The Wikinewsie Group/Project planning

The Wikinewsie Group

A project to support the Wikimedia community
by creating infrastructure to support Wikinews original reporting,
journalist education and community outreach

Key resources

This page is for planning and organizing activities currently being organized across projects. Some of thse projects are only in the very, very preliminary stage and only exist conceptually.

The Wikinewsie Group Newsletter edit

Description: A bot that will deliver a weekly newsletter to subscribers. The newsletter will highlight original reporting done on Wikinews, who contributed to the original reporting and article traffic statistics.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, Gryllida, Base, pi zero

To-do / specs

Original reporting

  • Get a list of all the Wikinews projects that allow original reporting.
  • Create a framework that will identify every piece of original reporting published on each project that has original reporting in a 7 day period.
  • Create a framework that will identify every contributor to a piece of original reporting. This includes reporters, editors and reviewers.
  • Create a matrix for original reporting by project that details local project characters like no category/specific category for original report, no template/template exists for original reporting, flagged revs not enabled/enabled, reporter credited/not credit with byline, reporter named/not named in interviews, detailed reporting notes required/verification did reporting required/no reporters notes required.
  • Figure out how to make the output as multilingual as possible.


  • Create a framework that will identify the most viewed NEW articles in the past seven days for each language Wikinews project.
  • Create an exclusion policy, so only projects with five or more articles published in the past week will be included.
  • Create output of five most popular new articles published by language with the total number of views.
  • Figure out how to make the output as multilingual as possible.


  • Figure out how to set up a bot (with an on/off switch) that can deliver a newsletter similar to the way the signpost does.
  • Figure out content formatting for the newsletter. It should have three parts: (1) Original reporting highlights, (2) Article popularity highlights, (3) The Wikinewsie Group news. Perhaps borrow the content formatting component, with built in bot automation, from either the English Language Signpost or the Glam Newsletter.
  • Figure out the make it pretty aspect of the newsletter.
  • Figure out if there is a way to distribute the newsletter in the lingua franca of the contributor. See Meta:Language select for some tech details.
  • Promote newsletter once set up.

An automated ability to generate a weekly list of original reports on wikis has been created. A comment has been left regarding the global delivery bot as creating a newsletter with no method for global delivery is problematic. Stage one of getting a framework for weekly stats is done and at there.

Newsletter started at The Wikinewsie Group/Newsletter. This is not the ideal solution but will work for the next month or two while we work to refine the tech back end and find a workaround for problems like inability to globally deliver.

Icelandic Wikimedia Conference edit

Description: A one day conference in Iceland, with a morning and evening session. One session will be for Wikipedia. One session will be for Wikinews. There would also be an Icelandic meet-up. The purpose would be try get started an Icelandic language wikinews community, to encourage Icelandic Wikimedians to contribute to Wikinews in other languages, and foster a relationship with the Icelandic Wikimedia community because The Wikinewsie Group will be incorporated in the country.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, Kjarrval

To-do / specs
  • Find a project lead.
  • Reach out to Icelandic Wikimedians to determine local interest, and get assistance with venue, etc.
  • Seek potential sponsorship/grants to host the event.
  • Identify one to three Wikinewsies who may be willing to travel to Iceland to assist with facilitating the event.

Conceptual. Airfare for Europeans would likely be around $300 to $500 round trip per person. No budget for this, so Wikinewsies would likely need to be willing to pay for it themselves out of pocket or apply for a participation grant.

Icelandic Wikipedia celebrates its 10th birthday on December 5. This might be a date worth shooting for. A goal by then would be to have an Icelandic Wikinews established on incubator by then. This could possibly coincide with an in person The Wikinewsie Group board meeting if we have recognition by then.

It would be nice to get free place to have the conference at a university or a GLAM.

European based Wikinews Conference edit

Description: A two to three day Wikinews conference located somewhere in Europe with the purpose improving relationships between different language projects, discussing how original reporting can be improved and syndicated better across languages, providing additional information on The Wikinewsie Group, and working on tool creation.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs
  • Find a project lead.
  • Select a location and set a date.
  • Determine conference format. (Open space? Unconference? Presentations?)
  • Determine audience.
  • Seek potential sponsorship/grants to host the event.

Reviewing tool edit

Description: A tool to make it easier for people to review articles on Wikinews projects like English Wikinews.

Members involved in planning: Pi zero


Pi zero is actively working on building these tools on English Wikinews. There has been a fair amount of progress, but no timeframe yet for local implementation.

There are questions about Lua implementation that will eventually see the removal of wiki markup and how this will impact any tool development. If this new interface does not allow for conditional statements in terms of design, it could hinder the development of improved reviewing tools.

IRC Workshops edit

Description: Hosting a series of IRC workshops for training on Wikinews.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, pi zero

To-do / specs
  • Develop training materials to supplement online training.
  • Work with reviewers to coordinate a time when they can do reviews on the spot while new reporters are on IRC for assistance.
  • Work on setting up workshops outside of the English language community.

Training materials development edit

Description: Develop training materials for Wikinews for use by Wikinewsies at training session, for use by educators and to assist people in learning how to contribute to Wikinews.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs
  • Create a one page guide for easy distribution.
  • Encourage others to create training materials.
  • Have a central place where these materials can be found other than on bookshelf on Outreach wiki.
  • Look at the problems identified with the University of Wollongong cohort and create materials to address problems that arose there.

GLAM edit

Report edit

Description: Write a report on all GLAM related coverage and GLAM related events on English Wikinews and other language Wikinews where available. This is to serve as a benchmark for future reference.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs
  • Compile a list of all known GLAM projects that had a Wikinews component.
  • Compile a list of articles related to GLAMs, and determine on what timeline they were published.
  • Take list of articles and determine if they were synthesis or original reporting.
  • Get traffic information for GLAM related articles on Wikinews.
  • Create a report that can be published locally on Wikinews, on meta and be submitted to the GLAM newsletter.

Draft underway at User:LauraHale/GLAM Submitted to to GLAM newsletter for April at April 2013 Special story. This report is being used as a framework for Wikinews:GLAM on English Wikinews.

Partnerships edit

Description: Try to develop partnership opportunities with GLAMs.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs
  • Identify potential GLAM partners.
  • Find existing GLAM projects that may provide mutual opportunities for GLAMs and Wikinews to work together to freely share news.

Behind the scenes work continuing to be pursued regarding a GLAM partnership with a heavy Wikinews component.

Wikimania 2013 edit

Description: Have members of the organization attend Wikimania and present about the organization. Have members attend and network.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs
  • Confirm which members of The Wikinewsie Group will be attending.

At least one member has a partial scholarship which should allow them to attend. A proposal has been submitted. It can be found at .

Other Wikinews related proposals were also submitted.

It does not look like a single Wikinews related proposal, of which there were at least 4, were accepted and put on the program. This includes , , .

Article translation edit

Description: Improve cross project networking to translate content from one project to another. This includes learning the local Wikinews cultural differences that may prove an impediment to getting an article published.

Members involved in planning: Computron, pi zero, Gryllida

To-do / specs
  • Find people willing to translate articles who understand how projects work.
  • Encourage Wikinewsies to visit other language Wikinews projects to see what they are reporting on.
  • Get people to translate articles where possible.
  • Create a list that details differences in reporting/reviewing requirements from one project to another so people can have a better chance of getting translated materials published.
  • Create a matrix for original reporting by project that details local project characters like no category/specific category for original report, no template/template exists for original reporting, flagged revs not enabled/enabled, reporter credited/not credit with byline, reporter named/not named in interviews, detailed reporting notes required/verification did reporting required/no reporters notes required.

Exploring possibility of maybe trying to do some of the translation using therosettafoundation. They do volunteer translations for non-profits. This would require developing a reviewing matrix to figure out standards across projects, as it would still require articles going through the local review process.

There are some cultural barriers and lack of willingness for Wikipedian translators to assist. Workarounds being sought in those cases.

Discussing platform issue for where to solicit translations on English Wikinews. WORTNET was based on meta and was not seen as fundamentally workable from a historical point of view.

Commons outreach edit

Description: Encourage Commons photographers to contribute to Wikinews projects by creating photoessays and explain how Wikinews can assist in getting media accreditation for events.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale

To-do / specs

* Create template and individually engage editors to encourage them to contribute.

  • Participate more on Commons to explain what is going on.
  • Monitor and track any submissions as a result of outreach.

Template created to invite users to contribute to Wikinews on Commons. Needs to be moved to the main space at some point. More consultation needed with Commons administrators. A number of people were invited. No real progress towards getting new contributors but new awareness.

This will be re-visited more in the future. The problem is better targeting. One person had tried to contribute several years ago and was not happy about the experience.

Wikinews business card edit

Description: Design and create a business card/reporter card for Wikinews reporters to use when out reporting. This should be either printable from home, a printing shop or some other place. It would assist in moving The Wikinewsie Group reporters towards professionalization.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, Pi zero, Base, Itu

To-do / specs
  • Create template for cards.
  • Figure out a way to customize cards individually.
  • Explore possibility of seeking grant to pay for cards for reporters.

Thinking about how to promote, and possibility of creating using SVG with a form that automatically creates image after that. Issue is how to do without having it say people officially represent The Wikinewsie Group or Wikinews at this point in time.


Work-in-progress discussion is placed here

Wikinews research edit

Description: Conduct research related to Wikinews to better understand how community functions to develop strategies for growing community, improving practices, etc.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, Pi zero

To-do / specs

Three pieces of research completed. They include Blocks on English Wikinews, Wikinews:GLAM/Coverage and Research:Wikinews Review Analysis. Currently drafting English Wikinews and the Gender Gap.

Icelandic Wikinews edit

Description: Support the Icelandic Wikimedia community in trying to get Icelandic Wikinews active on incubator and ready to be launched as an independent project.

Members involved in planning: LauraHale, Base

To-do / specs
  • Get enough activity to get Icelandic Wikinews out of incubator.
  • Support Icelandic Wikimedians in devising local policies.
  • Support translation efforts of any Icelandic Wikinews original reporting content into other languages.

This has been discussed a fair bit on IRC in connection with the Icelandic Wikimedia Conference planned activity. A goal would be to see if enough activity could be generated to get the project moved prior to the conference.

On May 11, a post was made to the Icelandic Wikimedia mailing list and to the The Wikinewsie Group mailing list to encourage people to participate on the project.

Original reporting toolkit edit

Description: A tool for a mobile phone or tablet to allow reporters to do better coverage on the ground. It would allow for image uploading to Commons and local Wikinews projects, audio/video recording and conversion to ogg and uploading, and an interface to allow stories to be written, and original reporting notes shared.

Members involved in planning: Brian McNeil

To-do / specs
  • Find developers interested.
  • Program must record audio/video.
  • Program must be able to record in ogg/ogv or convert recordings to that format.
  • Program must be able to take pictures.
  • Program must be able to either upload content locally or to Commons depending on licensing restrictions. (See Olympics/^Paralympics for where there are restrictions.)
  • Program must allow reporters to create reporter notes.
  • Program should allow all content to be grouped around reporting theme for possible multiple use assuming multiple articles about a topic are to be written.
  • Program must allow reporters to write and submit news to their local Wikinews project.

Some of the tools currently in use include dropbox. This was successfully used during a wheelchair basketball test event and the 2012 London Paralympics. There is a desire to move away from that and towards a cloud based solution. Brian is looking into this. The question is compatibility with reporter needs based on existing mobile applications they have. Genius Scan and FiRe do not necessarily support that solution yet. server edit

Description: Improve server.

Members involved in planning: Brian McNeil

To-do / specs
  • Move server to Iceland (Planned for first two weeks of June)
A Virtual Host would be preferable to shared hosting; shared is acceptable for initial move, not longer-term
  • Requires set up of WordPress Multisite for various sub-sites; import existing sub-domains to Multisite configuration
  • MediaWiki for Journalists Workspace to be moved and brought to same revision/version as main MediaWiki servers
  • Test/Development MediaWiki instance
  • Email migration and cleanout of old/obsolete accounts
  • Secure a certificate to allow https access (require wildcard - * - to ensure can have all sub-domains secured)
  • Security
  • Require investigation of WordPress security plugins
  • Check noted issues with MediaWiki whitelist namespace extension; resolve and test
  • Pen testing of environment
  • Cloud storage
  • Provision of ownCloud storage for Wikinewsies
  • Multimedia
  • Re-develop scripts for transcoding audio and video content to WMF-acceptable formats
  • Re-develop automated upload scripts from ownCloud storage
This will require special considerations to ensure that persons responsible for uploading media via a bot process are readily-identifiable from the desciption details uploaded with the media
  • Develop media-saving scripts for all media that may be at-risk from deletion on Commons without consultation of Wikinews where media appears on published articles
  • Delegated management
  • Require multiple administrators for the web hosting
  • Documentation required to permit others to manage hosting and services
  • Backups
  • Off-site, encrypted
  • Resilience
  • Round-robin DNS with public-facing content mirrored outwith Iceland
  • Server transition planned for first two weeks of June 2013
  • Funding of SSL certificate is contingent on available funding
  • Virtual Host sizing required for longer-term, and move away from a shared/cloud hosting account; ideal is dedicated host