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The Media The Internet

WikiPedia Founder Wales Speaks About Wikinews 246

sebFlyte writes "One of Wikipedia's founders, Jimmy Wales, has given an interesting interview to news.com.com.com about the new WikiNews project. He talks about his dissatisfaction with IndyMedia's bias, the problems with traditional news media and how to make Wiki content credible (a problem WikiPedia faces, as previously reported)."
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WikiPedia Founder Wales Speaks About Wikinews

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  • by Staplerh ( 806722 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @08:38PM (#11293594) Homepage
    I must say that I was impressed with the interview with Jimmy Wales. I've had my misgivings with the Wikinews project in the past, despite being an avid reader/contributor to Wikipedia. Yet from the article Mr. Wales lays out the project well:

    The bloggers are the editorial page and response to the editorial pages, and we're the response to the front page. We'll synthesize what's being reported in a variety of sources.

    Brilliant! That's exactly what WikiNews should be, and what it would excel at. Now, it will be simply a blog, but sort of an.. uber-blog. I'm just glad that Mr. Wales isn't looking too far, and acknowledges the shortcomings of the Wikinews project - the accessibility to foreign lands, important peoples, etc. In short, the power to break many stories. Not that bloggers haven't broken a few stories, but the lion's share will continue to reside with the big media sources.

    All in all, a great interview. Kudos to Mr. Wales!

    • I think where blogs and bloggers can contribute to breaking news is to break the IMPORTANCE of a story that is otherwise being ignored by the mass media (usually on orders from the PTB or in their own self-interest.)

      Seymour Hersh's breaking of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal would be an example. (While he's in "mass media", he's not writing in the NYT or Washington Post.)

      • Boy, did you ever get that wrong. Seymour Hersch is personally responsible for blowing the Abu Ghraib story completely out of proportion.

        My favorite Seymour Hersch anecdote comes from Tommy Franks' autobiography, American Soldier. He diplomatically refrains from mentioning Hersch by name, but he refers to an author who fabricated an absurd story during the fighting in Afghanistan. The dead giveaway was the fact that the author -- Hersch --said that the military used X AC-130 Spectre gunships during a certa
        • Does nobody know who Seymour Hersch is any more?

          The reason that many in the US Armed Forces don't like Seymour Hersch, besides the facts that he has some of the best sources in the business, is that he was almost single-handedly responsible for breaking the story of the My Lai massacre [wikipedia.org] in Viet Nam, where US soldiers murdered hundreds of innocent men, women and children.

          That story marked a seminal moment in US journalism, demonstrating the power of the media by uncovering the truth and the lies of the V

          • I agree with you that higher ranking USMIL people probably have an axe to grind with respect to Seymour Hersch, but you should also be aware that he's widely considered to be a conduit for leaks from some CIA elements and he hasn't been doing any actual on-the-ground investigative journalism in recent years as compared to Robert Fisk [robert-fisk.com] who is one of the few Western journalist to have interviewed Osama bin Laden, has actually physically visited the places that he reports on as a non-embedded (e.g. traditionall

        • The dead giveaway was the fact that the author -- Hersch --said that the military used X AC-130 Spectre gunships during a certain event, where X was a figure that was larger than the total number of AC-130s that existed in the world at the time.

          Mmmm, yeah what a devastating blow to the reporter's credibility. What is much more likely is that Hersch got the number wrong and pretty much everything else right and Franks reckoned - rightly in your case - that the best way of discrediting the piece was to jump
      • LOL - He didn't break anything. The news was out there for months. It just wasn't getting a lot of play in the media. Then the pictures appeared and blamo! tons of coverage.

        Take a "quiz" to see if you can separate facts from fiction [mudvillegazette.com] with the whole "torture scandal".

        Here's a good question for you:

        8. How were the pictures made public?

        A. Discovered after months-long investigations by reporter Seymour Hersh and 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes
        B. Handed to Hersh by Gary Myers, his old pal from the My-Lai c

        • If you read my original post, you'll note that I was pointing out that people can break the IMPORTANCE of news, not necessarily the story itself.

          Hersh pumping the Abu Ghraib story was instrumental in its not being buried by the rest of the national media, who have been burying US military war crimes for the last two years...not to mention long before that...

    • by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @08:51PM (#11293667) Homepage Journal
      The bloggers are the editorial page and response to the editorial pages, and we're the response to the front page. We'll synthesize what's being reported in a variety of sources.

      Brilliant! That's exactly what WikiNews should be, and what it would excel at.
      I'm not so sure. One of the things that has caused mainstream news to fail spectacularly is exactly that they all use each other as sources, and every article is just a 'synthesis' of what a bunch of the others said. This causes errors, falsehoods and blatant propaganda to be repeated through the networks for ever if they first get in there.

      That said, I'll wait and see what comes out of the wikinews project.
      • I'm not so sure. One of the things that has caused mainstream news to fail spectacularly is exactly that they all use each other as sources, and every article is just a 'synthesis' of what a bunch of the others said. This causes errors, falsehoods and blatant propaganda to be repeated through the networks for ever if they first get in there.

        One thing that could separate WikiNews from that is the presence of actual experts - or, at least, people who have more than just a passing familiarity with the subjec
        • --
          One thing that could separate WikiNews from that is the presence of actual experts - or, at least, people who have more than just a passing familiarity with the subject at hand.
          --

          Who determines whether someone is an expert or not on Wiki?

        • But can we find enough interested people to run this huge "fact-checking", or "bias-checking" or "stupidity-checking" business? Jimmy mentions that there are 200-300 core contributors at Wikipedia. Let's say 20-30 core contributors for Wikinews, who all have day jobs. Can they really provide adequate coverage and adequate assurance that major blunders were caught?

          An alternative is to interest the bloggers. But I fail to see how this can be done in the (relatively) anonymous Wiki mode. If I am a blogger com
    • As a Wikipedian, the thing that impresses me most about Jimbo is the fact that he actually talks about everything in no-point-of-view language. He is the only person who I have ever known of who actually talks about himself from NPOV.
  • Moderation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EnronHaliburton2004 ( 815366 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @08:43PM (#11293628) Homepage Journal
    I was around in the early days when Indymedia was being planned. I helped a bit from the technical end, how to set up Apache, which Linux would I recommend, etc. I dropped out of the project because I disagred with their moderation scheme, there is very little accountability.

    I'm a flaming liberal, and these days I can't stand Indymedia. Why? Because many comments and stories are hidden by the fascist moderators.

    Apparenly I'm not liberal ENOUGH to have my comments read by others, especially when I dare to criticize some Black Blockster when they do stupid shit like setting a trashcan on fire...

    Does Wikinews have a similar moderation scheme?
    • Does Wikinews have a similar moderation scheme?

      The moderation scheme is the Wiki scheme - readers can moderate, rephrase, remove bias, and so forth. If you want it to show liberal viewpoints, by all means write some stories of liberal interest -- just don't get didactic or biased. If I'm not mistaken, Wikinews will carry over the same neutral POV / avoid-bias policy that Wikipedia uses to remain nonpartisan on more visible issues.

      There are moderators (administrators), but they don't seem to be radically
    • No. It's a Wiki, and even if someone edits an article, the old version is still stored in the article's history (and the edit will be checked by others to make sure it's not censoring etc.) That being said, of course, criticism has no place on Wikinews, either. It's a news source, and like on Wikipedia, NPOV is probably the single most important principle behind it - just the facts, no opinions, whether explicit (by stating them) or implicit (by leaving out things etc.)
    • Re:Moderation? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Indymedia was designed as a *news service* for people interested in doing progressive and radical journalism. The open newswire and the comments area were not the chief goal of the website. Indymedia has bias, of course. It exists for progressives and radicals to report on their protests and to engage in journalism from a radical point of view.

      Oh, by the way, I'm an Indymedia volunteer and veteran of many black blocs. I like good news projects and I like trashcans set on fire. It sounds like Indymedia wasn
  • by Baldrson ( 78598 ) * on Friday January 07, 2005 @08:43PM (#11293634) Homepage Journal
    The epistemology of Wikidom has some weaknesses that render it useless for anything where there might be important information. Important information inevitably involves various interests and there is no way to remove the human element of resource competition from those interests.

    A great example is what just happened to the fusion power article. Two of the three founders of the Tokamak program have come out against the Tokamak and one of the founders circulated a letter to all of the plasma physics labs as well as to the relevant Congressmen, stating categorically that the Tokamak program was never real -- it was just a vehicle for raising funding so that other more hopeful ideas could be tried.

    I scanned the original letter and presented a link to it as an aspect of the fusion power article. This is primary source material -- not original research -- from one of the foremost authorities, indeed one of the fathers of the US fusion energy program. The nothing-better-to-do-with-their-times censored it [wikipedia.org] and quite honestly I just don't have the time, energy or patience to bother with a reversion war with the bottom feeders at wikipedia.

    • This is an excellent example of a shortcoming of Wikipedia. I try to contribute as much as I can, due to my academic interests in History, and I must say I've never seen such an example as yours. Of course, that may be due to my sticking to obscure 'corners' of the Wiki project.

      The Talk page that you linked too is reprehensible to say the least. This is why 'real' academic work needs peer-referencing for credibility.

      If I ever hear anybody planning to use Wiki as an authoritative source I'll be sure to poi
    • by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:16PM (#11293806) Homepage
      I went and looked at that link. To be honest, I agree with them. If the letter is genuine it should exist other places than your website, and judging from what else is on your website, I wouldn't necessarily trust you if you said 2+2=4.

      Sorry.

      I'd ask if you can prove it's from the person you claim it is - to be honest I haven't been able to look at it though (your geocities site is out of bandwidth) and so maybe it's a lot more genuine than I'm imagining it. But in any case, I'd still look for a more authoritative site that corroborates it.

      Otherwise we might as well start worshiping Gene Ray [timecube.com] as a prophet.

      • The fact that the "father" of the Tokamak declares that the program was never going to achieve its stated purpose proves exceedingly little. Perhaps the majority of speculative, high budget science is directed toward ancilliary ideas concerning applications the administration does not wish to openly discuss.

        I went through the SF airport in the early eighties and there was a grade A kook there handing out these "from another planet" booklets about the Tokamak program. They were about the size of a comic b
    • by tpgp ( 48001 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:20PM (#11293820) Homepage
      You linked to a scanned image on geocities?

      And expected people to take you seriously?

      A link to a site where anyone can place material is not a link worth having on wikipedia.

      To prove my point - I can put a scanned image up on geocities purporting to be from you, saying you were wrong.

      Would that prove anything? No - and nor does your link.
      • The authenticity of any web document must be corroborated. In the case of this letter, there is more than enough corroborating information that's easily verifiable. For crying out loud there's the author of the letter himself to call if you really want to be a jerk and harrass him.
        • In the case of this letter, there is more than enough corroborating information that's easily verifiable

          Why didn't you just link to that then?
        • If the author cared so much about getting the information out, why does he not have a web site proclaiming what he was saying? How did you happen to get a copy of the letter anyway?

          I agree with the others that your second-hand post of first hand material does not equal posting first-hand material. The whole Dan Rather document fiasco should have tought everyone that if nothing else, you need original documents if possible (and in this case it is possible).

          A more careful prepared bit of material linking
          • The legislative language was finalized in 1992 and the letter was not sent until mid 1995 -- before most people were aware of the www. Shortly thereafter Dr. Bussard entered a series of health crises. Consider yourself lucky you've read this.
        • Yes, however, if you're on Wikipedia linking UFOs and the Oklahoma City bombing... you - *yourself* - are considered a non-reliable source.

          I look forward to when Geocities makes your site available again. I use sources like you for various role playing games.

          --
          Evan

        • While it's generally a good idea to corroborate anything you find on Wikipedia, it's kind of useless to include material from such an obviously untrustworthy source (geocities), that it *must* be corroborated by the reader. An encyclopedia, in order to maintain its academic integrity, must prove its trustworthiness to the reader, not depend on the reader to prove it themselves.
      • A link to a site where anyone can place material is not a link worth having on wikipedia.

        Rich.

        (In all seriousness, you do make a valid point)
      • "A link to a site where anyone can place material is not a link worth having on wikipedia."

        HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!
      • A link to a site where anyone can place material is not a link worth having on wikipedia.

        Anyone can place material on wikipedia, so...
    • So, in other words, you made an edit that someone else didn't agree with, and you didn't make any attempt to either put your material in again, resolve the issue on the article's associated talk page etc., and you didn't ever do anything else on Wikipedia either, but you still conclude that because something YOU did was reverted, the whole concept must invariably be doomed?

      Congrats on the size of your ego. :)
    • by nutshell42 ( 557890 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:25PM (#11293858) Journal
      Now unfortunatly your pages have exceeded their geocities bandwidth limit but let's assume the whole Tokamak thing was a big scam. You actually believe thousands of scientists around the world are working on a big conspiration with the goal to aquire the billions necessary to build ITER, then build it and then tell everyone sorry, nothing to see here?

      Was it part of the McVeigh-UFO conspiracy also reported on your page before geocities axed it?

      Fusion power research is known for bitter blood feuds and with nothing but some non-viewable jpgs on a geocities page (the google cache is accessible but it didn't cache the images) I see it as proof of Wikipedia's abilities of self-regulation that your change was reversed.

      • Is my presentation of some strange correlations with McVeigh's activities -- not even offering any theories therefore -- grounds for discounting a cited primary historical document? If so -- how?

        Is the fact that a site has limited bandwidth grounds to ignore a cited primary historical document there hosted? If so -- why?

        Is a founder of the Tokamak program denouncing the program he started just another "bitter blood feud" for which "Fusion power research is known"? If so, are the other such situations

    • by Little Brother ( 122447 ) <kg4wwn@qsl.net> on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:57PM (#11293991) Journal
      Um dude, although I agree with the importance of the importance of your document, I can kinda see their point. You really should find a refrence elsewhere to the document you have, in a newspaper or such, that is hosted by somebody other than geocities. I could type up a confession by Bill Gates that he is a pedophile and buys boyslaves off of Michael Jackson, digitaly affix a signature, post it on gocities and cite it. But Wikipedia SHOULD remove my link in that case. Why is your case different? Well, possibly because your document is real, but how can I tell?

      On the other hand, they did treat you like shait on the discussion board page dismissing you instead of telling you what you needed to find to authintisicate your claims. They made ad-hominium attacks against you and were basicly jerks. So see if you can find a link to a newssource that mentions the origional document, if so, link to that newssource and they won't have a leg to stand on.

      -LittleBrother

      • Why is your case different? Well, possibly because your document is real, but how can I tell?

        There are multiple corroborators mentioned not the least of which is the author of the letter himself who, unlike Gates, is likely to be accessible.

    • I think the real problem is that you failed to establish your credibility in the discussion. The user who deleted your link looked at your previous contributions and that, combined with his concerns about the contribution in question being unsupported (that is, there was no other site to check to confirm that the content was real) led them to delete your link.

      In reading the discussion, I think they could have done more effort to validate the contributed document, but given limited time and energy, they ma

    • Its interesting that none of the people attacking my credibility have provided identifying information on themselves.

      Well, I take that back. There is a single exception: "Zippy [brandeis.edu]". He provides a rather valuable set of data in addition to his real name. He's:

      1. A "Wikipedia administrator" and
      2. Employed "at Applied Minds with Danny Hillis [slashdot.org]"

      He deserves credit for being the most honest of my ad hominem detractors.

    • If the information was so credible and so easily corroborated, there's no reason the Wiki entry needed to link to your personal site on Geocities. How do you answer a charge that this is simply grab for attention when instead of providing these supposedly corroborating sources you continue to battle to have the link to your personal site restored? I don't really see how you can. This is posturing, plain and simple.

      Your logic suffers from a serious flaw: you say you know the information is authentic, and th
      • How do you answer a charge that this is simply grab for attention when instead of providing these supposedly corroborating sources

        The corroborating sources are provided.

        The name of the company is on the letter head. The company still exists. The name of the author is given. The name of the person who handed me the letter is given. The names of the Congressional recipients are given. All of these are public figures.

    • Your accusation of ad hominem attack are unfounded. Ad hominem is not invalid if it calls into question the legitimacy of the person making the argument. For example:

      "Your physics theory is invalid because you are gay" is ad hominem.

      "I don't trust your medical opinion because you've said previously that AIDs could be transmitted through tears" is not ad hominem.
      • "I don't trust your medical opinion because you've said previously that AIDs could be transmitted through tears" is not ad hominem.

        Fine. So let's come up with the analogous statement here:

        "I don't trust your corroborating sources listed in the primary historical document because..."????

        You sure are a long way from showing evidence that Robert Bussard, Robert Johnson or any of the Congressmen are untrustworthy -- as you must for your argument to be applicable. Cited sources presented by wikipedia con

        • "I don't trust your corroborating sources listed in the primary historical document because..."????

          It's not quite the same. Better:

          "I don't trust *you* to provide accurate primary historical documents without third-part corroborating sources."

          Ie: When I run md5sum on some Linux software, it's not that I distrust the people who released the software, rather, I distrust the vector through which I acquired the software.
    • If you twerps want to really get my goat, why don't you get a notarized letter from Robert W. Bussard at Energy Matter Conversion Corporation denouncing the letter I report him as having sent to Congress and the research labs around the country. I've gone far enough out of my way to make it falsifiable [wikipedia.org]. Do your Popperian duty and contact him at the address of his company, Energy Matter Conversion Corporation, as reported by a government contracting awards list website [fbodaily.com]:

      Energy/Matter Conversion Corporatio

    • by deglr6328 ( 150198 ) on Saturday January 08, 2005 @02:07AM (#11295264)
      I feel I should chime in here, as the person who originally removed the geocities links from the article.

      I removed the link because; number one - wikipedia does not publish original research [wikipedia.org], two -Jim Baldrson has been a known trollish crazy on Kuro5hin for years [kuro5hin.org] and a troll on Usenet for over a DECADE landing himself on a kook-of-the-month list way back in 1994 [64.233.167.104], three -The ideas expressed on his geocities site (which is down now but I'll link anyway, maybe it'll be back up) are just plain insane. Here's a real gem: "Immigration Causes Autism" [geocities.com] a lovely little racist tract (also, racist extremists endorse his views [64.233.161.104]), fourth -he started editing wikipedia articles in suspicious anti-semitic and racist ways (see here [wikipedia.org], though these are merely revivals of his MANY earlier [google.com] anti-Jewish ramblings) though his changes were reverted by other users fairly quickly, fifth -he seems to go "underground" when he's noticed by others as a problem and then starts posting changes to articles using only his IP [wikipedia.org]. So in conclusion I think its quite clear that neither he nor his ideas or motives are trustworthy. He is closely watched on wikipedia right now and I doubt he will get away with too much shenanigans.

      One hilarious bit of irony I can't help but relish is that he came here to cry a river about how he was being "censored" on wikipedia and then had four +5 comments posted below him agreeing with his opposition after recognizing him for the kook he is. Wow, congrats Jim!
      • To the best of my knowledge the last time I posted anything anonymously was the Plato network circa 1980 when I did a bit of fiction under a pseudonym. Since then everything has been easily identifiable as the person I am -- in stark contrast to "deglr6328" who, for all we know, may be a refugee from The People's Temple. I think I know who is posting as IP 164.116.47.178 [wikipedia.org] but I did not consult with said person concerning the fusion power article prior to his/her editing of that article.

        As to the rest of

  • Well... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by euphonaesthesia ( 780368 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @08:52PM (#11293673)
    But what's interesting about the way the wiki process works, and the openness of it, is that if you write something and you want it to survive the process, you have to write it in such a way that is broadly satisfactory to people of many points of view.

    But what about issues and facts that may indeed offend a lot of people? One of the problems with mainstream media is that they must retain an audience and so they often frame the information such that it is in a view that is pleases as much of its audience as possible. A single issue has many viewpoints, and each of those viewpoints may be presented with a bias. Take nuclear energy for example--one can explore the dangers of it or talk about its advantages. Both can be reported in a netural way, but by highlighting one and not the other, there is another form of bias. They may circumvent some types of political and opionated biased in this way, but they do not eliminate the bias as to what does and does not receive attention.
    • "Both can be reported in a netural way, but by highlighting one and not the other, there is another form of bias."

      Define neutral. If you mean factual, what is the standard for "facts". Or do you mean without bias? The fundamental problem with trying to eliminate bias is that it is NOT possible. ANY report from ANY source will be biased. For instance, the mere act of filming something or taking a picture is a biased act. What the camera points at, what is recorded, where it is set up, etc., all introduce bi
  • by davide101 ( 847486 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:05PM (#11293740) Homepage
    Would it kill a project to have 'expert versions' of pages that have been okayed by a panel (elected by majority vote, of course) of experts? These could be right next to regular pages and inspire a little more confidence in results.... especially in more specialized or scientific areas. Your thoughts?
    • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:25PM (#11293857) Homepage
      It wouldn't kill the project as such, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. Why would you want to *elect* experts? The fact that someone is popular doesn't mean he's an expert in a certain field. Wikipedia already is a meritocracy of sorts where how much you're respected depends on what you do, not what you claim, and I think that's the right idea. Of course, a "stable" branch from the Wikipedia trunk that's being double-checked for factual accuracy and the like by experts is still a good idea for a CD-ROM version or so, for example, but it shouldn't be mixed with the trunk. The fact that anyone can edit a page and have the changes go live immediately is Wikipedia's strength, after all, and the failure of Nupedia should tell us all something. :)
      • For a Wikipedia 1.0, where you could(in theory) order a hardcopy in which each article is ceritified to be accurate, Wikipedia NEEDS a -stable version of articles controlled SOLEY by moderators and admins, and a -current that exists now.

        -stable would be where mods get a queue to approve/disapprove of changes to be put into the stable version, such that the -stable is verified to be accurate.

        -current would be the wikipedia that we know now.
  • Notice? (Score:5, Funny)

    by ImTwoSlick ( 723185 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:11PM (#11293775)
    I for one, welcome our news.com.com.com.com.com overlords.
  • by qadmon ( 239439 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @09:14PM (#11293797)
    Yep thats very very true.

    I found Wikinews by accident. They had a 'drinking fountain/watercooler' area where anything seemed to be ok as far as metadiscussion.

    I made a few posts and was rudely slammed by the clique residing there. They take you post and alter it at will, move it other places and do as they jolly well wish.

    You can complain there but the 'mafia' just ignores you.

    I decided it was a waste of time.

    In my view therefore WikiNews sucks big time.

    If you have a place for conjecture on the site then don't trash it with your 'supposed'neutrality. By the way who judges the neutrality? A bunch of folks who make the decisions. This is NOT NEUTRALITY. Its bullying in just a new skin but its still the same.

    I repeat...its sucks.
  • by bcrowell ( 177657 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @10:01PM (#11294010) Homepage
    ...everything looks like a nail.

    To Jimmy Wales, everything looks like a job for a wiki.

    Wikipedia was a smashing success, and that surprised a lot of people, including me. But if we step back and analyze why it was successful, I think there are some very specific things that made it work, and that don't apply so much to other types of work:

    1. instant gratification -- You can be the one to create the article on Green Day, or crustaceans, or whatever you happen to be interested in, and there you go, half an hour later, it's something useful that you've given to the world.
    2. permanent value -- You can tell yourself that your article on crustaceans will be something that will always be there for other people to read, albeit with modifications over the years.
    3. factuality -- The job of an encyclopedia is mostly just to describe the world as it is. You don't need to be creative, you just need to describe the facts.

    Well, wikinews fails criterion #2, and probably #3 as well -- its writers probably aren't going to be flying to Fallouja to report first-hand, so all they'll have to contribute is their own opinions about the news. The one place where wikipedia really falls flat on its face is topical and controversial articles, i.e., wikinews' entire prospective subject matter.

    Then there's wikibooks [wikibooks.org], which fails criterion #1. There may be some healthy, thriving books in there, but as for the physics textbook I've been checking on now and then, nobody seems to have the long-term motivation to write anything past the first chapter.

    • its writers probably aren't going to be flying to Fallouja to report first-hand, so all they'll have to contribute is their own opinions about the news.

      Isn't the point of a Wiki news site that you might not have to fly there, because someone on the ground in the region could comment on the story?

      I don't know how often that will happen, but it seems like a distinct possibility given the amount of real news you can pull from blogs. Perhaps news will be people picking through blogs from topical events look
    • It's not much different than what most news companies do now. Most get thier info from shared sources like the AP.

      If they've got enough cash they'll send someone out to the scene, but it's rare that these people "live from the scene" give any more or different information than is available to the guys back in the studio.

      Most media sources are all the same, the only differences are in the biases and if they admit them. (FOX with it's nudge-wink admissions of it's bias, or CNN with it's denials of it's bias)

    • Why would A Wikinews writer even fly over to Faluja when someone who *lives in* Faluja can give a first hand report?

      This is what is blatantly missing from big media, and why WikiNews will succeed. A big media journalist flys into the middle of a conflict (often at least 24 hours after it has begun - too late!), and starts reporting. However, he doesn't *live* there. The people who live and work in the area should be the ones filing the reports. They are the ones with first-hand access to the information.

      S
  • Run with it! Synthesizing various biases in the media into a relatively objective, fair report is something done largely in academia these days, and rarely occurs in journalism.

    Perhaps Wikinews, through the variety of biases found in individuals of "the mob", really *can* attain some level of objectivity and agreeability on news items. It'll be a good experiment, anyway. :)

    Alternatively, I can see the project failing because of the nature of news -- it's here for a moment, then probably never referenced
  • by Ralconte ( 599174 ) on Friday January 07, 2005 @10:46PM (#11294262)
    This site, [tenbyten.org] culls news services for the most common word. Not the best topic, or most important topic, just counts what people are writing about and lets you see the headlines. It may be the closest thing yet to a non-biased news source.
  • I think the only problem for Wikinews could be the simple lack of contributors. They are not paying enough to have fulltime writers/editors, so they need many times more contributors than a newspaper or even a news agency.

    The knowledge, the bias, these are all non-issues. It's hard to do worse than the mainstream media does. Nobody does factchecking and original research anyway, it's either from the wire or just printing a press release almost verbatime. There are of course some interviews, editorials and

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