Talk:Ash and steam reported over Mount St. Helens

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I'm just wondering, aren't all articles curent events. Some articles are more likely to change then others but all the news could change quickly, or it wouldn't be news because it already has happened? For example the chinese government could change their decision to use non peaceful measures to stop tiawan from declaring independence, or taiwan could have a fight with china, but that would be a seperate article. ( China declares "the state shall employ nonpeaceful means") this maybe should go on the template talk page but i'll leave it here w:user:bawolff on wikipedia (don't have an account yet) 03:24, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Current event templateEdit

You're right, this should not be listed as "Current event" but "Breaking news". I will look into the template situation. - Amgine 05:16, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

okay w:user:bawolff 23:54, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

So who saw this?Edit

I can't tell from reading the article who actually witnessed this event.

Who is this mysterious "Wikinews correspondent"?

Ilya appears as the initial author. Ilya, are you in Portland?

How can Wikinews claim that someone reporting for Wikinews is a firsthand witness without attributing the report to someone with a name?

There is also a question of reputation and accountability. The Swahili word processor story identified Pingswept as the interviewer. If the veracity of that report holds up, as new readers evaluate and comment on that article, Pingswept will have succeeded at building himself up as a credible reporter, and his future reports will be taken even more seriously.

If the "Wikinews correspondent" is anonymous, and the story is later found to be faulty in some way, there is no way to hold anyone accountable for the errors in the story.

For these reasons, we must attribute firsthand reports to reporters by name, or remove the claim of eyewitness reporting.

DV 07:16, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

See Huge plume visible from Oregon, stub article, possible initial source? - Amgine 07:25, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Also see Image description on Commons, and become a witness. - Amgine 07:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I assume you're joking when you imply that looking at a photograph of an event entitles me to call myself a witness?
If the best we can do is point to an anonymous IP address, it's a bit of a stretch to claim "a Wikinews correspondent reports..."
Sure, it's obvious from the photo that the volcano is erupting, but it's now a dubious claim that anyone from Wikinews was within eyesight of this event.
I'm going to remove the language which implies firsthand eyewitness reporting of this event, until someone can step forward and claim that they were on the scene. — DV 07:35, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I claim such. See my comment at the bottom of the next section. Amgine: No, I did not base my original article submission on anything except the formatting/content suggestions of users in #wikipedia and #wikinews, and my own eyewitness account. Also, I believe that picture you linked to was posted after my article submission. Thanks! — flamingspinach | (talk) 08:48, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I am never accused of humour. Or irony. Or use of generalizations to make a point. - Amgine 07:43, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Amgine, I'm sorry that life has brought you to a point where you never use humour to make a point.
Given your clarification, what then did you mean when you posted, "and become a witness"?
I'm confused how one "becomes a witness" without physically being present at an event.
You've been one of the better contributors when it comes to journalistic propriety in the past, so I'm a bit surprised at your remark, if it is not to be interpreted as a playful remark, which seems to endorse playing fast and loose with whether someone from Wikinews was actually present to witness this event.
It's not that big a deal for this story, but as a precedent for the future, reports posted from anonymous IP addresses with no prior edit history should be regarded as suspect, shouldn't they? — DV 09:27, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
<chuckle> "I am never accused of ... use of generalizations to make a point." It was a joke.
But if you want a specific example, where were you on 9/11 when you saw the video of the plane striking the tower? What is a witness? it is someone who has experienced something and can tell you about it, verify their experiences for you. You have seen a picture ostensibly taken from Portland looking across the Columbia to Mt. St. Helens, which has a ploom of steam and ash above it. - Amgine 09:37, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I'm ashamed to say I was sleeping on the morning of 9/11. My ex-wife woke me up by calling me on the phone after the first plane hit, and it sounded like a minor accident over the phone (she failed to mention that it was the World Trade Center), so I went back to sleep. By the time I woke up, it was all over - the WTC had already fallen to the ground.
So, no I don't consider myself to be a witness to 9/11. I sometimes ask others to tell me what it was like as they watched it unfold on live television. I'm still pissed that the Internet TV Archive of all the 9/11 video went down before I could watch it all.
Anyways, I'm glad you still have a sense of humour. — DV 09:54, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Firsthand reportEdit

Sorry, I should have noted this right away. The report was done in an IRC channel by an IRC user flamingspinach. As a wikinews anon user, he wrote up a Submit A Story segment, which I reworded and put here, after verifying on the VolcanoCam that there was something happening. After the story was posted I also noticed KiroTV had coverage of this (but no-one else, yet: we had this posted before google news had a record of the eruption).

I don't know what procedure we follow for things like this. However, it was the truth, and the best I could do very quickly under the circuimstances. -- IlyaHaykinson 15:37, 9 Mar 2005 (UTC)

No one is disputing the truth of the report. It's obvious from the photograph that the volcano was indeed spewing ash and steam.
However, it's not at all substantiated that someone was actually within eyesight of the event, especially given that flamingspinach didn't submit any original work product (photos, audio recordings, a frame of video) of his own to show that he was there.
If we allow anonymous reports, anyone can pull a Jayson Blair on us and pretend that he is at an event, which will eventually be exposed as a fraud and reflect very poorly on Wikinews' credibility.
It's kind of like those memos about Bush's service in the TANG - the contents of the memos may have been true, but because the chain of custody could not be established to verify their provenance, the truth of the matter became a moot point, and the focus shifted onto the reporters and not the story.
As a constructive suggestion, why not credit the source of the story to flamingspinach? (I'm not suggesting a byline - I know we don't use those on a wiki.)
There are a couple of benefits if the report were attributed to flamingspinach. If it's later found out that flamingspinach is actually in New York City, and nowhere near Mount St. Helens, the credibility of Wikinews is hurt a bit less, while the credibility of flamingspinach takes the brunt of the discovery, and is shot to shreds. (Conversely, if the report stands the test of time, we can all look forward to more reports from flamingspinach with increased confidence.)
Other than the creative name, is there some reason the source story could not be attributed to flamingspinach?
DV 05:48, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Well, I didn't originally credit flamingspinach by name because a) it's an IRC nickname — from a Wikinews point of view, it's about as useful as saying "according to user", since anyone can choose that nickname on IRC, and b) it looks silly to attribute things to nicknames. I instead think that what I should have done is noted that IRC user flamingspinach was the Wikinews correspondent on the talk page, or in notes, such that the wikinews editor community has a way to verify things. Just like many news organizations don't have bylines or mention any reporters by name, and yet internally know where the info came from, so should we, in my point of view.
I don't want to come off as discouraging pseudonomous reports, or verification of facts. I do feel that pseudonymity and anonymity must be used publicly only when there's reason to do so (i.e. gov't persecution, etc). And I think that we don't need to necessarily expose our inner workings to our readers — and usernames, especially on IRC, are very meaningless to anyone but us. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:35, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Hi. I've now joined Wikinews, though at the time I reported this, I only had a Wikipedia account (which can be found here). Sorry to have caused all this confusion! >_< It's true, I didn't have any sort of evidence of this, except for my own assertion. Also, I was talking about it on IRC only a few minutes after it happened, which makes it unlikely that I was trying to orchestrate some sort of deception, methinks... David Vasquez: my "creative" name is simply the result of picking a random adjective and a random noun a few years ago, and sticking with it. See my Wikipedia contributions if you want some proof of my credibility... though there's not really much there yet, heh. BTW, not anybody can take the nick flamingspinach on Freenode IRC - I have it registered under NickServ. "/msg nickserv info flamingspinach" for more info. :) I find myself wondering why Wikimedia's various sites don't share user accounts... — flamingspinach | (talk) 08:41, 10 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I can't tell through all of this discussion if there is still first-hand reporting on the article. If there is, I think that there's a template for that. Should {{Template:Original reporting}} be added to the article? --Amoore 18:12, 11 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Since it appears that there is still first-hand reporting, and my suggestion has been met with no objections, I have added the "original reporting" template to the article. --Amoore 05:23, 15 Mar 2005 (UTC)
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