as some of you may know, I was in Seoul, Korea, from Wednesday to Sunday
to visit the OhmyNews International Citizen Reporters' Forum and give a
presentation on Wikinews. Two reports on this event with lots of photos
are now online at:
[The second one has just been posted, so it may not be quite up to snuff
For those not familiar with OhmyNews, it is an extremely significant
website in South Korea known literally to the entire young generation
there. It popped up five years ago as an alternative to overly
conservative traditional media. 80% of stories are written by "citizen
reporters" and vetted by a professional staff of editors. Many people
say that OMN was responsible for putting the current President in power,
and indeed, he granted his first interview to OhmyNews.
Behind this fairy tale, there's also the truth that there's a lot of
money invested into OhmyNews. It's a for-profit endeavor, sponsored by
advertising and subscriptions, and enjoys good relationships with Korean
industry and politics. The "citizen reports" are often so-called "life
stories", the kind of thing you would find in a blog, but edited
The project has recently launched an "international" (really English,
but from many different countries) edition, which it sought to boost
using the International Forum. Even people who had just written a
handful of stories were, with generous sponsor support, flown to Seoul
to share their experiences.
In my presentation ( http://www.scireview.de/temp/wikinews.pdf ), I
invited the OhmyNews community to share content with Wikinews through
compatible licensing, and to find other ways to collaborate, such as
common communication channels. I had agreed with Jimbo on the night
before on my strategy to continue these discussions privately with
OhmyNews founder Oh Yeon Ho. Yeon Ho is seeking to build a "global
citizen journalism alliance" and asked me what it would take for
Wikinews/Wikimedia to join such an alliance. I responded that this would
likely only happen if the alliance itself was a non-profit project not
governed by a single entity.
We also briefly discussed the issue of free content -- currently all
OhmyNews content is under traditional copyright, and indeed, due to the
editing process, citizen reporters lose the right to distribute their
own stories in the published form. Yeon Ho didn't seem to know about
free content licensing -- he had never heard of Creative Commons -- so I
am going to follow up on this privately. I also hope that some citizen
reporters will begin to publish their stories under Creative Commons
licenses; it would be interesting to see how and if OMN reacts to that.
All in all, I think it was a productive and valuable visit, and I hope
that Oh Yeon Ho is serious about bringing citizen journalism projects
As you may or may not be aware of the English Edition of Wikinews used a
simple little hack to get RSS feed support for it's news releases.
Namely - they use a blogspot account and add posts containing links to
wikinews articles, which then appear on the RSS feed, just as normal
blog posts do. See http://wikinewslatestnews.blogspot.com/
I decided to use the same workaround to get RSS support on the Polish
Edition. But, seeing how the Wikinews feed looks like when compared to
BBC World's (BBC feeds copy their regular page design, ours lack any
design whatsoever) I though I should take a bit of a more professional
approach. So I copied our monobook design and, after a few tweaks, got
The major issue here is the logo. It implies that this site *is*
Wikinews, which it is not, obviously. Angela proposed that we modify the
logo a bit, so that it reads something like "content from Wikinews" or
There are two reasons I'm bothering you with this:
1) To mobilize you to improve the design of the blogspot page ;)
2) To get some feedback on the possible wording of the modified logo
(obviously, the one given above is rather clumsy) and, if anybody's
willing to give it a try, see some graphic realisations of it
As per the previously noted agreement, I hereby announce the intent to
set up the Russian and Japanese editions of Wikinews. Both meet the
formal requirements and have translated the key pages. Should there be
no specific objections, I will do so in 7 days or later.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 13 Jun 2005 21:01:56 +0000
From: anne elizabeth moore <annemoore(a)independentsdaymedia.com>
Subject: IDM: so help us,
it's the end of radio! funded by our dedicate readers!
Hey, PUNK PLANETEERS,
We're running a feature in the next issue of PUNK PLANET on unlicensed
and underground audio pod/broadcasting projects. And it's funded by the
That's right, the Community-Supported Journalism fund
(http://www.independentsdaymedia.com/csj/) is kicking in the big bucks
for features on the hottest and hippest in podcasting,
microbroadcasting, and pirate radio. Hooray for your support! And hooray
for the end of (licensed) radio!
Also, if you do a pod/broadcast of the unlicensed or underground
variety, we'd love to get your feedback! Please fill out and return the
below questions to anne(a)punkplanet.com by WEDNESDAY JUNE 15, 2005.
1. What is the name and a brief description of your project?—If it has a
web presence, please list that as well.
2. What is your name and how are you identified on-air (if different)?
(Please let us know if you wish to be identified anonymously in print.)
3. What do you see as the benefits to working in an unlicensed or
underground pod/broadcasting environment?
4. What are the drawbacks?
5. How did you get started—was your work in this arena a response to
political issues, a creative endeavor or something else?
6. What materials do you use?
7. Do legal concerns play a role in your programming decisions, and
what, specifically do you fear?
8. What effect are you hoping to accomplish with your broad/podcast on
the media environment?
this has been a message courtesy the fine folks at www.independentsdaymedia.com.
thank you for reading it.
Sounds a little like us no?
paz y amor,
hit me: <robin.shannon.id.au>
jab me: <robin.shannon(a)jabber.org.au>
upgrade to ubuntu linux: <http://www.spreadubuntu.org/>
Wikinews tries to summarize all the major news of the day and, in the
process of doing so, will usually have to rely on existing sources.
This, as I have emphasized many times, is a useful service: it can
reduce bias, provide a synthesis of key facts from many different
sources, and contribute to a "news commons" that can be used by anyone
for any purpose, free of charge.
However, the real strength of Wikinews is that we allow and encourage
anyone on the planet to go out and report events that happen around them
from a neutral point of view.
They will almost certainly do so in their native language.
Hence, I consider it essential that we *systematically* translate
existing Wikinews stories containing original reporting into as many
languages as possible. To this end, I have started this project:
(Wikinews Original Reporting Translation Network :-)
If you speak more than one language, please sign up as a translator. You
can either actively go out and search for stories that contain original
reporting, or you can wait to be notified by others to translate stories.
I think this could also boost the number of stories containing original
reporting we publish every day and provide a more global perspective for
each of the projects.
So, your support in getting this off the ground would be very much
welcome. In addition to signing up, please announce this initiative in
your local edition. It is also essential that each Wikinews edition has
an original reporting template and category similar to this one:
Please help to establish consistent standards for this. This makes it
possible to locate stories containing original reporting, and to clearly
identify the OR component (using a "/Notes" subpage; see template). In
the English version, I have also directly added a link to WORTNET, it
might be a good idea to do the same in the other languages.
I am posting this to foundation-l and wikitech-l, because there is both
a technical and a policy aspect here.
A small but growing group of Wikinews contributors is actively making
audio recordings of Wikinews stories. This effort is coordinated here:
The files are uploaded to the Commons in Ogg Vorbis format. Now, two
members of this group have started to also produce a streamed version of
this, which is broadcast at specific times -- effectively Internet
radio. This could grow into a real independent wikiradio project which
perhaps could encompass more than just news. The usefulness of realtime
broadcasting for news should be obvious.
The current Wikinews page is at:
Now, here is our dilemma:
Streaming audio in realtime requires special software. WNN currently
uses ShoutCast, which is not free/open source software. It is also not
hosted on Wikimedia's servers, but on the server of one of our
contributors. (We have the same issue with the print edition, but I'll
try to resolve this separately.)
Do we want to run this on our own servers? If so, there is a free
software implementation called Icecast. Would it be possible to securely
set up an Icecast server for this purpose on our hardware?
If we don't want to run it on our servers, should we allow it to be
called "Wikinews Network", or should it use a different name?
Should we set any specific limits for the project's scope beyond NPOV,
or should we let it experiment freely with the format for the time
being? (There was some talk about ads on the program, but I made it
clear that this was absolutely impossible.) As for NPOV, a wiki-radio
project might want to broadcast news *about* the wiki community; do
these have to strictly adhere to NPOV (the German Wikipedia:Kurier, for
example, does not)?
Any comments on the following exchange from #wikinews?
tsca> Are they any plans as to when WN switches from PD to CC?
Pechorin> tsca, as soon as we lose the beta status
tsca> which is when...?
Pechorin> there is no set date
tsca> or is this something noone knows?
Pechorin> nobody knows for sure
Pechorin> but, "soon, but not next week" :)
tsca> see: it is nice to see WN stories used by other services.
However, it would be even nicer to see them attributed to WN.
Pechorin> I agree
tsca> we have this section 'sources'. When an article is copied to
another service, the section remains and looks like the article
was produced from those sources by this service. Especially when
they put their (c) on the page
tsca> perhaps the beta status lingers simply because noone's made a
move on the mailing list and proposed finally changing it yet?
Pechorin> tsca, you can always try