Wikinews:Water cooler/proposals/Archive/3

RSS feed for Wikinews articles



Is it possible to have RSS feeds of Wikinews articles like the Reuters and BBC RSS feeds?


Currently, no, as the software this site runs on does't offer a satisfactory RSS system. However, in the meantime, I'm operating a very simple off-site blog: Wikinews Latest News, which does have a RSS feed. Dan100 (Talk) 22:14, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Homepage lead story edit link


To curb some recent vandalism, I think we should remove the "edit lead article" link from the homepage, and put that link in the Workspace or into The Newsroom. This will still be open enough to users who look around even just a bit, but limiting enough so that "edit the front page" isn't quite one of the first links people see. -- IlyaHaykinson 05:00, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Agree it should be moved. I think the Workspace should be best. - Amgine 05:01, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I also agree. --Handyteeth 21:11, 11 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Done. Dan100 (Talk) 10:32, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Thematic templates


There are some articles which can be easily said to be in a "theme" with other articles, and can utilize the same categories and stock illustrations. Perhaps we could set up a section of Wikinews to have thematic templates which could be inserted both to guarantee consistency and to make certain things easier. For example, Iranian President vows to maintain nuclear program and Iran Agrees to Suspend Uranium Conversion and Iran Close to Decision on Nuclear Program are all about Iran and the controversy over its nuclear program. A simple template for this might include the Iran-atom graphic seen in the first article and the categories for "Iran" and "Nuclear proliferation" and "Middle East". This new template (named, say, "Template:Theme/Iran_nuclear") could then be easily inserted into any new (or old) articles on the Iranian nuclear issue (the page "Template:Theme" could contain links to all of the others and serve as a reference). Anybody opposed to this? Anything like this already exist? I would be happy to make up a few "stock" illustrations for some initial templates along common themes which would perhaps inspire others to create them as they came up (North Korea nuclear issues, Iranian nuclear issues, genetics and GMO issues, church/state issues, Israel-Palestine issues, etc.). The goal to this would be that after a month or two, one would have a pretty good set of stock "article enhancers" to immediately drop in, improving at least the initial quality of an article in progress (if someone has a better image, they could of course substitute it. There might be some clever way to do this automatically even with the templates, though I've no experience with this). Thoughts? --Fastfission 00:40, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Actually, instead of "themes," perhaps "Issues"? If someone was good at tables they could make a nice little template with which you could have an issue title ("Israel and Palestine conflict") and then a link to a page which would contain a link to all articles in the series, and then perhaps a few Wikipedia links. You could then drop this in to any article on the subject for ease, convenience, and professionalism. I can't seem to make the table work well, though, but if someone else wants to give it a stab... --Fastfission 06:37, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

That's an excellent idea, go for it. I think a good simple starting point would be for the template to add a public domain image and the appropiate categories, then we can test it out and see how well it works. Users could use the categories to find other related stories. Dan100 (Talk) 12:24, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

In-Depth Article proposal


I wrote up a proposal for adding a new section to the main page for "in-depth articles". It's basically an elaboration of an idea I presented here not long ago, that seemed to have some support. I assume the next step would be to set up a poll, but first I'd appreciate feedback on the idea. - TalkHard 16:18, 13 Feb 2005 (UTC)

We could, but there should be demand for it first. Anyone is welcome to write in-depth feature articles, but I just don't think anyone is doing them at the moment. When they do, we can add a seperate section. Dan100 (Talk) 17:57, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I have considered this twice before - I considered writing an in depth article on The long term economic implications of the tusnami disaster and more recently The economic implications of the Kyoto Protocal. But the amount of work invovled would be massive for something a) would only be in the limelight for a few days, b) only appeal to a small preportion of vistors and c) WikiNews does not yet have a huge following - I'd bet the majority of our vistors at present are meerly curious wikipedia editors or our own wikinews editors. Perhaps we could revcisit this in a few months time. CGorman 18:41, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
It is however something better suited to the wiki model than normal articles, which normally have one main editor, then a couple of copyediters. Here would be a good chance for real collaboration. I agree with the others that maybe it is beyond our current means, but if you want to have a go at one as a proof of concept, then i dont think anyone would try and stop you. The bellman 04:16, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Great idea. And many of us share it. -- Davodd | Talk 05:49, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I don't know if any of you are familier with the Collaboration of the Week (COTW) idea on wikipedia. It works very well. We could have a Feature/In-Depth Coverage of the Week system where we nominated an idea on a Sunday and by the following week publish the result as a Special Report. In wikipedia, COTW has ensured the work load is well spread on each project. Any comments? CGorman 15:27, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Put a synopsis of a second story on the main page


I've noticed that theres a lot of white space below the lead story on the main page, which looks amateurish. Why not put a secondary story synopsis on the main page, with a smaller headline and perhaps 20 words. This would also give greater exposure to other stories which are excellent but not as important as the lead story.

Too much work involved in keeping two leads updated. PS new comments should go at the bottom of discussion page, not the top, else people won't see them. Dan100 (Talk) 10:34, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Central vs. South vs. Latin America


I've created the Latin America topic to be all inclusive of the Spanish/French/Portuguese-speaking countries in the Western Hemisphere. (Cuba, a North American country, really has more in common with Nicaragua and Colombia than it does with Canada). -- Davodd | Talk 05:58, 15 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think we'd be better off sticking to North/Central/South, as I feel people are a bit more likely to know which country belongs where than with 'Latin America'. It also breaks step from using purely geographical categories; I wouldn't like to see 'Muslim World' or 'Developing World' springing up in a similar manner. Dan100 (Talk) 18:01, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, I agree with Dan, stick with specific geographical areas such as north, south, central. CGorman 18:34, 18 Feb 2005 (UTC)
hmmm... i dunno about this one. While i think that i agree with dan that i would not like to see 'muslim world' or what ever, we have to admit that europe, the middle east, and even central america, have more to do with social/political/cultural divisions than geographic. Why is mexico in central america and not north america for example. As for where europe begins and ends, thats a very tricky question. its supposedly the ural mountains, but many would say that Cyprus is not geographicaly part of europe (we have included included it), and that kazakhstan, which is geographicaly part of europe, should not be included. Then there is also the problem of turkey, which some people believe is part of europe, and others believe is part of the mid east. Speaking of which, the mid east certainly isnt a contienent, but we have a section for it. So whats my point? That maybe this geography stuff is already highly politicised, and no matter what naming conventions we choose, they will be cultural aswell as geographic. The bellman 04:36, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)
"Central America" doesn't really exist (It is a subregion of North America). The second reason is that Cuba and Mexico (North America) are in the same category as Canada -- but not in the same category as Costa Rica and Chile-- even though Mexico, Cuba, Chile and Costa Rica are closer to each other, share the same language and popular culture... "Central America" is a fiction. IN the Western Hemissphere, you have basically 3 main goe-cultural groupings: US/Canada/EU-Possessions, Spanish/Portuguese-speaking countries, and Tribal/Inuit/Native Americans. -- Davodd | Talk 05:47, 19 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Must the lead story have an image?


I don't think the lack of an image should stop us changing the lead story. Obviously it's great to use one if we have one, but many articles, for one reason or another, lack images. It seems a bit odd to leave a two day 'lead' story up on the Main Page because even though other major stories have broken, we don't have images for them. I don't think the Main Page looks at all bad without a picture either - white space ain't bad :) Dan100 (Talk) 16:25, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Images are not always possible, so I think such a requirement is unworkable. -- Davodd | Talk 20:44, 6 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Generally, an image of some relationship is possible, if only a flag or a map. en.wikinews main page is described by other language WN as "just lists". An image, except in the case of a breaking story of strong international interest, should be a criteria for the lead article template. - Amgine 19:49, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Someone has just removed the image from the G7 article, stating that it wasn't public domain. I'm not too up on the image copyrights issue, but as I understand it we can't claim 'fair-use' for images from another news provider, as we are a direct competitor. Is that right? The removed image was from ''. Dan100 (Talk) 12:44, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • I've done some research and the anon editor who removed the image (which was an AP photograph VOA was using under license) appears to be correct:

2.All text, audio and video material produced exclusively by the Voice of America is public domain. However, some images and graphics are licensed for use and covered by all applicable copyright laws. See below for Specific Restrictions.

Associated Press: VOA has a license from Associated Press to use AP photos and graphics. All AP material is copyrighted and the property of Associated Press, and may not be copied, published or redistributed without the written permission of Associated Press. Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium. Neither these AP materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use. AP will not be held liable in any way to the User or to any third party or to any other person who may receive information in the Service or to any other person whatsoever, for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing or occasioned thereby.

Dan100 (Talk) 12:54, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Why not have a breaking news image, where no actual image is availible? --Handyteeth 00:37, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Good idea; exactly what the BBC uses. Dan100 (Talk) 22:16, 10 Feb 2005 (UTC)
That's a great idea! Maps and possibly flags would also give many options. Samaritan 00:15, 12 Feb 2005 (UTC)
Done. You can see it in action on the current main page story.


Noclip 19:05, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)

WikiNews lite


Perhaps we could have an alternate, printer-friendly template for every page? The lite template wouldn't have the big bar on the top and left and could be very simple. Making it a template would allow it to be applied it to any page via a "Printer Friendly" link.

Actually, the default skin on Wikinews (Monobook) already has a built-in printing utility which will only print the article, removing the top and left bars. - Amgine 23:38, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)