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