The Signpost is normally a monthly community-written and -edited online newspaper covering the English Wikipedia, its sister projects, the Wikimedia Foundation, and the Wikimedia movement at large. The original name of the newspaper was The Wikipedia Signpost; it was shortened to the The Signpost in August 2010 as a symbol of an expansion in scope beyond the English Wikipedia.
Founded in 2005, The Signpost is produced by volunteers, and is independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and other Wikimedia organizations. Our statement of purpose guides our efforts. Editorial decisions are made by the editorial board, composed of Wikimedia volunteers, and ultimately by the Editor in Chief.
Unlike most Wikipedia pages, each Signpost article carries a byline to indicate its author, and is edited by at least one other team member. We welcome post-publication edits such as grammatical and spelling corrections to articles, subject to review by the Signpost team; we value our readers' efforts to correct simple mistakes and provide needed clarifications. Anyone may submit articles; suggestions and news tips are welcomed on our suggestions page. Aspiring contributors may wish to consult our Quick start page and our newsroom.
Our readers have several options for subscription or notification of new issues, outlined on our subscription page.
Statement of purpose
The magazine focuses on three things, broadly speaking:
- Inform: The primary purpose of The Signpost has always been to inform the community about events that affect and are affected by the Wikimedia movement. Though it was originally created topically an English Wikipedia–only publication, it has long since expanded its scope to cover the Wikimedia movement at large, a transformation symbolically completed by the 2011 renaming of The Wikipedia Signpost to just The Signpost. Thus, the correct tone for most reports will match that of the average Wikimedian. The Signpost does not specifically maintain a commitment to neutrality in the same way that Wikipedia articles do, but the magazine is nonetheless known, and aims to serve, as a balanced and impartial news source—a recurring problem is the difficulty of representing consensus viewpoints in a critical lens. Its editors and contributors are expected to exercise good judgment at all times, and generally speaking reports usually include at least some mention of all major positions adopted by Wikimedians on the issues at stake.
- Entertain: A wish to entertain provides the incentive behind some of the publication's lighter-hearted features. The Signpost aims to be a quality online magazine, after all, and is not an encyclopedia itself, and so allows many things—editorializing, narrative, original research—that would be unacceptable in Wikipedia article space. It is worth emphasising, however, that unless there is good reason (and this is highlighted to the reader as a preface to a piece), writers always strive "to maintain [a level of] objectivity as would be appropriate for an independent media organization elsewhere" (in the words of The Signpost founder Michael Snow).
- Publish: The Signpost is the best space available to present ideas, publish community research, and draw attention to a cause before both the English Wikipedia community and the Wikimedia movement more broadly. We are a community organized and executed publication reaching thousands of readers every month, attaining a readership—and an impact—for our publications that far exceeds any of the other, more disparate publication channels and newsletters maintained among the projects. The Wikimedia Foundation Blog is supposedly the most impactful channel of communication available to the movement—yet in our 2015 readership survey we found that a significant number of our readers did not know of the blog's existence, and that those that did usually found The SignpostTemplate:'s content more appealing. The Signpost as a platform is available for you, our readers, to use. Have a project that you'd like to highlight? An issue that you'd like to bring to light? An essay you'd like to publish? Bring it to us and let us help you to make it known. The Signpost solicits articles, op-eds, and special reports from the community, and publishes them subject to the approval of the editor(s)-in-chief. See How to contribute for more details.
The Signpost team
- For more on The Signpost's administration and the responsibilities of being a regular contributor, see our coordination guidelines.