Jump to content

Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Norwegian Wikinews 2

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
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:
    The proposal was rejected considering that
  1. (the policy says "Inactivity in itself is no valid reason; additional problems are. Absence of content since the wiki's creation is a valid reason".)
  2. the last recent activity was on July 14 (and before that on June 10) RC. While this is not exactly brilliant, the project certainly has no absence of content, and from past experience of moving the even larger inactive Wikinewses in Dutch and Hungarian back to Incubator, it was clear that 1) the import process will be long and annoying; 2) activity restart is of course much more likely, and better visible on the own subdomain. --MF-W 02:01, 14 July 2013 (UTC)[reply]

  • Type: 1 (routine proposal)
  • Proposed outcome: closure
  • Proposed action regarding the content: should be transferred to Wikimedia Incubator
  • Notice on the project: n:no:Hovedside (see site notice)
  • Informed Group(s): (Which chapters, wiki projects, and other community groups have been informed, if any.)



Cited from Talk:Proposals_for_closing_projects: Norwegian, bokmål (no): Warns on its start page that Wikinews currently has "little activity" and indeed seems to have more or less stopped in 2012, with "news" on the start page going back as far as 2009. One of the "top stories" is Whitney Houston's death in February, 2012(!) User:Gestumblindi. This "News"-project is dead. Even if "no activity is cited not as a reason to close a project - a dead wikinews project happens to be a different reason. As stated by many users for many times, wikinews has a unique problem among wikimedia-projects. The content in the wiki gets less valuable the more time has passed. Wikinews does not produce the kind of quality which passes the test of time. --NeuerNutzer2009 (talk) 12:28, 26 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]



I would like to emphasis a few things:

  • Unlike most "other" news sites, Wikinews has a copyleft license. Once can use its content and modify it as long as he leaves a note he used material from Wikinews somewhere.
  • Unlike most "other" news sites, Wikinews welcomes original reporting — fist-hand journalism and exclusive interviews, also known as citizen journalism. On English Wikinews, you can find them here. They typically have a good coverage, if not better than that of other news sites.
  • Wikinews contributes to sister projects. Whenever someone looks for a photo for their news article, either from Flickr or one he took himself, he uploads it to Commons and may also work on expanding relevant Wikipedia aricle(s) about the topics an article is about.
  • Inactivity alone isn't a reason to close a project. (Note that it is the only project which allows original research — Wikipedia does not — and checks it for quality and lack of bias.)

Would you please take a look at the news they produce and make a judgment of their quality? Does it seem that there are problems with the content itself? If the only problem is that the community is too small to make fresh output, then it is what it says on the tin — every article states thedate it was published and when an event happened — and I feel that inviting Norwegian Wikipedia contributors or other people to help could be more appropriate than closing the project. Regards,
--Gryllida 23:35, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

A minor clarification, Wikinews is not the only project that allows original content. Wikibooks does too (for example: sharing recipes, writing from personal knowledge on a subject), as does Wikiversity. Tempodivalse [talk] 23:51, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
There is one major problem with the content: outdated news is presented as news (yes, I know entries are dated, so you can check when they were written, but the presentation is still that of a news site). The static-ness of the site also presents some problems with respect to the "undue weight" given to the few stories that remain on the front page for more or less forever. Some of them involve named living persons and companies. Apart from that, most content seems to be short summaries of stories from other sources, not original research, and uninteresting as such. Danmichaelo (talk) 14:17, 5 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Each article says when it's published; it's not misleading to keep them. And as small as wikinews:no:Kategori:Førstehand is, the policies say that inactive projects don't hurt anything. I don't see why we are getting defensive: nobody pointed other issues with the project. Gryllida 14:23, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
As I understand it, this is a proposal to formally close the project (which is de facto already closed), not to delete the content. Gestumblindi (talk) 16:20, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
What @Gryllida says. Wikinews is a news project. Articles are not open to continual editing. That sort of thing is the domain of Wikipedia. News happens and is reported based on what happened and was known in the moment. Thus, Barcelona wins the Copa del Rey and Wikinews reports on their victory at the time. If it turns out in 2014 it was discovered that Messi was using performance enhancing drugs and the win is taken away, that is a NEW news story. It would not involve updating of old news to say Barcelona lost the Copa del Ray because of performance enhancing drug use. Watch news on television to see this. You are not suddenly going to turn on your television news today and find out who won 2005 Tour de France. That is not how news works. When I tune in to watch Chicago area news, I am not going to get reports on how the Chicago Cubs won the World Series (in 1908). --LauraHale (talk) 22:15, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I would like to raise a question here, about n:no:Økende spenning rundt Nord Korea: Wikinews intervjuer Scott Snyder og Dr Robert Kelly being published yesterday. Does this proposal have merit after such fresh, new content? Cheers. Gryllida 12:18, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

the "fresh, new content" is an unattributed translation of n:North Korea's rising tensions: Wikinews interviews Scott Snyder and Dr Robert Kelly and needs to be checked for possible license violation. --NeuerNutzer2009 (talk) 22:44, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
How is it unattributed?! It has a link to the "Orginal tekst" at the bottom... πr2 (t • c) 22:48, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Is it because it doesn't have a link to the oldid? πr2 (t • c) 22:51, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I created the new article on Norweigan Wikinews and was the author on English Wikinews - as it was so there would be no problems with regards to 'attribution'. --Computron (talk) 19:00, 10 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

No offence intended, but while the translation appears to convey the message well and would work in any informal setting, the sentence construction is totally American and there are lots of grammatical errors. This would never be published in any other Norwegian newspaper, and is just another example of what makes Norwegian Wikinews look silly. Danmichaelo (talk) 14:38, 13 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure if it occurred, it is a interview - there will be some grammatical errors as per the way people naturally speak. There is in the English version as well - it is a transcript of a person to person interview. --Computron (talk) 18:52, 13 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Obviously there is some merit to calling a news project silly if it's half-dead. Whether we go with common sense as we see it, or with policies, is another question; it would seem more sensible to stick to the policies for the time being and stop bragging about inactivity being a problem at a news site: it is a Wikimedia project after all, and it should not be exempted from policies unless and until the policies re-define inactivity for a news site as a problem. Gryllida 12:11, 14 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

More activity; as before, translations from English Wikinews:

--Gryllida 12:25, 20 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The activity only consists of user from en who are translating articles. Do you have any plans to attract a community for no.wn? Because if the one user doing the translations loses his interest, the wiki will be dead again. --NeuerNutzer2009 (talk) 15:12, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, there are plans to attract more audience, more translators and writers. The process is slow. It seems the current semi-dead community of the project is not preventing such progress. Gryllida 06:55, 23 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Invalidate proposal?


1, 2, 3, 4 more... I'd like to ask, who thinks we should invalidate the proposal due to the recent fresh submissions? Thanks. Gryllida 13:25, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The decision for ending a proposal is being made by the LangCom. As long as there is no decision by them, the proposal stays open. Besides, I'm rather astonished that you would count translations of one article per day by one en.wikinewsi as activity. --NeuerNutzer2009 (talk) 15:36, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

The proposal alleges past inactivity should justify forcibly preventing future activity. Now that inactivity no longer holds, you suggest ignoring current activity on, it would seem, the grounds that you disapprove of the contributor. --Pi zero (talk) 16:37, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Machine translations?


Well, these articles are all extremely bad machine translations into Norwegian. Whoever made them seems to not know Norwegian at all. So, no, they don't invalidate this proposal. Jon Harald Søby (talk) 18:44, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]

If they are machine translations, that would be interesting (though irrelevant to this discussion), since I'd heard they were done by a member of Norwegian Wikipedia; the two statements are not mutually exclusive, of course. The quality of the translation does not, of course, have bearing on the discussion; if you aren't contributing to Norwegian Wikinews yourself, discounting a contributor's work because you think it should be of higher quality doesn't seem much less bad than discounting it because you don't like the contributor. --Pi zero (talk) 19:02, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
So far, we're finding your assessment of the translations non-reproducible; see below, where I've requested specifics. --Pi zero (talk) 00:29, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I have asked Computron to put translator's nicknames on article talks, or have him ask translators create articles themselves. He had obtained these translations from #wikipedia-no on IRC. Once we figure out who the translator(s) are(were), I think Jon Harald Søby could contact them and discuss the translations quality. Cheers. --Gryllida 01:19, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]


  • Strong support. Note: The problem is not the inactivity as such but the resulting lack of usefulness. NeuerNutzer2009 is right that the issue of inactivity in Wikinews is unique - whereas e.g. a currently inactive Wikibooks, Wikisource, or Wiktionary still may offer valuable content, the raison d’être for Wikinews is offering news. A small, random selection of very old "news" isn't what users are looking for. However, I think we need to close Wikinews in its entirety, as the whole project is obviously failed, as discussed at Talk:Proposals for closing projects. Gestumblindi (talk) 13:08, 26 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    • Wrong. Please read Wikinews carefully for understandig what Wikinews is. Especially for Wikinews the argument inactivity is as much invalid as it is possible. --Matthiasb (talk) 16:40, 26 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
      • I have read it carefully. First sentence: "Wikinews is a project which aims to collaboratively report and summarize news on all subjects from a neutral point of view". That's not what this project is currently doing. Any reporting or summarizing has stopped. Of course, the few news articles that actually exist are historical documents, as is said at Wikinews#Article stages, and can and should be kept as such. NeuerNutzer2009 isn't proposing deleting the content, and neither am I. But it's simply not reasonable to keep zombie projects pseudo-running indefinitely. Gestumblindi (talk) 16:57, 26 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
        • Agreed. It defines Wikinews as a project which aims to collaboratively report and summarize news on all subjects from a neutral point of view. That's not that the project has to be perfect and/or active all the time. --Matthiasb (talk) 07:27, 27 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
        • I suspect that page may be dated, especially the "all subjects" bit, since English Wikinews is far from comprehensive, for example, and doesn't even list that in its mission. Gryllida 22:28, 9 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support, reluctantly. Largely per Gestumblindi - for other projects it doesn't matter if nobody touches them, but for Wikinews it reduces the usability of the project. I do not support closing all Wikinews projects at this time. --Rschen7754 08:19, 27 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    • You might see that, for example, this and that was published within just a day after the event. There is not many news, but when they are, they are fresh. There are no other problems other than inactivity and I suspect that when policies say "inactivity alone isn't a reason for closure", odds are this extends to Wikinews too. Gryllida 02:03, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support per Gestumblindi. A news site without news is useless, and I also find it slightly embarrassing for the Norwegian wiki community. Also, living in Norway, I don't see the big need for such a site – there are just too many other varied (online) newspapers for it to be attractive I think. Danmichaelo (talk) 10:50, 27 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong support as one of the original supporters and one of the most active members (I'm still in the top five even though I haven't edited in a couple of years). This is failed project, and as Danmichaelo says, there are many more sources people would use instead. Jon Harald Søby (talk) 18:28, 27 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support, agree with Jon Harald Søby. Regards, Kjetil_r 08:58, 29 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Wikinews is a terrible idea, and for a news site, inactivity is a sufficiently fatal flaw. English Wikinews next, please? Adam Cuerden (talk) 22:50, 31 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. I agree with Jon Harald Søby and the others. Wikinews in Norwegian is a failed project. Blue Elf (talk) 16:14, 11 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong support. Nodes on the web that are dead are doomed to be dead forever.--Aschmidt (talk) 21:01, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. This wiki is only translated text from English Wikinews. --IanPlaystationNerd (talk) 23:48, 26 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]


  • Inactivity is, according to the policy for closing projects, no reason for closing a project. Please address other issues. Speedy keep. --Matthiasb (talk) 11:12, 26 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think this should be left to the Norwegian wiki communities to decide. Norwegian Wikinews has previously been supported by those communities, especially at Nynorsk and Bokmål Wikipedia, so without any input from those communities it is rather difficult to decide what to do. In Norway Wikinews have a real competition from other community maintained newspapers, and in addition there is a large number of traditional nespapers. That makes me think that Wikinews has trouble with the competition. I think the probability to find contributors for Wikinews is smaller than same probability to find contributors for Wikipedia. The number of the speakers of the language is rather small and it could be to small to support a Wikinews project. — Jeblad 09:43, 27 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose: There appears to be no Norwegian editors present here. Suggests outreach attempts were minimal. That news is old does not mean there is older news lacks value. In fact, many Wikipedias believe that news websites are veriable sources that go towards proving relative importance of a topic. This implies inherent value in keeping the project. --LauraHale (talk) 13:43, 29 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    "There appears to be no Norwegian editors present here"? Look at the Support section and the comment right above yours. πr2 (t • c) 13:47, 29 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    Engagement appears to be only with English speaking Norwegians, and only really one. I stand by this point. Beyond which, news still has historical value despite those who say differently. The community could be re-activated at any time. --LauraHale (talk) 14:09, 29 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    Jeblad (opposed), Kjetil_r, Jon Harald Søby, Danmichaelo (supported) commented. BTW, almost all Norwegians speak English very well, so why does it matter whether or not they are "English speaking Norwegians"? πr2 (t • c) 14:14, 29 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Object to closure, on principle. I only believe in closing projects if they are actively causing harm. Perhaps the project is not being useful now, but why deny speakers of Norwegian the opportunity to contribute to Wikinews in their language in the future? If this project goes back to the incubator, and interest is revived later, then it will simply have to be moved back out again. If there isn't any interest -- well, too bad, but the wiki is not hurting anyone. It's just sitting there, patiently waiting to be populated. Tempodivalse [talk] 23:08, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, as PiRSquared17 noted above, the majority of those Norwegian contributors who gave their opinion here are in favor of closure (including one of the most active members). We're now in the absurd situation that people not involved in a project or in the Norwegian Wiki community at all are voting for keeping it "on principle" and it might be kept despite being largely abandoned by the Norwegians, as it seems. Jeblad is IMHO right in saying "I think this should be left to the Norwegian wiki communities to decide" - the project has been informed by the proponent, but I fear now that there's so much lack of interest in this project that it will be hard to get more opinions from Norway. Gestumblindi (talk) 13:14, 6 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Inactivity alone isn't a reason to close a project. If there are other reasons as well, they've not been described in this proposal adequately, but I can't them. --Gryllida 23:18, 4 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - if rules/regulations which are a set of prescribed strict regulatory principles in black and which state that it shouldn't close for inactive purposes, then it should not close. If this is a problem then maybe that rule needs changing primarily and then a discussion to close this under an inactivity excuse.--Computron (talk) 22:12, 7 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. First, there's an irony that whether or not a mainstream news source decides to make its archives accessible, or inaccessible, is an inherently newsworthy story. I am well-aware locking the database does not render them inaccessible; but, in the wake of the discussion proposing closure of all language variants, this follows with unseemly haste. And, the response to efforts aiming to counter the validity of 'already discounted by policy' inactivity arguments, by translating an original report from another language, demonstrate to me why the policy sets out to avoid getting a database unlocked as a hurdle to contributing content to any project. I'm not minded to look kindly on the allegation that a story written on another language version of the project might violate license terms, that strikes me as trying to make the effort look like something problematic which adds to the 'excuses' for locking the database on the project.
Are there any real objections which fit in with the closure policy? I'm trying hard here not to make a "Niemöller Appeal" for opposition to this, but a more-focussed closure motion, which lacks a justification within my understanding of the policy, simply seems a continuation of the blanket closure discussion.
In closing, I must say I find some involved in that debate next choosing to tinker with policy, when the wind proves to be against them, is ... disconcerting. --Brian McNeil / talk 19:47, 10 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Not really. For more than a year, from March 2012 to April 2013, there were no new articles. A single user (Computron) has now recently created some articles for Norwegian Wikinews as translations of English Wikinews; a response to the deletion discussion here, as it seems. If this is enough to say that an otherwise dead project is now "active", oh well... Gestumblindi (talk) 22:19, 22 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
*machine translations. Bad ones at that. Jon Harald Søby (talk) 18:54, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Our further investigations indicate the translations are neither machine nor bad. --Pi zero (talk) 00:58, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Out of curiosity, who is translating these? A native speaker? BTW I'm sure a native Norwegian speaker (like Jon Harald Søby) could tell whether or not the translations are bad. I'd be happy if these were being translated by someone with at least an advanced knowledge of Norwegian. Can you confirm this? PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:03, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm given to understand Computron got the translations from various Norwegians, and after these allegations were raised, asked another Norwegian not involved in the translations to look them over, resulting in some copyedits (which are visible on recent changes) and an assessment that the translations were pretty good. I agree the discrepancy between this and the 'bad machine translations' assessment is curious. --Pi zero (talk) 01:20, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
If the translations were done by Wikimedians, it would be nice to have them do it from their own accounts, or to at least mention the original author in the edit summary (or talk page). Anyway, nice to have that clarified (as on IRC). Jhs: can you give specific concerns about the new content, or does it just generally look like a machine translation? PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:27, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I left Computron a note to put translators name on article talks, or have them create articles themselves. I did ask it at the start but now also let him know it's a requirement. Cheers. --Gryllida 01:30, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose, inactivity is not a reason to close this project. Juraastro (talk) 13:28, 28 April 2013 (UTC).[reply]
  • Oppose. The translation activities going on highlight one reason, at least, why inactivity is an invalid reason for closing a project. The only purpose served by closure would be to prevent future activity. --Pi zero (talk) 13:51, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    The translation activities going on are worthless, and diminish the little value the project (as an archive) already has. Jon Harald Søby (talk) 18:54, 28 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
    Thus far, our inquires of independent individuals do not corroborate your allegations about the translations. Are you basing your assessment of the translations on one in particular, and if so, which one? --Pi zero (talk) 00:26, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. There is some articles since few month. The project may be "dead" right now, but may be not in the future. As Tempodivalse noted above, the closure deny speakers of Norwegian the opportunity to contribute to Wikinews in their language in the future. Gyrostat (talk) 17:32, 29 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. Per Juraastro. SM ** =^^= ** 17:57, 30 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - I am one of the native speakers that are collaberating with Computron on the recent activity. Its funny to see all the support raised for this closure with main argument that it lacks activity. As inactivity alone isn't a reason to close a project I suppose the last surge of activity wont be a hinderence for people that support a closure. I am also sad to see Jhs and some of the other norwegians supporting the closure of this project; Jhs is the leader of Wikimedia Norway, the chapter founded with a mission "to strengthen Wikimedia projects, particularly in the Norwegian and Sami languages". As long as this proposal is active, there will be almost impossible for the project to recruit new contributors. What effort has been put into trying to get an active community? I would answer that with "Not enough", we can do better than this... -- Atluxity (talk) 05:53, 7 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - Inactivity is not a reason to close a project. Amqui (talk) 03:12, 8 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. Inactivity for WNs is a very big problem, and IMHO could be a reason for it's closure (since AFAIK closure saves static information while preventing it's edit on domain). But i see that now several users have started working in this project so even if move this project to incubator now it is obviously that it will be moved back in about two monthes. I do not see reasons to perform such silly playing with import tools so I vote to keep it as it is - not closed on it's own domain. I hope that current activity will rise and such proposals will never more disturb this project. --Base (talk) 21:48, 9 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

General Comments

  • I'm glad that new articles are being created, but you need to have a community to sustain this. You shouldn't just ask random users to translate stuff and then stop when the proposal is closed. You should try to get users to actively contribute. However, it seems that the translation is keeping this project alive for now so I would oppose closure. This is not a vote. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:55, 9 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Also, although the policy says that inactivity is not a reason for closure, I think it might be considered one for Wikinews editions. It's up to the Langcom member who closes this to decide if this is against policy. BTW, I'm just commenting because I was asked to. PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:57, 9 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't agree that Wikinewses should be any different from other projects for which inactivity is not a reason for closure. Any wikimedia project has two sources of value: articles that already exist, and articles that may be created in the future. In the former category, existing news articles are of course most valuable when they've just recently been created, but a news archive is also valuable as historical record of what past events looked like when they were unfolding. In the latter category, future news articles are an especially strong reason to keep a Wikinews open, because when a news article wants to be written, it wants to be written right now.
Do you have some reason to suggest the current translation efforts would stop when the closure proposal ends? This seems an unnecessary assumption.
As has been pointed out above, this proposal is itself an obstacle to community-building for the project. --Pi zero (talk) 00:02, 10 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the policy can actually be overridden with regards to inactivity, but Langcom makes the ultimate choice (it's unlikely that the project will be closed IMO).
I don't have any real reason to suggest that. I just have experience with small wikis that are revived and later become inactive, including a few I have >100 edits on. Regards, PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:27, 11 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Okay, I see. You're just saying similar efforts to produce activity on small wikis often tail off that way. Fair enough, though it'd be well to phrase the observation in a way that visibly gives Computron the benefit of the doubt. (I see benefit of the doubt as a form of of never assume. :-) --Pi zero (talk) 10:47, 11 May 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Is this low-activity wiki harmful in any way? I think so. A standard user of our projects will see them all as one. When Wikinews seems outdated, this will reflect upon the Norwegian-language Wikipedias. Still, I don't think closing needs to be the solution, if some technical things could be implemented. I would suggest that entries are automaticly removed from the front page when they reach a certain age (one month?). Furthermore I would suggest a banner on the front page explaining that the site for the time being has low activity and encouranging readers to contribute. Regards, 09:46, 13 May 2013 (UTC) (no-wp editor GAD)[reply]

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