Wikinews talk:Tsunami Help

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General Comments[edit]

Rest in peace to all the souls who lost their lives in the Tsunami. Prayers to the families with lost loves. -D.

NPOV, format problems[edit]

Please read Wikinews:Writing an article for ways to write appropriate content for this site. Davodd | Talk 22:45, 1 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Via IRC chat late Saturday, most of the issues have been solved for now... and resulted in the new design and overhaul. -- Davodd | Talk 09:29, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)
All problems have been sorted out, discussion removed. Be sure to follow Wikinews:Writing an article when writing content. Make sure all articles have a NPOV. --Randy Johnston 00:17, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Is everyone happy?[edit]

I have read relevant discussions at Wikinews:Water cooler, Wikinews:Deletion requests, and SEA-EAT bloggers' project mailing list discussions. I am not sure if the current revision of this page is what people can agree on.

Here are suggestions that I think is acceptable to most of us.

  1. Remove emphasis on latest news coverage. We already have 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami for that. Link and explanation is enough.
  2. Emphasize Tsunami Help contents, those listed in the menu, and give brief overview on each item.
  3. Make a clear notice that this is "a special project" as accepted by the Wikinews community.
    • This way, we do not worry about giving readers false assumptions that these are well within the range of contents that's accepted at Wikinews.
  4. Create several project pages such as Wikinews:About Tsunami Help, and Wikinews:Tsunami Help contributors, Wikinews:Tsunami Help contacts, Wikinews:Tsunami Help in media for the information that existed before, if desirable.

Tomos 12:45, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Sensible. :-) TaranRampersad 14:43, 2 Jan 2005

I am happy with what we have now, with a few changes. I wouldn't be bothered if we have to keep it the way it is, but I agree we need to focus a bit more on Help topics, not news and statistics. --Randy Johnston 19:49, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This is not a bad idea, but not the Wikinews namespace. We should have a Project: namespace, or similar, for in-depth and more permanent wikinews structures. Justification: Tsunami Help is not an exclusive Wikinews project, but a Wikinews supported project; Wikinews namespace should be reserved for policy, guidelines, and management of the Wikinews site. - Amgine 02:33, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I agree that something like TshunamiHelp: namespace would be nice. But the system does not currently support it, if I understand correct. Or are you saying we should use namespace-like prefix to page names, and place those contents in article namespace? I am not totally against it, but I am not sure if others will agree with it.

In any case, It seems there is no strong objection so far, and we can move pages if desirable/necessary later, so I will go ahead and create some.

Further comments are appreciated. Tomos 02:53, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the system *does* support extra name spaces. They need to be configured manually, but they can be added, up to 100 name spaces (half that many if you include Namespace talk:) - Amgine 06:15, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
May I suggest Wikinews:Special:Tsunami Help/x for the time being? -- Davodd | Talk 06:23, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Davodd idea sounds fine. So I will move some pages to there. Tomos 08:18, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Tomos, if you intend to use a Special page for Tsunami Help, please provide a redirect for the existing pages OR please create the new pages in that space and give a warning on the [SEA-EAT-Volunteers discussion list], so that we have time to change the URLs on the [main blog]. Thank you. - CBasturea 03:44, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Okay, I will pay attention to it. Tomos 04:59, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

So far, here is what I did.

In the future,

The basic idea, though I think it would sound too obvious to some experienced wikimedians, is that those pages have to do with project management, and meant to be for editors and contributors, not for regular readers.

They are also a place to explain the relation between Wikinews and SEA EAT blog. Tomos 04:59, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I think moving things to the Wikinews: (or perhaps a Projects: namespace for future use, although personally I'd support policy to make sure that this sort of thing doesn't happen again), is a good solution to the problem, and one that I now support. Lankiveil 05:31, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC).

Navigational template[edit]

I went to IRC, and suggested to restore navigational box. User:Randy_Johnston, User:Amgine, and User:BalaPitchandi was there.

I wanted to see navigational box for Tsunami Help pages to be restored,

Nobody objected, and Amgine was working on a new template. We did not discuss the details of the template.

I am reporting this discussion so that others can understand what's discussed, what's not, if there is a room for alternative, etc. Feel free to express your opinions here or on IRC.

(Also, if you were in the discussion and find my reporting not correct, please feel free to make corrections.)

Tomos 23:54, 2 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The navigational box on sub-pages is most required. It is hard to get back to previous page or main menu without it. Please restore it ASAP. Thanks!

Ganesh 00:00, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Amgine was caught up by other Wikimedia project needs, so I am actually doing that. Your help would really be appreciated :-) ! Tomos 00:24, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have to admit that after looking at the old template that was once removed, I could not find anything particularly problematic. So I ended up simply re-inserting it. I was not there when people discussed on IRC on the use of the navigational template, so I did not understand what should be changed. Let me clarify that I am in no way advocating that the current template is the best, and am interested in seeing some changes that other people thought desirable on IRC, or anyone else who has a better idea.

I asked others on IRC what needs to be changed, but they were all busy, and having that template was at least better than nothing for now, some said. Tomos 02:11, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Is there any problem with the Image Galleries page? It has dissapeared from the main menu, and I was wondering if it's possible to be restored. Thank you. CBasturea

I personally see no problem restoring it. If anything, Wikipedia (not Wikinews yet) has the general rule that it is not a link repository. So giving some kind of review on what's available would be better than simple link collection. (And I am suggesting that it is nice if someone does that, not necessarily urging you to do it.) Others may have different opinion. Perhaps we can restore first and wait for others to express their opinions/ alternative solutions? Tomos 04:09, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
That would be great. Meanwhile, I'll talk to my colleagues and see if we could add a short review/description of each link. CBasturea Jan 3, 2005 05:08 (UTC)
Agree the gallery section with reviews would be useful, but we could also build a gallery of PD/GFDL/copyright with permission graphics on This may be more useful for Wikinews, since those graphics would then also be stock photos for illustrating wikinews articles. Galleries on commons are directly linkable by Wikinews. - Amgine 06:19, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Okay I added the link to that page to the navigational box. Regarding Commons, there is already a page there [1], and I inserted a short reference to there at the beginning of the page. Hope it works. Tomos 08:46, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)


On IRC, along with #Navigational template issue, we discussed if we need disclaimer. Again, just to make discussion public and open to other people to participate, I am reporting it here.

Here are pros and cons about it.

  • Some of contents are not presented from neutral point of view, but it is difficult to solve that issue by trying to neutralize it or placing NPOV warning.
  • A shorter version of discaimer would not hurt.
  • We need to source all the information rather than relying on disclaimer.
  • Tsunami Help pages do not need disclaimers any more than other pages on Wikinews.
  • It is discouraging for readers to face disclaimer.

We all had different opinions how much it's needed. Randy thinks we don't need disclaimers except for aid agency pages. I think we need them on many more pages. Amgine and Bala thinks it is good to have a shorter disclaimer. Randy and I agree with it.

This issue needs more discussion, I sense. Please feel free to suggest your idea. Tomos 00:04, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

For the charity pages we built a template based on Tomos's text: Template:Charity_disclaimer. For other pages with precise information (such as the telephone pages) a single-sentence disclaimer on a case-by-case basis such as "Although this information is believed to be correct at the moment it is published, the ongoing nature of this news item makes it impossible to guarantee the veracity of the information." - Amgine 00:35, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Use of talk pages and IRC[edit]

On IRC, along with #Navigational template issue, we discussed the use of talk pages and IRC.

We all agreed that publicizing discussion is good so that people can agree or disagree with the ideas discussed, opinions expressed, etc. regarding the discussion that have took place on IRC. (So I am reporting it here.)

Also, we agreed that talk pages should be used more to address any concerns, suggest alternatives, etc.

So I would say feel free to make suggestions here or on any other pages. I would also encourage people to report/inquire about IRC discussions. IRC is a nifty tool that allow us quick intensive interactions. But it is not our interest to exclude people and make decisions look like they are made in a closed room.

Tomos 00:14, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I don't think IRC is the correct place to set Wikinews policy since there is no record kept of IRC chats on Wikimedia servers as proof of converations. Also since IRC has limited participation (and varies from minute-to-minute), it is an unreliable indicator of the community attitude. -- Davodd | Talk
I think we're all in agreement with this, Davodd. This is why the discussions are being reported here. Not everyone is familiar (yet) with the discussion page conventions. - Amgine 00:31, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Thank you for taking the lead on this in educating the new community members. -- Davodd | Talk 00:35, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Checking In[edit]

I am just checking in. Is this the best place for wikinews volunteers to communicate, or on socialtext?

Hello. Welcome to Wikinews. Wikinews people can be best reached on Wikinews. This page is good. Other page to bring up a discussion is Wikinews:Water cooler. Tomos 02:12, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yes, excellent place to communicate. Use ~~~ to sign your notes. - Amgine 02:14, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

News mentions of SEA EAT's efforts on Wikinews[edit]

As I was creating the Wikinews:Making news page, I stumbled across two news stories written specifially about SEA EAT and the Wikines effort:

I thought contributors here who haven't seen the articles may be interested in them. Great job all. -- Davodd | Talk 02:23, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Cool! have those been added to the Template:THsources? nevermind, I didn't add that to the article yet. - Amgine 06:21, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Neutrality issue[edit]

Randy Johnston, BalaPitchandi, and I had some talk on neutrality issue. I think Randy and I (along with many experienced wikimedians, I assume) share concerns about how to achieve neutrality better.

What's done:

  • Someone (sorry that I could not remember) posted basics of Wikinews to Tsunami Help bloggers' project mailinglist.
  • On that mailing list, I posted a report on potential/existing problem of Tsunami Help pages with Wikinews policies, conventions, etc. along with possible solutions that I personally saw. Neutrality is at the top of the list.
  • I saw BalaPitchandi making the post and introduced the neutrality policy again. ([2])

What could be done:

  1. Site-wide campaign using some MediaWiki: name space - like the fund-drive campaign Wikipedia and other projects have done. But this will affect the whole site.
  2. Create a page Wikinews:Welcome Tsunami Help contributors and give a brief guidance on how Wikinews works. And greet people editing Tsunami Help pages with a link to that page.
  3. Use a talk page to give extra notice.

Randy and I were kind of in agreement the second option would be the best. Tomos 02:24, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I have started this at User:Amgine/Sandbox, I think. - Amgine 06:23, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
Does existing content need to be 'neutralized'? If so I am willing to start on that immediately. Please point me to a section. Toni
Try looking at Tsunami Help pages, but please be very careful not to bite the volunteers! They are quite new to this, and need educating and help. - Amgine 21:04, 3 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I do feel bitten and told to go away. I understand the initial concern about the presence of Tsunami Help on WikiNews and appreciate the 2 groups coming together to sort this out. But the environment created by one or two Wiki news admins (I think you call them) continues to be patronising and unwelcoming of newbies. The removal of discussion in the midst of discussion is a case in point. A newcomer like me tries to work out what is going on by reading the "meta pages" such as Water Cooler and the discussion/Talk pages related to key pages. Then find that the discussion has been snipped in the middle of such discussion, viz the Water Cooler and the removal of the Wikinews has been highkacked by Tsunami Help posting. Thank goodness for the history function of wiki pages otherwise I might feel that I just imagined it. Even a small note of appreciation I put on about WikiNews generosity on the Tsunami Help discussion page was deleted. I have never experienced anything like this on a wiki before and I've used a lot and developed and currently manage one. Now I'm just tidying up a bit before I head off. It has been a great learning experience. Again I can appreciate that you guys felt overwhelmed by the start up Tsunami Help and did your best to deal with the issue. Thank you for making and continuing to make the space available. And please note this is just my personal response - I'm sure other Tsunami help contributors have different experiences and I in no way speak for the main TSunami help group who I think are working with you to improve this space for all in a way that meets needs on both sides. But my first taste of Wiki News tells me that this wiki is not for me. A suggestion, if it is of any use, is that it would be a good idea to have a side link "for newbies" kind of thing that sets out exactly what your expectations are, as admins/owners of Wiki News, of contributors so that everyone knows what they are in for and what the kind of rules/etiquettes codes are. For example here's some early wiki writings which have always appealed to me, but maybe its's just a personal thing that attracts me to such writings -, Susanlocke 4 Jan 2005
Hello. I have to admit that there are problems and misunderstandings, etc. Many of active wikinews participants were caught in surprise, I think, and became alert. And as one of active Wikinews participants, I am sorry for what you've experienced. But the particular case of removing the discussion from Wikinews:Watercooler was certainly not meant to stop you from talking, as far as I can see. The archiving was done as a result of request here Wikinews:Water_cooler#Help.21_The_water_cooler_is_too_full.21. And if you wanted to discuss the topic, you could simply restore that section and add your comment. Perhaps this is not enough to change your mind, and problems do exist that Wikinews participants (including me) carring a lot of implicit conventions from Wikipedia and other projects without clear explanations... But it does not mean that you have to follow those conventions or leave the project. You can ask why things are done certain way, can suggest alternatives, and if some user is rather rude, get attention from others.
It may be too obvious to you, or maybe not, but our "administrators" do not make policies and rules. It's eveyone's right (and duty) to participate in concensus building, based on which this wiki is run. And active participants are hardly monolithic.
Well, but if you have decided to leave the project, thank you for the final feedback. Tomos 12:42, 4 Jan 2005 (UTC)