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Wikinews U.S. HotlineEdit

Does anyone oppose to me posting on the main page Wikinews U.S. Hotline: (206) 339-WIKI? -- NGerda

What happens exactly when one leaves a message on the Hotline? Who can/does check messages? --Chiacomo (talk) 23:15, 11 July 2005 (UTC)
Messages are routed to a shared email account, that several Wikinewsies have access to, including me, Mr. Miscellaneous, and Amgine. There is not much need for more users to have access to the number, as no one has called it yet. As the number gets used more and more often, we can add more users to the shared email account, but no one's even used it in the two months it's been available. -- NGerda 00:04, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
We already have a Wikinews accreditation mailing list that works similarly (e.g. requests for verifying Credentials can be done via phone, and are routed to the list where trusted users can respond to them). A general hotline might be cool for people to phone in news reports, but it should be specifically advertised as such: Report News by Phone: or similar, and the resulting audio files should go to a public place. In this case, direct upload to the Commons would be very neat. I'm opposed to a shared GMail account being effectively featured -- we should run public communications on Wikimedia infrastructure. A mailing list would be sufficient for now.
If that were possible, I would definitely support that, but the free service we use sends frequent ads and spam and such, and uses attachments, so it may not work with the mailing list. -- NGerda 07:25, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Before people can record a message, there should be a brief response: This is the hotline for citizen reporters. Please leave your name and your number, so we can get back to you if we have questions. Your message will be available for public review and may be used in our news reporting as public domain content. Please speak now. Should be spoken relatively fast.--Eloquence 03:37, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I have pretty much that as the message. :) -- NGerda 05:40, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
I'm against it. First of all, only three people have access to it and it's off site. Second of all, if somebody calls in, they can say whatever they want to. Somebody then needs to type it up, and verify the story. Chances are, if the story can be verified, somebody else will write about it already. I don't see any practical use for it. --Dejan Čabrilo 07:33, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
There are several reasons behind this hotline. First of all, this can only be provided off site because of the circumstances of the free service we're using, plus many Wikinews-related material is hosted offsite- Wikinews IRC being an example. With regards to verifiability, it's easier to tell if someone's lying by listening to them speak than by what they post at Wikinews. The practical use for it is if someone sees breaking news happen, and have a phone handy, they can call it in instantly and have it be reported. Most major and local news sources have hotlines like this one. -- NGerda 07:38, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
I oppose it on the first page - it should be included on an ABOUT WIKINEWS page in a contacts section. -- Davodd | Talk 10:03, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree. (also opposed )--Pvtparts 08:39, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I have a suggestion. We can repurpose the Wikinews Accreditation line to be a generic voice submission line for Wikinews. This could be a possibility since the accreditation line hasn't yet gotten a valid accreditation phone call. We can also add a number in the U.K., or add a U.S. toll-free number, or both. I am willing to spend another $10 per month towards this: if it's going to be more than that I might to ask for donations to my paypal account, if you folks don't mind. The pricing is $15/mo for an additional local phone number in the U.S. (i.e. separate voicemail from the accreditation line), or $5/mo for a toll-free number, or $5/mo for a U.K. number (but those have to be added to a main line — either the current accreditation line, or a new $15/mo line). I'm using Vonage if you want more info. What do you folks want to do. -- IlyaHaykinson 13:44, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

Well, the advantage of this service is that it is more likely for the message to be heard quickly if it's routed to a shared account. The same people offer a 1-800 number for $2 dollars per month and 34 cents per call. That may be another option. And, I do think this should be on the main page because it gets much more readership than on an About Wikinews page - where no one will see it. -- NGerda 17:16, July 12, 2005 (UTC)
Well, the Vonage account is still a better deal, potentially, since their toll-free option includes 100 minutes and is $0.049/min afterwards for the toll-free stuff. We currently route the accreditation messages to a mailing list and could do the same with this new number. Plus weren't you saying the service sends you spam? -- IlyaHaykinson 17:43, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

What the hell is this phone line?? I don't want people phoning some random phone line in the US only two people access instead of posting to the wiki. Dan100 (Talk) 06:55, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

Dan, of course I encourage people to post to the wiki, this is just an option if a reporter doesn't have access to a computer... and we can easily get a phone number in the U.K. for $10. -- NGerda 07:39, July 13, 2005 (UTC)

SkypeIn HotlineEdit

It just struck me that Skype has a SkypeIn service where you buy a number for $38 per year, and you can set up a free voicemail account for that number for when you aren't on live, and if you're signed in people can call the number and talk to you. Plus, it has numbers from Denmark, Estonia, US, UK, China, France, Poland, Sweden, and Finland. And as we talk to a person, I can route the call live through WNN if necessary (e.g. another terrorist bombing). My suggestion: we buy a number for the U.S. and the U.K. (for now), and we set up a voicemail with the message above. Any other thoughts? -- NGerda 22:55, July 12, 2005 (UTC)

I went ahead and bought a 3-month subscription to SkypeIn and SkypeVoicemail ($10, no big deal). The new hotline number is (Washington, D.C. area code) (202) 470-2496, or (202) IS-02-4WN. -- NGerda 07:39, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
If people don't have access to a computer - then how are they reading the hotline number? -- Davodd | Talk

Something is wrong with recent changes.Edit

The print is small. --Wimtennis2005 17:46, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Increase in articlesEdit

Although the dramatic increase in recent articles appears superficially to signal an improvement in Wikinews' coverage, the lack of development of the articles means it's effectively more of a relay station for AP stories. Lots of portal already act as relay stations; Wikinews shouldnt be one of them. Linkspro 22:01, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

Agree- we've lots of new users who are writing things like you describe. Hopefully all of us here can encourage proper story devolpement, and compilation. Maybe even original reporting. ;) Lyellin 22:19, 12 July 2005 (UTC)
And, may I point out as a former newspaper editor (even though WN is not a newspaper), that the vast majority of content in most newspapers is wire-type stories or retelling of stories written by others (AP, Reuters, UPI, AFN, etc.). Only about 10 percent to 20 percent is original reporting on any given day at most papers. I think that re-writing widely-reported stories acts as a kind of on-the-job training that makes new reporters get a feel for how reporting is done - by using the work of others who are professionally trained journalists as a template. Someone who is more comfortable writing and is familiar with how reports should look and feel may be more likely to strike out and write a good original piece of work. -- Davodd | Talk 22:34, 12 July 2005 (UTC)

A first step to distinguish the significance of different eventsEdit

I suggest the creation of Category:Major for major world events with significant ramifications. We could then use two DPLs in Template:Developing storiesTemplate:Latest news for each day, with one listing stories in that category, and the other listing all other published stories. It could look roughly like this:

July 12

Other events:

What do you think? Of course, what is or isn't major is something we will have to work out. But this is a question we will have to face sooner or later, given that the current model of throwing all stories on the Main Page is not infinitely scalable. I think a somewhat reduced visibility of stories of lower world-wide significance is justifiable and would make the Wikinews frontpage more readable as our story output increases. This would be a step between the current Main Page and a massive redesign like Ilya's proposal.--Eloquence 21:45, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm sure you mean Template:Latest news.  ;) This is something I've given much thought to, and something like this is needed. I would change the category to [[Category:World]], since that is what we want to be prominent on our main page. Eventually, once we get enough stories published every day, we'll need to seriously consider organizing the main page by topic and region, and only showing stories of international interest on the main page. A list would have to be created of all news stories on a given day, and we'll need to adjust our Digest to accommodate that. The Portal namespace discussion also plays a large roll in this discussion. I like this intermediary step to a redesign very much and believe that the more experimental and technical Wikinewsies should start testing out a new main page and category system as soon as they can, so we can have an efficient system when the time for one is necessary, which I see approaching very soon (possibly within a couple of months). The single largest challenge I see facing Wikinews is the fact that to survive, we need to develop technically at a level appropriate and proportionate to our progress at the community level. Wikipedia did a great job at this, and we are building upon their success, but we face many difficult problems in the present and in the future that Wikipedia doesn't. The main problem I see right now is the issue that instead of edits being dispersed over 600,000 articles, Wikinews' edits are made to no more than a hundred articles at any given time. The road ahead will be difficult, my fellow Wikinewsies, but quite worthwhile and rewarding. -- NGerda 23:10, July 13, 2005 (UTC)
Probably not worthwhile just yet, but it would be good to list "other events" in two columns, or implement the by-topic listing that's been floating around for a while?--Dejan Čabrilo 23:58, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Unworkable in a fast-paced news site which is collaborative by mandate. That sort of subjecive rating system is inherently POV and will most likely lead to edit wars, factions and other conflict that will harm the community, OR, in an effort to be fair, it will become bogged down in a voting process that will take too long and stories will lose newsworth as they wait to qualify for "Major" status by community consensus. I suggest a "global" or "international"-type tag instead, qualifying stories by an easilly defined set of criteria.-- Davodd | Talk 03:28, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
    • Funny, you seem to have triggered a voting-style response pattern ;-). It seems to me that our positions are actually very similar. Category:World or Category:International, with a set of criteria, works just as well for me. But the question is, what is a world event? What criteria do you suggest?--Eloquence 01:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
      • My objection is not to the idea of raising the profile of global stories, but to the grading system of all stories -- which pretty much tells folks that local stories, original or not - are less welcome and deserve no better than second-class treatment. Maybe instead we should have an "international" lastest stories in a separate box along with the running list of latest stories, lower on the page. INternational = impact or interest applies to more than one region of the globe. -- Davodd | Talk 02:48, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Readers naturally navigate to their "Topic" or "Region" of interest. I look at Google, and stories constantly pop up and shift around. We need to get a good grip on the Categories. - 06:16, 14 July 2005 -Edbrown05 06:27, 14 July 2005 (UTC) (UTC) Slippery log in. The font change must be the distintion. -Edbrown05 06:27, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I like Eloquence's plan. It's easy to implement right away and puts the stories of most world significance at the top. I think something that Wikinews can hopefully get more of is local stories but these don't necessarily belong at the top of the latest stories. I think people naturally look for the top stories first, and then navigate to the topics and regions that interest them. The main page should imitate that by putting major events on top and less significant or more local news below. Of course, I still support the FrontPageSectionMenu being at the top so new people know the topical and regional pages exist. Will there be disputes as to whether a certain story is major or not? Undoubtedly, but that should happen and as long as people are civil and show and assume good faith, it can be worked out. Perhaps, also, it can reduce the kind of griping we get when someone posts a minor, local story that rises to the top of most recently published with people attacking the submission with Not news templates, etc. DoubleBlue (Talk) 22:46, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
We do have top stoies first - we have three lead stories. Maybe we should add more lead stories. I don;t want to send the message that the work of people who write original local stories is less important than a mere rehash of what already appears on 1,001 other news sites. -- Davodd | Talk 02:48, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
  • Support. I like Eloquence's plan as well. I don not believe it will result in major edit wars. A current WN analogy for how I think any conflict-timeline will look like is this: Currently, many articles are published to main page before they're ready. When this happens someone invariably comes along and talks to a few other articles saying "Hey, does anyone else think this isn't ready for publication?" and generally a few other guys pipe in saying "No, not yet" and the original nay-sayer replaces the {{publish}} tag with a {{develop}} tag sending it back to development with a short reason. So far I haven't seen any major arguments about this, generally the article returns to {{publish}} within 60 minutes when someone edits it and republishes it. I think the same thing will happen with major/non-major. --RossKoepke 00:33, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
    • My objection is that it creates a second-class status for local stories. I support the idea of raising the main paige profile of stories with a global impact. But I don't think POV grading of all our stories with a "good enough" (Main) or "not good enough" (Other) label is the only - or best - way to achieve that goal. -- Davodd | Talk 02:54, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
Davodd, how about [[Category:World]]? -- NGerda 05:45, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Sure, we can add another DPL box above latest news - maybe "More top stories" or something and then DPL fill it with Category:World or what ever other category we use to pick out the gems. -- Davodd | Talk 14:59, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
OK this sounds great! Now in order for all of this new categorization stuff to work once we start the transition on the Main Page and elsewhere, we need to start using the categorization now. It's actually not a really big deal, the whole hierarchy thing. It's just being consistent with how we do it that's the hard part. -- NGerda 15:47, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
I suggest adding it to all the current lead stories. Maybe the category should be Category:Lead stories??? An added bonus of this - it could help WN editors actually pick the featured stories - or rotate them in a more organized manner. Using Lead instead of World also would allow us to make the category inclusive of some future non-world story that may be outstandingly brilliant. It also opens the possibility of having some sort of archive portal page of past lead stories. -- Davodd | Talk 15:54, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
The definition of what geographical category would be used is what is reign of interest is. Therefore I believe that major stories should be categorized as World, and if we have a local story that is excellent (which we have many of), we can have a separate box on the main page for Highlighted reporting, that way those articles stand out and readers can easily come back and find articles like that. -- NGerda 15:58, July 15, 2005 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. -- Davodd | Talk 23:38, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

I haven't read all of the above, but I absolutely oppose Elo's idea at the top. I just don't think it's needed, for one thing, and for another, imagine the arguments over what, and what isn't important. No doubt we'd see everything to do with the US in "important", when no-one in the rest of the English-speaking world cares.

I also imagine it would be a total PITA to operate. {{Publish}} is great. Please, let's not make publishing stories trickier. Dan100 (Talk) 00:20, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the idea lives from the fact that it doesn't complicate things -- it's an optional step to add the Category:World (or whatever category system is used) which only marginally affects visibility of the story. Dan, to paraphrase you, this is a problem waiting for a solution :-). As we are getting 15-20 stories a day, we must start differentiating them. Right now, our Main Page has stories like Nurse glues boyfriend's eyes shut coexisting with Children massacred in Kenyan school on the same hierarchical level. It should not require dispute among reasonable persons that this is not a viable long-term solution. In fact, this is already being criticized in the blogosphere.
We can't forever sidestep the question of how to prioritize stories. Yes, it will be messy, yes, there will be disagreements and bias, but just putting everything on equal footing is neither neutral nor scalable. It undermines both the credibility and the usability of Wikinews. And, for the record, the same issue of selection bias exists for every story that we mark as a lead -- at least having these two tiers should simplify the procedure of picking leads. I think the above approach - with Davodd's and NGerda's suggested improvements - is a first step towards reasonable differentiation, with Ilya's multi-category system being the next step. If you have any better suggestions, please do make them.
NB: This may be hopeless at this point, as it's a practice that seems to be popping up on multiple pages, but I would really prefer not to use bold to emphasize positions in regular discussions. We're not voting on anything, we're talking, and the essence of discussion should be an open-minded exchange of ideas with the possibility of changing your position and seeking consensus. If that fails, we can always resort to a formal vote to reach a conclusion, and there'll be plenty of room for bold text ;-).--Eloquence 04:04, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I cannot agree more with Eloquence's above comments. -- NGerda 08:38, July 16, 2005 (UTC)

How about something like this: Main Page/World -- Davodd | Talk 04:15, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

:) The Main Page is supposed to be a collection of news stories of international interest, unless we decided otherwise. So I don't really see the point of this page. -- NGerda 16:23, July 18, 2005 (UTC)

I just don't see why this needed. RSS feeds don't differentiate their articles, do they, yet they are very popular. Our Latest news box is very much like a RSS feed, and I've always felt that's one of strengths. It puts all published stories, big or small, on an equal footing.

I also don't see it as a problem that we have "wackynews" next to very serious "hard" news. Our readers can differentiate what's important to them themselves - we need not make the choice for them. Dan100 (Talk) 08:44, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

The RSS number is of no value since there is no comparison; we don't know if it could be ten times as high if we provided better RSS feeds. Certainly, sites like the BBC offer categorized RSS feeds due to the sheer volume of stories; we will eventually do the same. "We do not need to make the choice for them" is a nice bit of rhetoric, but no more useful than "We do not need to make the choice for the readers what stories we write". Our job is to present a well-categorized selection of news of the day, if we don't do this job to the satisfaction of the reader, the reader will go away. I'll try to develop this into a proposal which can be taken to a vote.--Eloquence 17:12, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Drop third leadEdit

I know we all love leads etc etc... but they're not getting updated. Time and again I come here and they're either ancient, or really poor choices anyway. Third lead is especially bad for this. So let's scrap it. I'm not sure what it could add to the site even if it wasn't eternally out of date.

And it looks rubbish to have old leads at the top of the Main Page - it's a great big in-your-face screaming message to any visitor that we're "either totally out of date or plain lazy".

I'm sure this post will bring the usual rash of frequent updates over the next few days, as such posts always do. Then we'll see the same problem arise, as people get bored with updating it - as always happens, too. So let's bite the bullet, and scrap third lead. Maybe with the sickly little brother gone the top two might see some more updating. Dan100 (Talk) 00:27, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

Support I didn't even read all your post Dan before I posted. We need the space there too, for what I don't know :) -Edbrown05 08:15, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
Strongly Oppose The solution of the problem of the third lead not getting updated enough would be for users to be proactive and edit it themselves. It literally takes a minute tops to edit the third lead. -- NGerda 08:36, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
Could you provide a tweaked Main Page to see what it looks like without the third lead? Im kinda in favour of removing it but would like to see the visual implications first. → CGorman (Talk) 14:34, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I drafted it up at Main Page/Test. -- NGerda 17:52, July 16, 2005 (UTC)
Thanks Nick. I support Dan's idea for a few months, i.e. until Wikinews can support more leads. → CGorman (Talk) 17:59, 16 July 2005 (UTC)Better alternatives have emerged. → CGorman (Talk) 22:05, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
I think we should keep the third lead. There is no reason it can't be a lighter or more feature-oriented story. -- Davodd | Talk 15:19, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Davodd, quite true. The issue is that no-one can be bothered to look after it. It's not suprising - editing the leads is a PITA and everyon (quite rightly) prioritizes the top two leads more highly. Dan100 (Talk) 16:28, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Davodd's idea is best. It would be a shame not to highlight more than two stories so the third lead should be the one that has the most human interest, the best written story that day perhaps or a quirky story - whatever people feel is most likely to get readers reading which isn't the day's top breaking news. You could call it Choice of the Day or somesuch. If there is a clear explanation of the third lead's refocussed purpose on the workspace then people might feel more inclined to edit the third lead, but if they don't, it won't be as time specific. ClareWhite 08:48, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

I've installed Clare's idea (nicking her exact wording, in fact :-) ). Let's see how it goes. But, again, if still doesn't get updated, I think we'll need to remove it. Dan100 (Talk) 21:45, 19 July 2005 (UTC)

Like the idea... but not the title, sorry Clare but the word choice reminds me more of a restaurant menu than a world class news website. → CGorman (Talk) 22:05, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
I agree that the word choice is bad. --RossKoepkeTalk 03:04, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I was proactive and changed it to Featured story. -- NGerda 05:42, July 20, 2005 (UTC)

I was going to put 'Super charged Feature Story' on the top story. I think I will. -Edbrown05 05:50, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

"Featured story" seems a bit arbitrary; how about combining this and the "Original reporting" list into one box, changing it to "Featured reporting", and making the lead an excerpt from a recent OR story we deem to be of high value? This would also address the issue of updating, since we don't get that much OR in the first place, and when we do, I'm pretty sure someone will be willing to update the lead. I also think if we further develop the distinction between reporting and research, we can include both reporting and research under this heading.--Eloquence 05:53, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

How about something more like 'Featured Local Story' to showcase the most local (i.e. non-internationally-scoped) story? They will often be O.R. as well, I bet. -- IlyaHaykinson 06:09, July 20, 2005 (UTC)
I'd prefer being flexible in both directions at this stage, given the limited number of stories to choose from. Furthermore, while there has been a lot of enthusiasm lately about local reporting, and I share much of it, it is important to get facts, quotes, pictures and interviews on events big and small, and I think featuring the best work of Wikinewsies regardless of scope might encourage that.--Eloquence 06:13, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
I don't thik Wikinews readers particularly care one way or another whether it's original reporting or not, news is news. The fact that many chose not to participate in reporting the news says what? Does it speak of the Wikinews itself, or something else. Edbrown05 06:33, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
It speaks of something else. The tremendous influx of contributors during the London bombings says the awareness is there. -Edbrown05 06:42, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Why don't we just use third lead for all kinds of stories that would otherwise not end up among first two leads, but need "promotion". For example, if we have representative original reporting, or local story, or sports article, or very interesting topic that may not be all that important, or generally anything else that's currently lacking - we can put it up as the third lead. This way, we retain flexibility, as we will hardly end up with enough fresh stories for the third lead if we concentrate on only one topic. --Dejan Čabrilo 06:44, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

Agree with Dejan, simple Featured Story gives flexibility and lets us highlight what we want. It might end up being updated more than the other two! ClareWhite 07:46, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

how about combining this and the "Original reporting" list into one box, changing it to "Featured reporting", and making the lead an excerpt from a recent OR story we deem to be of high value? - nah, we go weeks between decent bits of OR. I don't think we want to be highlighting that on the Main Page.

I rather like our new Featured Story. Let's stick with that for a while. The perfect example for what it could be used for is what I just put in it - Elo's story about prayer and medical effect. Not really "top story" stuff, but very interesting, and deserves promotion. Dan100 (Talk) 08:40, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

I'm worried that the selection criteria will just be considered arbitrary, and that people will suggest we choose these stories based on personal biases.--Eloquence 15:57, 20 July 2005 (UTC)
Every decision each person ever makes is based upon a personal bias of some sort or another. :-) Maybe we should just stress that we attept to the best of our skills to be as equitable as possible here. -- Davodd | Talk 17:55, 20 July 2005 (UTC)


excuse me but why the fuck is there a picture of a dude sucking another dude's cock on here... 20:27, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

Because anyone can write the news here and some people who vandalise the pages this way have brains the size of peanuts.
yea, some real jackasses. I saw that, and tried to fix it. fortunately, someone else beat me to the punch. Luckily, these pages are usually repairable rather quickly.

Add fourth leadEdit

More like a real newspaper, and informs reader when there are more than three major stories (which is often (such as now)). Kevin Baastalk 00:13, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Lol. Dan100 (Talk) 11:13, 23 July 2005 (UTC)
otfl. Kevin Baastalk 12:58, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

I've no idea what otfl means. But if you read up a bit, you'll see that we have a hard enough time keeping three leads up-to-date - and third lead is under the threat of the axe at the moment. Four leads is out of the question. Dan100 (Talk) 17:18, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

Dan, I believe the anatomical translation of the four-letter acronym "otfl" is Off the Floor Laughing. -- NGerda 17:34, July 23, 2005 (UTC)
I read the above before I posted this section. th atesll me not that " we have a hard enough time keeping three leads up-to-date - and third lead is under the threat of the axe at the moment." It tells me that people have different opinions. And to notice that there is one request to add a lead, and another to subtract, is to notice a range of opinions with a zero-sum. (a balance at +1-1=0=no change). 03:50, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Older news still marked as breakingEdit

The current version (July 24, 2005 10:18 UTC) of the Main Page still shows the London shooting story as breaking news. The BBC had mention of this story yesterday, is there nothing newer?

-- 10:29, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

For me it seems Police confirm man shot to death on London Underground unconnected to bombing, not the story you mentioned. Perhaps you will get it when you reload your browser. --Aphaia 10:44, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

I know what the IP means - the story still had the "breaking news" image, even though it's yesterday's news. This is, indeed, a problem. I've removed the image, but I wouldn't be suprised if there are people who'd rather we have an image there (I see no need), even if it's a frankly daft one. Dan100 (Talk) 10:50, 24 July 2005 (UTC)

New DesignEdit

A new design has been discussed many times, here is a proposal, wich is a previous proposal with a few modifications i made to it, see User:Ryan524/Sandbox. And lets carry out voting here as to what you think of it.

Support. Although I don't think the existing layout needs a change, this layout emphasizes the articles. As of now, on a 1024x768 screen, you have to scroll down to see the three major headlines. In addition, I like the grouping of stories by topic rather than by date...see Google News and Yahoo News for how this layout helps.Veritos 17:51, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Comment since your vote NGerda has edited the proposed design, they apear to be only slight changes.--Ryan524 20:14, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Support. I like the current layout but I like the new one too... Makes it easier to scan the whole page -- and know what's new. It would be nice if articles had the dates associated with them somehow. --Chiacomo (talk) 20:19, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Support. I have moved the proposed Main Page over to Main Page/Test. -- NGerda 20:22, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
Comment also they leads are part of the page, not templates, that will need to be fixed since the main page is protected.--Ryan524 20:26, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

First off, this isn't a vote, so why are people posting like it's one? Second, this suffers from the same problems Ilya's did: old articles hanging around for ages because we go ages without articles in certain categories. Hell, quite often articles don't have any categories at all so this isn't really practical. Dan100 (Talk) 21:56, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Also has the double-category problem - look at the two top categories right now. Dan100 (Talk) 21:57, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Most people intrested in reading news articles prbably would prefer the category method rather than the date method of listing aticle, and i don't see what is so bad with articles being listed twice, many people who visit news sites are intereted in story about a specific topic or from a specific region, this design allows them to find the most recent articles of any given category, or for any ggiven location.--Ryan524 22:02, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
I dont think double-cat is actually a problem. P.S. These cats will encourage proper use of categories, which can only be a good thing. --RossKoepkeTalk 22:01, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Dan, people are voting because it is a vote. More of a straw poll in my opinion, but nevertheless a request for opinions. And how about instead of just dismissing the idea completely because of a relatively minor flaw, you help improve the proposal? -- NGerda 21:59, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
I'm not voting -- I'm just supporting a change on the main page. I do agree with your concerns though, Dan... --Chiacomo (talk) 21:58, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Oppose. Though I like the design, it has a few flaws. It's not based on DPLs, which is more important than it might seem at first glance. We can't put *'s in front of articles when using DPLs, meaning all the sections would look very different than they do in the mock-up version. I say postpone this change until we institute a more advanced version of DPLs. Furthermore, the stock section mock-up is currently unfeasable (requires manual intervention). Also, pictures are too small so you can't see what the pictures are actually of. As an aside, the colors for sports and original reporting are abrasive.

  • Needs:
    • DPL Inclusion (needs modifications to our DPL software)
    • Auto-updating Stock-ticker Table
    • Bigger Pictures
    • Less abrasive color scheme.

--RossKoepkeTalk 22:00, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Ross, great suggestions; this is what moves us forward. Can you make modifications to Main Page/Test so we can see what you mean? -- NGerda 22:02, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
last time i checked it used dynamic page lists (i am guessing thats what you mean by DPL) and a bot could be made to update the stocks table. Bigger pictures are avalible in the articles, and what do you mean abrasive color scheme?--Ryan524 22:06, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
NGerda - not without changing the overall look and feel of the design.
Ryan524: I mean that yellow is really hard on my eyes. Might be my monitor, but I'm sure other people own Toshiba Satellites besides me. --RossKoepkeTalk 22:07, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
You are welcomed to goto Main_Page/Test and improve the design.--Ryan524 22:10, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
SORRY!. The design does utilize DPLs. I'm an idiot. --RossKoepkeTalk 22:11, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
No problem, everbody makes mistakes.--Ryan524 22:13, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
We can totally dump the stock ticker for now. -- NGerda 22:14, July 25, 2005 (UTC)
nah then the area below the weather map is blank and looks bad, a bot can be developed to update it.--Ryan524 22:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Support on the condition that another catagory be added to the list of catagories - Latest that lists the four newest published stories.. Other than that, excellent job Ryan. → CGorman (Talk) 22:14, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

its mostly done by IlyaHaykinson though, i only made slight edits, and that category could be added, right above politics and conflicts i think would be a good spot, i am not really good with editing wiki pages, perhaps soemone else could add 22:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
CG, I agree, that was part of my plan, too. And I believe that Ilya Haykinson did most of the work on it. -- NGerda 22:16, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

What I don't understand is what is wrong with our current page. IMO it's beautifully designed, has a nice easy-on-the-eye colour scheme, and is visually well balanced. (Oh and I had no hand its design - it was done by several editors back in March.) I don't understand the rush to replace it (especially with something with type so small I have to squint). Dan100 (Talk) 22:17, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

two words: too dull, only two diffrent background colors, and its orginized by date, not categories as most news sites do. And if they type is small update internet settings to enlarge it.--Ryan524 22:23, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
The small print is my only concern with the new design- otherwise, I htink currently, although our design is nicely balanced, we still do not look near enough professional - although I think several of the designs that were submitted to the meta page would have done that job *goes back to wishing that contest would end or something*. Lyellin 22:19, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
Basically it's inefficient. Type is too large, on 1024x768, you can only see the main articles. I Propose the ability to choose which layout design you want in preferences. --RossKoepkeTalk 22:25, 25 July 2005 (UTC)
too bad you can't use php code in it to allow each user to customize the page, font size, ect, even choose from one of several designs, then we only have to fight about what would be the defualt design.--Ryan524 22:28, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

I really don't think personalized Main Pages are the way to go. It presents too many challenges in regards to updating and maintaining. We should stick to a one size fits all type main page. -- NGerda 22:40, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

it would be all handled by a database and php script, anyone know how to hack the wiki?--Ryan524 22:45, 25 July 2005 (UTC)

Oppose: I agree with Dan, on both the fact that this should not be/is not a vote and the design issue with the page. --Cspurrier 02:03, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

sorry but if you ask me the current main page design says: "we don't care, we just got a basic main page up to have a main page." we need something wich introduces more colors and shows stories by categories and regions, not the date they were started. But i figure somepeople like simpler designs wich is why i think we should have it customisable per each wiki-user. then we have to figure of a defualt design that guests wil see and will be set until the user changes it.--Ryan524 05:53, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
Ryan, it's definitely not the case that the existing page was thrown together in a hurry. However, as with Ilya's design, this is what we will want to switch to when we're getting enough stories (30+) a day. We're a long way off that though - at the moment we'd get stale old stories on the Main Page, and the region/topic pages are often full of ancient articles. That's not an image we want to project! Dan100 (Talk) 09:11, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Like the colours and the smaller writing. Happy to move towards that to fit more on, perhaps more leads to be drawn out. But oppose the use of categories to make us look like auto-google-news-portal. We are news, it should be all about the latest news and it should be up to us whether we want to highlight particular categories on the front page because they've been particularly active or interesting or whatever but please not all of them, it's too overwhelming and it will be, as the man above says, stale. News not robot lists, please :) ClareWhite 09:16, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree with the idea that current headlines have to be given, at this point in time, the most prominant position in the main body of the page. I do believe though that greater emphasis needs given to topics firstly, then ultimately regions. Somehow that Index Box in the top right corner of the Main Page just doen't get it for me. I asked once, but never got an answer. Is a 'mouse over' 'drop down menu' of headlines possible when the pointer hovers over say North America? -Edbrown05 21:56, 26 July 2005 (UTC)
I do not believe that this is possible under the current version of MediaWiki. -- NGerda 22:57, July 26, 2005 (UTC)
Using the Ryan524 test page, can a date be dynamically placed next to the headline under each 'Topic' and 'Region' heading. Then the reader would have a clue how current the news is before clicking. Also, the 'Topic' and 'Region' cross-over category problems are something that must be managed anyway. The writer/editor must simply chose what 'Topic' and 'Region' most applies, then more narrow interest stories would appear in sub-Topic/Region locations and stay off the main page. I had something like this written last nite when a power outage shut down the whole neighborhood and before I had a chance to click Save. -Edbrown05 04:32, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
It is possible to make dates appear next to articles listed in DPLs, but to put it in Dan100's words, it looks "fugly". -- NGerda 04:35, July 27, 2005 (UTC)
Maybe the 'Date' could appear centered on all story pages under the headline, and also the Main Page, as a new "house style". :? -Edbrown05 04:57, 27 July 2005 (UTC)
Richmond swelters under 114 degree F heat
July 27, 2005 From Wikinews, the free news source you can write.
No (!) at the end of news source you can write. -Edbrown05 07:20, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Internal US politics articles as lead?Edit

Several times now US politics articles with no international relevance have been made lead article. This should not be done: editors must remember that this is the English language edition of Wikinews, not the US edition. As it says in the Lead article template comments, Lead stories should be of international interest. Dan100 (Talk) 15:31, 28 July 2005 (UTC)

Dan, I think you're going a bit overboard with this. There are certaintly situations where the only article worthy of being a lead article is an internal political article regarding some country. Slow news day? Certaintly allowable, if other news is less significant. What I presume predicated this post was the CAFTA vote total - which, I would point out, influences well, many things, including Central American countries, and by proxy, issues with NAFTA, EU-US Relations, and the possibility of Republicans winning in 2006 and 2008, which, as I'm sure we've all learned, matters ;) Lyellin 17:06, 28 July 2005 (UTC)
I noticed that here Dan100 replaced the CAFTA story (a U.S.-led treaty among 7 countries) with the climate story (a U.S.-led non-binding pact among 6 nations) as being more international. LOL. -- Davodd | Talk 10:22, 30 July 2005 (UTC)

Davodd, are you suggesting that climate change is not a global issue? LOL. Dan100 (Talk) 23:02, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Certainly it is. But if Bush says something on the subject, I don't see that as a global issue. 03:48, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

The US produces 25% of global CO2 emissions, with India and China not far off. This is actually the most significant news in global climate change for years, with far-reaching international ramifications. Dan100 (Talk) 13:05, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

I think the point was that CAFTA is also of great international import, no? Furthermore, I would argue that because climate change is a relatively slow process, the more immediate passage of CAFTA is much more topical. Theshibboleth 14:28, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

What about New Orleans? Nyarlathotep 22:21, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Is there a non-English language edition of wikinews? Should the news really be segregated by langauge? Nyarlathotep 22:21, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

Yes, WikiNews is in many languages. I would say that inevitably there will be more emphasis on news in the English-speaking world here, but we should certainly attempt to cover any major stories in the rest of the world, as well. StuRat 01:30, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Developing stories on the main pageEdit

Why do we need them here still? Really? It's just clutter. Dan100 (Talk) 23:04, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

Because it shows we are have an open editing process and none of the other systems we have work as well yet as having developing stories on the main page --Cspurrier 23:06, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
The need for visibility or the need to reduce clutter? I, for one, am getting sick of the 'Main Page', and there has been no substantial progress to move forward on this. What's that '3rd lead' contributing? What's that 'Developing stories' contributing (heard Cspurrier above)? The 'Main Page' looks patch-work. Wikinews needs a more mature 'Main Page'. This is of no help to codeless me, but here is what I can find on NoClip's work on a custom skin... Custom skin/Latest code. I know other's are involved with this, perhaps that NoClip skin with some creative input can move this issue forward. -Edbrown05 23:36, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
Prob 'Developing stories' needs to remain somehow. -Edbrown05 23:38, 5 August 2005 (UTC)
We're more likely to get people editing articles if they know that they can.Veritos 19:41, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Developing stories definitely should be on the main page. It's like a breaking news section and shows our processes, hiding them away in the workspace is more likely to make people publish raw work too quickly. I also think there should be a link to the workspace there as the input box has been removed. If we're going to focus our attention on change, let's work on the lead story issue: they're often outdated (especially at the end of a weekend), are they too tricky to update? Do we need to be encouraging more editing in other time zones? ClareWhite 09:25, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

We do have the write/edit articles link on the left of every page. Dan100 (Talk) 08:20, 11 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed, the single most common hostile responce of a newbie to being taged is to claim that the tager is doing it to suppress the story, such issues would hundreds of times worse if the article was hidden. It is vital to soothing such people nerves that their stories be displayed on the front page. I suggest the following however:

Subdivide the developing stories into two categories:

  1. written stories - all articles containing coherent content which makes *any* effort to conform to NPOV, including short stubs of at least two sentences. Any story which any ongoing contributor wants to be read by anyone.
  2. non-written stories - Evergreen, copyvios, advertisments, etc. Short stubs containing one or zero sentences. Rants and op-eds which have made no effort to conform to NPOV standards within the last 48 hours. Stories which are looking for any contributors.

Written stories will be promenently displayed, while Non-written stories will be displayed below them. To prevent fighting, we should have the rule that anyone may move an NPOVed story of more than two sentences from "not written" to "written" simply by making one NPOV improvment. If an author wants to defend his piece and edit it at least once every 48 hours, it should have the right to be promenently displayed among the written stories, even if it violates NPOV, etc.

Thoughts? - Nyarlathotep 13:18, 5 October 2005 (UTC)

Breaking NewsEdit

The breaking news logos just look silly. It is almost never breaking news by the time I see it.

Exclusive to WikinewsEdit

"Exclusive to Wikinews" means "excluding Wikinews", not "excluding all but Wikinews". That should either be changed (I've no idea what to) or removed. --Greg K Nicholson 02:21:06, 2005-08-07 (UTC)

No, it doesn't. Goodgerster 21:20, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Nicholson, exclusive of would mean what you say, exlusive to would seem to mean on Wikinews only. However the term exclusive as a noun is more generally used to refer to articles only found from one source, so perhaps it should be changed to Wikinews exlusive. I suppose the latter is more clear, but I don't think there is any lack of clarity anyway. Theshibboleth 14:01, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
"A Wikinews Exclusive" might work... --Telecron 19:51:21, 2005-08-27 (UTC)
The OED gives "exclusively confined to" as an alternative definition for "exclusive"; this definition needs to be added to Wiktionary. So, the current wording isn't wrong, but using "exclusive" as a noun would be clearer, for example to non-native English speakers.--Greg K Nicholson 15:54, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

sub rescueEdit

the sub wasn't "rescued by" the was a collaborative effort, and even tho the scorpio is MoD owned, due to cost effectiveness, the majority of the personnel involved were civilians. let's not have jingoistic headlines pls

Can we take this off the first lead now (usual excuses apply or I would do it) - perhaps wikimania is of greater interest to our readers? ClareWhite 16:10, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
User:Cllewr changed all three lead templates --> now I am clueless, without a lot of work, to update a lead story. I'll undertake the Main Lead cange, but this outta the blue stuff by Cllewr is pain in backside. -Edbrown05 16:33, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

Resolved, hopefully - see Template talk:Lead article#Templating. Dan100 (Talk) 14:30, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

quantity of articlesEdit

The current events page on wikipedia is much better than this site. Here there are only a handful of articles. I can't imagine anyone using this site for research in a few years time the way people look at old newspapers in libraries.

  • The current events page on Wikipedia is a handful of links. How can that possibly be better than Wikinews? And as to your claims about research, I'd like to refer you to the list of how many universities and organizations that do not recognize Wikipedia as a viable resource - hindering the ability for it to be used as a large research source. --Mrmiscellanious 14:48, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikinews has 3,578 registered users. Wikipedia has 347,366 registered users. To the "contributor" who initiated this topic, I wonder what Wikipedia looked like when its user base was so small. If you think you can improve this site, then contribute. I can and have 'flamed' Wikipedia. But I still say, when the world wakes up, it reaches for a newspaper and not an encyclopedia. -Edbrown05 15:34, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

In September 2003, Wikipedia was approximately the size of Wikinews is now in user base. At the time, their current events page looked like this: I suggest the aonymous user above come back and check this wite out in two years - to compare us to this month's WP Current Events page. -- Davodd | Talk 21:32, 11 August 2005 (UTC)

Add new article moved to top of pageEdit

Hey! How do you expect people to add new articles, if they don't know how to?

Anyway, the add new article box is now at the top of the page, where hopefully it'll stay for now. It's not perfect, but even at 800x600 , people at least now know where to submit news (where before, 1600x1200 was insufficient to catch a clue) . Excellent :-)

Kim Bruning 21:41, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

Well, I finally had it with the number of people telling me it was too hard to start a story :-). We're not exactly sinking under the weight of new articles and new editors, so maybe we needed something more drastic than the " can write!" link and an input box "below the fold". Yeah, it pushes the leads down and yes, I canned the OR box (which only listing ancient stories), but really we have to decide what is more important - promoting the (few) stories we have, or actually getting more content on the site? Dan100 (Talk) 21:45, 15 August 2005 (UTC)
This needs to be discussed before it's implemented. I do support it, though. -- NGerda 21:46, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
Looks like we're trying out a new way to go about major changes. I like.  :) -- NGerda 22:17, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
I strongly dislike having it at the top. I do not think it is a good idea to even have it on the main page. By making it to easy we encourage people to submit junk and cause reader who would have read our policies to ignore them. --Cspurrier 01:29, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
We are still very low on the contributions side of things, and we've been getting concerns about our article growth, which is somewhat lacking. I think this prominent and easy way to contribute will help increase both our editor base and article submissions. -- NGerda 03:33, August 16, 2005 (UTC)
This was a concern of mine too, I must admit. But then as I say, it was pointed out to me that we're hardly drowning under new stories, so I don't think it's going to make too much trouble for us. Don't underestimate how well people learn by example - they read our existing stories, get a feel for the style we write in; see how everything is sourced. I'm sure many (if not all) people write fully-sourced NPOV stories without going through all our policies and guidelines first. The fact that the box takes you to an edit page with the new article template already in it helps an awful lot. Dan100 (Talk) 08:37, 16 August 2005 (UTC)
I like the new layout. Though imho, the OR box should come back somewhere below the fold. -- IlyaHaykinson 05:27, August 16, 2005 (UTC)
I'll do that if it hasn't been done already Dan100 (Talk) 08:37, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I thought it looked rather good there, though it does makes sense for it to be near developing stories to avoid duplication. I have no problem at all with it being on the main page, if people write something innapropriate they can be quickly shown how it should be done ClareWhite 08:52, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Ok, sooo developing stories should be under the submit box? And, maybe a link to policy somewhere near there as well? Those ideas sound sound. I figure some folks want to read policies before they dare submit anyway.

Hmm, and is there any quick tutorial on how to use all the wierd templatey stuff that submit new page contains? Kim Bruning 16:39, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Yes Dan100 (Talk) 09:20, August 18, 2005 (UTC)
I've made a few changes that should make that page easier to find Dan100 (Talk) 12:19, August 18, 2005 (UTC)


This page is often dedicated to criticising the front page and suggesting redesigns but I just wanted to say how nice I think it looks today. The gay sheep story is a marvellous use of the third lead and the sidebar is prefectly in balance with the article list on my browser. Given that it is summer, we have a lot of really good stories without having to resort to the nonsense of the press in my part of the world. The new templates for developing and breaking news are very fresh and neat too. Well done everyone! ClareWhite 12:25, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

:-) Dan100 (Talk) 15:13, August 16, 2005 (UTC)

Nice work !Pfv2 02:25, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

error on Featured story: 'Rapper Kayne West' ?Edit

Front page reads: ...on-air telethon, saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people and America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."

The article reads: on air, said, "George Bush doesn't care about black people," and "America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible." While saying...

The article is correct, to me it seems the front page is misquoting him.

I'll fix it right now, but I encourage you to visit the Wikinews:Workspace where you can find links to edit the lead articles on the main page. -- NGerda 21:31, September 3, 2005 (UTC)
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