Wikinews talk:Reviewing articles

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Comments[edit]

Please vote on whether this proposed policy, or something similar, should become policy. Anonymous101talk 20:52, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Comment voting is evil.

Er, the only mention of fact-checking is the "reminder" at the bottom.

With this having sprung out of my proposal for additional article stages, and concerns that such was too onerous, then it needs to strike a balance between rubber-stamping and anal nitpicking. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:56, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Actually the verifiability section is about fact checking. Anonymous101talk 20:59, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

I would propose that the voting section be removed from this discussion right now. This is a back-of-a-fag-packet proposal that has not been subject to scrutiny and discussion. --Brian McNeil / talk 20:56, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

I have removed the voting option, as I agree that this proposed policy definitely needs some improvement. Anonymous101talk 20:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

===Votes===

Vpiting removed per above commentAnonymous101talk 20:58, 3 August 2008 (UTC)


  • 'Very Strong Oppose' - Why should the few have the right to check the work of someone who is already known not to cack things up? No Editors, Let us get on with the job we are here for! Iceflow (talk) 00:00, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Seems dangerous, as it can degenerate into a single POV censorship. Lysy (talk) 09:13, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

  • Strong Oppose. The current obsession with verifying accuracy comes at too high a price in terms of breadth and timeliness of content. Since the changes to the reviewing system in late July/early August, (which led to compulsory peer reviews) the number of new articles being published appears to have fallen dramatically. It also takes much longer to get an article published than it used to, due to the need to involve a third party. In addition to the fall in articles, the site seems to have developed a very slight pro-American bias in terms of coverage. I'm guessing that this might be a result of the review process requiring an additional person, and if there aren't many users from small countries, then less users will have the expertise to review articles about those countries, resulting in reduced coverage. In addition, Wikinews used to be one of the first news services to get stories out, due to the large number of contributors and ease of editing. It is now one of the last due to the bureaucratic review process, some articles can take days to get published, by which time the story's dead. I'm guessing that this is driving away users. I gave up editing editing in August because I was so sick of perfectionist reviewers blocking my articles because of a tiny error, or something so pathetic as the sources being in the wrong order, because I used an internationally accepted date format rather than Wikinews' compulsory American syntax, or in one case because it was too well referenced. In most cases it was things that the reviewer could quite easily fix. I couldn't see anything wrong with the old system (write your article, either mark it for review, or if you're confident, publish it yourself, if it is published and there is a problem, then whoever spots the problem can sort it out.) That's the whole point of a Wiki. I'm not going to contribute again until some of these restrictions are lifted. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 21:31, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
    • I think GW_Simulations makes several valid and concerning points; Wikinews appears to be getting crippled by the current review process. I must oppose this proposal. Jade Knight (talk) 08:16, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'll just email Josh at Google News and tell him to de-list us then. GW Simulations is - among other things - arguing about something as petty as the date format. Things like this are written into the style guide, and there is a rationale behind the decision to use a specific style.
As to a bias to U.S. coverage, yes, I'd agree. I criticised one editor when he made all leads US-based stories, that should not happen.
One of the main griping points here seems to be that people won't work on something that doesn't interest them. So, if your story doesn't meet the guidelines you'll be told this and left to fix it yourself. As a completely volunteer project there is not much can be done about that. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:50, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
My argument is that articles are being rejected because of "something as petty as the date format" --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 11:44, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Note: Feel free to voice your comments/thoughts, but there is no "vote" on this, at least not at this point in time. Cirt (talk) 21:52, 3 November 2008 (UTC)

Breaking[edit]

I see this as a potential loophole where people could (possibly) use the {{Breaking}} tag to get around waiting for a {{Review}} to go through on an article they wrote. Should not all articles have to go through independent Review? Cirt (talk)

Well before they are published, of course they should, regardless of the type of news. Majorly talk 12:25, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I suppose. Anonymous101talk 12:57, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
But consider the fact that some breaking news may occur when no one is really on to review, though it is not official policy WN:BREAK even says that that should be done. Skipping the review stage that is. The Mind's Eye (talk) 23:10, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I'd rather we had no news than inaccurate news. Majorly talk 23:14, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Agree with Majorly (talk · contribs). Cirt (talk) 23:16, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Well then answer is just to increase people's interest in Wikinews and get more volunteers so the issue of no one to review doesn't arise. The Mind's Eye (talk) 23:17, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Great idea. Cirt (talk) 23:18, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
And do you have any ideas how to increase people's participation? I personally was recommended by Brianmc, but before, I personally wasn't the slightest bit interested in Wikinews. That may be what most people feel - they just don't know about it. Majorly talk 23:29, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>Majorly was corruptedrecruited at Wikimania, we need people looking out for opportunities to attend appropriate conferences and be bold enough to distribute print edition copies. As I stated elsewhere, every copy I left lying around vanished. People do pick them up and read them, perhaps with more input than just Craig we can insert more prominent advertising to recruit contributors in this way. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:40, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

No "Sighting"/Reviewing till publish[edit]

IMHO articles shouldn't be sighted/reviewed till published. Or at least maybe the review stage. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 23:21, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Those who have the user right sight articles automatically... but your idea is good. Majorly talk 23:28, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
I have noticed that "auto-sight" feature. Even if I make a minor correction of a blatant error, it looks like I have "sighted" the entire article, when I may not have done so.--SVTCobra 23:36, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Therefore "sighting" simply means checking that it is not vandalism or spam. Cirt (talk) 23:37, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Autosighting works for ya'll? Interesting. Was testing it earlier and couldn't get it to work. For the record: Sighted = Reviewed = no spam --- Quality = Validated = real content check --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 23:50, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Interesting, Autosighting now works for me too. Didn't earlier. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 23:54, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
News on autosight. If you are an Editor, and make an edit: the edit WILL be autosighted ONLY IF the previous edit was sighted. If the previous edit was not sighted, the new version will also NOT be sighted. But an article created by an Editor will start as Sighted. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 00:27, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
Additional note to report since here seems as good of place as any. If a version is sighted, edited (say vandalism), and that edit is undone by an Editor, it will be autosighted (As an exception to my note above). --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 00:43, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

<unindent>Current behaviour is nothing starts as sighted - regardless of author status. Sighting must be explicitly done, but if you have editor status and change a sighted article your change is auto-sighted. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:42, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Issue[edit]

Something that needs to be addressed is that fact that everything including redirects have the little current revision thing pop up. For instance Template:China. Something needs to be done about that. The Mind's Eye (talk) 23:30, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Retroactivity[edit]

Will we be flagging articles which existed prior to us having FlaggedRevs or are we only going to worry about our newer work? - Cartman02au (Talk)(AU Portal) 09:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

My understanding is that we will be flagging older articles, yet, it may just take a while. Cirt (talk) 12:20, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Old articles will need flagged, otherwise anonymous visitors will not see them. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:50, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually they can be viewed fine by anonymous users. They just have a little Current revision (unreviewed) flag at the top right of the article. --216.75.93.110 13:57, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
Well that is interesting, we have talked so long about how they "don't" show up, yet we never took the time to check if they in fact didn't show up. The Mind's Eye (talk) 15:17, 7 August 2008 (UTC)
The system was designed so that if there is no sighted versions, the latest shows up. It doesn't "hide" anything. --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 05:03, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> To keep the "on this day" section on the front page functioning, old articles need sighted. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:48, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Confused[edit]

I'm a bit confused. This appears to already be active. When I edited Template:War in South Ossetia (2008), I got, "Edits will be incorporated into the stable version once an established user reviews them. The draft is shown below. 1 change awaits review.". Why does it still say this is a proposed policy? Is there somewhere I can go to see the current active technology/policy? Superm401 | Talk 06:32, 9 August 2008 (UTC)

FlaggedRevs got implemented a few days ago --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 06:40, 9 August 2008 (UTC)
Then why does this page still say it's proposed, and where can I find details? Superm401 | Talk 07:34, 10 August 2008 (UTC)
FlaggedRevs was implemented, this Review process has not yet been fully implemented. More details at :

Cirt (talk) 08:39, 10 August 2008 (UTC)

The danger[edit]

As mentioned above, the chief danger is that WN loses its "wiki" status if it comes down to the whims of whichever administrator is online at this hour to decide whether or not your article is "good enough" - and while administrators are good at banning people, warning people and maintaining order; they are often not the best best critics, nor examples, of stellar writing, fact-checking or anything else. I'd propose at the very least that accredited WN members be able to "sight" articles to increase the "Wiki"ness of it all being collaborative. There is no reason an accredited reporter with no history of error should have to have a random online community administrator "vet/edit" his Original Reporting -- as I complained once already "I was at the trial, you weren't...what on earth are YOU able to tell ME about what occurred?". Ah well, just a heads-up/complaint about the very real risk that this will be devolve into something notably bad for WN if we're not careful to maintain our egalitarian stance. Sherurcij 03:07, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

I agree that accredited WN members should certainly be able to "sight" articles. No objections there. Cirt (talk) 03:28, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree that I don't think this a good policy. I'm a new editor here, but quite familiar with other wikiprojects. I don't think this policy can work until there are far more editors here. For example, there was a review tag on Pakistan's governing coalition breaks apart for more then 24 hours until I decided to review it myself even though I worked on the very first draft. Unless there is enough editors where articles can be reviewed within hours, I don't think this policy will be useful, in fact more of an hindrance. --PatrickFlaherty (talk) 01:28, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I disagree...We are doing this because we need to. We lose lots of credibility if we didn't do something. This is the easiest way for us to have an editorial process. I know IRC is not the best way to discuss stuff, but often it helps to alert people there if an article needs reviewing. I think sometimes we have slow days, but overall, the review process goes rather quick. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:36, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm afraid you have to subject your work to the scrutiny of others. By all means, accredited reporters should have the right to sight material, but remember we've pretty much agreed if an admin abused it to sight their own work, or repeatedly failed to do the job competently, they'd lose adminship via RfDA as well as sighting rights. This is due to being able to re-grant themselves the privilege, and the fact that most of the core contributors agree this is important to be taken seriously. If anyone - admin or accredited - were to abuse the privilege to sight their own work I'd be among the first to make sure there was a place on Wikinews to strip them of the rights; we not only have to take this seriously, we have to be seen to do so. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:50, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Who are the Reviewers[edit]

The part that worries me is who exactly are the reviewers? How will they be chosen? What does it take to get that status removed? How many of them will there be? How will THEIR NPoV be ascertained? What happens if there are 10 of them and they all go on vacation (or get sick, or take a wikibreak) at the same time (as we currently see with few admins online, and the front page rarely being updated in its locked down state)? Will we be forbidden from publishing articles until a reviewer returns to us?

Requiring a special status for reviewers is not a good move IMO, because we will no longer be a Wiki. It is not possible to be a wiki if all content is controlled by a small group of elites. Anti-vandalism moves I understand. Using tactics identical to those of the government of China to control content, I don't understand. Gopher65talk 01:30, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

That is a bad example. All credible agencies have an editorial process, this is just the way we chose to do ours. It could be much worse and much more tedious...like your example. But also we cannot just start handing out positions on a platter either. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:38, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
There is a problem with this that many people (well, several of the 15 of us that are here) seem to be failing to see. This is WIKInews. Unless you drop the Wiki bit, and turn this into "Social Networking News: Where users submit news stories to be reviewed by our editorial department!", then it can't be done like this. What you are suggesting here is fundamentally unwikilike. And if you carry through with it, you will *have* to stop being a wiki, and reinvent yourselves as something new. Gopher65talk 01:52, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
Virtually all wikis have varying levels of users that determine what gets onto the Main Page. Wikipedia's Main Page is much more stringent as far as their processes - and one single individual determines what article is "Today's Featured Article" on the Main Page. Cirt (talk) 02:51, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
But they don't determine what articles are allowed to be written over the whole of Wikipedia (provided that they aren't spam, etc), which is what we're proposing here. As I said, I have no problem with the current system of admin-only access to the featured articles, provided that the admins update on a daily basis. I know you all want to be a "real" news organization, and so do I, but that doesn't mean we should just copy all of their FAILED processes! And they've been shown to have failed. Single person (or small group) editorial control has lead to massive abuse in mainstream media, and to the creation of horrific organizations like FoxNews, who have given up any pretence at NPoV. Is this *really* the direction that we want to take Wikinews? Once we start down the path of such content controls, one thing will lead to another. First one small step, then another, then another. It's a slippery slope, and we don't want to jump onto it.
Again, as I said, I agree that we need more editorial process in order to improve quality (I don't agree that Google News is vital, but it would be pleasant, at least). But there *has* to be another way to do it that doesn't involve selling our souls in the same way that Rupert Murdock did. I refuse to believe that the only way we complete with other organizations is to give up the very thing that makes us different from them (our consensus based editorial control). Gopher65talk 14:55, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
I think in essence I agree with you, but hopefully there will be many people who are "Reviewers", not few. Cirt (talk) 15:09, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

<unindent> The above discussion is somewhat pointless. Nobody is denied the ability to edit. What is influenced is their ability to get crud that doesn't belong onto the front page. --Brian McNeil / talk 09:50, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Until now, every article has appeared on the main page. So any main page comparison is invalid. Yet I believe the process can still adhere to the wiki spirit if many editors are granted reviewer status, if there are clear rules, and if there is open process. Anyone should be able to contest a review, in which case it should be the community to decide in a reasonably short term. --Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 13:12, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Are we talking about contesting a passed or failed review? I've one instance where I unpublished a passed article, someone missed that the two sources were both AP. I don't think I've seen a failed that didn't offer some clues on the work needed to make it pass, and many articles get feedback aimed at passing them before a review is requested. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:53, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I've seen one such review, which essentially said "I reject this article in its entirety", and offered no suggestions for improvement. Jade Knight (talk) 10:17, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

Poll on use of Template:Peer reviewed[edit]

Please see Template talk:Peer reviewed. Cirt (talk) 01:53, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, Cirt has reverted my attempts to make this a more prominent message; It is not at all clear from his statement here, but voting on this issue is not occuring on this page, where discussion has been had, but on the page Cirt links to. Go there if you'd like to make your opinion known. Jade Knight (talk) 06:02, 17 November 2008 (UTC)

Google News[edit]

Being in Google News seems to be the driving force behind the review process. I'm not aware of it even though I searched Google news a lot, probably because there's only 4 piece of news per day on average. While I have no particular opinion of what Wikinews should be, but if we can be successful as Wikipedia, it's not bad to be another Wikipedia, but not about knowledge subjects, but about news topics. If we can't compete on timely news, we can still be big in the news archives. If you are popular with high traffic, you will appear on Google search anyway.

The Google News requirement have no direct relation with the review process. Google just needed something like flagged rev to control spam. I don't see this as requiring a full review, which could be implemented in drastically different ways. There are plenty of press release agencies on the list who are issuing advertisements, some even charge for it too.

For all the journalist students you can attract, it's still negligible compared to the sort of community participated in Wikipedia. Indeed if you want to practice journalism, it's easier to start your own website with like minds, than bending MediaWiki to fit. The journalistic tendency could be a danger, requiring articles to be as well written as, and looks like, newspapers. It all depends on how popular you want Wikinews to be. The majority of Wikipedians aren't journalists or writing like them.

The Wiki in Wikipedia has a few good points. Peer reviews are performed by true peer editing. You don't want to create classes of bureaucrats when not necessary. I know, I post in Chinese WP and WN too, not that there's something wrong with the two. Articles are always finished. Though you can reward good articles and add credibility. In Wikinews, it's the reverse. You can be forever (?) stuck in the development stage when actually you are finished with the article.

Accountability. If Wikinews have to solicit donations separately, I wonder what fraction of the current donation will it gets. You can't ignore popularity for a wiki. The offering of subdomains in Wikia essentially gave up on notability and NPOV, generating huge wiki's of games and TV fan clubs.

May be I'll be back after $6 millions later.Ccas (talk) 04:50, 22 November 2008 (UTC)

Editors only[edit]

It should be noted and changed in the policy that only users with 'editor' status are able to review/publish articles. I notice it does not necessarily state that as being required. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 17:50, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Done Tempodivalse [talk] 21:15, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

Other language sites[edit]

If having an article reviewed is a way to get it published by chance, why can't other language sites do the same? German and Dutch Wikinews allow articles to be published without being reviewed. I don't know whether that is good or bad. --George Ho (talk) 20:32, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

@George Ho: I am not sure why they do not have reviewing criteria, in that case, anyone could publish fake news, and until an active administrator notices it, it would remain on the site with the published tag. It is possible that they do it so the news is available to audience as soon as possible, but that involves a risk of sharing factually incorrect information, tyops, and other errors. It has some merits and some demerits. But whenever there is a risk of sharing false information (even by mistake) demerits are more severe than merits.
•–• 13:49, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
@George Ho, Acagastya: English Wikinews has taken the notion of review about as strictly as it can be taken. The challenges involved are far-reaching, and we are still working on, and thinking about, various aspects of those challenges. Although our active community is not terribly large now, we would never have been able to set up our infrastructure so well and so robustly (you have to have quite a robust structure if you're going to meaningfully enforce review) had we not had quite a large community with much journalistic known-how involved in setting things up initially. A Wikinews that starts out small could not have achieved what we have here now. There are two reasons I'm not going around aggressively pushing for other-language Wikinews projects to adopt our approach wholesale. Part of it is simple tact, do-unto-others: we don't want them telling us to run our project their way (and we would tend to resent it if they tried), so we should not tell them to run their project our way. Also, though, imho we've not yet worked enough of the kinks out of our system. We intend to do what we do better, down the road. My hope is that as various initiatives come on-line and are improved, we will start to be more and more successful, and not only will it be more practical for other Wikinews projects to adopt our approach then, but we won't have to aggressively push them to do so — they'll want to, because they'll be able to see from our success that it's desirable to do so. --Pi zero (talk) 17:23, 28 November 2017 (UTC)