The Longest Now


Collaborative news, half-neutered
Monday October 25th 2004, 10:10 am
Filed under: fly-by-wire

A current events and a related “In the News” section have existed on Wikipedia for a long time. They are among the more popular sections of the site, but there is some controversy about what kind of news notes are appropriate for the encyclopedia. Is a news update every day okay for a major story? Clearly newsflashes should also update the relevant article. How about local news? Is an event which attracts attention today but won’t be encyclopedic tomorrow (predictions about where a hurricane will hit ground, rumours of a big scandal which may be substanceless) worth its own paragraph? Its own article?

Right now, the only place for newsblurbs is in a long list on the current events page, which is later archived by month. A new Wikimedia project proposes to change all of that : Wikinews, a year or more in the conception (and still uncertain of the breadth of its mission), is attracting active discussion again, and may get its own domain this month. It aims to be a place to develop both news summaries and the occasional original report. This last bit sticks in the old craw; questions of neutralization of extreme points of view and hysteria, categorization, archiving, verification, and finalization of verified reports remain to be addressed later… but clearly much of the excitement over the project stems from the lure of this small proportion of its content.

Collaborative news, half-neutered …


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