Wikinews:Wikinews Bulletin/2007-2/Board elections

Board elections turn political; Wikinews has candidate edit

By Steven Fruitsmaak, June 26, 2007

Jason without his long hair as we know him, after a recent haircut.

Jason Safoutin on June 12 became a candidate in the Elections for the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, 2007. User:Sean Heron failed to get the necessary amount of endorsements in time. Voting starts on Thursday, June 28, 2007.

Several Wikinews members have been very actively asking questions to the Board candidates about their ideas on Wikimedia Sister Projects, and Wikinews in particular. Some candidates are big supporters to increase the attention to smaller projects, while others such as User:Kate believe that the Wikimedia Foundation should be just for Wikipedia, and that it would be better for the other projects if they had a Foundation of their own that gave them proper attention. User:Zanimum found that disturbing enough to warn people on the water cooler.

Brian McNeil confronted Erik Möller with his feelings that Wikinews is Wikimedia's neglected stepchild. The latter also revealed that:

  The current Wikinews accreditation policy is a bit odd. There is no reference to it in any Board meeting minutes (including confidential ones), nor was any resolution passed on it. The Board has never, to my knowledge, explicitly approved it, and even the policy itself only makes reference to "implicit" approval.  

One idea to improve communication with the Board was to have a Wikinews embassy.

Board elections are the perfect time to ask hard questions and to be sure you get an answer. Here is a fantastic example, which was posted to all candidate pages under the header Impending failure, by User:MessedRocker:

  The Wikimedia Foundation at a corporate level is soaked in its own drama and if conditions don't improve soon, it will crash and burn. I want the newly elected trustees to act as catalystic mediators to simply and peacefully transform drama into productivity and then success for the foundation. How do you plan on doing this?  

Another noticable event was the discussion of former employee and candidate Danny Wool with Florence Devouard over the recompensations she got for the care of her children while working for the Board.

Other themes in the election besides the role of different projects and languages seem to be stable versions, licensing issues, funding, position of the Wikimedia Chapters, and what are core issues for the Board.

The 15 candidates are between 19 and 49, uniquely from the United States and Europe, and 80% male.

In the current issue: Editor's note · Board elections turn political; Wikinews has candidate · Wikinews gets own OTRS queue · Blog activity · Featured content · Administrators and accreditations · Bulletin Shorts · Cabal IRC discussion