[WikiEN-l] Signpost and basic journalistic integrity

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Tue Nov 5 00:17:40 UTC 2013

There's a heated debate in the comment section of the Signpost's latest
"News and notes". Tony1 wrote a takedown of the English Wikivoyage in
pretty inflammatory language, but as a news story rather than as part of
the Signpost's foray into opinion.

Not surprisingly, the Wikivoyage folks have made various serious claims
about the article - that e-mailed quotes were manipulated and pulled out of
context, that content from Wikivoyage was presented in a false light, that
the column was illustrated with images that have never actually appeared on
Wikivoyage and that Tony1 himself has a very strong bias against Wikivoyage.

It's the last bit that is the most serious to me. A month ago, a discussion
to ban Tony1 from Wikivoyage (which ultimately resulted in his ban) was
proposed. Tony1's response:

"*Right, you'll never see me again. (Oh, you'll see me, but it won't be
on this site.) It is morally reprehensible, and demonstrates a clear
strategy to get rid of critical voices—anyone who dares to stand up to the
boys' club here. From now on, I'll be deeply committed to letting
Wikimedians know what a corrupt and bullying power structure has developed
here. This is so dysfunctional it is laughable."*

This is a major departure from the traditional tone and approach of the
Signpost and it's editors, and it's kind of sad. Whatever you think of the
article debate itself (and there is more than one way to look at it), the
fact that the piece was published that way - in the voice of the Signpost,
without reference to Tony1's history, etc. - is a disappointing ethical

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