By KELSEY PINAULT
Many online users know of Wikipedia as a nonviable news source. The Web site that was starting with the intent of sharking news and having the public contribute information does just that. However, many still don’t see this as something that can be relied on, even when the information given is sourced.
Hoping to get more information that is timely and newsworthy, rather than information that can always be posted and added to, Wikipedia recently developed Wikinews for this.
Although I agree that Wikipedia is not a valid source, I did find its information about how to write an article for Wikinews both interesting and useful. These guidelines are the same for writing for this Web site as they would be for any others.
The guidelines begin with some tips to keep in mind before you start. Make sure your story is news that is appropriate and current for the source and also make sure this story has not already been written about on that site.
The article then goes on to give the essential steps of writing and posting a news story online.
- Meet content guidelines —– Write a story that is fully sourced, comes from a neutral point of view, and does not infringe on copyright of other works.
- Write in ‘news’ style — There is a specific style that is used to accurately get news across in a manner that cuts to the point and is easily understandable.
- List your sources — This is specific to the Wikipedia site, however it is a good method of keeping all your sources in order to have a separate list somewhere keeping you organized.
Wikinews describes ways to enhance the story you have written for the site, such as adding images, videos, and so forth. I found this site’s guidance on writing an article so interesting because the site makes the option available to add on knowledge to a story that was reported by someone else. When done the right ethical way, stories written on Wikinews give the community an opportunity to work together in getting news out to the rest of the public.
The staff of this site aims to make its stories ones that will eventually be considered a viable source by everyone. This may take time or may never completely happen, but that doesn’t mean that the information on this site should be completely disregarded, as it is bringing together reporters in a unique new way.