Wikinews:Proposal for wiki to develop news from embargoed material

The following is a proposed Wikinews policy, guideline, or process.
The proposal may still be in development, under discussion, or in the process of gathering consensus for adoption. Thus references or links to this page should not describe it as "policy".

This proposal document is to be presented to the Board of Trustees, should it reach community consensus. Please discuss the proposal on the talk page - this is a community effort!

The wiki shall be used for discussion, development, and collaboration on stories that are not yet ready for the public eye, such as investigations, planned stories that have sensitive (non-public or embargoed) documents, or embargoed documents such as future-dated press releases or other news stories that have strict requirements. The wiki will be private, viewable by only those who have access - but active, trusted and eligible members of the Wikinews community can request access to the wiki and participate in the discussion, development, and collaboration of these stories. All involved in content creation within this framework must accept that the normal expected process will be for articles, their talk pages, sub-pages, and full histories thereof will be imported into the main Wikinews site. Exceptions to this should be rare and cases where items such as PDFs of government reports are privately shared prior to their official publication. In all excepted cases the copyright on documents should be reviewed to assess if it is possible to put them on the public wiki under fair use.

This Wiki is NOT to be used for any "normal" news articles - the Wiki is not anticipated to see any more than 2 or 3 developing articles per month. It is not a place for private creation of stories - that is the job of the Developing section. What it is for is to keep information out of the public eye until the embargo is over, or until it is otherwise ready to be made public.

Articles leaving this Wiki are not necessarily finished, meaning that some editorial review maybe required once the article is released to the public. Articles that leave this Wiki should not be marked as {{publish}}, but as {{ready}} or {{develop}}.

Like Wikinews, any contributors with access to this Wiki are to follow all guidelines and rules outlined in Wikinews:Code of Ethics and all other Wikinews policies such as the Style Guide, Assume Good Faith (ASG) and following a Neutral Point of View. All Original Reporting (OR) written or obtained on this Wiki should be treated as all other OR that is written on Wikinews, and should follow all guidelines like any other OR. Please click here for a list of Wikinews' policies and guidelines.

This Wiki is NOT to be used as a host for photos, audio and other media under a free or non-free license and of course copyright-infringing material is NEVER allowed. Any such material uploaded to the site, should be immediately deleted once the work(s) is moved to Wikinews and or the appropriate project(s). Keeping the aspect of the "openness" of Wikinews, edit histories of all such articles along with discussion page histories, will also be moved into the Wikinews mainspace for the public to view.

At no time can work remain on the Wiki for more than one month unless it is under an embargo, part of an in-depth investigation, or material is awaiting replies from sources. Material should not become abandoned. Depending on the material's significance, it should be either speedy deleted or moved to the appropriate namespace on the Wikinews' editions.

Contributors granted access to this Wiki understand that all articles, edits, discussions related to the work and edit histories are private, all information discussed on this Wiki is private. Information that could potentially jeopardize an article, and embargo, or an investigation, should not be discussed off this Wiki. This includes posting information on mailing lists, IRC, Wikinews, etc. Any misuse of the Wiki or your credentials, will result in immediate revocation of access and use of this Wiki. Using and viewing this Wiki is a privilege, not a right.

Contributors from other languages


Contributors from the other Wikinews language editions (other than English) should create their own proposal(s) and policies regarding the creation and use of their own Wiki. Though the English Wikinews community respects their counterparts on other language versions, they are unlikely to be able to assess a foreign user's contributors effectively. This is why each request made for access must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. See specifics below for more information on who is eligible for access.



Wikinews is growing - and with this has come a significant number of new readers and new users. Our first priority over everything is writing news. Our best tool is Original Reporting and it's also when we are at our best. Presently, embargoed news is kept to the IRC channels, perhaps in private messages and e-mails or otherwise. This is not the wiki spirit, and it is time to change that. We cannot post these stories as developing here on Wikinews, as that is a violation of press decorum, and would strip us of our earned credibility and could jeopardize future notices of embargoed news from organizations. Having a private, comfortable and secure place where individuals or agencies interested in passing along a news story for us, giving us a statement, or talking with us, will increase our chances at receiving future notices. We need a place that active users can access to develop these stories in private, and then release them onto Wikinews where the proper copy/editing and review can take place.


  • New wiki:
  • Viewable and accessible by only individuals granted access privileges. Access rights granted and revoked are viewable by anyone and logged on Wikinews or the appropriate language edition.
  • Access is granted to trusted contributors on a request basis and each request is evaluated on a case-by-case level. Access rights will be revoked once the story is moved to the mainspace of Wikinews. Wikimedia Board members and legal counsel are granted automatic access while office staff will be granted access only on an as needed basis. Office interns will be treated as per regular contributors and require similar recommendations and justification for temporary access. These requests should be documented like all other individual requests which will be publicly documented and viewable.
  • Permanent access will be given to no more than 5-10 contributors for maintaining the Wiki, deleting material, moving material and handling the granting and revocation of access(s).
  • Contributors should have at least two month's activity and a minimum of 100 edits in the main namespace on their Wikinews language edition to be eligible for access. Wikinews accreditation is preferred, but not required. Click here to read more about Wikinews credentials and how to obtain them.

Examples where this Wiki would have been useful


Feel free to add/remove to these examples, and add more examples.



Previously, a smaller proposal was sent to the Wikimedia Foundation Board in February 2008 and was rejected. Please discuss starting a new vote for any further submission(s) to the Board.

Previous votes and discussions can also be found on the Water Cooler and the voting archive.

Please keep all discussion to the talk page.