[Foundation-l] David Shankbone in Israel

wikinewssvt at optonline.net wikinewssvt at optonline.net
Wed Dec 19 13:48:15 UTC 2007

In my opinion, the first-hand story-telling nature of this article, is a clear violation of WN:NPOV which is not just a Wikinews policy, but also a Foundation issue (http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Neutral_point_of_view).

Don't get me wrong, it is great journalism, which could prove to be a coup for Wikinews, raising its profile. However, it is incongruent with existing policies.

Ultimately, I fear that allowing this may be like opening Pandora's box.


----- Original Message -----
From: Brian McNeil 
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2007 5:09 am
Subject: [Foundation-l] David Shankbone in Israel
To: 'Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List' 
Cc: David Shankbone 

> David Shankbone's first report from Israel
> (http://en.wikinews.org/wiki/Israel_Journal:_The_Holy_Land_has_an_image_prob
> lem) has provoked a bit of controversy. One reaction I got was 
> "why the
> segue into the COO issue?" It annoys me to see that the MSM are 
> now picking
> this up (the COO issue) and whilst The Register broke the story 
> I don't
> think they did anything beyond fact-check what their source told them.
> Details from Wikinews' investigation have been lifted and 
> written into
> recent coverage of the issue, we did check the Reg. story and we 
> found more
> - including bankruptcy proceedings (PACER will give you a list 
> of the
> creditors).
> Anyway, back to David in Israel, and I assume a fair number of 
> people are
> aware this is an expenses-paid trip where the Israeli government 
> and friends
> are footing the bill. David's first piece seeks to say "here is the
> stereotype, but that's not what I'm here for". If you read the 
> talk you'll
> see we have some people think you can't do any story about 
> Israel without
> going "OMG! Israel-Palestine! Car bombs! Terrorists! Human rights
> violations! Israeli oppression!". I agree with David's argument 
> that this is
> like saying every coverage of the U.S. should have an aside 
> about Camp Delta
> in Guantanamo - and I *know* people who'd do that too - we've 
> had to ban
> idiots like that from Wikinews in the past.
> I'd like people on the list to read this with a critical eye and 
> see what
> they think about Wikinews developing policies and structure to 
> allow this
> sort of reporting. Keep any eye out for David's forthcoming 
> reports. The
> indications I have from private email are that they're keeping their
> journalist guests busy about 12-14 hours a day and if they don't have
> breakfast with Israeli technologists it's probably the only meal 
> of the day
> they're getting off the job. Not a holiday by any means.
> Brian McNeil
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