presumably respect the press pass of a newspaper in a nation with diffrent notions of press credentials. Some will respect ours too, just out of the kindness of their hearts. Nyarlathotep 15:08, 31 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

Board approval of accreditation


Please see meta:Wikinews accreditation policy for a proposed policy regarding Board approval of Wikinews accreditation following the mailing list discussions on foundation-l. Angela 13:29, 11 November 2005 (UTC)Reply



We might need a stronger policy for revocation, not sure. An organization might be more likely to grant press credentials if they were more confident that violations of local press etiquette, however bizzare, generally led to revocation of the press credentials. OTOH, you don't want to say that wikinews will follow the national laws regarding the press, such as handling liability issues. At minimum, the board claims more power to revoke the credentials than this page is currently admitting. Nyarlathotep 15:23, 31 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

I made mention of the meta accreditation policy allowing any user's accreditation to be revoked by the board. I don't think we need a stronger policy until it becomes an explicit problem: let's minimize the rules until we have a reason not to, otherwise we really get into instruction creep. -- IlyaHaykinson 19:56, 31 December 2005 (UTC)Reply

I was actually suggesting having fewer rules which limit revocation. I'll change the sentence "Credentials may not be revoked unless the user consistently violates the NPOV policies in articles created as a result of using Wikinews credentials" to "I would suggest "A user's credentials may be revoked for abuse of any access or privileges accorded on the basis of those privileges, or for violations of the NPOV policy", but feel free to revert if you think the rules need to be more specific. Anyway, my point is that its probably best to not restrict grounds for revocation too much.. many things could go wrong.. and we don't want the board to have to step in any more than absolutely necessary. Nyarlathotep 18:05, 1 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Hmm, I somehow managed to miss that this was now "live". Feel free to revert my changes if you think I'm wrong about them. Nyarlathotep 02:42, 2 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Logo for user pages


I have hacked together a logo for us accredited reporters.

Accredited reporter

Could someone with a bit more wikicode experience than me work this into a infobox type thing to place on user pages. I know it may take a bit of work to hammer out the text on that. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:56, 26 January 2006 (UTC)Reply

Possible changes

See also: Wikinews:Water_cooler#Inactive_accredited_reporters.2C_part_II.
--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 18:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

Recently there have been many requests by commons user for accreditation and this has brought many views and thoughts up. Therefore i am starting a discussion with a (possible) view that if many people support there should be a few changes to the policy.

  • Firstly the policy says
 The criteria for accreditation include:
 *being an established Wikinews editor (or a contributor to another Wikimedia Foundation project) a few weeks 
 *having started several articles on Wikinews or another project 
 bolds mine

I believe that the areas in bold should be changed as it is (as i see it) the thought of many that users (myself included) that users need edits on wikinews as it is quite different from any other project. Therefore it is my thinking that this area should be removed or changed. what do others think??--MarkieTalk 17:49, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

  • I believe it should be a requirement that people who request accreditation have demonstrated an understanding of the policies here. They are not the same as other Foundation wikis and Original Reporting is an alien concept to all but Wikinews. --Brian McNeil / talk 23:15, 9 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • I am opposed to removing those bits. It is true that we do not require a user to have major contribs to Wikinews to get accreditation. They must however be a major contributer to another project and show some work on Wikinews with the promise of doing more. When you become an accredited user, (while not in fact) you are representing Wikinews in most peoples eyes. At the very least you are saying the Wikinews community knows and trusts you. If you have not edited much on Wikinews, this is not true.
It does not seem we want users who are going to an event just to take a few photos, we want people who will take some photos and write about it. Photos however are very good and an accreditation program focused on photos and photojournalism would be a good idea. --Cspurrier 01:53, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • I agree, we should have accredited photographers, even make promotion on Commons and Wikipedia. I wouldn't mind if they only took pictures. They should be able to work under the flag of Wikinews. We should make sure that if they take pictures, we are alerted to them so we can write a story with those pictures. Maybe we don't really need a separate "accredited photographers" press card, but we can mark "Photojournalism" under special interest. They should indeed have started a couple of articles here on WikiNews to show they understand the policy, especially OR and NPOV (of course that shouldn't be too much of a problem for experienced Wikimedia contributors).--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:33, 10 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • I am neutral to this idea. Being an accredited reporter for Wikinews is all about writing stories not writing encyclopedic content (Wikipedia), and taking photographs. Though I do support people going to events and taking photographs for Wikinews, they need a seperate place to get this done. --Nzgabriel | Talk 07:19, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • I think photo accreditation needs to have a different policy developed around it, and needs to have cooperation between wikinews, Wikipedia, and Commons (and possibly even other projects in special circumstance). I wouldn't appreciate it if commons started accrediting wikinewsies just for contributing (non-photographically) to wikinews in the event they had accreditation process and we didn't, therfore, I don't feel its our place to accredit commoners. Perhaps instead of removing it make it more explicit about, you need to have lots of activity on wikinews (over 2 months), and other projects may help you, but they won't very much, and you have to be extreamly obsessive about that project(s) (e.g if your a steward, beurocrat on two project, and admin on 40 others, then it may help you. okay not that excessive, but you get my drift). Even the wikinewsies who are new and try to get this, ussually don't stick arround a month after their failed accreditation request failed. We want accredited users in it for the long hall. If not removed, at the very least it needs to be changed. Perhaps we should make it you need someone to nominate you (or get at least one established wikinewsie to support your accreditation request before putting it up there). Bawolff 07:45, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • I believe the experienced wikinewsies can school the newly acreditted users as they go about the business of news gathering and reporting. The reports are what as a community Wikinews is after. As myself and others screw up, the community can teach and grow. This is why my choice is to be wide open to persons who have enthusiam enough and a degree of trust to gain accreditation. -Edbrown05 08:46, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
My biggest concern (with exception to the people who's first edit is to that page) is not that there'll screw up, we all do, is that they're be here a month and then leave. I think accredited wikinewsies should be here over a longer period of time then that. Bawolff 08:51, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
I think Cspurrier brought up the idea of a review process for accreditted reporters. I don't think wikinews should block potentially great reporters trying to get here, they should remove accreditation from reporters that do not report. -Edbrown05 09:08, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
I think a review is a great idea (MrM is still an accredited reporter. how long ago did he leave now?) However I'm still hesitant about really new reporters. If their first edit is to this page, I don't think there's time to see if they're someone who actually is a trustwrothy individual (Imagine granting Willy on wheels accreditation) maybe a month of contributing to wikinews would be better amount of time. Its not like they need credentials to work into a building and ask someone, Can I talk to you for a minute. Or if they're from other projects, put them on probation period where they have to write something. (although personally, I think it'd be better to set up a seprate thing for commoners) Bawolff
Yeah, this whole accreditation thing carries a big bullshit factor to it. The only thing I achieved with it (and even that was crap, depending on you POV) was to say to a Vonage customer service representation that I was a member of the press and wanted the link, withheld in a prior conversation, to their 'Press release" page. I got it after that.
Now isn't that something that is self-evident. The sour pusses and snickerers will say no, but I disagree.
I do understand, Bawolff, that you and the community want more than a few edits before handing over a liscense to someone to spout off their mouth. I still say it is best to spout off your mouth, because that what news people do. -Edbrown05 09:32, 11 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • Bawolff said: "Imagine granting Willy on wheels accreditation." Lol. Good example of the new policy. Imagine if he never edited a wiki before, created an account on wikinews, requested accreditation, and we were stupid enough to give him the credentials because he claimed to be a "good" user. (This could happen if the vandal was smart enough.) Anyways... that's why we should see some edits from the person requesting the credentials so we know that we can trust them, etc. FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 00:11, 16 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
So... have we reached a concensus on this yet?? FellowWikiNews (W) (sign here!) 14:09, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply
  • Consensus? Not really. Most people who have commented here have expressed concern that people get accreditation and don't use it - and I know I'm kinda guilty of that too (I have it, and the most useful I can currently be with it is digging up US court records). However, there seems to be little complaint if you're actively participating on the wiki - which should include helping other people out with original reporting. Perhaps we need to set a bar for edits in main namespace and time since first edit. Say one month of contributions and more than 100 edits in main namespace. A side-order of starting at least 2 stories would give a test that the welcome policies have been read. On that basis the user could then request nomination for accreditation, requiring a 3rd party to take the request and turn it into a nomination. If a requirement for starting articles is included, this gives a good focus for judging the candidate.
The first thing this would stop is people making their first edit on the Accreditation page and then wondering why the community is hostile to them. Secondly it will encourage potential candidates to go beyond main namespace edits and communicate with regular contributors who may nominate them. This latter aspect is, I believe, important. It encourages people to become part of the community.
So how does this apply to Commoners who want to take photos? Well, if they use any photos during the time they're building their reputation they will have been forced to focus on the news we have, or to find news that they can write a story on to go with the photos. It focuses them on the requirement for photos for news, and not agency or file photos (Which - if desired - should be a separate accreditation process on Commons).
Our current situation is that we need to draft a new policy with application prerequisites on this wiki. I'd be happy if someone would take the above rambling and turn it into some Instruction Creep. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:10, 18 March 2007 (UTC)Reply

This project page is woeful


Anyone who knows me knows i'm out to get it.

Proposed overhaul


As the person who has been creating the press passes and distributing them, I propose that I extend my role to being not only the person who designs them for each person, but the one who prints them, laminates them, and mails them off to the accredited journalists of Wikinews. This would be the larger part of the switch over to a new system of handing out credentials -- the other parts being the new design I just created (which utilizes space more efficiently and includes an area for the ID bearer's signature) and the new uniform format for ID numbers.

Within one month of this proposal being in effect, existing accredited reporters must e-mail to james.hare (at) wikinewsie (dot) org a recent picture of themselves as well as their address, or they risk losing their accreditation. I will then proceed to create their new ID, mail it to them, and they will sign the back of it. Upon receiving the new ID card, they should destroy/put away the old one and then record their new ID number on WN:CV (see below). As soon as this proposal is enacted, each accredited Wikinewsie will be e-mailed reminding them to do this. New reporters must follow said process within two weeks of receiving credentials or they will risk losing their accreditation.

Another part of this proposal is the new uniform ID number system, which has been rather shaky since the beginning. I propose a simple system of assigning ID numbers in this formula:

  • The year they were accredited, in format YYYY
  • The month they were accredited, in format MM
  • Their first initial
  • Their last initial

If a user was accredited before this proposal is in effect, a letter O will be affixed before the rest of the ID number.

I am willing to take on this responsibility, and I would like to see the accreditation system at Wikinews to be more reliable and less prone to fraud. This proposal will help bring Wikinews to a new level of professionalism. MessedRocker (talk) 01:54, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Addendum - I would like this specification for pictures submitted for the ID badges: Your picture must be in color, measure at least 100x100 pixels, and be an accurate representation of your present likeness. Additionally, I would like press badges to ultimately expire and then be renewed -- how about within three years of being issued? MessedRocker (talk) 02:17, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Comment, have we actually ever seen any fraud? I can't really imagine any con artists out there pretend to be Wikipedians (or Wikinewsies) - and I'm not sure I like the idea of accredited reporters being forced to give out their address either - heck, my real employer doesn't know my address. On a final note, 100x100 pixels is going to print out very small for an ID photo anyways... Sherurcij 03:00, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
I don't know if we've ever seen any fraud, but it would be good to try to prevent it. As for giving addresses, it's only given to me so that I can send the ID over to them -- then it's stored away and never seen again. The 100x100 specification is to prevent pictures from being *too* small, and it actually appears to be smaller on the card. A small picture, though, is better than nothing. And how does your employer not know your address? I thought employers were given a myriad of personal information, even more personal than a home address. MessedRocker (talk) 03:49, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

I think this sounds good. I think its a great idea. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 04:04, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

I think that will wear off too quick. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 06:54, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
ZJH proposed that after writing your signature, you stick a piece of clear tape over it to preserve the signature. MessedRocker (talk) 07:08, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
Sounds unprofessional. If I have the time I'll try to post a picture of my Indymedia press card, it looks fantastic. I have one simple request for a feature on new press cards: expiration dates. Those should be renewed every year.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 06:40, 9 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
The current ones I am making expire in three years. Newly accredited users will have cards that expire after one year, experienced newsies will have one that expire after three. MessedRocker (talk) 08:39, 9 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Trial run


As there are people in favor of it, I am going to begin a trial run for it. If you are interested in a new press badge, one that is laminated and mailed to you, please e-mail me with your mailing address and a recent picture of yourself. MessedRocker (talk) 07:26, 8 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Five press passes have been made and sent so far. You guys know who you are. When you receive them, let me know what you think. MessedRocker (talk) 02:37, 9 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
sounds like a good idea to me. sj 04:06, 11 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

"New reporters must follow said process within two weeks of receiving credentials or they will risk losing their accreditation." Huh? So Messed will data mine accreditted reporters home addresses without providing his/her own home address? How 'bout I email you my mug shot and snail mail you request, that would be quid pro quo. Address please, MR. -Edbrown05 09:18, 13 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

You may contact me at:
James Hare
PO Box 504 (note: I no longer own this PO Box. 07:36, 12 April 2008 (UTC))
Oradell, New Jersey 07649
MessedRocker (talk) 21:59, 13 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
Also, for what it's worth, I made a privacy policy. MessedRocker (talk) 22:54, 13 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
So Messed you live in a post office box. -Edbrown05 08:43, 14 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
I giggled - but it does bring up a point, can accredited reporters use a PO box, or get it shipped to a WMF friend in town? :P Sherurcij 15:36, 14 August 2007 (UTC)Reply
I ask for a mailing address, not necessarily a home address. As long as it gets to you, that's all that matters. You could have it sent to your home, or to a PO Box, to a friend's house, or even your work place. MessedRocker (talk) 20:34, 14 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

The conclusion


So far, I have made and distributed press IDs for six people, and the five who have received it so far seemed to be generally satisfied with it. However, there are still the pressing concerns in regards to me, a private individual, collecting personal details for distribution. In any case, I think my system should be highly encouraged but not mandatory. MessedRocker (talk) 18:14, 19 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Messed, could you upload a picture of the new badges to Commons, just to give us an idea of what they look like? Thunderhead - (talk) 08:48, 20 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Press Passes for Photographers


There are many of us out there who would like to add images to the Wikimedia system. But It happens to be difficult to get into many events without a press pass. (Although a big white lens usually works). Any thoughts?

Well, I've got a bunch of photographers into events. They're there through my vouching, though, not through their own independent accreditation process.
Are you a pro photographer? What sort of event are you planning on photographing? Depending on the response, I might consider vouching for you. Otherwise, for now, you have to follow the existing accreditation process. -- Zanimum - (talk) 17:00, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Reply
Just try WN:AR. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 19:49, 3 March 2008 (UTC)Reply



Is there a way that accredited reporters can get a press pass? And, do they ever get paid? Diligent Terrier 19:29, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

if the community votes for the user to have accreditation, they get a press pass. And no, no one gets paid to write for Wikinews. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 19:30, 7 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
What about expenses if you travel somewhere? Diligent Terrier - (talk) 21:54, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply
Nope: the Wikimedia Foundation holds all the money, and they have absolutely nothing to do with the community process of accreditation. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 22:27, 12 February 2008 (UTC)Reply

Missing reporters


Is there anyone in the active list who does not have a email address? Please drop me an email, brian.mcneil[at] and I'll rectify the situation. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:07, 31 October 2008 (UTC)Reply

Updates to this policy


This policy is being edited. There is no discussion about these policy changes. Thus I must conclude the editors are either forgetting that such is in violation of WN:PG, or are just caught up in the moment: Policies change. When you present good reason to change a policy, and others agree, the change will happen.

The reason for such a requirement - that policy changes be discussed before changed - is to reduce community friction, and to slow things down so we don't get caught up in the heat of the moment. It gives everyone a chance to consider things, rather than a rush to judgment or a stampede of votevotevote. I would strongly encourage people to return this policy to a pre-edit-warring state, and start communicating about what are its weaknesses and how best to address those weaknesses which are agreed upon. - Amgine | t 14:08, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Reply

The changes that have been made seem to consist mostly of copyedits. There are no major changes to the actual policy, I think. Benny the mascot (talk) 14:29, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Reply
  • <grumble> <grumble> I've a lengthy note on what I see as the initial requirements on my talk. For some strange reason, I spent yesterday writing an article instead of working on this. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:31, 9 June 2010 (UTC)Reply

History of the policy


I just tried to add some information on the history of this policy. It was removed. Here is what I added

==Development of this policy==

As someone who has not watched this project over time, it was insightful for me to know more about the origins of policy here and who governs them.

Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:48, 26 May 2015 (UTC)Reply