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

Brian McNeil brian.mcneil at openvms-rocks.com
Wed Aug 29 10:21:47 UTC 2007

-----Original Message-----
From: wikinews-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org
[mailto:wikinews-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Delphine Ménard
Sent: 29 August 2007 11:19
To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org; Wikinews mailing list
Subject: Re: [Wikinews-l] Proposal for the creation of a Wikinews foundation

>It is interesting how my email has been interpreted. I never meant to
>say or even hint at the fact that Wikinews should lose any kind of
>focus, or any kind of principles (that of NPOV etc.). Never ever. I
>meant to say that Wikinewsies may find out there in the wide wide
>world people who are like minded and share the same kind of values,
>and that those could make good people to partner with.

Ed has an issue that we can't do editorial content outside the user name
space. We've introduced a comments system for people to rant on, and have
templates like {{haveyoursay}} to try and encourage feedback. One can hope
that it is a small step from saying something about the news to writing the
next story that you want to see other people comment on.

>In the end, I must say that I am a bit disappointed at the reactions
>about "finding" other people to partner with. Too many answers, to my
>liking, were along the lines "but we are the only ones like that".
>Well, guess what? I don't think so.

Okay, so there perhaps are other people out there who would follow NPOV. I
don't know where to find them. All we can do is work on getting good stories
that attract readers who turn into contributors. I'm open to how suggestions
on widening the pool of participants can be done. Can we get any colleges or
universities to follow our style book, or do their reporting assignments on

>I am sure that there are journalists out there who would love to work
>on a wiki. Or who wold love to be bound by a NPOV rile. Or even both.
>They just never came across either of these tools/principles. A
>reaching-out organisation would, in my opinion, be of greater benefit
>than one that's navel gazing and working only towards its own good
>(and I know, this is a bit caricatural, and not what has been
>expressed by "everyone"). And for example, its goal could then be
>"bring NPOV to the news!", which is far broader to start with than
>"let's work on Wikinews". At least, I think.

This is a good principle, and a formulation of a question that vexes the
Wikinews regulars, how can we get and retain more contributors? From our
point of view there are several ways this can happen. One is the
introduction of stable versions. Correctly done and with an editorial board
of accredited reporters, this will get us in Google news.

>In short, I was not trying to change Wikinews, but rather trying to
>explore possibilities of it bringing its principles out in the world.

I'd love to have a budget to set up adwords for Wikinews, or some other way
of promoting it. At one point in the past Amgine had people writing ad copy,
but we never took that anywhere. We do make use of sites such as digg to try
and promote some of our stories, but except for things like the Benoit story
we don't get constant high traffic.

I am sure there are people on this list who could also help with promotion
of Wikinews. Does your school have a journalism course? Can you leave copies
of our Print Edition in high visibility areas? Stick on noticeboards?

As an aside, there have been quite a few changes to the Wikinews main page
recently. We now run a news ticker, and have pictures/image maps used for
the lead article. What do people think of the new look?

Brian McNeil

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