Responses to the press

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

see also PR Department for new confusion

The Wikimedia PR Department aims to keep an eye on mentions of WP and other projects in the press (and in direct feedback from writers and organizations), gather clippings of positive and negative comments and reviews, co-ordinate polite responses and official corrections, and generally help improve the public image of these projects.

This is a shared outlet for anyone who feels like dashing off a letter in defence of our great endeavour, or like announcing to the stars some new reference to a Wikimedia project (and figuring out how to react to/publicize that reference).

See also Wikimedia press releases (Wikimedia press releases/One million Wikipedia articles (US), Wikimedia press releases/Wikipedia vs Brockhaus and Encarta)

Reference materials[edit]


An announcement on the village pump might be a good idea for an important letter that needs to be done quickly. Ideally, the response will include:

  1. A courteous, professional lead-in,
  2. A section addressing the specific concern that they brought up (admit mistakes if necessary)
  3. (A general defense of Wikipedia and the Wiki concept, along with some examples of our best work... where appropriate)

Current Issues[edit]

A list of issues we have yet to respond to. With external links, and a summary of the problem.

None at present
When you start a response, move the content from the "open" section here, with an internal link to the response (Use [[/articlename]]). Newest issues first.


Past Issues[edit]



  • 9/21 Letter from UK educational agency ('National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth' in Warwick) on its article's development, sent to Jimbo on 9/21. Status: responded to 9/21 by Fred Bauder; see the article talk page.
  • 9/19 PR/Letter from Thijs van D. about copyvio on en:Fat_Blue. copyvio removed within 90 minutes; response sent, reply received 9/23.
  • 9/9 Washington Post comparison of Britannica and WP (and WP's disclaimer). Status: published 9/18; see below.


  • Financial Times - Possible rebuttal to Steve Weber, professor of political science at the University of California, Berkeley and author of a recent book on the success of open source, said: "As a teacher I would never use such a thing. I am a great fan of quality control." [1]
Also see Weber's comments on wikipedia in ACM Ubiquity
Status: unknown
  • A CRN article sounds like it is claiming IBM owns Wikipedia! The article states "Researchers showed off IBM's Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, as fruit of that research." (Yes, it really does link to the chocolate article!).
Status: unknown (some mention of a response to correct them... followup? worth writing again to find out)
Wikipedia is no longer mentioned in the article. There is only reference to "new Wiki tools". --User:AstroNomer 20:15, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)



Responses being drafted.


  • Slashdot: responses to the 1mil article about WP.
  • 2004-09-09 Washington Post : response to Spreading Knowledge, The Wiki Way , (Britannica takes on our disclaimer, pg E1)
    Update (2004-09-13 12:56 UTC) : Letter sent.
    Update (2004-09-14 16:45 -0400) : John White from writes for confirmation
    Update (2004-09-18) : published, in print and online.
  • Slashdot: responses to the responses to the July interview with Jimbo.
  • The Register: Fuller hot air | fiddlers on the hoof | followups to each - how many were sent? Private responses by Fennec, Raul654
    • Send a thank-you letter; note that their publication effectively fixed the article
    • Great time to ask pending questions about how to improve our Register article.
    • Other relevant fixes: w:en:Kant, w:en:Mary Midgley (not done yet)

  • Red Herring: responses to the "Wiki wars" article. Sent


Issues suggested for response, but ignored

  • 2004-09-1x The Register, September. A few vague, stale column-inches about WP consisting mainly of quotes from readers. Slow news week.

Interested parties[edit]

(both implied and explicitly stated)

See also: Wikimedia Press Team