Hsing, thank you for your academic interest in Wikinews. A focus by academia on various aspects of emerging media is sorely needed. You are doing a great service to society by taking this project on.
I have a few concerns, though. Upon reading your letter, I am confused. It appears you may be starting with a flawed premise.
Sites such as OhMyNews and Global Voices are neither news nor are they collaborative. They are simply collections of blogs that are prone to flawed reporting due to opinion, purposeful inaccuracy, fiction posing as fact and error through lack of news-gathering ability of its writers.
I do hope you keep in mind the long tradition of Western-style news creation and reportage (which Wikinews strives to accomplish) that requires third-party editing, a neutral point of view with good-faith attempts at elimination of bias toward the subject matter and, traditionally, a centralized system of well-reasoned story assignment and selection to ensure broad and accurate reportage. Even Wikinews falls short in the ability for well-reasoned story assignment since it is more haphazard in its approach to news.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Hsing_Wei(a)ksg06.harvard.edu
> To: wikinews-l(a)Wikimedia.org
> Subject: [Wikinews-l] Survey on Wikinews: Study on Collaborative News Models
> Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2006 09:59:08 -0500
> Dear Members of the Wikinews community,
> I'm a masters student in the Kennedy School at Harvard doing research on
> collaborative news sites (such as OhMyNews, Global Voices, etc). Every few
> months, new websites are cropping up with innovative ways of enabling and
> engaging people in creating and sharing news content. This phenomenon has
> sparked both enthusiasm and controversy.
> I was hoping to get your perspectives as visitors and members on the
> Wikinews site. To ease the process, I have a short, 5 minute survey set up
> at either:
> http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=887731774310 (email link)
> <a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=887731774310">Click here to
> take Wikinews survey</a> (website link)
> In addition, I'm trying to reach as many readers and members of the
> Wikinews community as possible. If it is possible to add the survey links
> to your personal blogs, I would be most grateful for the help on furthering
> this research. It is very much self-running once posted. Also, if there
> is advice on how this survey might be posted for a few days on the Wikinews
> frontpage, any tips would be great.
> Please do not hestitate to contact me directly. Thanks!!
> Wikinews-l mailing list
Dear Members of the Wikinews community,
I'm a masters student in the Kennedy School at Harvard doing research on
collaborative news sites (such as OhMyNews, Global Voices, etc). Every few
months, new websites are cropping up with innovative ways of enabling and
engaging people in creating and sharing news content. This phenomenon has
sparked both enthusiasm and controversy.
I was hoping to get your perspectives as visitors and members on the
Wikinews site. To ease the process, I have a short, 5 minute survey set up
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=887731774310 (email link)
<a href="http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=887731774310">Click here to
take Wikinews survey</a> (website link)
In addition, I'm trying to reach as many readers and members of the
Wikinews community as possible. If it is possible to add the survey links
to your personal blogs, I would be most grateful for the help on furthering
this research. It is very much self-running once posted. Also, if there
is advice on how this survey might be posted for a few days on the Wikinews
frontpage, any tips would be great.
Please do not hestitate to contact me directly. Thanks!!
currently there is a poll on Meta-Wiki about starting a chinese Wikinews
edition (see http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikinews/Vote/Zh). The poll
was created by
"User:Vipuser", who is a user of zh.wikipedia. I don't know if this poll
is considered as a poll among the chinese-speaking community or if it
intends to be a poll for all. Perhaps others have similar questions
concerning this poll. For example you can find this comment among the
votes: "not sure if I'm allowed to vote here". It would be great if
someone could clarify this aspect, for example by writing an english
introduction of the poll.
Dragan Sataric and Filip Maljkovic speaked in the programe at radio Idea.
Jovana Milicevic talked for radio Belgrade.
In Youth center Dom omladine Wikimedia Serbia and Montenegro in cooperation
with FSN(Free Software Network) and LUG Belgrade( Linux User Group )
organized speach about free software movement and prehistory of idea of free
On February 7, 2005 we had a poll on Meta to gather opinions on how to
deal with the particular problem of whether to launch a Chinese language
edition of Wikinews or not. Back then, the main reason for not launching
the project was that it might jeopardize the Chinese Wikipedia, i.e.,
put it at risk of censorship. The poll was evenly split, with half
favoring launching the project given enough support (which it has), and
the other half wanting the decision to be left to the Chinese Wikipedia
community (which, incidentally, also voted 50/50):
Exactly one year later, I think it might be a good idea to relaunch this
poll, with the old votes archived, given that the situation has changed
fundamentally. According to
Wikipedia has been censored in mainland China since October 2005.
Furthermore, we have all seen large search engines cave in to the
Chinese government in recent months. Interestingly enough, recent
reports note that Google China is being censored in spite of filtering
To me, this indicates that it may simply not be possible to create an
encyclopedia written from the neutral point of view which will be
accepted by the current Chinese government. The question then becomes
whether it is legitimate for us to continue to put a resource on hold
that might be useful to millions of Chinese speakers outside the
mainland, i.e. Chinese Wikinews.
So, are there any objections to relaunching this poll, or alternative
suggestions on how to proceed? I think the "wait and see" approach has
gone on long enough.
I hope an email to this list is okay as it is about another project,
however I think there's lots for all of you to be interested in...
Two of us from Wikinews, NGerda and Cmwhite, got a bit sidetracked
late last year building a wiki for a youth network called Never Again:
http://mdonkin.f2s.com/neveragain. Some may remember that we held a
conference last year that was attended by the President of the World
Bank, Paul Wolfowitz
This weekend, we are holding an experimental Virtual Retreat to try
and put together some ideas about building a more peaceful society.
We'd like to invite Wikinewsies to join the retreat, particularly as
we really need some more people who are not afraid to plunge into a
You may also find an opportunity to report on the retreat itself,
which will likely have some interesting outcomes and is taking place
in Gisenyi, Rwanda with a cross section of Africans and world youth as
well as the Virtual Retreat. Tomorrow at 7pm GMT, investigative
journalist Linda Melvern (http://www.amahoro.nl/linda/) will be
chatting to us about her work on the Rwandan genocide and what has
been learnt since (Freenode IRC #Neveragain).
Hope to see you there!
Nick and Clare