Proposals for closing projects/Closure of English Wikinews

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.

This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.

The proposal is rejected and the project will be kept open.

  • A Language Committee member provided the following comment:
    After some consideration, I'm making use of the possibility for langcom members to close a proposal considered "harmful, with no reasonable possibility of a decision to close the wiki". Reasons:
  • One reason that was given for the proposal is that the project would be inactive. As I tried to explain in comment #1 below, this is actually not the case. On a more procedural note, a project closed for inactivity will get its content imported into Incubator, where activity can be resumed if interested users show up – guess how much time it would take for users of a non-inactive project to resume activity?
  • Additionally, "inactivity in itself is no valid reason; additional problems are". The other reason which was given for the proposal is "Wikinews actively drives users off". This may or may not be true, but is definitely no reason to close a project. "Solving" such problems by simply closing the wiki for everyone is obviously not solving anything.
  • The second line here is also very true.
--MF-W 17:32, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Type: 2 (non-routine proposal)
  • Proposed outcome: closure
  • Proposed action regarding the content: should be transferred to Wikimedia Incubator
  • Notice on the project: [1]
  • Informed Group(s): (Which chapters, wiki projects, and other community groups have been informed, if any.)


NOTE: This proposal will not cause any of Wikinews' current content to be deleted, it simply closes the project to further editing.

Let's look at Wikinews' stats, as they provide some strong evidence for why the project should close:

I've used for most of the following stats. Numbers are correct as of time of writing.

  • A mere 133 editors edited Wikinews in the last month
  • Only 25 editors made 10 edits or more

The total number of edits listed on that page is 8641. This is the list for the top 5 users:

2,840 come from BOT-Superzerocool 2,126 come from Pi zero 1,510 come from NewsieBot 714 come from Bawolff bot 222 come from Cirt

You'll note that three of those are bots. Over 58% of the Wikinews's edits in the last month are bot edits, and 25% come from Pi zero. Cirt, the next most active user, has just 2.6%.

If we exclude the three main bots, Pi Zero has 59% of all user edits.

Secondary analysis[edit]

However, these figures don't tell the full story, of course. Let's look at who actually started articles. Pi Zero does about 99% of the work preparing articles for publication, but they don't seem to actually write articles.

Pi Zero represents the majority of "collaboration" for Wikinews; most articles are primarily written by the person who starts them. For the months of October and November, here's who started every article actually published.

  • Tom Morris 12
  • CalF: 8
  • Rayboy8 5
  • Gryllida 5
  • DragonFire1024: 3
  • William S. Saturn (WSS) 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • House1630: 1
  • Nascar1996 1
  • Van Caps: 1
  • LauraHale: 1
  • Tyrol5 1
  • Ragettho 1
  • Shankarnikhil88 1
  • Cirt: 1

That's 16 people, total. There were 48 articles by my count, and 25% of those were made by 1 person. The top 6 people wrote 75% of all articles.

Further, as it's November 18th, and October has 31 days, that averages out to just under an article a day; and a lot of these are very short.

My problem[edit]

These stats don't represent an active Wikipedia project, they are the stats of what's essentially a vanity project, and the quality generally reflects this. Of the five main articles on the main page at present, the longest is 4,716 bytes, the shortest 1,896 bytes; none of them has any real depth.

There's other problems: Wikinews simply doesn't have the resources to cover even major news stories. The only article on Hurricane Sandy was written before it devastated America's East Coast; there was no followup. Further, some articles promote fringe theories: en:n:Tomatoes,_watermelons,_peppers_reduce_stroke_risk,_Finnish_study_suggests. And other articles are just plain wrong: en:n:Metropolitan Police to sell New Scotland Yard has a headline that suggests that what is, in fact, one of many possibilities put forwards (and one of the most unlikely ones), is definitely going to happen.

Quite frankly, this was an experiment that failed. The Wiki model has shown itself unable to produce news reporting. It's time to close the project.

Worse, it is well known for having an extremely hostile editing environment, where any criticism, no matter how mild, is met with massive attacks on the user in question.

Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:13, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikinews actively drives users off[edit]

Perhaps the most sinister aspect of Wikinews is that it has such a hostile editing environment that it cannot grow. Consider these threads, all from the last 3 months or so. These are typical of events happening for years back, and - since Wikinews actively deletes any article contributions from people not approved by its 3 or so admins, there are likely to be far more. Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:49, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We have a review process for a few reasons: credibility and NPOV. If an article doesn't meet the requirement of our review process, then the article doesn't get published. Without getting into specific policy, the article will be deleted after it is tagged to be. If you want to be able to instantly publish something without regards to a review process, Wikinews is not for you. DragonFire1024 (talk) 01:55, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Users stating they are leaving / Wikinews should shut down

Hostile environments

Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:46, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  • The comment was aimed at this first revision of the proposal. Hi, the notice on the project in question, which is required by policy, can be put on the usual community discussion page there (this would probably be a page listed on n:Wikinews:Water cooler). However, I see that you're basing your proposal on a lack of activity. Please note that according to the policy, "Inactivity in itself is no valid reason; additional problems are". Only a nearly complete absence of content and activity can be a reason for a project closure. If you take a look at successful proposals listed on PCP, you will see that projects which were closed had no activity at all at least a year before being closed. Actually 12 editors with 10 edits or more in a month is a quite high number for the average wiki. So maybe I can convince you to retract the proposal? --MF-W 01:00, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I did put up the notice, I just neglected to link it. However, I don't think you're right. English Wikinews is failed. It's had years to try and find its feet, and it cannot do the basic necessary functions of a news project. This is supposedly a news project, but fails at the basic level of any news project: It can't handle reporting news. Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:26, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • If you are unhappy with the quantity of content being written for English Wikinews, you can remedy this situation by writing content for English Wikinews. —Tom Morris (talk) 01:29, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tried that once. Like most people who have to deal with the hostile editing environment there: Never again. Adam Cuerden (talk) 01:30, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have to tried it since? Last time you tried was over two years ago. Bidgee (Talk) 03:04, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I preferred to take Tom's advice than comment further on people who "don't do content". The story, "ratbag" is now sitting at 5,000-odd views for the excerpt published on Facebook around four hours ago. The project's "reach", via Facebook, was near 3,500 people last week; and, that's just the English-language version. Hawkeye 7, Bidgee, Gryllida, and other people better-known on Wikipedia are, though, the people to most-admire amongst Wikinewsies; they understand how to work on the project in a way that makes them honest-to-goodness WikiMEDIANS, and part of a very small number of people who understand the WMF ouside the "Wikipedia bubble".
I even see one of my photos in-use In The Other Place. And, I didn't put it there. Who'da thunk it? The project in The Signpost's crosshairs is actually useful. --Brian McNeil / talk 22:53, 31 March 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • I have to comment on the links pulled to try and justify this proposal. I'll happily restore, and move to userspace, the 'effort' by Stillwaterising to write an article; then people can judge for themselves the merit of their petulance. As to the unsigned deletion proposal, it was rightly labelled as trolling, the user has that as their sole edit (yes, I checked for deleted edits too). And, the link to my outburst against Commons is broken; that's a project with a large userbase which has, repeatedly, severely inconvenienced Wikinews and taken a considerable amount of time away from writing articles to get images restored or locally uploaded; they could be far more helpful. Yair rand points out that "Adam's problem" is assuming projects are Wikipedia projects. Adam's argument for this proposal go downhill from there on.
This proposal fails on the majority of the guiding criteria for submitting such. It is obvious it won't be withdrawn, so I have to ask why doesn't Meta have a process to strike such disruptive proposals which take time away from projects that need all they can get? --Brian McNeil / talk 08:10, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This proposal is complete nonsense. From what I gather, most of those supporting this proposal, hold personal grudges against certain users and grudges against not following review guidelines. Wikimedia is not a theater for you guys to battle other users. No one is not forced to contribute to ANY WMF project. You can leave at anytime. With that said, holding a grudge against users or articles is not a reason to close a project. I am not here to moderate discussions. I am here to write articles and report news. If you have personal issues with someone or something, take it up with them on a personal level. Stop using WMF projects for your theater of war and grow up. DragonFire1024 (talk) 19:55, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I hope you don't include me in that broad brush dismissal. I for one appreciate the opportunity to express my views about the continued viability of Wikinews on Meta. It seems the obvious place to do it in fact. The allegation was made that Wikinews is a dead project, in large part due to its hostile environment. I noticed that hostility in my time there and indeed well after I left too, and it's still on display even in this very proposal. I don't hold any grudges to anyone there, I didn't leave due to any dispute or any failure to understand the guidelines, but I think it's more than evident that the problems with the project are real, and not going away. While it may not be technically correct to propose closure in this manner, the discussion needs to be had somewhere, because Wikinews is not going to get any busier than it already is as far as I can see. Cronos Fratnum (talk) 20:33, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My statement was in regards to anyone who wants to use WMF as their own theater of war. That's precisely what this proposal was with absolutely no merit. I can say the same about Wikipedia, in regards to being hostile as 99% of my edits there has been met with nothing but hostility. In fact I find a lot of the clicks on Wikipedia to be the most hostile of all projects. As I said before you are making your claims based on a few weeks or months of work or lack thereof. Take a look further back. I have published probably more articles than anyone on Wikinews. I have been involved in articles that were so good it made the MSM look bad. Do some research on Wikinews...real research. Just because you or whoever else isn't happy with what they see in the past few weeks or months, is not merit to shut it down. And if hostility were a reason to shut a project down, then we can start with Wikipedia. It's a two way street and as far as I am concerned every project has hostility. Wikinews isn't slow or what not because no one wants to contribute there, or people are driven away, it's not growing because the powers that be at Wikipedia and the WMF don't have any interest in the project. Wikipedia spites us with their "news" despite the fact they are an encyclopedia. There is no need for "new" on Wikipedia when there is a news site which is already part of WMF. I see nothing here in this proposal that warrants Wikinews being shut down. This proposal is nothing more than a smear campaign by people who have personal issues with others and Meta is not the place for that kind of discussion. DragonFire1024 (talk) 21:09, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • It is a particularly bad environment, but baby::bathwater. Oppose. --Rschen7754 01:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose: My numbers look low, but are a result of preparing for an event to get Olympic and Paralympic media credentials. This work cannot be done on Wikipedia because of rules related to Original Research. During the Paralympic period, we produced over 70 articles in a compressed period of time. Given this, your raw numbers appear to be misrepresenting the work being done. (I've also review a few articles during this period, which you didn't cite and credited to pi zero.) Articles in Wikinews have been re-published by other news organisations, including one in Sierra Leone in print. This work has been mentioned in Australia's Hansard. It is key to GLAM work beinng done in Australia. What is your rationale beyond "the volume is not to my liking"? --LauraHale (talk) 01:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
[moved from in the middle of a post] Adam Cuerden, "extremely hostile editing environment" What? I've got to admit, this has been the exact opposite of my experience. I've found the community to be welcoming, willing to assist in learning the processes to get published, providing more detailed commentary as to why an article does not meet standards for publication than Articles for Creation does. I've criticised and been criticized and never met a massive attack. Your experience just do not match with mine in the past 8 months. --LauraHale (talk) 01:41, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
[moved from in the middle of a post] I can provide a large number of similar links about English Wikipedia, where there are great big problems of retention with similar reasons cited. Do you have precedent for a project being closed for this reason? What steps have you, as a contributor, participated in recently to make the editing environment more collegial? --LauraHale (talk) 02:26, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You only have a tiny number of people. That's probably at least 10% of all discussion threads in your entire area for group discussion, because you don't have people. Adam Cuerden (talk) 02:46, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose I have worked with Wikinews since 2006. I love the project and wish I had more time to contribute. We don't have a lot of regular users...but that is because of a great many problems and here is not the place to discuss them. But a thought: A little more advertisement of the project would do good. Also...have you actually contributed to the project at all? Have any of you? If not, I find it insulting that you can take a few days or weeks and put it into the closure of a project. Sorry but shame on you. DragonFire1024 (talk) 01:39, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I have tried editing there. I would never do so again. I found it entirely unprofessional. Adam Cuerden (talk) 02:42, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just because you had a bead experience, and maybe burned the bridges you were crossing, doesn't mean everyone else feels the same way. People hold grudges yes, but don't take it out on a project or people who have nothing to do with your issues. DragonFire1024 (talk) 19:45, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I put up an entire section showing people trying to edit there, and being driven off by the bad editing environment, just in the last couple months. In a minimally-staffed project, with very few editors. Adam Cuerden (talk) 02:56, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can make an entire website dedicated to pages of discussions where people on Wikipedia do more of the same thing. I don't edit there because a lot of people on Wikipedia don't care about other projects and WP wants things to stay the way they are and anyone who questions that gets the same kind of treatment. It's a two way street. DragonFire1024 (talk) 19:48, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose The nominator clearly has a grudge against WikiNews, regarding the "extremely hostile editing environment", well I've found it to be much more welcoming environment to edit in as oppose to Commons and en Wikipedia which both have their own hostile environments on so many different levels. While en WikiNews may have a small base, it doesn't mean that it should be closed and in fact, I'm sure Wikivoyage is going to be the same way but that doesn't mean it shouldn't exist. Wikimedia Commons started in 2004 but didn't hit 1 million files until two years after the launch and since then, it has now got 14 million over files! Some project grow quicker then other and I think it is a good thing that WikiNews is slowly growing as en Wikipedia and Commons do have growing pains. Bidgee (Talk) 02:31, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • You link that. What's it meant to prove? That I had contributed a couple articles two years ago, and therefore can't say that I consider the site problematic now? I'm sorry, but I don't think mere personal attacks without evidence do your argument any good. Adam Cuerden (talk) 02:44, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Not the article's I'm talking about, it's more the attacks you made at the water cooler [2][3] just over two years ago. You clearly have an axe to grind over an old issue. Bidgee (Talk) 03:01, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, of course. If you go to another wiki project and expect it to work just like Wikipedia, or Commons, then you're not going to be a successful editor. If you expect other projects to sustain similar levels of contribution as Wikipedia, then you would be nominating 90% of the WMF's projects for closure. You successfully got a fairly good article published in 2009, Adam. It would have become easier with more practice, and learning more of the project's policies and guidelines. What you discovered was that news is hard to do well; and, the biggest problem Wikinews has always had is Wikipedia doing news. That's easily proven, will the Manfalut train accident merit a standalone encyclopedia entry in 50 years time? Or, is that something which should be covered on a news site, just as-done by Wikinews?
A fork, which took a considerable number of contributors and had far more lax publication standards failed. And, before you cite the problems it experienced with a hosting company, it had already failed prior to that. Failed despite a most-favourable interview published in The Signpost.
The activity criteria used to single-out English Wikinews are equally valid if applied against the German, French, Polish, Spanish, Catalan and numerous other language-versions of the project.
I note the timing coincided with when I've had considerable other commitments and not been active recently. That doesn't mean I don't get alerted to things like this. As to my extreme frustration at Commons, I believe that's frequently shared across multiple projects. In the case of Wikinews, decisions taken on Commons meddle with the historical record Wikinews attempts to create. --Brian McNeil / talk 02:57, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose: It is a regular feature that (especially inexperienced) editors aggrieved that their pet articles are being deleted pen essays similar to the above, claiming that the project's failure to suspend its notability criteria and other rules and guidelines in their favor is a sure harbinger of its doom. In point of fact, the criteria are not subjective - they've been painfully hammered out over a long time. There is no "crisis" requiring "extreme measures" - and somehow, those "extreme measures" always do seem to boil down to "Let my article stay without any of you touching it" - and if a horde of casual users from the days when Wikipedia and its siblings were collectively the Next Big Internet Fad are leaving the project in the hands of those who seriously care about maintaining and improving it, well and good.

    The foregoing, in fact, started as a response to an AfD discussion on the English Wikipedia; I edited it a bit to provide a momentary cloak. Whatever Mr. Cuerden's experience on other sides of the project, his experience on Wikinews seems quite scanty, and unless he's edited under pseudonyms, he has only made substantive contributions to three articles on Wikinews, the most recent over three years ago, and has fewer than 100 edits on the project. [4] While my experience is almost exclusively on the English Wikipedia, I would be flabbergasted at any editor attempting to make any such accusations based on several year old experience, and would be hard pressed to disguise my contempt for a veteran editor and administrator with nearly 15,000 edits project-wide doing so. (Although given civility lapses like this one, for instance ... [5]) Honestly, he should know better. Ravenswing (talk) 03:08, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Support. Environment is too toxic for anyone to be able to edit there remotely seriously. Wizardman (talk) 03:27, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • What makes you say that? You haven't edited en WikiNews for over two years. Bidgee (Talk) 03:56, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Indeed I haven't. After a short time there i was appalled at the discussions were that took place there. Left pretty quickly because of how bad it was there, which says something because I was never attacked or anything, I'm just going by what I saw. If the environment was any better now, you wouldn't be struggling to keep a handful of users. Wizardman (talk) 03:59, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Over on Wikipedia, there was a user who recently said "I'd sooner stab myself in the hand with a rusty screwdriver than even remotely consider supporting this troll for anything. I'll admit that his candidate statement at least sounds somewhat decent, though I don't buy it." Do you think the discussion of this type works towards keeping Wikipedia retention and creates a collegial editing environment? Indeed, Wikipedia would not be facing a retention problem and so much time spent working on retaining editors if the atmosphere was collegial. The project has grown in the past two years. We've successfully gotten media accreditation for the London Paralympics where we pushed through 70 stories in about 2 weeks, and are well on our way to getting accreditation for the next Olympics. We've welcomed back a number of users from the unsuccessful fork and brought in new contributors in the past year. The project is stable, and outside the occasional trolling from Wikipedians with grudges, has little controversy. Our review process is a bit hectic for new users, but it essentially requires the primary writer and the reviewer to write an article and undergo a review process more demanding than Wikipedia's Good Article process in a very compressed time period for all editors. Thus, a learning curve is involved. The reviewers try to leave clear feedback for writers where there article is not published on the first attempt as the goal is for everyone to work together to get an article up to publishing standards. I've found a lot of success with this and learned more about the writing process and the journalism process than I have from Wikipedia... all with out the toxic environment... but I'm not anyone. :( --LauraHale (talk) 04:08, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
          • For the record, that specific quote was referring to a user where I commented: "I get that we tolerate critics, but I'd support an indefinite block at this point on grounds of disruption and trolling." All he does is run for ArbCom and troll other users. I don't support the closing of Wikinews, but I agree that the community is dysfunctional. --Rschen7754 05:03, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. And by the way, Wikinews is not a "Wikipedia project". It is a Wikimedia project, not some sub-project of one of its sister project. --Yair rand (talk) 04:05, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. I was glad that I was alerted to this discussion, because I am no longer active at Wikinews. I was most active from the period of 2007-09, when I contributed quite a few celebrity interviews, ranging from singers at the Eurovision Song Contest to stars of the soap opera The Young and the Restless. I will be quite frank: Wikinews tends to be the laughingstock of Wikimedia projects when looked at from inside Wikimedia projects but outside Wikinews itself, nor has it ever been actively promoted by the Wikimedia Foundation (I remember trying to put forth a proposal in 2009 to earmark grant funding to Wikinews reporters so the caliber of our original reporting could increase, with the hope that page hits and new users would also bring Wikinews to a more substantial plateau. That was rejected by Sue Gardner, with the reasoning that Wikinews was not a project they considered of high-importance; at that time they really wanted to push the growth of the English Wikipedia and smaller language Wikipedias.). It can be terribly frustrating working on an offshoot that isn't well-regarded by your "Wiki-peers," especially if you are a budding journalist and "doing it for the knowledge" and not for an actual living. I stopped contributing to Wikinews in 2009 when I got a job as a writer for a magazine; when you're getting paid to put out what you were doing for free, you're gonna go for the money obviously. But one thing I noticed in the real world is that people view Wikinews a lot more favorably than anyone on Wikimedia projects does. Wikinews seriously opened doors for me. When I put together my first portfolio for a contract job with WTSP-TV, the CBS affiliate in Tampa Bay owned by the Gannett Company, I thought about just going with my college newspaper clippings because I was sure nobody would take Wikinews seriously. After all, people here don't, they would be right, right? After some thought, I decided to put in my Wikinews interviews anyway. When I was interviewed for the job, that's all the hiring manager could talk about. Not only was she impressed by the quality of the interviews, she was also impressed that I put them out there on Wikinews, a Wikimedia project, available for so many eyes to see. I got the job that day. I also got the aforementioned job with the magazine for the exact same reason. My interviews with The Young and the Restless stars and Nicole were the most talked about out of the ones I presented in my portfolio. Even as I added more stories from other projects (the CBS affiliate, the magazine, etc.) to my portfolio, I kept my Wikinews interviews there. They always get notice, and the notice is always positive. I think it's due to both my talent and the positive recognition and feeling Wikinews gets from random people. A lot of people forget that being insular in Wikimedia projects. Since then, I have worked in television news rooms and in magazine offices in large, medium, and smaller markets throughout the United States (#13, Tampa Bay; #58, Mobile/Pensacola; and #101, Fayetteville/Fort Smith). Two years ago, I started my own magazine, and this year, I was honored by The Advocate as one of their "Forty Under 40" honorees: the "budding powerhouses, leaders in media, politics, sports, and science...the architects of the next decade." You can read about me here. None of this would have happened in the manner it happened without Wikinews. The power of Wikinews is palpable. I'm proof. I vote oppose and hope people take my message to heart and follow suit. Thank you. Mike Halterman (talk) 05:47, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. Wikinews fills an important niche and I'm proud to have it exist as a Wikimedia project, even though I rarely edit it. I do however enjoy reading it, and for those who do enjoy editing there and put their time and effort into it let's not spoil it for them please. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 07:27, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Wikinews is an important an valuable project. I've been here for a year, filing original news reports and interviews. The reception that has been given to the small project has been fabulous, with mentions in Parliament and the mainstream media! Hawkeye7 (talk) 07:44, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose. While it remains active, and well curated, then there's no reason to close it. QU TalkQu 09:49, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strongest support possible. Wikinews is a dead wiki run by a small group of corrupt admins who drive new users away and violate the most basic rules of how a wiki works and what Wikimedia is trying to achieve by hosting the site. In my own case, I was run off the site when I politely disagreed with an admin, a disagreement which then turned into a constant barrage of personal attacks against me day in and day out. In order to keep me off the site, false claims of "sockpuppetry" were invented without the slightest bit of evidence to support my indefinite ban. We don't need this wiki as it is currently operating and we certainly don't need a group of corrupt admins running it. Adam Cuerden is correct in assessing Wikinews as a "vanity site" run by self-promoters pushing their own agendas. Shut this thing down and turn off the lights, it's a disgrace. Kick Pi zero and Brian McNeil to the curb and replace those clowns with real journalists interested in the Wikimedia movement. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Viriditas (talk) 11:56, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess you missed the "real journalists" using Wikinews for three different semesters of journalism students. I do hope whoever reviews votes on this proposal takes into account you were permanently blocked for extreme disruption, and such was a decision taken by a number of community members where, until the "constant barrage of personal attacks" from Viriditas became unbearable, I was actually trying to help xe reform. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:26, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strongest support possible.
  • (1) Fatally flawed model. Wikinews looked like a great idea years ago, but now we've realised that in the absence of an expensive real-world network of journalists, all it can do is just paraphrase the news that came out of the major outlets a while ago. Occasionally it rises above this when funding is somehow available for travel and associated expenses, and there are opportunities for free interviews and sources, but this is rare and will continue to be so.
  • (2) Brian McNeil and supporters. I was shocked to find that this editor is still using en.WN as a power-base. He is abusive. He directs the most appalling bad language at other editors. Around him a culture of insularity and amateurism has grown; most good editors simply leave, realising it's a fascist environment—often after multiple dramas ultimately rooted in McNeil's power-trip.
  • (3) Too small and won't get bigger. To have the slightest hope of succeeding, you'd need dozens of active editors with close and collegial networks around the world. This is not going to happen. We need to get rid of WN as soon as possible as a sad waste of donors' funds. Tony (talk) 12:15, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Tony1, I object most-strongly to being called a fascist. I am asking you here, and now, in a civil manner, to retract that libellous statement immediately. --Brian McNeil / talk 13:53, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Brian, no I won't retract it. If you wish, I'll supply ample evidence to back up my assertions ... diffs aplenty. Just ask, anyone, and I'll oblige. Tony (talk) 12:52, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not going to encourage you to turn Meta into a theatre of war Tony1. I'm well-aware that's what you'd like to achieve here, and have tried elsewhere before. --Brian McNeil / talk 14:26, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Last I checked WN hasn't received any funds from the WMF much less any attention, other than to censor us or completely ignore us. Aside from providing a server for Wikinews, WMF hasn't done anything for us financially when comparing it to Wikipedia. DragonFire1024 (talk) 21:14, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Point 1: you describe it is something new that Wikinews can't copy, but it is predicted from the beginning, repeated over the years and the focus should also not be competing with commercial well-funded news cooperations, but have their own focus.
Point 2: That a project is used as power base is no reason for closure and also nothing new.
Point 3: you think it is too small, I think you have unrealistic expectations, as I noted with point 1. And "won't get bigger" isn't true: each article added makes a project bigger. But perhaps you mean bigger in size of what you would like, but those ar still unrealistic expectations: we aren't CNN, FOX, News Corporation, etcetera so please do not compare us with commercial parties. This is a community project to better the world, not a commercial corporation that needs to make profit and pays salaries to people to write sensational news to attract people to buy and watch it. Romaine (talk) 14:10, 28 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DragonFire1024: for what purpose needs Wikinews money from WMF? For what reason does Wikinews need their own server? WMF is not the government where money is deployed to parties even if they don't need it... Also, if you have a project where money of WMF should go, you are free to request a grant for a specific purpose. So if you really want something, think about this quote: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country and replace "your country" by "Wikimedia". Romaine (talk) 14:10, 28 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose, essentially agree with comments by Bidgee (talk · contribs) (diff), and Mike Halterman (talk · contribs) (diff), above. Wikinews contributors provide a valuable service and the site features lots of good in-depth reporting on key topics of interest to readers. Wikinews fills an important niche. Wikinews is a great place to contribute original reporting and interviews, as noted by Hawkeye7 (talk · contribs), above. It pleases me to hear that other Wikimedia users enjoy reading Wikinews, like OlEnglish (talk · contribs), above. Thank you, -- Cirt (talk) 14:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support with regret - It's a symbolic vote, as it's pretty obvious the proposal will fail based on the above, but the culture is insular and keeps out the people with the ability and passion to write serious content and foster the page's growth. Coming from Australia and looking at n:Oceania, for example, I wouldn't recognise my own country. Some HUGE stories have gone down here recently and not a peep - yet our ABC is going to call California for Obama (a story that missed even the most devoted political watchers' attention) and something about Tony Abbott turning up to a sports event. I was following a Queensland election back in 2009 and their only article on it was an interview with an obscure minor party that read more like an ad. I tried with a friend about 12 months ago to contribute some content from my own city and pretty much was persuaded never to return - it took an argument with Brian McNeil some months after the fact on another project to even find a guide for writing articles which might have been somewhat useful, but the feedback received from those "reviewing" my article submissions was sparse and meaningless, reminded me of the alphabet soup people sometimes get hit by when they enter Wikipedia. I really wish that the WMF had funded the project and forced something of a reboot in the culture, but failing that, it's just not going to be anything else than what it is. Orderinchaos (talk) 15:28, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose I'm seeing "little activity" and "they don't like me". The former can be potentially countered by more editors coming, the second sounds like spite. (May or may not be, but sounds like.) Demonstrating that Wikinews was a "failed experiment" would take somewhat more than that—no idea whether it actually is a failed experiment, but the nomination and subsequent comments just don't demonstrate that. – Philosopher Let us reason together. 17:06, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. As an experienced Wikipedia editor and firm believer in the basic premise of WP:NOT#NEWS, I tried to get involved in Wikinews a year or two ago. I assimilated the project's policies and procedures, and got 7 or so stories published, and only one deleted (due to going stale due to the slowness of the review process). I have no grudge with the site, however I stopped after a few months or so as it was apparent that it was a project going nowhere, and looking at it again, it still is. To be remotely successful it needs to have close to a hundred admins and reviewers, let alone story contributors. Whether it's flaws are in the fundamental model, the relationship with Wikipedia (where adherence to NOT#NEWS is in reality a standing joke, and WP:SISTER is completely ignored by editors like the one immediately above), or the involvement of Brian, Wikinews is not going to grow at all beyond the level it has reached now after years, that much is obvious. I am also very active on Commons, and find comparisons between the two by opposers quite ludicrous - while Commons might have the same issues with governance, it is at least pulling its weight in terms of content production and to the general mission of the Foundation. Wikinews by contrast after the same length of time, is still just a bit of an embarrassment really. I actually think the model could work if maybe it was restricted to original reporting, or if a tighter editorial control was put on what was considered newsworthy, but I can't see that happening without a major reboot to a model that ensures rapid growth, which only a shut down is likely to achieve. The use of Flagged Revisions probably doesn't help either, if there's one thing that's sure to strangle the source of new contributions, it's that unwiki abomination. And it still doesn't apparently stop IP readers being able to see garbage like this. That was tagged 4 days ago by the most prolific human on the site as apparently 'needing prompt work', rather than being speedied in minutes on Wikipedia under any criteria you care to mention. The merits of the proposal aside, as a project that was founded in 2004, and had reached 10,000 articles by 2007, the Wikinews of 2012 is patently a failure on too many levels to be given continued life-support. Cronos Fratnum (talk) 17:41, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I'd remark that the article you're highlighting as "would be speedied on Wikipedia" isn't published, but you're conflating what you'd do on Wikipedia with a project which is not Wikipedia. I also have to add that the only people who repeatedly call the project "a joke" almost-invariably state that they are an experienced Wikipedian in the same remark.
You also seem to have utterly misinterpreted my remarks regarding Commons.
As to "continued life-support", I would assume you are making that argument from the same perspective as Tony1 - a financial one, and a laughable one if you know anything about hosting costs. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:03, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fail to see the relevance. Published or not, it's accessible within 1 click of the Main Page and visible to anyone, logged in or not. Wikipedia would speedy delete that whether it was in an article or simply posted to an obscure talk page, and for very good reasons. Reasons that also apply on Wikinews, because however separate it is from Wikipedia, it is not separate from the Foundation and their stances on things like personal information. And even assuming the more horrific case that the page was a malicious prank isn't true, I really doubt that they intended Wikinews' scope to include hosting obituaries for classmates, published or unpublished, for days on end, as some sort of prospective article, rather than an obvious candidate for speedy deletion. As for the rest, you're just illustrating perfectly why I listed your involvement as being one of the possible reasons why it's been failing over the years. You clearly paid no attention to anything I said beyond the point where I said I was an experienced Wikipedia editor, which seems to have caused you to lose the plot completely and go off on what seems to be a typical broad brush anti-Wikipedia rant, with no relevance whatsoever to anything I actually said (where for example did I even say that Wikinews was a joke?). I can only wonder at the arrogance it takes for you to assume that I was talking about your remarks about Commons. I wasn't in fact referring to them at all, they're not remotely relevant to the point I was making. And I can only wonder at your apparent need to assume anything about my comment beyond what it said just so you can conflate it with the views of someone you apparently already hate. Unsurprisingly, your assumption as to my meaning, was way off base - I merely refer to it being continued as a Foundation project. Cronos Fratnum (talk) 20:10, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Accessible "within one click from the main page" implies listed on the main page, which is a somewhat disingenuous way of framing things. As to Commons, it would seem we both see different problems with that particular project; it seemed a reasonable assumption you were referring to how that related to Wikinews since that is the project under discussion here. And, Tony1? Hate? No, too strong an expression there. and, I apologise for tarring you with the same brush. You most-certainly have not engaged in malicious defamation, which I have asked him to remove from this page.
However, ceasing to continue Wikinews as a Foundation project is not under discussion here; that covers far more than a single language project. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:02, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OposseI am opposed completely. English Wikinews is read the first version of Wikinews, their lack of activity is not sufficient for a closure. So all projects in different languages ​​that do not have constant activity should be closed? No. I suggest you do a campaign to promote the English Wikinews edition especially designed for students of journalism. --MadriCR (talk) 18:13, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Wikinews fill a important gap between what should be considered encyclopedic articles and news articles that have nothing to do in wikipedia. This is an important an valuable project on this point. -- ChristianT (talk) 18:32, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong oppose Esteban (talk) 18:48, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 'Support. Since others are ignoring the quick-closure of this, I will too. Wikinews has long been plagued by problems, and they are well known. Frankly, Wikinews is a colossal embarrassment to WMF and the only reason it doesn't make the entire project look bad is that almost nobody actually reads it. The community is far too small and as a result, far too rife with POV concerns. Case in point: try and find a story in the North America portal that is not focused on the United States. All portals have stories that are 2-3 months old on their main pages. And while greater participation would theoretically mitigate or resolve these issues, it seems that the insular nature of this community is hard to break through. But most importantly, and perhaps most damning, Wikipedia does a better job covering the news than Wikinews does. Articles are short, lack depth, and pretty much regurgitates what legitimate news sources do far better than we do. This project simply lacks a real purpose, and as such, acts as little more than a drain on resources. Resolute (talk) 20:39, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • "a drain on resources"? The most valuable resource of any wiki project is people's time. For English Wikinews to be a "drain" presupposes that said time would be redeployed elsewhere on WMF projects.
But, thank you for pointing out the "vote" has been closed as inappropriate; it's hardly the most-obvious of things on the page. --Brian McNeil / talk 21:14, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment Comment. I am reading Closing projects policy.
    • Inactivity in itself is no valid reason.
    • Absence of content since the wiki's creation is a valid reason. Does not apply: at Wikinews, 19,303 articles have been published since the start of the project. [6].
    • Other reasons for non-English wikis and do not apply here.
  • The "hostile environment" argument is many sided.
    • First off, at Wikinews, unlike many many other Wikimedia projects, people can't just join and start tidying things up: a vast majority of the content is archived and not editable. The only things a newcomer can do are write his own news articles, or add to the others' news articles that failed review; both tasks need attetntion and are not easy for unexperienced user, and as such, likely to encounter another failed review. The Wikinews people are trying to remedy this by replacing the "failed" verdict by "not ready" to make it easier to think of it, and by reviewing articles in a timely fashion: both things are in my opinion accounting for a less hostile environment.
    • Do Wikinews people help newcomers? Yes, a huge amount of help hit my talk page back in 2009. If a user is interested in writing news and knows how to ask questions, I think they would be answered.
  • As an active member of Wikinews -- an Administrator -- I am leaving this as a comment, and abstain from casting a vote. Cheers, --Gryllida 22:21, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Is there any point continuing to beat the dead horsethis discussion? Given that Wikinews isn't going to be closed, can we knock off the silly trolling and get back to writing the news and/or building an encyclopedia etc.? —Tom Morris (talk) 23:20, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is not trolling: it's a legitimate discussion that is no doubt going to be raised repeatedly until either WN is wiped off the map or is vastly, vastly improved. See my suggestion on the talk page, too. Tony (talk) 12:52, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong oppose Just a symbolic vote from me as this is obviously not going to pass. I don't know how people could say wikinews was unwelcoming. I was offered great help by members there when I first joined. -- CalF (talk) 23:33, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strong oppose Not a vote, obviously, seen the early (and so much apt) closure. As a due disclosure, I say that I'm sysop on it.wikinews — even there similar issue arises from time to time: sometimes someone not satisfied by articles' quality or covered arguments, sometimes just someone who doesn't like the project itself.
    I would say to anyone: "Better is the enemy of good enough", which is especially true in a project where time is not an infinite resource (as opposed to Wikipedia, where an article may be improved for years, not just some days or hours, even putting aside the issue of quantity of active editors).
    So I would ask: please, refrain from disqualifying other's work — maybe it's not the best, but, while it's not harmfull nor a waste of resources, you can simply ignore it and positively aim your energies elsewhere.
    -- Codicorumus  « msg 19:18, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose but adress issues There are existing the issues which Adam Cuerden described in his nomination, they had been discussed also on the Foundation mailing list, and they have been the main reason why last year English Wikinews was forked. It is true, that Pi zero is trying hard in disgusting users and driving them away, as can be seen in this discussion, which even did him not hesitate to refrain from admin action in own affairs, as in here. Without adressing this issues I believe we'll get this proposal on the table more frequently. --Matthiasb (talk) 23:55, 20 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. I'm of the opinion that this is evidence that, right now, any thought to close the project cannot possibly be justified on activity grounds. And, we likely owe a "backhanded" thank-you to those arguing for closure to some of the recent activity.
Given that it is the Israel-Palestine conflict much of the activity is focused on, my view is the 'debate' on content is robust, but largely civil and constructive. Which, I conclude, invalidates the "other" reasons used to put forward a proposal for closure and suggests such are outdated views evidencing personal prejudices and/or a desire to run the project in a manner which is counter to that which is likely to produce quality content. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:18, 22 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Closed, So all projects in different languages that do not have constant activity should be closed? (Sory, I know little english.)İncelemeelemani (talk) 16:33, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment on purpose of Wikinews - the nature of news makes it very expensive for cooperations because they energy and money put into a paper or a tv program has to pay itself back within 24 hours. News is only news only shortly after it has been announced. While an article in an encyclopaedia can be watched thousands of times during a long time, and still being interesting, real news is only interesting for one day. This would result in that there are much much much resources needed for an equal attractive Wikinews compared to Wikipedia, that's like thinking you can get 300% profit on your money. We work here as volunteers, while news agencies and media are paid for the work which they are paid of by advertisements and subscriptions. It is like we let Vincent van Gogh or Rembrandt paint houses instead of paintings. The conclusion I can draw is that the expectations of the users on Wikinews is too high, very much too high, and also in the wrong direction. We should stop thinking we can cope with commercial news agencies the same way as they work with news. Instead we should redefine our goals with Wikinews. Let's stop dreaming, don't of think Wikinews as if it is an commercial news agency and let us get realistic, let us re-focus! I can image a world in what every human being can decide for him/herself which story they want to see in the media: in Wikinews. People can decide for themselves what news can be written. Also we must realize what value old news stories have as public accessible archive for the future. Romaine (talk) 13:13, 28 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment in Wikinews and Incubator - normal articles with information that is added to Wikinews will never be deleted, closing a project with content only means that the complete project is moved to another domain (Incubator) with all links getting broken for no reason!
    This is completely pointless and Incubator isn't designed for that. In the past we have had one project which got only small activity: the Dutch Wikinews. The voting mostly got reactions from people from the Dutch Wikipedia who had almost never been active on Wikinews, the arguments given for closure were very much biased, most users were misinformed, voted based on false assumptions, and didn't have a clear picture of what the result of closure would be. Wikinews was also being framed and drawn into discussions (on the Dutch Wikipedia) like "news should not be in Wikipedia" and "articles about disasters in the news should not be in Wikipedia", and more such non-relevant discussions.Among a lot of Dutch Wikipedians there was a negative perception while they have never been active on the project. And the time of the voting, the project was active, some users wrote articles every week, and the admins kept the project clean (there were enough active admins). The wiki is functioning normally with a low speed. Over the years this had resulted in more than 1500 articles which were mentioned on many places and the project was still growing. Currently the project is out of sight on Incubator were still users write articles about news. First those articles where in their own domain, now they are hidden in Incubator where it seems nobody will find them. Also, such big project doesn't fit in Incubator. It doesn't function in Incubator, it killed the community there was before and the information added misses a basic aspect/function: the information isn't re-used, and that is the purpose of all information. It is considered the biggest mistake in Wikimedia, certainly for Incubator but also wider. The proposal to close the English Wikinews would mean that nothing has been learned from the earlier mistake of the closure. That is disrespectful for the users who have worked hard and have put time and energy in valuable articles. Romaine (talk) 13:52, 28 November 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Strongly Oppose - I look at Wikinews every day on the mobile site and it covers things I wouldn't normally see on NYT or BBC. Lucasoutloud (talk) 22:15, 3 December 2012 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it.