What is special about Wikinews?
Anyone can contribute, and articles are written collaboratively for a global audience. We strive at all times to meet the policy of writing and reporting from a neutral point of view, ensuring our reporting is as fair as possible.
Furthermore, everything we write is cited, to maintain the highest standards of reliability.
Our policy is to omit opinion and commentary in our articles — if you want to tell the world what you think, try blogging.
Wikinews, like its big sister Wikipedia, is run and funded by volunteers donating their time and money, and has no advertising. Decisions are made collectively, and we like to negotiate. Discussion is encouraged, and there are plenty of people around to learn from.
Everything that's done on the wiki can be undone, so it's very friendly to new users. The interface is designed to be easy to use and easy to learn.
What Wikinews articles are
Wikinews has two main types of article:
- The most common is the synthesis article. These draw on media reports from many other sources (always fully cited). It is rare for other media stories to contain all the available facts, so we provide a more rounded and detailed report. We can also strip out any bias and present a neutral point of view.
- The other type of articles is original reporting. These are first-hand news reports written by Wikinews contributors on-the-spot of news events. You can read more about this type of reporting at Wikinews:Original reporting.
Where do I start?
Learn to edit MediaWiki
Some essentials are needed by anyone who would like to work on articles. For one thing, you will need to know how to edit a page. However, don't concern yourself too much with that. There are plenty of people willing to help you if you need help in that area. You can also try our wiki sandbox, which lets you try the code however you want.
Start reading, start writing
Published articles appear on the Main Page. You could start off by reading some of those: you might find errors to correct, and get an idea of what others are writing here.
Like to know more?
Wikinews Style guide
Like most publications, Wikinews has its own style guide, which helps its contributors make their efforts blend in harmony to produce a finished look. The style guide also contains a lot of tips and grammar guides. But you can pick up 99% of what you need to know just by looking at existing articles.
Research using Wikinews Research desk
Communicating with other Wikinews users
A number of facilities exist in order to communicate your intentions, suggestions and questions, with other Wikinews users.
Click on the 'discussion' link at the top of any article to go to its associated talk page. By editing the Talk page, you can leave comments for other readers. Each user who has edited Wikinews before also has a Talk page for their username, where you can leave comments for that user.
Wikinews:Article flags invite people to work on certain aspects of an article or inform them about the state of the article, including a number of common problems which arise.
The Wikinews:Water cooler is the place to discuss general Wikinews issues.
Live chat via IRC
If you're lost, try Wikinews:Contents.
Not quite sure if Wikinews is for you? Or if you are doing the right thing?
- Wikinews:Mission statement
- Wikinews:What Wikinews is
- Wikinews:What Wikinews is not
- Wikinews:Policies and guidelines
Or ask someone at the Wikinews Welcommittee!
Disputes are inevitable. We are all very friendly here at Wikinews, but it is a little chaotic, and no one can see the whole of Wikinews all at once. We are not mind-readers, and as nifty as Wikinews is, even this is not a perfect communication medium.
Please be patient and polite when you have a dispute.
Tips for resolving serious disputes are at Wikinews:Dispute resolution.
Reviewers and administrators
Wikinews, like all wikis, tries to be non-hierarchical, to the extent possible for the tasks we perform. Individual differences between users are more recognized here than on many wikis, with attention paid to individual accumulated reputations. Some technical tasks have to be reserved for trusted users, and for these we have reviewers and admins.