Wikinews:Water cooler/policy



Policies and guidelines and the Style guide contain or link to most of the current en.Wikinews policies and guidelines, however policy is based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not be written down. This section of the Water cooler focuses on discussions regarding policy issues.

You may wish to check the archives to see if a subject has been raised previously.

Paywalled sourcesEdit

Wikinews:Cite sources currently says: "It is acceptable to link to sites that require free registration, but never those that request payment to view content on the site."

I do think this is unfortunate. Okay, sources should be checkable, that's a must. But a paywall can be soft, i.e. it can allow reading a number of articles per month per device. If you have reached the article limit, you may try using a private tab in the browser or a different browser, connect to an open proxy, use Google cache, or you may try to archive the article and read that freshly archived version. So some paywalled sources might be checked with relative ease, and without payment. If, let's say, an archived version is provided in the {{source}} template with parameter 'archiveurl' - wouldn't that be acceptable? (Articles might get corrections between archival and reviewing though, that's a given.)

I think, we should have a list of soft-paywalled sources, as some are not obvious to be one at first glance. I have run into this recently with The Economic Times.

The policy also mentions that Research Desk is a good way to get sources from. Well, when I have tried to remove New York Times from it, as it is paywalled, it got added back. Yet I have seen instances (an example: [1]), when we request removing NYT from the sources.

So, would you find it a good idea to change the tone of that sentence in "Cite sources" some way? Would a list of soft-paywalled sources be useful for you? Should we keep NYT on the Research Desk? - Xbspiro (talk) 22:55, 5 March 2022 (UTC)

I see no reason at all why we should bar paid sources, but I do see why we should prefer free ones. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:35, 6 March 2022 (UTC)
I would support changing WP:CITING to say "As of 2022, drafters may use use paywalled sources with the understanding that this means a smaller pool of reviewers and greater risk that the article will become stale. For example, some newspapers offer non-subscribers a limited number of free articles per month. No reviewer is obligated to use their free articles for Wikinews." We're such a small group around here that remembering who has access to what isn't that hard. Darkfrog24 (talk) 14:26, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
The problem that creates is, if one needs to verify at a later stage, if some claim was indeed correct, or not -- the paywall is going to create a problem. There are a number of paywalled sources which will first have the article free for view and once it gets traction, it brings in the paywall, only adding to the frustration of the reviewer. It is best to leave it out, when non-paywalled sources are available.
•–• 17:14, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
@koavf: If you only consider those readers who are looking for news, and not those who come here at a later date, then I believe it is best to exclude paywalled sources to allow readers to satisfy themselves that the article is accurate. Unfortunately, though, we do not know which sources will become paywalled/free in the future. Ottawahitech (talk) 19:20, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
Another point: archive has limited utility. For instance, this paywalled source from FT ( remains so. JJLiu112 (talk) 19:28, 9 March 2022 (UTC)
@Xbspiro: does wiki-news maintain a list of non-paywalled sources? Ottawahitech (talk) 13:44, 8 June 2022 (UTC)

I think allowing paywalled sources will ultimately become necessary. There seems to be a clear trend from news sources to move their content behind a paywall. As an aside, I didn't even think they were disallowed in the first place. But it is clear it was written into policy with the very first draft. I do not know if it was ever debated. Perhaps, Dan100 has some recollection on this. Cheers, --SVTCobra 22:55, 9 March 2022 (UTC)

@SVTCobra: Yes, there seems to be a clear trend to move content behind a paywall. But, I doubt newsmedia is actually making more money as a result. Just because newsmedia has a herd mentality does not mean that it is a smart move.
Actually this is opening up an opportunity for those without a paywall to shine. Just my $.02 Ottawahitech (talk) 13:41, 8 June 2022 (UTC)
As a note, there is a useful website called 12ft that lets you bypass most paywalls. --Ixfd64 (talk) 17:13, 8 June 2022 (UTC)