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WikiIndaba conference 2018/Submissions/Citizen journalism and Wikipedia

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Submission no. 036
Title of the submission
Citizen journalism and Wikipedia
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, birds of a feather discussion)
Author of the submission
Edward Hands
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Wikimedia UK
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)

Does “no original research” mean that there is no role for journalism on Wikipedia? Not at all. Television and newspapers chose what they report on, and Wikipedia editors get to chose the subjects we start new articles on. And I've started nearly 4,000 articles.

For many years, I have been starting articles on the world's billionaires. Growing inequality is a key political challenge of our times.

Paid and conflict of interest editing is the biggest issue affecting Wikipedia's credibility, and articles about businesspeople and their companies perhaps represents the bulk of this. Yet the very richest people have often lacked Wikipedia articles,and are sometimes the only people who would rather not have one.

Chief executives of major corporations have often lacked pages, and CEOs are sometimes not happy to see the “salary” field in infoboxes detail their “total compensation”.

In July 2017, I expanded our coverage on sham/scam/spam “vanity awards” to include articles on a number of these schemes. People in developing countries are particularly vulnerable to purchasing these worthless baubles.

In September 2017, I woke up to find that there had been a bombing at my local railway station. All cordoned off, even for the media circus. Seized the chance to photograph notable journalists. And the article's one photo is mine.

In November 2017, I took part in the Women in Red contest to create new articles on notable women - over 100 start-class articles, including one for every country in Africa. Almost all the articles were about activists. From the world's most powerful to perhaps the most powerless. A fascinating contrast.

And since 2006, I have photographed and written about my local area in London. If we all did this, then Wikipedia's “nearby” feature would really be amazing, and we'd never have to buy another travel guidebook.

What will attendees take away from this session?
Hoping to inspire others to create articles on what they care passionately about. How to combine information from varied reliable sources to create a coherent biography. Paid jobs for journalists are in long-term decline, but there are ever more PR people. Citizen journalists contributing to Wikipedia can help address this imbalance.
Theme of presentation

For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend WikiIndaba if your submission is not accepted?
Not sure
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final? Final

Interested attendees[edit]

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Committee decision[edit]


Reason: Lack of scope on Africa.