Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions

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The first thing to be aware of is that any changes you make to this template will be immediately visible on the Main Page, which means that any errors will be visible to a large number of visitors. With that in mind, it is recommended to use a spellchecker and/or the preview button. After that, follow the three steps described below. If you have time, there are some additional things you may be able to do. On behalf of Wikipedia, thank you for helping at ITN!


For the most important aspects, read the bold text. What comes after is intended as clarification.


Make sure the item has consensus for posting at WP:ITN/C. This is the only place where prospective ITN items are discussed. Consensus there is not as hard and fast as it is at AfD or RfA, so admins are advised to use their best judgment. Editors at ITN/C declare their support or opposition and, after a few hours, it's usually fairly clear if enough people express reasonable arguments in favour of posting. If the consensus is not entirely clear, consider letting the nomination run for more time, especially if the nomination is less than 24 hours old. Once a consensus for posting is reached, please do not archive the discussion. Instead, note that you have posted the item by annotating the section header with "(Posted)" and commenting "Posted." with your signature at the bottom of the discussion.

If there is not consensus to post the item and the nomination has had suitable time to run (generally 24 hours), nominations can be closed. Nominations with "fixable" opposition (e.g. the nominated article needs more references) should be allowed to remain open. Posted nominations generally are not closed so that the nomination can be used as a workspace for an item (beyond the scope of WP:ERRORS) or if there is a possibility of additional voters later requesting that the item be pulled. Posted items with lengthy nonproductive debate after posting may be closed with administrator discretion.


The new blurb should contain a bold link to an updated article. There are criteria for the update, but all you really need to know is that if the article is new, it should be capable of imparting all the most important facts to the reader. A rule of thumb is generally three complete, referenced and well-formed paragraphs/sections for a new article. If an update has been made to an existing article, check it is well referenced and, again, that it tells the reader what they want to know. For this, a five-sentence update is generally considered to be more than enough. In a longer article, it may be desirable to pipe the link directly to the relevant section.

For items added to either the "Ongoing" or "Recent Deaths" (RD) sections of ITN, the articles must also be updated, but the links for these items are not bolded in Template:In the news.


ITN items must have a suitable, descriptive blurb. Check Portal:Current events and the ITN/C discussion for suitable suggestions. Do not start the blurb with a numeral in accordance with Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). The aim of the blurb is to convey the most pertinent facts in as little space as possible. If casualties are involved, try to use an estimate as precise figures can date quickly, especially with current events. The blurb should be in the simple present.

Now, the tricky bit. ITN items are in a bulleted list, ordered chronologically by date of occurrence (but not necessarily chronologically within that date) not by date they were added, thus items may have to be posted in the middle of the template. In addition, because ITN items are arranged chronologically, the date should be added in a comment (example below). A typical example would look as follows, assuming that "Shiny Space Shuttle Mk IV" is the updated article:

* <!--Aug 24-->[[NASA]] successfully launches '''[[Shiny Space Shuttle Mk IV]]'''.


  • NASA successfully launches Shiny Space Shuttle Mk IV.

An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section following a nomination and community consensus to do so. Major developments should be nominated for a new blurb. Articles listed in Ongoing that are not being regularly updated should be removed.

Recent deaths

For RD items, the posting system is slightly different. RD items are ordered by the time of posting, with the newest items added to the top (appearing leftmost to readers). Items are eligible for posting for seven days after the death (or occasionally the announcement of the death, if substantially delayed). There is a limit of six RD items at a time in the section. Old items are removed when new items get posted.

Other things to consider

There are a few other things that can be done after updating the template, but don't fret about these too much. If they are not done, someone else will be able to do it. They are not as urgent as posting a news blurb.


If you follow many threads at Talk:Main Page or WP:ERRORS, you will have heard all about balance! This means the combined lengths of ITN and OTD should be about the same length as TFA and DYK combined. This can be adjusted by removing the oldest item from the bottom of the template. Just remove it. Go on. Don't be scared! If ITN and OTD are shorter than TFA and DYK and remains so after adding a new item, you may wish to restore an older item which can be found from the history, or in rare cases, promote an ITN/C nomination that has consensus but is stale.

In practice, there are lots of different screen resolutions to consider and several other administrators spend significant amounts of time tweaking the balance, so if you're not sure, it's best left to them or to a discussion.


You are not obliged to add an image with the update; you may simply retain the old image. If you wish to add one, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the image is freely licensed. At a minimum, images sourced from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are generally not free, except in rare cases where the post has a explicit statement about licensing.[1] Also, fair use images are not allowed on the Main Page.
  2. If the image is from the Wikimedia Commons, you must make sure it's protected before it is added to the Main Page. This can be achieved one of two ways:
  3. Add it to the template above the blurbs, using the sub-template {{Main page image/ITN}}. The parameters are:
    • image: Image name: abc.jpg, xpz.png, 123.gif, etc.
    • width: The image size. Since the implementation of Module:Main page image, this parameter is optional. The default is 120px in width, which is suitable for most portrait-oriented images. For other orientations:
      • Landscape-oriented images generally are set to 160px, but those with aspect ratios other than 4:3 may be resized to achieve a 120px height (e.g., 150px for a 4:5 image or 180px for a 2:3 image).
      • Squarish images typically are set to 140px, sometimes increased to 150px or an intermediate width for overall parity with one or more images appearing in other sections.
    • caption: The caption text that will appear under the image, usually as short as possible, and without duplicating wikilinks from the corresponding blurb.
    • title: The hover text (displayed for people who don't have Popups installed). If unspecified, the caption is duplicated automatically.
    • alt: The alternative text for the benefit of those unable to see the image. If unspecified, the title is duplicated automatically.
    • link (optional): If cropping has resulted in the omission of major details pertinent to the story, add the file name of the original image. This will provide a link to the original image instead of the cropped version.
    • border (optional): If set to "yes", a small border is added around the image. Useful for images with white, pale or transparent pixels on one or more edges. (see also: Wikipedia:Picture tutorial#Border).
    Example code:
    {{Main page image/ITN | image = Fernando Lugo - ITN.jpg | width = 140 | caption = Fernando Lugo | title = Fernando Lugo in 2006 | alt = A grey-haired, bearded main with glasses speaks into a microphone. | link = | border = yes}}
  4. Change the text reference to the image (usually (pictured) or similar); it must be removed from the blurb to which the old image related and inserted (modified if necessary, but kept short) into the blurb relating to the new image.

It's OK to change an image in response to a message on WP:ERRORS, especially if the old image has been up for more than 24–36 hours; images are not "approved" by WP:ITN/C in the same way that stories are, because it is often difficult to find a suitable free image for ITN stories. Fair use images are not permitted anywhere on the Main Page, so be sure to check the copyright status! Also, ITN does not usually display maps, which typically reproduce poorly at low resolutions.


There is a list of credit templates at Wikipedia:In the news#Recognition which you can copy and paste (and fill out if you want to) to the user talk pages of the nominators and updaters. If not, somebody else will do it for you; these tasks don't require admin tools! A bot, User:RscprinterBot, will post the appropriate article talk page credits.

One last thing

Although this may seem daunting, it's relatively easily done. The process is different, but it is no more complicated than closing an AfD. Above all, use common sense and be aware of how many people will read what you put on the template. If this guide is unclear or you have further questions, many of the ITN/C regulars will be able to help you, so don't panic! A partial list of administrators who are frequently involved at ITN can be found here if you need assistance. Thank you for your help with ITN!


  1. ^ See the note about social media at c:Commons:Volunteer Response Team § When contacting VRT is unnecessary for more details.