Wikinews/Open English

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

The Open English Wikinews edition is beginning to develop documents.

Documents needed[edit]

Wikinews/Open English/Main Page[edit]

A presentable Main Page for the project. Be especially creative here - no need to duplicate the exact layout of an existing edition.

Wikinews/Open English/Article flags[edit]

Simple templates for flagging problem articles

Community pages[edit]

Help/Development pages[edit]

We may want to create:

Please create these documents here on Meta and then put a note on Wikinews/Start a new edition when it is done. As a naming convention, please use [[open_en.wikinews Main Page]] or [[Template:open_en.wikinews NPOV]], where xy is your language code. Templates and links can be broken while the pages are constructed here on Meta.


1. How is en.wn currently stopping new users from contributing?
It isn't. However, it is adding considerable complications to the process which may:
  • Confuse or scare off contributors who are unfamiliar with the Mediawiki software
  • Cause articles which do not "follow the rules" of including {{develop}} or {{publish}} to be lost.
The process currently in place on en.Wikinews is unique in Wikimedia in that it requires all articles submitted to include elements or they will not be visible to readers of the site. This is not very wiki at all. Further, they have implemented a system for new articles to be created which is a great improvement in that it allows the use of a template to pre-fill the article with text - but it already developing scope creep including "do this/don't do this" instructions in html comments.
2. In which direction is en.wn now going?
  • User:Amgine's Opinion: It appears that en.Wikinews is moving from a proscriptive to a prescriptive model of news development, toward a closed community - that is, instead of accepting all submissions and working collaboratively to make them publishable they are creating a process whereby only articles which include specific elements or are edited by members of the "inside" community to include those elements will be allowed on the site. This form of exclusionary article development is typical of current news source models, and is one of the original justifications for the creation of the Wikinews project.
3. How are decisions made on en.wn and why can't it be solved there?
Decisions on en.Wikinews are generally made through community consensus, which arises in a range of venues but often through talk pages or on the Water Cooler. This process requires a level of trust which does not currently exist in the community.
4. How will Open English differ from en.wn?
That would mostly be determined by the community, but one of the justifications for its creation is to remove impediments to its use by non-Wikinewsies. To implement this, an upgrade to the DynamicPageList extension already in use on Wikinews sites has been written which can select articles which are not yet published. This brings all the functionality of the developing stories list to every article, and not just those which have "followed the rules" of including special templates or categories which new users might not be aware of. An implementation of the input box extension to create an article (and a hard link) under a user-defined title, without a custom new article text template and without a custom new article instructions, would be useful to make creation of new articles painless while still supporting the existing processes for updating the Mediawiki site messages.
Following on the openness concept, Open English is also envisioned as an education platform. Working with schools to develop curricula which give students both real-world journalism experiences and opportunities to practice research, writing, and social skills.
5. Why don't we just improve Wikinews?
See #3, above. The subject of making en.Wikinews more open is not actually being addressed on the website, although technical tools to do so have been created and implemented on the site.