[Foundation-l] Proposal for the creation of a Wikinews foundation

Craig Spurrier craig at craigweb.net
Tue Aug 21 21:37:09 UTC 2007

I am proposing the creation of a separate organization that would allow 
Wikinews to properly handle press accreditation. The Wikimedia 
foundation has been unable to do this due to concerns over being seen as 
the editor and the legal consequences that go with that. Proper press 
accreditation is however very necessary for Wikinews.

A separate organization with a trademark license would be able to 
properly handle press accreditation and have very minimal assets at 
risk. This organization would not handle anything beyond accreditation 
and tools to provide support for accreditation. I am in no way proposing 
splitting Wikinews from the foundation or anything like that. We are 
overall very happy with the foundation, but we have a need that the 
foundation is unable to provide for.

The problem:
The English language Wikinews has an accreditation policy [1]. This 
allows us to receive press credentials at events and also assists us in 
getting recognition as media for interviews and the like. The press pass 
usually allows free access to an event or, priority access to normally 
off-limits areas.

At the present we have a rather awkward arrangement for accrediting 
users. Users who have gone through our accreditation process are 
considered community accredited. The lack of any sort of organization 
behind creates a problem when the events require a letter from the 
organization before issuing the press pass (the G8 being the most 
recent), and we have been unable to get the board/foundation to do this 
or officially approve the accreditation program. The problem with this 
is in order to obtain press badges and other press benefits a user must 
either confuse the person (risking the request being denied) with an 
explanation of how they are not really representing Wikinews but rather 
the Wikinews Community or they must mislead the person into thinking 
they really do represent Wikinews.

There are several other resources the foundation has been unable to 
provide that are very helpful to us such as official e-mail addresses. 
Brian McNeil has the wikinewsie.org domain and has offered e-mail 
addresses with it. The response rate with these addresses has greatly 
increased. Once again there are legitimate concerns that prevent the 
foundation from being able to do this, but a separate foundation would 
be able to.

-Craig Spurrier
[[n:Craig Spurrier]]

1. http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Wikinews:Accreditation_policy

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