Wikinews:Water cooler/assistance/archives/2009/June

Ongoing status updates on the Influenza A(H1N1) story

This doesn't fit cleanly in wikipedia or in wikinews. There is a current discussion at w:Talk:2009 swine flu outbreak#Removed "Current situation" section regarding removing it from the WP article. Would editors here be willing to pick up the topic and run with it doing regular updates? (talk) 22:47, 27 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Short answer: Yes. The truth is, however, that we do not have enough regular editors for me to say that it will be done. We try to cover as much news as we can with the volunteer editors that we have. Category:Swine flu shows what coverage we have had so far. I cannot make any promises. --SVTCobra 23:02, 27 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
We have an update. See Swine flu: recent developments worldwide. Perhaps you were hoping for more regular updates, but we do what we can. --SVTCobra 01:46, 6 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Pervetually reverted

My edits to this article keep getting reverted, yet none of the other editors seem to want to explain exactly what is wrong with my changes. Why is this? -- (talk) 19:12, 28 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Is no-one going to help me? I'm just going to stop editing here at all, because I have no way of knowing why one potential improvement to an article will be accepted and another in a similar vein rejected. -- (talk) 17:03, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, this page is not very well patrolled so it takes some time for folks to respond. Taking a quick glance over your edits, nothing seems to be wrong or out of line with them, so I'm not completely sure why they were reverted. Maybe you should contact the users who undid your edits, they could probably give you a faster answer if you pinged them on their talk pages. Tempodivalse [talk] 18:22, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The person to ask is Calebrw (talk · contribs). This is not the first problem we've had with him recently... Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:46, 29 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
In this case, an article from May 23 should no longer be edited for content. Only typos and minor changes should be made. The football category is a different story altogether. --SVTCobra 02:00, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, but (talk · contribs) first tried to edit the article less than a day after it was published, well within WN:ARCHIVE time limits (and the changes to the article didn't alter the content, just moved it around slightly). Tempodivalse [talk] 02:57, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
What Tempo said. Just because the article was repeatedly forced back to the old version until past that 24-hour limit and then protected early to force his side of the dispute to be the one used - under the guise of 'archiving' - does not mean that the actual change was made too late to be valid. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 10:22, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the responses. I did ask Dragonman or whatever about his revert because he left a message on my talk page calling my edit a 'test' and I wanted to know exactly what it was about my edit that indicated this, but I never got a response. The reason there was such a long gap between my penultimate and last edits is because I was waiting for one before going back to the article (as one should when there is a dispute), but I guess if you're not an administrator you don't get listened to! -- (talk) 21:48, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Original Revert, Dragon's Revert and the Third Revision. I can't speak to why DragonFire reverted, but I can speak to why I did so. While I have no objection to post-publish copyediting (I've done it myself), I felt that (talk · contribs)'s edits (the two that I reverted) while improving the article in some respects, also detracted from the lead sentence too much. The lead is in many ways the most important part of any newswriting piece. I archived early per Wikinews:Archive_conventions#Age_for_Protection. I may misintreped the content of that page. However, other edits this IP address has made seem to be in the same veign and have been good in my opion, especially this edit. If I were to suggest anything it would be that the IP in question create a user account. Generally, I am less likely to see a potential problem with someone that has taken the time to create a user anme name and it's one that I recognize that just some random IP address. Calebrw (talk) 23:40, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Also, sorry I did not see this sooner. I missed it, but saw the post below this. I am also sorry DragonFire did not get back to you. Sometimes users are not online every day and might not get messages. Calebrw (talk) 23:44, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Aha! So your bias against IP addresses is revealed!!
In all seriousness that really is my bête noire. I do not appreciate being coerced into registering simply so you can overlook your prejudice. I am a legitimate editor like everyone else - the problem is not the fact you see numbers when you look at my username, it is the fact you do not check edits properly when deciding to revert them!
You say you had a problem with my opening sentence but not the rest of my changes - then why revert the whole thing? And why didn't you contact me to discuss it, or at least make your reasons clear in the edit summary? -- (talk) 23:54, 30 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Incidentally DragonFire has clocked up about sixty edits during almost every day since I left my message, so it's not to do with availability; I'm forced to conclude he is ignoring me. -- (talk) 00:01, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
As far as Dragon ignoring your questions, it's entirely possible that he somehow managed to miss them (i remember a few times where someone edited my talk page and i somehow didn't see the orange "you have new messages" bar), so it's not completely certain that he intentionally ignored your question. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:04, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I reverted because it was an edit to an old article. If I was wrong I apologize. I was not ignoring anyone and I really don't like me or anyone else being accused of just being against someone. If you were welcomed, you could have read a few policies too. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 01:20, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I can't say that I did 100% the right thing there. I will not claim that my logic is always infallible. Perhaps I made a mistake and if a consensus could be made, I would not oppose a change to the article. Calebrw (talk) 01:24, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It is now far too late to change the article, especially after it has been locked and archived, per the archival policy. Tempodivalse [talk] 01:37, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I welcomed at least one IP address related to this. I can't tell you when though. Calebrw (talk) 01:43, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I have no real problem with users editing with no username, but I do think having a username can help all parties: 1) there is no confusion about who you're talking to, for instance your IP address might change, but your username is there forever, 2) there is a continuous edit history admins can look at say, well Calebrw (talk · contribs) (I'll use myself as an example) was way off base and he could be wrong. That may not be the case in all circumstances. See w:Wikipedia:Login for benefits to creating a username. I don't appreciate that you think I'm coercing you into creating username. If you never create one, I won't feel bad about it one bit, nor will I intentionally treat you differently because you don't have a username, other than perhaps more scrutinization to your (or any IP edits). I hope we can to some kind of resolution in this matter. Calebrw (talk) 01:43, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Administrative rollback should only be used when the edit that was made is blatantly unconstructive. Otherwise, your rollback edit might be misinterpreted as something along the lines of "I think your edit was no better than vandalism and reverting it doesn't need an explanation" (see m:Help:Reverting#Rollback). In this case, I think it might have been more appropriate to simply undo the edit, using an edit summary with explanation. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:02, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I am not here to take part in the 'community' of creating and revising new stories. The only articles I am ever going to see are ones that appear on the front page, because I read and consume Wikinews. But since it is also a wiki, I assume that I can change what I read to make it better. I have a Wikipedia attitude to editing, which is that if I see something that looks like it needs changing, I will change it. If that is not the way things are done here (i.e. a published article should never be edited) then I apologise and I will not do it again. -- (talk) 13:54, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]

That is not the case. Minor improvements to articles are always welcome, even after an articles has been published or even archived. See {{editprotected}} for information on how edit articles after they have been locked from editing. After 36 hours from publishing, WN policy does not allow for major changes to articles. I would suggest reading the following: WN:NPOV, WN:CS, WN:INTRO, Wikinews:Writing an article, WN:CG, WN:SG. Those should help you out with exactly what the WN policies are. See Wikinews:Contents for an interesting collection of pages. Other interesting pages include: Wikinews:Newsroom#Articles_in_development and Template:Latest_news. In short, please continue to help out by doing copyediting and as long as it is within policy, there will not be a problem, or shouldn't be. THanks, Calebrw (talk) 14:23, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
As Calebrw has said above, it's not that published articles should never be edited, they can be edited, and that's very much encouraged. However, there are some limitations to what can be altered after a certain time period: articles should not be changed for content more than a day after they were published, only for spelling mistakes and minor grammatical corrections (see WN:ARCHIVE and the other links Caleb provided for more info). Wikinews is different from Wikipedia in this sense, because news articles are not works in progress, and should only reflect what was known/written at the time. In any case, your edit to Suicidal man pushed off Chinese bridge was entirely legitimate in this case, and it should not have been reverted back without any explanation. Please don't let this incident dissuade you from contributing in the future, and don't get us wrong, your contributions are much appreciated. Tempodivalse [talk] 14:32, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Understood; even if I wasn't aware of the policy on content changes before, it correlates with what I would have assumed in my mind. But with such a limited time period in which to make changes, you can see how frustrating it may be when an ordinary user like me is trying to convince an administrator to accept a change. I note that Calebrw hasn't explicitly admitted he made a mistake. It makes me feel like I'm fighting, oh I don't know, some kind of cabal! :D -- (talk) 17:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
It is kind of a grey area, and it could go either way. Honestly, I don't feel that I made a mistake, but I am of course bias toward my own actions. I am sorry for the inconvenience it has caused you. Calebrw (talk) 20:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
I feel that it was a mistake to rollback instead of providing an explanation why the edit was undone. Rollbacking like that should only be done where it is obvious that the edits should not remain without an explanation why - i.e. vandalism. I'm not saying I've never rollbacked something that I perhaps shouldn't have, as everyone slips up from time to time, but I can say I've never undone major copyediting such as this. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 23:16, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it's very reassuring to know that this entire debacle has achieved nothing and could very well happen again. -- (talk) 23:09, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks (though I'm not entirely sure what policies like Wikinews:Neutral point of view have to do with editing past the publish deadline). -- (talk) 17:33, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Those are just a list of policies, I didn't mean to imply that you have not read/need to read those policies. Calebrw (talk) 20:08, 31 May 2009 (UTC)[reply]
Reading through all this, it sounds like all the confusion could of been avoided if someone left a message on the users talk page explaining why their edit was reverted. (particularly since it was reverted multiple times). New contributors should not have to go to this much trouble to get an answer. Bawolff 01:42, 1 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
And as I stated, I apologize for not doing so. I was in a hurry at the time and I would have done it if I had not been (not that I am making excuses). I hope you will continue to read Wikinews and continue to make general improvements when it's allowed. I apologize again. DragonFire1024 (Talk to the Dragon) 03:03, 1 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Can someone else look at Credit card companies foreclosing without a mortgage note and clue in this user somewhat. I'm at the end of my tether trying to get something coherent out of this. --Brian McNeil / talk 17:34, 3 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

I don't see that there's much anyone can do. You tried to explain to him of the NPOV problems in the article, many times, but he just doesn't seem to want to communicate. Tempodivalse [talk] 18:08, 3 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
This user doesn't seem to stop editing this so it will never get tagged {{abandoned}} and deleted under WN:PROD. The next step may be a WN:DR for this. --SVTCobra 23:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

  Done --ShakataGaNai ^_^ 02:02, 6 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Interviews on the quiet

As I have time, and as we now have the Wikinewsie wiki, I'd like to start looking into quietly working through some interviews and getting the full preparation done privately - including transcription of audio.

I have Skylook, a Skype plugin that reliably records calls. Their transcription service is expensive, but the less-reliable Call Graph service (as in less reliable for recording calls) offers a cheaper transcription service; calls can be uploaded from local audio for this.

Being back in the UK (and having SkypeOut credit) puts me in a good position to try for some notable UK figures. I felt I was close with Alex Salmond before - might be time to dig that up again.

These would be exclusives to Wikinews, and if we can get government or assembly-level politicians we'd merit mention in mainstream media. I've mentioned this on the Community Portal over on Wikinewsie, if there's any accredited reporters or admins without access who're interested, then let me know. Probably looking at a week or more of background work, the interview, the prep for publication, then the move over to Wikinews proper. That's per-interview. --Brian McNeil / talk 12:28, 5 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Something is wrong with GB plc

A piece of news we missed three days ago...

There's a story in this that could do with some digging. A great many of these final salary pension schemes have shut down in the UK, and I believe these are one of the "millstones" that US automakers are complaining about too. What isn't told in the articles I've looked at on the subject is that many of these companies took payment holidays; this is where they (the company) make no contributions for a year or two because the stock market investments of the pension fund are above estimates. As you should guess I'm leading up to, the financial crisis has slashed the worth of those investments, the pensions are now hugely in deficit, and companies are scrabbling for ways out of final salary schemes that leave an unpredictable amount per person to pay out (tough luck if they live to 100+ sort of thing).

What got me with poking about with pension calculators was something from the US-centric nature of them, virtually all US schemes are effectively an investment where you retire with a lump to be paid out over the next x years and you're screwed if you live beyond that.

Between BP and Barclays there are stark differences in what's going on here, some that would actually be illegal in other parts of Europe. BP are closing their scheme to new members - no new employees will get into the scheme, so over time those entitled to payment from it will die off and a lower cost (to the company) scheme will take over. Barclays are trying to get their workforce out of the scheme altogether. Yes, a fiddle of terms and conditions to lower the amount everyone will get as a pension. They're not the first, there's a trend to this in the UK, and NATS (UK Air Traffic Control) did the same fancy footwork with their employees.

Here's BP's B.S. on their pension, note the interesting answers are hidden away on their intranet (random gripe, Firefox's spell checker is wrong - it highlights "intranet" and expects "Intranet", the word is not a proper noun - there are many intranets, and only one Internet).

Others to contact are union representatives, I'm prepared to do most of the legwork on this, can we work something up on this? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:19, 6 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Points to work on

  • Will the UK Work and Pensions people have any data to obtain via freedom of information requests about payment holidays and closure of final salary schemes?
  • Companies that took payment holidays: How much profit did they make those years? Different from contributing years?
  • Surplus to deficit, how much has been wiped from pension scheme worth as a result of the financial crisis? Can we get non-UK figures? US FOIA request?
  • Where are specific types of pension prevalent? Where are final salary schemes getting shut down?
  • Does anywhere else in Europe permit payment holidays?
  • Someone notable commenting on the personality of a corporation being 'psychopathic' would be nice ;-)

Others? --Brian McNeil / talk 09:28, 6 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Still no response. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:46, 25 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Additional coverage

This is still bubbling:

Uncle G (talk) 22:51, 24 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

This isn't additional coverage - it's the article I wanted to write. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Why there is descrepancy between wikinews and CDC number and the 2009 flu outbreak article

For last few days the number of death in the US have been 10 more on the 2009flu outbreak article than CDC number and the one on the wiki news. Is this a typo?

Wikinews should be taking figures from the World Health Organisation, not CDC. CDC does not cover outside the US. Can you point to the article you are referring to and the stats that are odds with it? The Wikinews article may have been correct at time of going to press and we don't update with new details after 24-36 hours. News is a record of what was known at the time. --Brian McNeil / talk 18:04, 6 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia recruitment

A subject that comes up frequently is trying to recruit from Wikipedia.

How about this as one type of approach? Are there other topics with a centrally identifying page that this could be done on? --Brian McNeil / talk 20:55, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

As a way to target people interested in NASA over on WP I suggest we use the wikinews template on WP on the talk page each time there's an article. --Brian McNeil / talk 08:51, 10 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]


Hello. I'm Vitorbraziledit from pt@wikinews and i have a doubt about a MediaWiki tools. My doubt is about the MediaWiki that shows the box "Share this" in the noticies. Any body can help me?

Thanks! Vitorbraziledit talk 23:53, 9 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

If you are looking to put this on pt.wikinews you need the template, the graphics, and some javascript. Bawolff (talk · contribs) is the one to ask about the techy bits. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:05, 10 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]
The template is {{social bookmarks}} and to get it on all en.wikinews articles it is included in the {{publish}} template. --Brian McNeil / talk 00:07, 10 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Thanks for the answer! Vitorbraziledit talk 17:25, 10 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

For the techy bits, they are not all that important - all it does is make the wikinews url shorter for twitter, and make it open in new window. Just copy the following to the bottom of pt:mediawiki:Common.js:
 //Twitter/facebook etc. See [[template:Social bookmarks]]
 //makes stuff in id="social_bookmarks" open in new window
 //and dynamically re-writes links to twitter to shorten urls.
 //This was originally made by [[:en:user:Bawolff]] if it 
 //stops working, needs to be modified, etc, please feel free to ask him
var newSmallPopup = function(url) {
return (function () {, "_blank", "width=640,height=480,menubar,resizable,scrollbars,status,toolbar");
return false;

addOnloadHook(function () {
var soc = document.getElementById('social_bookmarks');
if (soc) {
var links = soc.getElementsByTagName('a')
for (i=0;i<links.length;i++) {
if ( links[i].href.indexOf("") === 0) { /*isTwitter*/
links[i].href = "" + encodeURIComponent("Look what I found on Wikinews: " + wgServer + "/wiki/article?curid=" + wgArticleId);
links[i].onclick = newSmallPopup(links[i].href);

Bawolff 03:07, 11 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Note i noticed in the js file over at pt there is some stuff that is en only (like the code to insert the english RSS feed). I made some comments on pt:mediawiki talk:Common.js. Bawolff 03:34, 11 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

»Feasible ‘‘demission’’ of Gunnar Birgisson«

My first page in this so renowned Wikinews was deleted, so I would like to know what a plausible argument for such despicable act.

Wishing well, North Pole Daily News with Bardoð Barkings (talk) 21:33, 14 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

The Deletion log indicates it was deleted after someone added {{delete|No meaningful content}}, and to be honest what was there certainly didn't mean anything at all to me. Is English your first language? If not, there are projects in other languages that y u may be more comfortable with. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:47, 14 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Help with context for article with original reporting

Irunongames (talk · contribs) needs help drafting an introduction, providing context for the original reporting that follows. Secondary sources for this part would help. Cirt (talk) 13:41, 25 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]