I think what you're trying to say is that Wikipedians need to know what and
how to speak to different types of press persons - print and television or
web etc. Each has different priorities. Newspapers and television will
easily show e-mail ids but hardly ever will they show urls. Web publications
don't mind putting in links, email ids etc.
Generally, it's best to speak about everything and let the journalists pick
out the interesting parts. And let them question you later. Sometimes asking
if they have a specific idea in mind helps but it would be best if you still
told the whole story if you're speaking to the journalist for the first
time. It might sometimes help in an introduction or conclusion.
The final copy goes through various cuts. I haven't heard of any effective
way of ensuring that what you wanted to convey appears. Many professional
PRs also get it wrong many times.
It'll be interesting to know what impact this is causing. It'd be great to
ask about people coming for the meetups to ask them how they came to know
about the meetup. It may usually be through friends and colleagues. It's
been a bit overwhelming to get the coverage we got in the media - especially
the print media.
On 20 February 2011 01:32, Nikhil Sheth <nikhil.js(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I'll agree in part; at the same time as being very
grateful for the whole
article - they say a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush ;)
Lots of cuts and edits happen in mainstream printed media. I was told
privately that the final cut wasn't shown to the authors or any involved
parties prior to publishing. I guess this is why quality takes a quantum
leap when we go from televised media to print, and from print to web. On my
part, I'd wanted the url "tinyurl.com/WFSOE" to make an appearance, but it
didn't come obviously because of space constraints and priorities not
The wikipedia for schools project had blog posts, pics published
immediately after the 10th anniversary meet in Mumbai, and impacts going
outside the internet/IT/geek universe into places that might have incited
more interest among the newspaper editors/journos. I never contacted any
newspaper over it - a newspaper contacted me. I believe we should get
similarly pro-active and outgoing for other projects as well.
One thing I've noticed is seeing wikipedians forgetting about who their
target audience is when they talk / write about their projects.
For instance, no matter how much we say why we should post pictures to
Wikimedia Commons, as long as we stay trapped in CC-FY-BA (or whatever, I
seriously have no clue) jargon and don't bring out the end impact in
layman's terms with a dollop of emotion, don't expect it to get published.
(Plus, have you tried measuring the number of clicks and mental torture
required for posting multiple images there ?)
Same for the quest for making more Indian language articles - if you tell
people it's for improving that language's wikipedia and then jump into
standards, policies and more jargon, added to that a priestly devotion to
hi-fi words nobody on the street understands, I wouldn't expect so much of a
response. But if we connected it somehow with the honor and pride of the
people whose mother-tongue that language is, then?
So, I would recommend that rather than pondering about what should have
been published, we work on making all Wikipedia projects more
On Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 12:29 PM, BalaSundaraRaman <sundarbecse(a)yahoo.com>wrote;wrote:
Valid point, Ashwin. But, I don't know how we
can avoid such attribution
In the early days (of Tamil Wikipedia), despite repeated emphasis on not
mentioning individual names, the writers like to mention stories around
individuals. Though the community was understanding, those in the
bad about it.
That's why, whenever a press enquiry comes to me, I put a disclaimer
the one below (this one was in my email to Radhika of HT):
First of all, as with anything related to Wikipedia, both these projects
owned by the entire community and the names mentioned here are the only
can attach to specific tasks. Both projects had significant participation
at least a dozen Tamil Wikipedians.
I also insist on or directly copy all the concerned wikians on such
Despite that they like to use names. But, with such practices, we can at
include more contributors. Particularly in long format articles (like the
Indian Express eye magazine), the writers have room to mention many
We also faced the downside of not putting any name forward in one
During the collaboration with Tamil Nadu government, while a few of us
interacted with the government, many others worked online for the contest.
we repeatedly emphasised not putting the select few names anywhere. But,
the announcement ceremony, the IT minister personally wanted us to be
and sent a written note to the person on the podium. In the confusion, he
thanked some non-wikipedians for the whole effort!
"That language is an instrument of human reason, and not merely a medium
the expression of thought, is a truth generally admitted."
- George Boole, quoted in Iverson's Turing Award Lecture
----- Original Message ----
From: Ashwin Baindur
Sent: Thu, February 17, 2011 8:56:03 AM
Subject: Re: [Wikimediaindia-l] Wikimedia.IN the news - Mumbai Hindustan
13th Feb 2011 (CherianTinu Abraham)
The Pune chapter gave details of all its multi-facetted incentives for
W10 including Wikimedia Commons,Marathi Wikipedia. article improvement
program etc to Radhika Raj, the reporter of Hindusthan Times but she
chose to highlight Wikipedia for Schools aspect only and it appears
that the Pune guys are doing nothing else. Wikipedia for Schools is
being done by Nikhil Sheth alone not the whole Pune community so to
say, so its unfair to both - Nikhil who has to share credit and the
community which was selectively ignored. Imho there is a trend of
giving too much emphasis on "Wikipedia Warriors" and less on the work
being done which is not healthy.
I didn't want to actually mention this lest people consider it as a
case of sour grapes, but I felt we needed to view this piece of
publicity from all aspects, not just by being glad at being portrayed
in the press.
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