[Foundation-l] Wikinews - not so much a state of the wiki

Thomas Dalton thomas.dalton at gmail.com
Fri Dec 7 14:02:12 UTC 2007

> I suppose there are arguments both ways - for keeping things to yourself, or
> for sharing contact details with other reporters. I'd actually like to have
> us maintain a private list of contacts for use with details of which
> reporter first contacted them, and which reporter last contacted them (and a
> list of everyone else that has too). For procedure like that I believe we
> should use a process of introductions, i.e. last person to contact someone
> writes the first email, CCs the person who needs to ask the questions or
> fill out the story, and it goes from there.

I agree, if a new person is going to communicate with a contact that
should always be introduced by someone already known to the contact. A
list of contacts like you suggest would be good, but without the
contact details, just the names and organisations, then anyone needing
a contact in a particular organisation can contact whoever is listed
next to that name and get an introduction.

> You can bet in mainstream journalism that when someone moves from one place
> to another they take their contacts' details. If you've done the job right
> you've established a rapport that will survive you moving to a differing
> publication, as well as established a relationship on behalf of your
> previous employer that will allow them to continue using the contact. It may
> not always work like that in the real world, but if Wikinews strives for
> that then we can survive the eventual point where one or more of our
> contributors make the jump to paid journalism.

I would say that the relationship wouldn't be with your previous
employer, it would be with one of your colleagues who you introduced
to the contact while you were both working for that employer.

> Anyway, I've probably rambled enough. I'm hoping people on list can see how
> this links into looking into flagged revisions. That would mean Google would
> carry all this heavyweight stuff we're managing to do and list it at a
> respectable position on their results.
> On that topic, Erik mentioned contacts with Google having gone stale; if
> anyone has a current contact they can forward to me privately (Jimmy?) that
> I can start discussing what we'd need to do to meet their standards I'd like
> to do so. I would greatly appreciate their feedback on proposals for a
> flagging authority procedure and guidelines for those with the permission. I
> am sure they would understand some of the legal aspects that are of concern,
> such as keeping the Foundation uninvolved.

Talking to Google is definitely the next step. There's a good chance
they'll accept some form of flagged revisions as acceptable to get on
Google News properly, but there's no point trying to set up such a
scheme until Google have said what they would require of it.

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