[Please translate this announcement into other languages.]
Wikipedia's roots in the more conservative Nupedia project are reflected by
many in-depth discussions we've had over the years about quality assurance,
filtering, and labeling.
In her "4 wishes for the year 2007" , Wikimedia Foundation Chair
Florence Devouard also identified "reliability" as a key goal for the
Wikimedia Foundation. Today we're taking two small steps towards that
* the launch of http://quality.wikimedia.org/ as a portal targeting
readers and volunteers to summarize key information about current
quality initiatives, combined with
http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikiquality as a more in-depth
description of our plans,
* the opening of wikiquality-l as a mailing list for related discussions:
Notably, these pages describe our current plans with regard to the
"FlaggedRevs" extension, a MediaWiki extension developed by Aaron
Schulz and Jörg Baach (with financial support from Wikimedia
Deutschland e.V.) which makes it possible to identify revisions of
articles that are known to be of a certain quality, and to change the
default view based on that information.
The public beta of this feature (initially on dummy websites, i.e. not
production environments) will begin as soon as a security review of
the current code has been completed (expected later this month). In
the meantime, please give your feedback on the quality.wikimedia.org
portal, add translations, and subscribe to wikiquality-l to join
future discussions about the specifics of any particular initiative.
Board member, Wikimedia Foundation
I'd like to congratulate the entire Wikinews community for passing
another threshold as today the English edition of Wikinews created our
10,000th article. While the total article count is not nearly as
important to a news site which depends on the flow of articles more
than the total volume of content, this is still a significant symbolic
figure and one that we are very proud of.
With about 10 articles published per day on average, about 17,000
users, almost 20 average edits per article, and somewhat under three
years under our belt, we've managed to build a wealth of news content
available to the world under a free license. We focus on synthesizing
free-content versions of news that is reported elsewhere, as well as
using our community to create original reporting not available
Throughout the years we've remained somewhat different from a lot of
other similar projects. Within the Wikimedia family we are the only
project that depends on continued story flow rather than just being
able to be built up over time. We are also the only site with an
explicit goal and mandate to publish original reporting and research,
yet still staying subject to the NPOV and other core Wikimedia values.
We also try to connect ourselves with the outside world: we allow
trusted members to become "accredited reporters", we invite
collaboration with sites that want to mirror or use our content, and
even invite folks to call in on our telephone hotline.
Outside of Wikimedia, we are one of the larger citizen journalism
websites in terms of visits and users. Unlike most sites, we do not
allow editorial content and stick to newswire-style reporting; unlike
almost all sites, all content is licensed for unrestricted use subject
only to attribution. Unlike almost all other citizen journalism
sites, we do not allow ownership or authorship of articles: they are
owned by the wiki, and no single person is on the by-line of our
articles. All said, these modes of operation are unique within the
citizen journalism space and create both opportunities and challenges
as we continue to grow.
Wikinews still has a lot to learn and a lot to do. We are still
struggling to grow our story flow; we are not as widely read or
respected as we think we should be; we have trouble with using
MediaWiki at times since the platform wasn't really developed for a
news site. We have challenges in integrating into the larger
framework of citizen journalism, in part since we do not allow the
opinionated, POV content that drives a good subset of other citizen
news efforts. We are still not getting the level of crossover from
Wikipedia that we probably should be getting.
Yet we are very hopeful and enthusiastic about our future. We are
getting some technical changes in place to make our site a lot more
lively, interactive, and useful. We are looking forward to Single
User Login helping increase Wikipedia-to-Wikinews crossover. We are
reaching out to other sites that share our mission and are trying to
establish collaborative efforts to help us grow and help Wikimedia
fulfill its mission.
So please join me in congratulating the Wikinews community, and indeed
the entire Wikimedia community, for helping us reach this milestone.
It may seem symbolic, but for us Wikinewsies it is definitely worth a
LiquidThreads is a threaded discussion system for MediaWiki, developed
by David McCabe with project management by Stichting Open Progress. It
replaces standard talk pages in the wiki.
I believe Wikinews could potentially benefit quite significantly from
a discussion system like this, as it would make it much easier for the
general public to comment on our articles. There is an online demo
Please report bugs & issues _directly on the wiki_ and not on this
CTO, Stichting Open Progress
Florence Devouard wrote:
> Mike gave us a feedback, which basically contains what is below
> "Administering press accreditation and acquiring it and keeping track
> of what different national governments required strikes me as a huge
> project. I don't think we have the manpower for it. But because
> Wikinews is already "going its own way" in a lot of respects (there's
> already lots of duplication of function between Wikipedia current
> event coverage and Wikinews press coverage), the logical thing it
> seems to me is to spin Wikinews off. Give it the associated
> trademarks as a sign of good will. Donate server space even
> (although I'd prefer someone like Wikia or Google to do that.)"
A spin off I believe would do more harm then good. Other then this one
big issue, the foundation has served us very well, better then I think
we could do on our own or even as part of another org. If we were to
become independent we lose one of our most valuable things, the ability
to use the brand recognition Wikipedia gives us as being a sister
project. The duplication of function between Wikipedia current event
coverage and Wikinews press coverage is something that we need to
absolutely work on, but I believe the solution is closer cooperation
rather then forcing duplication. There is a lot we can do to help this.
-A recruiting campaign to convince current events editors to also edit
-Dual licensing the current events page allowing us to copy content,
-Moving the Current Events page to WN - With SUL this would become
doable with out much inconvenience and get news where it belongs
-Delete the Current Events page altogether - Wikinews is for news,
Wikipedia is a Encyclopedia
-More visible link to WN on the Current events page
-Copying Wikinews summaries to the Current events page
> Then he also added
> "In nations that focus on accreditation, there's typically a class of
> journalists or a journalistic organization that officially takes
> responsibility for content. In the U.S., any journalist or
> organization (e.g., the New York Times) that takes responsibility for
> content *expressly exempts itself* from the Sec. 230 safe harbor that
> protects Wikipedia and most other WMF projects from liability (for,
> e.g., defamation).
> So, in that sense, there's legal-liability divergence from other WMF
> projects, at least potentially."
This has been the main concern, it would be an unacceptable risk to have
the WMF handle accreditation.
> Which kinda answer the issue of legal risk. Would there be a legal risk
> if WMF was handling accredition ? Yup.
> The three main solutions left are consequently
> 1) full spin off
> 2) a separate organization, part of a more global network. And with
> shared values with WMF
> 3) working with chapters
A separate organization looks to be our best option.
> I am not sure chapters are to be considered good solutions really due to
> all the comments previously made (partial coverage in particular),
> though I believe they are part of the story.
In countries with chapters we would work closely with them, but there a
a lot of countries that do not have chapters. Also, some of the chapters
are starting to build enough assets that this could be more of a risk
then they are willing to take.
> As for the full spin-off being the best solution, I do not share Mike's
> opinion on this, nor does Erik. Other board members did not give a feedback.
I am glad to hear that at least yourself and Erik want to keep us :P. WE
like being a part of the foundation, but we need accreditation.
If we can get an "official" opinion on the likelihood of getting a
trademark license, I will start working on drafting what we need to
start an organization (bylaws, mission stament, etc).
Is there any progress on what we're going to end up doing for this issue?
I'm not totally clear on the situation, one of the ideas bandied about was
that we fundraise for a member of staff to handle Wikinews-related issues
such as accreditation and credential verification.
I've also not seen anything totally clear yet about the issuing of press
passes by the office. Has it been cleared up that this can be done without
serious liability issues?