Wikinews:Story preparation

Story preparation is a common practice in news media and essential to ensure rapid delivery of the story. Some major events are expected e.g. the launch of a new product/film/book, a major sporting event, a court case, an election, or the death of a notable person. The stories we publish about these events are often largely composed of background information that is available before the event.

Story preparation allows a quick response and helps to eliminate duplication of effort. Editors can collaborate on a single, common, prepared story rather than working separately on multiple, private, prepared stories.

Before participating in story preparation, note:

  • Prepared stories are not to be published until an official announcement has been made by the parties involved or a respectable source is found.
  • Put the {{prepare}} tag at the top of any prepared stories and include a future expected event and/or a date.
  • When adding categories, place a colon (:) before each category so readers do not find the story when looking through the categories. Remove the colons when the article is ready for review.
  • When creating a story develop it as a subpage to this page e.g. Wikinews:Story preparation/European Constitution Referendum in Portugal.
  • When publishing a story, rename the article to the main article namespace. Do not copy and paste it. This is important, because renaming a page conserves its history.
  • In the event of a story having two possible outcomes e.g. a football match or election - writers can prepare two stories for the event.

Current preparationEdit


Obituaries can be prepared using the {{standard obituary}} template. An obituary can be written if a prominent or notable person:

  • is of advanced age (this is a subjective criterion).
  • has an illness/sickness/handicap that might take their life.
  • is highly likely to be murdered/killed by a third party or external event.

Typically an obituary should be respectful, not delving into sensationalism. However, in respect of some figures, sensitively mentioning the reasons for their notoriety may be needed.

  1. Start with a 1-2 sentence summary of the subject's death. While the specifics of a person's death may differ from your version, that can be changed as necessary. Example:
    • Former United States President Gerald Ford has died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 92., when he in fact died at 93.
  2. The rest of the article should be about the subject's life. Include important details and events in their lives. Anything else can be added upon the subject's death.
  3. Finally, add a photo of the subject if a public domain or Creative Commons-licensed photo can be found. Fair use photos probably should not be used, as their fair use rationale is questionable in a prepared story. If you cannot find one, don't worry about it; it can be added when the article is published.