Wikinews talk:What Wikinews is not

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What Wikinews articles are not:[edit]

  1. Wikinews articles are not press releases. There are a variety of press release aggregators online who provide this service; check the Reference desk for links to some of them. Wikinews articles address the 5 W's and H where possible, and attempt to present newsworthy articles which are balanced and have multiple sources.
  2. Wikinews articles are not advertisments. Especially, they are not political advertisements. Excluding opinion columns, an exclusively one-sided article, either pro- or con- the subject of the article, is a form of advertisment.
  3. 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.
  4. Wikinews articles are not works in progress. Once written and posted they are historical documents; they should not continue to be updated or changed. Especially, they should not be altered to an angle or POV not reflective of the article as it was published.
Please remove/edit/something this .. wikis are supposed to allow others to edit. If this is just a multi-user blog, please say so. One of the primary legs of the wikipedia NPOV concept is that NPOV is never actually reached, but the ability for people to continually modify the article is what creates the NPOV. One of the primary motivations in wikinews is that it is a wiki for news. - Simeon 11:36, 21 Apr 2005 (UTC)
What does this last sentence mean Especially...published? Does this mean that an NPOV article should not be made POV, or that an article violating NPOV cannot be made POV, or both? Boud 21:19, 23 March 2006 (UTC)
  1. Wikinews is not an encyclopedia.
  2. Wikinews articles are not editorials. Although opinion columns are likely to be an element of the Wikinews site, articles in the main namespace should restrict themselves to reporting news and not commenting on the news or newsmakers.

- Amgine 04:03, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Reviews and editorials[edit]

After a recent discussion on the issue on the Water cooler, the community was very much against allowing either on the site, so I've updated this page to reflect that. Dan100 (Talk) 21:02, 6 May 2005 (UTC)

I believe we should probably develop a larger community consensus before altering policy on what is a clearly divisive issue (several previous polls specifically did not gain consensus on this issue.) For this reason I have reverted your addition. - Amgine/talk 21:31, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Let's be honest - it's you versus everyone else who's commented. Granted that's not consensus - I chose my words carefully above to avoid saying that - but consensus would require someone to change their mind. I'm not and, judging by the very firm comments but other editors, other people aren't going to either.
I think technical reviews, feature appraisals, should be ok, as that's just highlighting facts. But I sentiments like product A is better than product B will just not work here, and I think policy should reflect that. Dan100 (Talk) 21:55, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Let's be honest, Dcabrillo also wants reviews. So do you, if you stop and think about it. De, Ro, Pl, and likely most of the others have them already. But at least a dozen other users, including DV, Lyellin, and more have stated that we need some way to announce things, review events or items, to talk *about* events and not simply report facts. By their nature such articles must be reviews.
And the question is not one of if, but when. We cannot be a comprehensive news source without at least minimal review articles, such as announcing when the next version of Windows is released or talking about the movies and stars up for the next Oscars Awards. My purpose in this was to try to create some policies to deal with what is inevitable. - Amgine/talk 22:10, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Some Wikimedia policies are not up for individual project community votes and instead would require a policy exemption from the Wikimedia Board - for instance the NPOV policy. A second is that Wikimedia products are the work of the general public community instead of a single author. An original review - by its very nature, is one person's opinion. That would appear to violate two of the main Wikimedia mandates - NPOV & community-created content. There is a way, however, to include review-type information. In fact I am working on this project now - in between classes. Basically, it would be an index-type survey of 5 or 6 leading reviwers globally (NYTimes, BBC, Ebert & Roper, etc..) - with the average rating of those reviwers being the Wikinews Index. -- Davodd | Talk 23:03, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
<confused look> Whoever said anything about single-person reviews? Furthermore, as I have pointed out, there *are* editorials being made elsewhere within Wikimedia.
Please see OS Tiger: "It's like being in the future", a multi-person review already. A review is not necessarily POV, unlike an editorial. I think the most successful projects on Wikinews thus far have been where it is kept as simple as possible. - Amgine/talk 23:08, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Before we break out to serious an argument here, might I suggest two things:
  1. There is deffinetely some confusion as to the word "Review" and "editorial" being used here, both sides using different definitions of the word(s). Let's agree on what we mean by Review and Editorial first.
  2. To Davodd and Dan100: This discussion in the watercooler is really not finished yet. No one is attacking NPoV, wikimedia policy is as allways respected, and though the consensus seams to point to another rejection of this notion for now, people are still firing ideas about it, and we really shouldn't make new policy before the discussion is resolved. There is no need to "nip this in the but". Let's role with it, see where it may lead, before outlawing it completely. -- Redge (Talk) 23:17, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Hmm.. I think OS Tiger: "It's like being in the future" is not a review as much as it is original reporting. In reviews, the author judges and/or reccomends action to the reader. (i.e.: Eat here, avoid this movie, her performance was brilliant)... Stories that merely chronicle the opinions of others without a call to action (implied or not) are just news reports. Now, whether or not those quotes are biased or respectible is another thing. For actual review reporting, I suggest a project with guidelines similar to this: Wikinews:Film reviews which I had started in late March and have not done much else with outside of notes on my laptop. ;-) -- Davodd | Talk 23:25, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
A review is a critique, period. If the review is positive, or negative, or neutral is irrelevant to its definition. - Amgine/talk 23:30, 6 May 2005 (UTC)
Maybe it's just the 18-hour work/school days I'm dealing with - but I am not understanding what you mean here. An index of averages is not a critique - it's just a statisttic. -- Davodd | Talk 05:57, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

I do not see anything in Foundation or Wikipedia policy that would prevent op-eds in user space, if they're relevant to articles. On the other hand, I do think it would be a good idea to post a disclaimer: "This page is an editorial, not a news report. Opinions expressed herein are those of the contributors [link to history] and are not necessarily those of the rest of the Wikinews community or the Wikimedia Foundation."

However, if people want to write product reviews, I highly recommend that they visit the Shopping Wikia, where non-NPOV user reviews are allowed in the main namespace. Seahen 13:11, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Link farm[edit]

Wikinews articles are not link farms. Wikinews articles must contain links to appropriate sources relevant to the article. Articles should also link to other Wikinews articles related to the topic - in the section titled "See also" or "Related news". Articles may, on a limited and specifically related basis, link to external sites with more in-depth information, in a section clearly titled "External links". Content may be linked to related content via interwiki links in the body of the article, but should not be over-wikified.

- Amgine / talk 17:20, 15 October 2005 (UTC)

Support except for the part about "over-wikified." Readers may want or need more detailed information about any person, place, thing, concept or procedure referenced in an article, and Wikipedia is often the best source for this extra detail. Seahen 13:19, 28 August 2006 (UTC)

Source documents[edit]

I am not sure but I think this is worded very wrong:

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".

Should it read that Wikinews does not host documents? I mean correct me if I am wrong, but would they not be considered a source document after publishing? DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 11:19, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

question?[edit]

What is meant by rule #9, "Wikinews is not WikiNews"? 69.140.152.55 23:38, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

I believe it means that Wikinews is not spelled through a capital N. Tempodivalse [talk] 22:58, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Suggestion[edit]

what about 'Wikinews is not a newspaper'? Because it doesn't have editorials, comic strips, classified adverts, su dokus, crosswords, TV schedules, weather forecasts, or anything like that. Kayau (talk · contribs) 13:19, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

None of those items are intrinsic to being a newspaper. Wikinews has had crosswords, weather forecasts in the past, and may again in the future. - Amgine | t 13:45, 1 August 2010 (UTC)
Actually, having a crossword and sudoku would make good page-mates for the weekly quiz. As for weather, if you go to Portal:Weather, there is a world weather map that is updated numerous times throughout the day. Personally, I would like to see maps made for individual countries, somewhat similar to what France, Italian and German Wikinews do, but I doubt that will happen as we have far more English speaking countries to cover than they do: UK, Ireland, Canada, US, Caribbean, Australia, NZ, South Africa or all of Africa, and India, at least. Possibly also the Middle East, Japan, and South East Asia too. The same for TV schedules. It would be crazy to update TV schedules for each country. Where would we start? Primetime only? All day? Broadcast networks only, or cable and dish ones too? There are some things that Wikinews will never be able to do that a regular newspaper can, but we aren't trying to be a regular newspaper. Matthewedwards (talk) 15:18, 2 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for your suggestion. It really made me think.
  • We have "editorials" too. We don't post them on the main page, but you can write an editorial on any topic we have an article about with the 'Have your say' link.
  • There are a lot of newspaper things we don't have, as you said: advertorial, magazine section, human interest (unless it meets the WN:CG), or reviews. If TV networks ever make schedules available under a free content license, and a volunteer wants to feed them automatically into Wikinews, then I bet the community could be persuaded to go for that.
  • French, like English, is a global language: it is a bit odd that fr:Page:Météo only has a map for the Hexagon of France and some neighbouring countries but that is their business (anyway, their bot is down at the moment.)
  • I can't see comics ever coming here (or indeed any type of fiction or satire), but English Wikipedia had regular comics for a while, so I guess it could be done.
  • We have certain shared ideals and goals, and the current website and feeds are one way of attempting to satisfy those, but there will be many other ways (and indeed some other communities are doing just that, and I am sure English Wikinews will also continue to innovate.) I, personally, don't want WN:NOT to ever become an excuse for fossilization, and I am sure that you didn't intend your suggestion to mean that, but I want to say it anyway. (By comparison, English Wikipedia has a strict 'NOT' guideline, but with 3 million articles and a model that is proven to work, for now, they can afford some stability.)
--InfantGorilla (talk) 16:28, 2 August 2010 (UTC)

A new NOT for Wikinews.[edit]

Following on from Brian McNeil's comments about a new NOT for Conspiracy theorists, I came up with this. His original message is on the AAA.

Wikinews is NOT the National Enquirer - Occasionally, stuff comes along which looks like news, but actually bares no resemblance to it whatsoever - whether it be a conspiracy theory, cover up, whatever... The word "news" exists in our title for a reason, and that is - We publish news. News is real, not made up theorems and (bullshit/crud/cobblers/crap/insert your own word here) that exists in someone's head purely for the purpose of creating argument or controversy. That's why the National Enquirer exists. If you want publicity for your crackpot ideas, tell them. If you want blocking for them, tell us. BarkingFish (talk) 11:14, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

If we're going to have this as a policy, I'd rather a more internationalised name. I haven't a clue what the National Enquirer is, and that Wikipedia article doesn't help too much. 'News must be verifiable'? At the moment it's too US-centric, on a par with the the Anglocentric 'Wikinews is not Speaker's Corner'. — μ 12:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Absent an example, perhaps Wikinews is not a supermarket tabloid ? Or if we want an example — and if the bar is simply that the Wikipedia article should make the nature of the example clear — how about Wikinews is not the Weekly World News ?
--Pi zero (talk) 14:44, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Wikinews is not for unfounded speculation would be better in my mind. Conspiracy theories can be news, just usually not in their own right. Bawolff 22:37, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok then, thanks for the comments, how about this:

Wikinews is NOT for Rumor and Speculation - Occasionally, stuff comes along which looks like news, but actually bares no resemblance to it whatsoever - whether it be a conspiracy theory, cover up, "aliens ate my shed..." - The word "news" exists in our title for a reason, and that is; We publish news. News is real, not the ravings of some crackpot, spouting whatever comes into their mind, purely for the purpose of creating argument or controversy or having their 5 minutes of fame. That's why supermarket tabloids exist. If you want publicity for rubbish, tell them. If you want blocking for it, tell us. BarkingFish (talk) 01:37, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Sonia, from Wikipedia, has very kindly sanitized my version, at my request, and come up with something perfect - It's better than my ranty one, so I suggest this to you:

Wikinews is NOT for idle speculation- Occasionally, stuff comes along which looks like news, but actually bears no resemblance to it whatsoever - be it a conspiracy theory, coverup, "aliens ate my shed...", or some other unfounded sensationalism hiding behind the sheen of news. The word "news" exists in our title for a reason-- we publish news.

I recommend this to you, more than mine. It's spot on. BarkingFish (talk) 01:57, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

  • If I can find a link, I'll change that 'aliens ate my shed' to 'bus on the moon' - courtesy of the Sport. It'd be good to find a way to link to N.I. as well. USians will know that one. --Brian McNeil / talk 03:05, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

IMHO this should go under What Wikinews articles are not, rather than What Wikinews is not. (For one thing, I like the note that the "What Wikinews is not" list now ends on.)

  • Wikinews articles are not idle speculation. Occasionally, stuff comes along that looks like news, but actually bears no resemblance to it whatsoever — be it a conspiracy theory, coverup, "aliens ate my shed...", or some other unfounded sensationalism hiding behind the sheen of news. The word "news" exists in our title for a reason: we publish news.

--Pi zero (talk) 18:49, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Sounds good in principle. How would that read? --Pi zero (talk) 23:31, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
news:
  1. New information of interest.
  2. Reports of current events broadcast via media such as newspapers or television.
Celebrity news qualifies as news. Perhaps not to me, or to you, but Wikinews is not about me or you. - Amgine | t 01:01, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
"Celebrity news" and unfounded, often libelous "celebrity rumours and gossip" are not one and the same. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 01:15, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Rumors and gossip aren't news; celebrities only come into it because they're a particularly common topic of rumors and gossip (argh! now you've got me putting u's in my rumors, and my spell-checker is mad at me). I gave a failing review a while back to an article whose focal event was (iirc) a conservative US political commentator naming some unlikely politician as a possible 2012 presidential candidate, which resulted in various other commentators expressing their opinions on why the first one had done that.
To try out an actual wording, what if we simply sub "idle speculation" by "idle speculation, rumor, or gossip"?
  • Wikinews articles are not idle speculation, rumor, or gossip. Occasionally, stuff comes along that looks like news, but actually bears no resemblance to it whatsoever — be it a conspiracy theory, coverup, "aliens ate my shed...", or some other unfounded sensationalism hiding behind the sheen of news. The word "news" exists in our title for a reason: we publish news.
--Pi zero (talk) 01:48, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
But this is already covered under press releases and editorials. Every factual statement must be sourced, restrict from commenting. - Amgine | t 02:46, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
Not all of this shit is 'Nice PR Output' - which is why celebrities win libel actions when they bring them. Also, I note that under my jurisdiction there is a basic right to privacy. Now, that is unenforceable in Florida where the servers sit, and hence my problem, but I do think it reasonable to note that some celebrity stories are not in the public interest. One recent British example (back in the headlines this month for an unrelated legal point) concerned a celeb photographed exiting drug rehab; a string of courts, ending in Strasbourg, agree with me that the line had been crossed. The private lives of random people are not news - especially when reported as 'rumoured' or 'believed' to be true. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 18:13, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Will this new policy cover the comments: namespace? Kayau (talk · contribs) 14:55, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

This is only about what we publish; the opinions pages aren't involved. (It's also not a policy, but that's a technical point.) --Pi zero (talk) 15:25, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

The limits of celebrity 'news'[edit]

I tend to favour the more blanket ban comments above from BRS imply. I would favour more in the way of whitelisting celebrity-related coverage that whacking every misguided regurgitation of a press release that mainstream media pick up.

Failing that, a requirement that celeb-related article authors enunciate their newsworthiness justification. Then, with glee, we can shoot down twitter spats, games of musical boyfriends, drunken excess, and openings of the latest Evil Empire supermarket or restaurant. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:39, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Sports event coverage? Scores, league standings?[edit]

There's plenty of other places to find this kind of info, but wouldn't it fit nicely into WN mission? Key professional leagues (and NCAA?) might very well be willing to make their daily scores/standings available for inclusion under CC:BY. I see there was one effort to present standings of MLB in the WN: MLB portal, but it was last updated in spring 2010. After some searching, I can't find any policy regarding this, please disregard and forgive if I've overlooked the info or some discussion of the challenges of keeping the data current. --Bookerj (talk) 14:55, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Typo correction: writers.com[edit]

Rule 4 of WN:NOT addresses the notion that WN is not a free wiki host or webspace provider. Aspiring writers are referred to 2 websites where they can post writings that may not fit here. The link to writers.com is misspelled - in both the link and its label (the w is omitted.) I could not find who is empowered to edit the page, but hope this pointer is useful. --Bookerj (talk) 15:10, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't look like a typo, but rather a site that has disappeared. Writers.com is not a site of the type the sentence describes. As an immediate measure, I commented out the broken link. --Pi zero (talk) 16:19, 3 September 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, see what you mean. Lots of sites do offer free hosting, especially for bloggers,, but even that's a bit off topic for WN:What_Wikinews_is_not. I noted that the broken-link sitename Riters.com referenced in rule 4 has been spelled that way since the original post of WN:NOT, 1 Jan 2005. -Thanks--Bookerj (talk) 07:41, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

SeedWiki - no longer exists[edit]

Hi everyone,
I've seen that a link to SeedWiki given in the project page and clicked on it. It says:

seedwiki has fallen too low for me to rebuild it

so i've turned it off
i still have hopes of building a new style wiki

ken tyler

So, it might be useful to change that example with another free and opensource wiki.
Friendly --Universal Life (talk) 09:27, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

I mean Wikinews:What_Wikinews_is_not#What_Wikinews_is_not Point No.4 --Universal Life (talk) 09:55, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Updated with WikiDot.com. (Not an open-source project, but based on Pear's Text_Wiki engine.) - Amgine | t 17:13, 2 February 2013 (UTC)