The Wikinewsie Group

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The Wikinewsie Group

A project to support the Wikimedia community
by creating infrastructure to support Wikinews original reporting,
journalist education and community outreach

Key resources

The Wikinewsie Group is a proposal to form a thematic organization. The organization would support independent original reporting on an open license platform, work towards increasing participation and content creation on Wikinews, educate future journalists by teaching best practices, and support the mission statement and vision of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Overview[edit]

The Wikinewsie Group seeks to support journalism efforts on Wikinews, which in turn helps related projects like Commons, Wikipedia and Wikiversity by providing them with media and high quality references. In doing so, the group also aims to support journalistic efforts that provide neutral and verifiable reporting, lobby governments on behalf of a free and open press, increase participation and content creation on Wikinews, and support the mission of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Purpose[edit]

  1. support open license, independent journalistic efforts that provide neutral and verifiable reporting of news stories,
  2. support the education of future journalists in trying to insure they maintain historical journalistic ideals regarding reporting standards,
  3. support efforts to increase journalist freedom to report around the globe,
  4. encourage participation of and facilitate non-professional journalists practicing their craft on Wikinews, and
  5. support the mission statement and vision of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Goal achievement[edit]

  1. work with educators to instill journalistic values and provide opportunities to practice these values, by
    • developing online and print materials that explain journalistic values such as neutral reporting, making stories verifiable and factual in several languages including English, Spanish, Catalan, French and Russian, and
    • working with journalism instructors to enable them to have their classes participate on Wikinews in a non-disruptive way and get their material reviewed in a timely manner while instilling in future reporters core journalistic practices,
  2. serve as the media organization that represents open license, independent journalists when those journalists are applying for media credentials or are seeking support as a result of their reporting activities, by
    • following up with any accreditation requests submitted by The Wikinewsie Group members for event or organization access, and
    • be a contact to support any journalists who, while engaged in on the ground original reporting, may find themselves in legal trouble,
  3. organize, coordinate and publicize outreach programs with other projects, user groups and affiliate organizations in support of the Wikimedia Foundation's vision, by
    • creating educational materials for GLAMs on how Wikinews can be of assistance to their efforts,
    • encouraging members of the Wikinews community to participate at Wikimania and other wiki related conferences,
    • working with groups such as the Education and LGBT groups to explain how Wikinews can assist in those groups meeting their own goals,
    • providing reports to newsletters such as the GLAM newsletter, the MilHist newsletter and the Roads newsletter on our activities.

Communications[edit]

The Wikinewsie Group utilizes these methods for communications:

Formal contact with the initial committee can be done by contacting the initial coordinator, Laura Hale, at laura.hale at wikinewsie.org.

Wikinewsie Group content[edit]

Wikinewsie Group seeks to promote and coordinate development of original reporting on all language Wikinews projects in accordance with local policies governing original reporting. This includes content covering science and technology, sports, politics, gender and LGBT topics, free content culture, weather, and other areas of interest to the greater Wikinews community.

Wikinewsie Group coordination[edit]

Currently, activities are being coordinated via personal e-mail, on Skype, via IRC and on Wikinewsie.org space dedicated to coordination. No virtual meetings have formally taken place owing to the extremes of geographic time zone differences. Plans are in place to hold such a meeting in early May to formalize the initial group structure after further community consultation.

Activities[edit]

Current Wikinewsie Group activities[edit]

  • Wikinewsie.org provides private, off WMF server writing space for English and Spanish speaking journalists to draft stories that may require source protection or where a story is embargoed.
  • Wikinewsie provides e-mail accounts for accredited Wikinews reporters on English and Spanish Wikinews.
  • Wikinewsie Group founders have been working with an instructor from the University of Wollongong to provide his students with real world journalism practice on English Wikinews.
  • An IRC chatroom for the group has been created for the group at #wikinewsie-groupconnect to support the group efforts.
  • A mailing list was created on Google Groups.
  • Development of a tool to improve the review process on English Wikinews. One tool should be ready for implementation in the next several months.
  • Wikinewsie Group members are conducting research on use of English Wikinews to develop a plan to increase the number of contributors, increase reviewing efficiency, increase the number of reviewers and articles submitted, and increase traffic. First research shared inside English Wikinews community found at Wikinews Review Analysis. Second research shared on Meta at Research:Wikinews Content Import Analysis
  • Created a framework for interacting with GLAM on English Wikinews at Wikinews:GLAM. This includes case studies, a report on the state of GLAM coverage on Wikinews, and how GLAMs can work with Wikinews.

Future Wikinewsie Group activities[edit]

  • Running a half day workshop in Iceland about Wikinews, and trying to support an Icelandic Wikinews getting created in Incubator.
  • Wikinewsie Group plans to have representatives attending Wikimania in Hong Kong to talk to people about our efforts.
  • Wikinewsie Group is planning to support future GLAM efforts in sport reporting in Australia and Europe.
  • Wikinewsie Group is planning in person and virtual training sessions on how to write for Wikinews.
  • Wikinewsie Group is planning in-person photography, and media editing, training sessions to increase news-related content on Commons.
  • Development of lesson plans for journalism instructors to teach students how to write on Wikinews.
  • Seeking media accreditation for the Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Olympics/Paralympics.
  • Assisting active Wikinews reporters in securing grants from organization that will enable them to do investigative reporting.

Past member driven activities[edit]

While not formally organized as part of The Wikinewsie Group, founding members of the group have been involved with creating and supporting some of the following projects:

History[edit]

Wikinews was created on 8 November 2004. The domain wikinewsie.org was acquired on 3 July 2007. In September 2007, Wikinews Foundation was proposed but did not appear to move beyond the proposal stage.

Discussion regarding the creation of The Wikinewsie Group began following the London Paralympics in terms of having the ability to acquire media accreditation independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and any existing chapters as these entities are not purely media organizations and exist outside Wikinews internal community support structures. This process became more urgent following attempts to seek media accreditation where the lack of a media organization proved problematic, and in light of attempts in the United Kingdom and Australia to change media laws to make independent reporting more restrictive, and in the case of Australia, potentially requiring all Australian media organizations to register with the government or risk journalists not being eligible for protections for journalists.

Major events to date[edit]

  • April 6: The Wikinewsie Group page created, along with support structures such as mailing list and IRC room.
  • April 8: Aff-Comm e-mailed to inform them of planning for The Wikinewsie Group.
  • April 11: Following 20 people signing up as interested participants, draft of bylaws shared at The Wikinewsie Group/Bylaws for community feedback.
  • April 18: Following 30 people signing up as interested participants, The Wikinewsie Group/Meetings created for setting up the meeting to select the provisional board.
  • May 4: Provisional board selected. Chairperson: LauraHale. Board: Pi zero, Brian McNeil, Bjarki S, ProtoplasmaKid

Timeline of founding activities[edit]

  • Discussions held on IRC, Skype and Facebook between founding members in October, November and December 2012 about creating organization in the context of NEXT that would facilitate reporting, getting media accreditation, applying for grants and improving news coverage for Australia, and how this could be integrated into the Wikinews community while supporting other cross project efforts.
  • Two founding members met with three employees at the WMF in their offices in late November 2012 to discuss some of the issues surrounding media accreditation, the need to work through the WMF for this, the possibility of creating a user group or thematic organization to facilitate news reporting.
  • Discussions held on IRC, Skype and Facebook between founding members in January and February 2013 about the need for a recognised news body to facilitate acquiring of credentials for fixed events or with organizations requiring someone to be responsible for a reporter. This largely centered around gaining media accreditation for the Australian Parliament, and sport events in Europe and Australia. Conversation also covered issues of journalist protection in Russia, and attempts to curtail media freedoms in other locations.
  • Drafting of documents related to creating a thematic organization application started on etherpad on 14 March 2013. Several English Wikinews community members encouraged to participate in draft planning.
  • Drafting of documents related to creating a thematic organization application started on Wikinewsie journalist workspace on 24 March 2013.
  • Individual international Wikinewsies were first contacted via e-mail, IRC and Twitter to discuss potential interest and support of The Wikinewsie Group starting 25 March based on scope, goals and outcome drafted. Contact continues on these channels as of date of initial posting of this to meta. Feedback was solicited for scope, goals, outcomes, group location, membership rules, membership fees and potential impact on local Wikinews projects. Feedback was integrated into drafts.
  • Icelandic organization dedicated to bringing international businesses to Iceland contacted so Wikinewsie Group could find rules for organizing a non-profit in Iceland, and the feasibility of basing our organization there. Consensus amongst founding members and those consulted was Iceland was ideal because it provides the strongest protections of journalism of almost any other country on the planet.
  • Individuals in the Icelandic Wikimedia community contacted via local project talk pages and IRC on March 27 about basing The Wikinewsie Group in Iceland, finding out if the Icelandic community would be supportive of this, and seeking assistance with translation.
  • wikiis-l at lists.wikimedia.org contacted on March 30 about basing the organization in Iceland.
  • English, French, Spanish and general Wikinews IRC channels informed of proposal posted on April 6.
  • Every Wikinews village pump was informed on April 6 of the thematic organization proposal on April 6.
  • Spanish, Catalan, Polish and Russian Wikinews communities were informed on their Facebook pages on April 6.
  • Every Wikinews related WMF host public list was informed of the proposal on April 6.
  • Icelandic Wikimedia mailing list was informed of the proposal on April 6.
  • aff-comm e-mailed about The Wikinewsie Group on April 8 following 20 people having indicated support.
  • Wikinews related mailing lists, the official planning mailing list, and local Wikinews projects (via their water coolers/village pumps) were informed that drafts of the bylaws and Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Journalists were posted to meta, and feedback was solicited on these documents on April 11.
  • On April 19, The Wikinewsie Group/Meetings was set up.
  • Interested parties were informed on their talk pages on April 19 of the goal of determining a date for a meeting to select The Wikinewsie Group's provisional board after three parties were contacted in advance about potentially chairing the meeting conditional they not stand for a board position.
  • All relevant mailing lists were informed on April 19 of the attempts to set a meeting time for selecting a provisional board.
  • On April 19 and April 20, RecentChanges on several Wikinews projects were looked at and active contributors were individually invited to sign up as supporters of The Wikinewsie Group and invited to attend the meeting to select a provisional board. Projects where people were invited (or at least checked for active contributors) include Korean, Tamil, Chinese, Greek, Italian, French, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish Wikinews.
  • On April 26, meeting time decision made based on most people signed up. People notified of meeting time via user talk page. Meeting page updated to reflect time of Saturday, May 4 at 13:00 UTC.
  • On May 4, a meeting was held to select the provisional board. It was decided that the board would be composed of the following people: Chairperson: LauraHale. Board: Pi zero, Brian McNeil, Bjarki S, ProtoplasmaKid. The total number of people and roles was based on the draft bylaws.
  • On May 8, an e-mail was sent to aff-comm telling them about the selection of the provisional board and requesting a review of the bylaws.
  • On June 2, published first edition of The Wikinewsie Group Newsletter.
  • On June 12, answered questions posted by aff-comm.
  • On August 6, second edition of the The Wikinewsie Group Newsletter was published.
  • In early August, several The Wikinewsie Group members discussed how to seek external funding upon getting aff-comm recognition. One person with familiarity with getting non-profit grants was contacted for advice.
  • In early August, several The Wikinewsie Group members discussed the potential for members to apply for IEG funding to support group initiatives.

Current outreach activities[edit]

Name[edit]

We will operate under the name The Wikinewsie Group. If there are problems with this name from a WMF legal perspective during the course of the application process, we will change it. This organization is currently not registered in any way, but is using infrastructure established years ago based on the domain, wikinewsie.org.

Bylaws[edit]

A draft of the bylaws of can be found at The Wikinewsie Group/Bylaws alongside The Wikinewsie Group/Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Journalists.

Scope and territorial overlap with national chapters[edit]

The Wikinewsies Group's aims to facilitate international and multilingual journalism activities taking place on Wikinews projects with communities engaged in original reporting. This includes English, Spanish, Catalan, German, Farsi, French, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Albanian, Slovene, Turkish and Chinese Wikinews projects. Early community focus will be on English, Spanish, Catalan and French communities.

The purpose of the organization is to:

  1. support open license, independent journalistic efforts that provide neutral and verifiable reporting of news stories,
  2. support the education of future journalists in trying to insure they maintain historical journalistic ideals regarding reporting standards,
  3. support efforts to increase journalist freedom to report around the globe,
  4. encourage participation of and facilitate non-professional journalists practicing their craft on Wikinews, and
  5. support the mission statement and vision of the Wikimedia Foundation.

The organization will be incorporated in Iceland, owing to the country having some of the strongest protections for journalists of any country in the world, and after having garnered support from a few Icelandic Wikimedia contributors.

Provisional board[edit]

Chairperson: LauraHale.

Board: Pi zero, Brian McNeil, Bjarki S, ProtoplasmaKid

The meeting for the provisional board selection meeting took place in #wikinews-groupconnect on May 4, 2013 at 13:00 UTC.

Related projects[edit]

Participants[edit]

Supporters / potential members[edit]

Supporters of the The Wikinewsie Group, or people interested in joining.
  1. LauraHale (talk) 09:21, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  2. Brian McNeil / talk 09:25, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  3. Gryllida 09:40, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  4. Tom Morris
  5. Savant-fou french Sysop.--Savant-fou (talk) 09:56, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  6. Pi zero (talk) 10:36, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  7. Millosh (talk) 11:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  8. Svavar Kjarrval (talk) 12:43, 6 April 2013 (UTC) - As an Icelander, I think this is very important.
  9. MadriCR (talk) 12:54, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  10. Laslovarga (talk) 13:07, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  11. Amgine/meta wikt wnews blog wmf-blog goog news 14:53, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  12. ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 15:12, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  13. Grondin french, catalan bureaucrat and portugues sysop.-- Bertrand GRONDIN  → (Talk) 15:51, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  14. Superzerocool (talk) 17:15, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  15. Shooke (talk) 21:29, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
  16. Indeed. 100%. — ΛΧΣ21 02:48, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  17. Wikiwide (talk) 11:41, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  18. (talk) 23:50, 7 April 2013 (UTC)
  19. RockerballAustralia (talk) 06:37, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
  20. — Ralgis [mantisreligiosa] @ 16:07, 08 April 2013 (UTC) —
  21. SonicR (talk) 20:54, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
  22. Cirt (talk) 00:21, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  23. Gnangarra (talk) 01:02, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  24. Thine Antique Pen (talk) 23:01, 9 April 2013 (UTC)
  25. Ou0430 (talk) 11:19, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  26. Netha Hussain (talk) 13:08, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  27. アンタナナ 13:10, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  28. Cspurrier (talk) 19:42, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  29. CalF (talk) 21:53, 12 April 2013 (UTC)
  30. Crtew (talk) 08:40, 13 April 2013 (UTC)
  31. Béria Lima msg 15:08, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  32. Copyleft (talk) 16:03, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  33. Actually, I am useless since I do not do original reporting and things like that, but the idea sounds ok to me so I'd like to help with something. --Base (talk) 21:15, 19 April 2013 (UTC)
  34. Inbamkumar86 (talk) 09:09, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  35. --Patriot8790 (talk) 12:32, 20 April 2013 (UTC)
  36. --Mattho69 (talk) 13:29, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  37. Érico Wouters msg 19:29, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
  38. Shujenchang (talk) 13:53, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
  39. Hawkeye7 (talk) 05:46, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
  40. Bidgee (Talk) 07:01, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
  41. Amqui (talk) 20:08, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
  42. Bddpaux (talk) 14:00, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
  43. Copyleft (talk) 22:00, 16 August 2013 (UTC)
  44. --Γλαύκος (talk) 16:50, 20 August 2013 (UTC)
  45. Korean Wikinews member --by ReviDiscussSUL Info at 18:11, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
  46. --DangSunM (talk) 02:25, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
  47. Danny B.
  48. This looks good.--Juandev (talk) 16:11, 24 November 2013 (UTC)
  49. Okino