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

Erik Moeller erik at wikimedia.org
Wed Aug 22 11:05:35 UTC 2007

On 8/21/07, Craig Spurrier <craig at craigweb.net> wrote:
> Hello,
> 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.

I support the idea of a separate organization. I also echo Delphine's
comments: It would be good if the organization had, at least in its
statutes, a broader purview than simply the issuing of credentials,
e.g. I could imagine it would be useful to have an organization for:
- helping to organize local Wikinews meetings & editing marathons
- getting journalism faculties involved in writing Wikinews articles
- administering prizes for contests
- maintaining a budget for investigative reporting activities

For the organization's name, I would strongly support any name that
puts the emphasis on people rather on the project, e.g. something that
begins with "Wikinews Reporters" or "Wiki Journalists". It may make
sense to talk to Dan Gillmor's "Center for Citizen Media" to see if
they're interested in a collaboration:


I think the Wikinews interest group is different from most others in
that it does have a justifiable need for an organizational structure.
For many other IGs, it may just be sufficient to have an Ubuntu-like
volunteer team that has authorization to use our name for a
well-defined set of activities.

Of course there's a risk that the organization might be confused with
WMF. The current wikinewsie.org has a fairly clear disclaimer, and if
such disclaimers are used consistently on websites, e-mails, possibly
even business cards, I think that the risk would be reduced to
acceptable levels. I'm more worried about overlap in those countries
where there are active chapters; here the organization should have a
clear agreement with the chapter about their respective

The WMF as an organization isn't really the point of anything we do:
it's the mission that matters. And if it makes sense to have a
separate organization to better serve that mission, I fully support

Toward Peace, Love & Progress:

DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.

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