Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 30

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Under what criteria does the death of Alexander McQueen deserve a spot in In The News? Woogee (talk) 21:59, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

(b) the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically HJ Mitchell | fancy a chat?
WP:ITN/DC. Specifically #2, "The deceased was a very important figure in their field of expertise, and was recognised as such." Physchim62 (talk) 22:05, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
So Teddy Kennedy didn't deserve to be there, but Alexander McQueen does? Is this more anti-American bias? Woogee (talk) 22:17, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Are you suggesting we pull the story just because of the Teddy Kennedy argument? Or, to put it another way, that we should be bound by our mistakes instead of learning from them? Two wrongs will never make a right. Physchim62 (talk) 22:20, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Lulz. It's anti-natural death bias if anything. I think List of grands couturiers is a prime candidate for deletion in terms of being a list devoid of both references and verifiable inclusion/exclusion criteria. I think its perverse that we have to post this guy who was a nobody outside of fashion, just because he died young, yet I bet Vivienne Westwood, who I would think 90% of British people have heard of, would likely not go up if she died of natural causes tomorrow, touch wood. MickMacNee (talk) 22:21, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
why are people stuck on TK. it eventually did go up. it just required more discussion since he was not head of state. its not about deserving to go up, its about consensus. there was consensus reached for this item so it went up. end of discussion. Woogee if you think otherwise then go oppose at ITN/C -- Ashish-g55 22:23, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)For what it's worth, I posted the Ted Kennedy piece too. And, Kennedy eventually did stay up, so I'm not sure why that's being brought up. -- tariqabjotu 22:26, 11 February 2010 (UTC)
Because it demonstrates the obvious chasm between the standards for American deaths and non-American (and particularly British) deaths, that's why. McQueen's death is not significant enough to be on ITN under any standard other than "we need to promote some British things for balance". Gavia immer (talk) 01:08, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Nonsense - Kennedy had been in decline for decades, and dying for months. AM was at the peak of his career at 40 & died suddenly and shockingly. Plus we had notoriously "pre-reported" Kennedy's demise once before, so there was a good case for avoiding reminders of that. Johnbod (talk) 04:12, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually, I think he has a point. I won't say it was added solely to add a British item, but it does seem harder to get U.S. news items on here. ~DC Talk To Me 05:24, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
U.S. items do get posted anyway, after an WP:FA's worth of discussion, trolling, over-reliance on big fonts to prove a point, and explaining how it has "absolutely zero interest" elsewhere. –Howard the Duck 06:26, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
To all those claiming this listing illustrates a bias against the US, can you please attempt to view things more objectively. This items is listed because within the global fashion industry (which is an absolutely huge industry that influences many of the clothes that the average Joe buys in their high street shops), Alexander McQueen was one of the most important figures. You may not like the fashion industry or agree with it, but you have to be objective and accept that it exists and has a huge influence in much of the world. Statements such as 'the fashion industry isn't important' or 'I've never heard of him so he can't be notable' are not and should not, be acceptable reasons for opposition. A fundamental principle of Wikipedia is neutrality, yet many people are commenting on this story are clearly allowing there own personal feelings to cloud their judgement, rather than attempting to view the merits of an item irrelevant of unrelated external factors (such as nationality). Also, regarding Ted Kennedy, rather than showing a bias against the US, I believe its actually shows how, more often than not, rules are actually bent to accommodate items from said country, that would not be listed from any other major country. Ted Kennedy did not hold a top level position within politics - He was a Senator, one of 100 in the US, which is one country of 300m on a planet of 6bn spread over 200 countries. His death was not unexpected, he was 77 and was known to suffer from ill health. His death did not have a significant effect on current events, primarily because of the fact that the position he held was not high enough and his death was not surprising. If Tony Benn died tomorrow, who is a comparable politician from British politics, would we list it? I wouldn't expect it because he doesn't meet any of the death criteria, but what it helps illustrate along with Ted Kennedy, or the Special election in Massachusetts or even the fact that the US presidential election mentions not only the winner, but also VP nomination, is that the US receives a fair deal of preferential treatment on ITN and repeated claims on anti-American bias highlight a continuing lack of objectively and neutrality on certain editors. --Daviessimo (talk) 08:58, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Well I'm not American, you could even say I'm a bit America-weary (I personally find there're too many US-centred articles here, and have pointed it out before), but why in the world is he here? I've never heard of this guy before, and I doubt how many people on the street would be able to cite his name: a real nobody. I wonder why he's here: the British lobby (but I doubt it)? Most likely the gay lobby: they'll propose anyone gay for the main page, in an effort to "up exposure". ChrisDHDR 14:25, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
"I've never heard of this guy before, and I doubt how many people on the street would be able to cite his name". I think this statement illustrates my above point perfectly. Too many users address issues in a subjective manner and allow there opinions to cloud their judgement. If you don't who he his, read the article and then comment in an objective manner. After all Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia and an encyclopaedia's primary purpose is to educate people on things they don't know --Daviessimo (talk) 14:36, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
Well if that's the criteria, then you could put virtually anything on the main page, as long as it's unknown and unimportant. ChrisDHDR 09:40, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
No because there are other criteria. Have you actually read the article on him? He made huge contributions to the fashion industry and, as such, qualifies under the death criteria (b) the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically. And I'll say again, knowing or thinking someone is important are subjective viewpoints. Are you honestly advocating that notability of deaths for ITN should be defined by how many of the 15 or so editors who comment on the person have heard of him --Daviessimo (talk) 09:53, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I am American and I'll say that while I was initially opposed to this item (and I had never heard of him) I do find it a worthy posting now. As I noted in the item's discussion, his death was featured prominently 'front page' style in many news sources, including the NYT, Al Jazeera, Le Monde, and in Russian media. Clearly his was a notable figure. Saying 'I doubt how many people on the street would be able to cite his name' is simply an invalid comment--he is obviously highly notable to people interested in that field. If (knock on wood) Tim Berners-Lee died right now he would mean absolutely nothing to my Russian mother-in-law (and plenty of other people) who has never used the internet but I'm sure his death would get posted easily. I think it is true that the death criteria are rather open ended and require discretion, but that's a good thing as previously overly-strict criteria strait-jacketed ITN and excluded very notable deaths like Arthur C. Clarke. As to whether US items has a tougher time getting posted--well, that's an old discussion and we're not going to resolve it here. But I think it's reasonable to say that a fair amount of US-related items do get posted, though occasionally after contentious arguments.--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:58, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
To address this supposed "bias" (why are we still having this conversation?) any item that is significant enough and has the consensus at /C should be posted, regardless of its nationality. If I'd been around at ITN at the time, I would have supported the death of Ted Kennedy because he was a well known figure in a family whose name is recognised all over the world. However, I opposed the Massachusetts election because it's simply domestic politics and we routinely do not post domestic political stories, generally favouring those in which we get a new head of state/ government. As for the significance of McQueen, he was a very significant figure in his field of expertise and we posted an economist whom almost nobody had heard of not so long ago. I think we made the right choice in posting McQueen considering that he got 392k hits the day he was posted, 331k the next day and 104k yesterday compared with 30k, 26k an 13k for the days' respective TFAs and 82k for the Olympics and 186k for the Georgian luger. HJ Mitchell | fancy a chat? 12:29, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Tense of blurb

Presumably in an attempt to seem dynamic and current, the standard for the blurb in ITN is that it is presented in the present tense. I would like to challenge this. The simple present tense has two main uses: it describes what is consistently true, or what is habitually true. I do not believe that this is appropriate for our purposes. To consider the current phrasing:

  • The Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics is held in Vancouver...: not as I type at 10:45 UTC on 13 Feb it isn't, nor will it recur. It took place: it has taken place.
  • NASA launches the Solar Dynamics Observatory...: this is something that NASA did, or has done. It does it neither consistently nor repeatedly.
  • British fashion designer Alexander McQueen is found dead at his home...; his body is presently to be found in a mortuary: where "he" is is a metaphysical question beyond the scope of ITN.
  • Viktor Yanukovych of the Party of Regions is elected President of Ukraine...: History will record that he was elected on 7th Feb, not that he was being elected from 10-15 February.
  • Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan is named Acting President...: this happened on Tuesday. It was already two days old as historical fact when it was posted. The things that I did or that happened to me on Tuesday are not what is happening now.
  • The People's Republic of China passes Germany as the world's largest exporter. It happened: it had already happened some time before the data that proved it had happened was published. It won't happen again, certainly not with any sense of continuous change: if this "title" kept on changing, it would not be ITNworthy.

Some will defend the status quo by appeal to the practice of some news outlets, to which I would reply:
a) We are constantly told that Wikipedia in general, and ITN in particular, is not a newspaper;
b) Dedicated news media make a priority of getting their headlines out as soon as possible after an event, whereas ITN waits sometimes sometimes several days to debate inclusion and tweak the blurb and the target article;
c) News media present ongoing and future events in its headlines far more frequently than does ITN, and applies present tenses at times indiscriminately among present, past and future events;
d) News organisations are far from uniform in this use of an historic present tense, counter-examples can be found as easily.

So I propose the simple solution of using the perfect tense for our ITN blurb: The Opening Ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics have been held in Vancouver... NASA has launched the Solar Dynamics Observatory... British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has been found dead at his home... Viktor Yanukovych of the Party of Regions has been elected President of Ukraine... Nigerian Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has been named Acting President... The People's Republic of China has passed Germany as the world's largest exporter. I would argue that:

  • this is more grammatically and factually accurate,
  • it retains the sense of recentness,
  • it avoids confusion to non-native English speakers.

Any thoughts? Kevin McE (talk) 11:45, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

To be honest I'm not really sure I agree with your assessment of the tenses the media use, particularly for headlines. A quick look at the BBC top stories shows that most headlines are in present tense, even if the subsequent story is not. Thus we have "Major offensive targets Helmand" and not "has targetted", "Luge event goes ahead after death" and not "will go ahead" (as the event has not yet taken place) and "Pubs win court battle over recorded music charges" and not "have won". As such, I see no need for any change here --Daviessimo (talk) 12:12, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
You illustrate my point c above perfectly: the BBC is reporting present (Helmand), future (Luge competition) and past (court case on music in pubs): ITN does not. I have already stated that while some outlets use an historic present (you have found one), others don't. The BBC front page also has headlines with no discernable verb ("UK winner of £56m on EuroMillions" and "Call for working week of 21 hours"): does that mean that we should do the same? Kevin McE (talk) 13:09, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
My point wasn't that we should do what the BBC does, but rather that the way we speak and communicate often doesn't follow the logic of how you would expect a language to flow. As Physchim states below, that is the beauty of the English language, as it is the flexibility of the English that allows us to state events that have happened in the past or future, in an easily understandable form in the present tense. If someone asked me what I was doing I would respond with statements such as 'I am shopping' or 'I am eating' and not 'I was shopping/eating, but am at this present time standing talking to you'. If that is how we speak in the normal course of life, I see no issue with conveying the ITN items in the present tense --Daviessimo (talk) 13:58, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
That is a spurious example as it refers to a totally different tense: the present continuous (I am shopping) is no part of either the current practice of using the simple present(I shop) nor of my suggestion of using the perfect tense (I have shopped). Last Tuesday, Goodwill Jonathan (wonderful name) was named acting president. Last Tuesday, I took a PE lesson during which the children opted to stay outside playing football despite a shower of hail. I would not say of myself "I teach PE in the hail" as it is neither consistent nor habitual; I could say of myself "I have taught PE in the hail". Becoming acting president is neither consistent nor habitual in the life of Goodwill Jonathan: it is, however, something that has happened. Kevin McE (talk) 17:35, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I think it's a stylistic point rather than a grammatical point. The quick demonstration is that you have to use a continuous tense in English if you wish to express the idea that something is happening at the moment, was happening at a given moment in the past or will be happening at a given moment in the future. The simple present tense is more flexible in that matter. On a practical level, we sometimes post events which are ongoing, and it is beyond our resources to check, for example, the exact moment it stops snowing on the Eastern seaboard of the United States (and so to allow us to grammatically use a perfect tense). Even for elections, history may well record that Yanukovych was elected on 7 February (date of the voting at polling stations in Ukraine) but, for the moment, the possible reclamations against the result have not been resolved: it is not incorrect to say that the election is still an ongoing process. I don't think we'd gain anything with the proposed change, even though the present perfect tense would also be correct for the majority of blurbs. English is a remarkably flexible language, we should not be afraid to take advantage of that flexibility when it suits us! Physchim62 (talk) 12:25, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
But what makes snow notable is its effects, which must have already been realised, and we don't rush to take down the blurb the instant snow melts. The Ukrainian election has happened, and its result has been announced. If there is a formal contestion of the result, that will be a different issue. I have not suggested that the present continuous is appropriate, nor that the simple present indicates continuous ation: consistent and habitual is how I described it. "Birds fly south in the autumn" appropriately uses a present tense not because it is happening now, but because it is habitually and consistently true: the present continuous tense "Birds are migrating south" would not be true (for the northern hemisphere anyway) today, because the present continuous implies a more immediately present. You state that "we sometimes post events which are ongoing" amd that "English is a remarkably flexible language", but the current rule prohibits using the flexibility of the language, presents every item as though it were ongoing, ignores the fact that the event is sometimes 2-3 days or more old (much more in the case of Chinese exports) before it gets posted, and results in crazy postings like "The last speaker of the Aka-Bo language, which is spoken in the Northern Mariana Islands, dies" which appeared recently. Kevin McE (talk) 13:09, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
I'd like to note that ITN items are dated on their own date, so although an event may have happened in the past, it was happening in the present on that particular date. SpencerT♦Nominate! 16:53, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
But that date is not available to the reader, so this is no real defence of the practice. Headlines sometimes use present tense, but our blurb is not as concise as a headline. And it is not necessarily true to say that the event "was happening in the present on that particular date": sometimes we are reporting the publication of a report or the release of data that refers to an earlier timeframe (as is the case with China's exports overtaking Germany's). Kevin McE (talk) 17:35, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
So is there any reason for using the present tense that does not appeal to the practice of headlines, which our blurbs are not?

"Wikipedia beats Wikinews"

Andrew Lih, who wrote The Wikipedia Revolution, says we "beat Wikinews as a collaborative journalism project". Big clap everyone. Give yourself a pat on the back... —  Cargoking  talk  13:29, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

At first it sounds a little like a failure, until viewed the article and video, where his pov is better explained. He's not really saying "hur hur Wikinews failed and Wikipedia wins." He's observing how the wiki-culture doesn't lend itself to news-type things such as deadlines, but does lend itself to encyclopaedic things like rewrites. So no pats on backs for "beating" Wikinews. Just pats on backs for getting recent events incorporated into Wikipedia. Monotonehell 14:04, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
That's what I meant... kinda. —  Cargoking  talk  15:47, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

ITN is probably the biggest reason why Wikinews hasn't taken off. Despite everybody saying its not a news feed, it is, just a really rubbish one, which posts stories randomly and for unpredictable reasons, and even in the case of ITN worthy and entirely predictable events, hours, and even days, after the event. It is perverse that ITN keeps suggesting 'news' events, but with no updated article they never get posted whether worthy or not, and worse, it lets updated and worthy items just sit there ignored too, yet Wikinews constantly loses potential updated news content simply because nobody got around to reviewing it in time, even though theirs is the better reviewing system because it only takes one person's judgement to decide if content is worthy or not. At ITN it is just a farce, the only place where wheel warring is perfectly acceptable. The biggest reason why Wikinews doesn't work is lack of participation, which results in slow reviewing and posting times. Which coincidentaly is the biggest glaring flaw of ITN also. Having both Wikinews and ITN simply makes both projects worse tbh. I can knock out current events updates, and even whole articles, in hours. But I am loathe to update Wikipedia articles just for an ITN listing, because it is invariably a waste of time, yet I am also loathe to put the same content in a Wikinews article, only for it to sit around unreviewed, and go 'stale' and be auto-rejected. I am certainly not interested in duplicating that effort twice to satisfy both camps. It's high time that either ITN was shut down and all news effort sent to Wikinews, or Wikinews was shut down and ITN becomes a proper, efficient, and professional, news service. At the very least, if ITN wants to stop making Wikinews suck balls for everyone concerned, it needs to ban the practice of allowing non-updated articles to be posted to /C. MickMacNee (talk) 16:07, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

Firstly, I agree that ITN has problems, but I suggest that you adjust your approach. Acerbic messages like the above (seemingly posted at every opportunity) are far more likely to offend and antagonize than to trigger any sort of reform.
Secondly, the Wikinews argument is a bit of a stretch; the widespread availability of gratis (albeit not libre) online news sources is a far more likely impediment to its success.
Thirdly, I find it disheartening that you regard updating a Wikipedia article to reflect recent events as "a waste of time" unless it leads to the addition of an ITN item. —David Levy 17:15, 13 February 2010 (UTC)
You can be disheartened all you want, but the fact remains, every second I stupidly waste on doing an update like 'Iran is a nuclear state' that is a goddam ITN no-brainer, is a second taken away from other wikipedia article work I have in the pipeline, which I would rather have been doing if I wasn't so dumb every time to put an ounce of faith in this process. Wikinews runs on editors, not readers, the availability of other sources has nothing, zero, to do with it. It's irrelevant. MickMacNee (talk) 15:37, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You just reiterated that a lack of exposure to readers discourages you from participating in the editorial process, immediately followed by the claim that Wikinews' relative lack of readers is irrelevant to the insufficient participation in its editorial process. —David Levy 16:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I said lack of reviewers, not readers. If you don't understand the difference, you won't understand anything about this post at all. MickMacNee (talk) 17:27, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You've noted above that a lack of exposure to readers (via inclusion in ITN) eliminates your motivation to update Wikipedia articles. But you dismiss the premise that Wikinews' relative lack of readers discourages editors from participating in its review process? —David Levy 17:59, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
It is not lack of exposure that puts me off ITN, it is its total random and unprofessional nature, where nobody seems to give a toss how much of editors time it wastes. It strikes me that both sites are probably equally as poor at converting readers to editors, and thus reviewers, although if you believe the hype about ITN contantly trotted out, wikinews in comparison must be punching well above its weight already, considering how many people supposedly rely on ITN as their first port of call for everything on the internet. MickMacNee (talk) 18:46, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I sense two problems here:
1. You regard any outcome other than that which you prefer as incontrovertible proof that the ITN process is completely and utterly broken. In your mind, it's inconceivable that widespread disagreement with you could stem from anything other than mass delusion.
2. You regard an article update that fails to result in an ITN item as a waste of time.
Overcome these hangups, and you'll make things much easier on yourself. —David Levy 19:06, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Nonsense. You haven't listened to a word I've said, not a word. MickMacNee (talk) 19:24, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
You just posted below that disagreement with you regarding your proposed Iran item stems from your opponents being "wrong" or not bothering to read your rationale. The idea that their disagreement might be reasonable (or even defensible) is entirely alien to you.
Now you're claiming that I "haven't listened to a word [you]'ve said." Isn't it remarkable that everyone is conspiring to ignore your undeniable truths? —David Levy 19:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Defend it then. Read the rationale, learn a bit about the subject, read his opposition and follow up arguments for why it is not an ITN item, and try and come up with any credible external evidence that his position is remotely defensible, or even reasonable. And if its reasonable, we can then go and see if the same type of oppose works for other nominations, such as the Afghanistan campaign item, which is after all, also a topic that is also always being talked about. I am frankly not interested in any nebulous attacks on me of the kind that 'oh, have you not thought you just might be wrong', when I am clearly not. If you want to treat me like an idiot, fair dos. But it won't improve my opinion of ITN in any way shape or form. MickMacNee (talk) 20:18, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
This isn't about who's "wrong" (to whatever extent that's possible when dealing with something so subjective). It's about your unwillingness to allow people to disagree with you without contemptuously questioning their intelligence, diligence and commitment to the project.
I understand how frustrating it is to feel very strongly about something and find oneself unable to convince fellow editors. I probably am guilty of investing too much time and effort in my attempts to sway opinion (instead of accepting that I'm in the minority and moving on), but I always do my best to remain polite and respectful (rather than lashing out at the community for daring to disaffirm my sacrosanct wisdom). No matter how "right" you are, continually ridiculing and demeaning those whose arguments you dispute is not constructive.
Instead of interpreting this reply as an "attack," please examine the comments that you've written about others (including in this very thread) and at least try to consider the possibility that you could stand to improve your approach. —David Levy 21:02, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Still, I guess 9 people dying in India in an explosion that looks suspiciously like the Minor Olympics flame must be a million times more important. MickMacNee (talk) 15:58, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
More important than what? —David Levy 16:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Iran obviously. MickMacNee (talk) 17:27, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Your Iran item didn't receive support. It's not going to be posted if it doesn't have any support. I agree with David Levy; the way you keep bringing this up in irrelevant threads does not help your cause. -- tariqabjotu 17:35, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
'support' is a relative term at ITN. One minute is it about international headlines, the next minute, well, who knows. Raw numbers or net numbers, again, who knows. The only person who opposed the item didn't even read it. You won't ever convince me that the item is not ITN worthy, and as ever for most ITN items, I would bet my house on the fact that if you put it to a vote of 100 oridnary people, the 'consensus' would be totally different to that of the barely 10 people who watch this page in enough time to give input before it becomes irrelevant and overwhelmed by the next entirely predictable event that for some unknown reason requires ten pages of dicsussion and three reposts of the same nomination. MickMacNee (talk) 17:53, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Your sarcasm regarding the section's picture is downright tiresome. If you're aware of a suitable free image pertaining to one of the newer items (something better than a map, which never shows up well at that scale), please propose its use. —David Levy 16:04, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I am quite sure a free image of this bombing will be forthcoming very soon. Or, rather, it won't, and as ever, readers will be forever misled by the counter-intuitive layout of ITN. MickMacNee (talk) 17:27, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't know why people keep acting as if Wikipedia readers are doorknobs. It's not that difficult to see where the word "pictured" is. The picture illustrates something in the surrounding text, and the text is ordered chronologically. There's nothing illogical about that. It could be better organized, conceivably, but let's not pretend the current layout leaves people dazed and confused. It's done in the OTD section too and no one would complain that there's a chance some might think that photo of Salman Rushie is actually James Cook. -- tariqabjotu 17:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to do a market survey if you doubt me. It is really not hard to see how the present system is confusing to ordinary readers, rather than ITN regulars who just stare at the template all day every day. MickMacNee (talk) 17:52, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Ah, right, you advocate the adoption of an alternative layout. And rather than accepting the fact that there is consensus to the contrary (or at least expressing your dissent in a respectful manner), you deride those who disagree with you at every opportunity. —David Levy 17:59, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Just leave him to it. HJ Mitchell | fancy a chat? 18:13, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I've come to expect nothing less from this forum. I was about to ask where this supposed consensus was formed, and whether it reflected actual readers or not, but I sense in light of this comment it would just be yet another waste of time, another wasted thought dispensed into the void of ITN. MickMacNee (talk) 18:46, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
i agree with tariq that people can see which item the picture belongs to. (although i never quite agreed with the whole not putting fair use image on main page policy. but that is main page policy and not ITN so thats totally different discussion). and for not putting iran item on. it didnt get support because it didnt seem like something that should go up (atleast to me). reason being irans neuclear status seems to come up every now and then with no or little proof. its always either someone delcares they are nuclear power or someone else thinks they are. in last 2 years i have seen same news atleast 6-7 times. so i did not support. now i am sorry if i did not spend time in writing an oppose statement there. but i had a feeling that would only make you more unhappy. Not every item that you think should go up will, and thats just the reality. I suggest learning to deal with it in a manner thats a little less rude to other people. calling ITN a void, farce etc etc on daily basis does no good. -- Ashish-g55 18:56, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
I have no problem with items not going up for a good reason, but your comments make it pretty clear you wrongly think that enriching uranium at 20% is an everyday occurance. I wonder why I even bothered writing such a detailed rationale, clearly nobody read it. More wasted time. MickMacNee (talk) 19:21, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Indeed, it's utterly inconceivable that any sane person could have read your rationale and disagreed with it. Clearly, your wisdom is becoming lost in the "void." —David Levy 19:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Mick, just keep insisting that you're right and anyone who disagrees is beneath you. That's sure to spur progress. —David Levy 19:06, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

() Mick doesn't have to the enter this "void". Why do we always get ourselves into these really long discussions where nothing is ever achieved apart from a few angry people. In my nine months on ITN, these arguments have achieved nothing new. Maybe we should restart ITN from scratch. (Please do not waste your time responding to me.) —  Cargoking  talk  18:59, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

No I don't, but the sad fact is, ITN is part of the main page, and it is in everybody's face all the live long day, whatever other Wikpedia activity they choose to involve themselves in. Given such a prominent role, you would think people would want it to work properly. But like you said, nothing changes here, whatever is said. It just bumbles along. MickMacNee (talk) 19:21, 14 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, because disagreement with you can only be indicative of a desire to see the section fail. There's simply no other logical explanation. —David Levy 19:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Proposal to amend current events templates based on WP:NOTNEWS

There is a proposal at Wikipedia:Village pump (proposals)#Resurrected: WP:NOTNEWS.2C news belongs on Wikinews to amend those templates ({{current events}} and so on) to mention that Wikipedia is not a news site and to encourage users to contribute to Wikinews. As this is a place of collaboration for articles related to current/recent events, I thought it should be mentioned. Cenarium (talk) 03:18, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Somewhat ironic given the comment just above this perhaps but I noticed (and it's why I came here) that User:Chuck Marean has asked to be unbanned Wikipedia:ANI#Request from Chuck Marean for review of ban. As he was fairly active in ITN even if it wasn't really the primary cause of the ban though people might be interested Nil Einne (talk) 10:49, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

"Electrocuting" is vernacular or slang

Is it? :-O --candlewicke 20:44, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

No, the word entered formal usage long ago. (Electrocution;
Accordingly, I've reverted. —David Levy 20:55, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

There is something wrong with ITN

Because: several months ago I proposed that when the element 112 was officially recognized be put on the ITN. Some argued why do it and instead wait until the name change is official. Now I see that Guam's name change is PROPOSED, and nobody really did more about it and it gets on ITN. So an official recognition of the discovery of an chemical element is less important for an Encyclopedia than the proposed change of name of a tiny possession of US? Seriously, you guys should calm down with the political drama or at least to be consequent with non-dramatic headlines (that don't make it on CNN but make it on other less buzz-friendly agency news such as BBC). Nergaal (talk) 06:38, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Editors who bleat on about their pet stories make the ITN process slower for everyone, by wasting everyone's time which could be used for updating and improving articles. Physchim62 (talk) 09:30, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Not sure what is your definition on pet stories, but I personally don't consider that element in any ways a pet story. I tired to raise an issue about complete disdain for non-dramatic, non-US centric, non-political dramas that at times creeps into the ITN and people didn't even bother to reply. Nergaal (talk) 15:02, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps nobody noticed? I doubt they purposely avoided you. --candlewicke 05:10, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Can we please limit the amount of death on ITN?

ITN currently has two transportation accidents and a (presumed) terrorist bombing. Of the remaining three items, two are military offensives. Melchoir (talk) 08:22, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't exactly call a truce a 'military offensive' (something that arose out of a military offensive maybe) nor consider it to be concentrating too much on death. Nil Einne (talk) 10:44, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
ITN has recently featured several sports at the same time yet nobody objects... why? The sports were different but there are many different ways to die too and none of the dead ITNs are the exact same. --candlewicke 21:44, 16 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't care; it's still too much. Speaking purely as a reader, I'm telling you: I perceive a systematic problem, and I ask that it be mitigated. If you don't perceive the same problem, then please pay attention to the bodycounts in ITN over the next couple months. Melchoir (talk) 04:03, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately death is news. Turn on the TV and watch any news broadcast, I would be shocked if the majority of stories didn't contain some form of death. I think the bias lies further afield than ITN - Dumelow (talk) 10:49, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but "ITN is not the news" - TM various. MickMacNee (talk) 12:44, 17 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think this is an ITN-only topic either. From today's OTD: 2006 – A massive landslide in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte killed over 1,000 people. When was the last time there were over 1,000 dead people on ITN at the same time? Haiti? And, if you're a fan of individual gruesome deaths, from the same place: 1600Italian philosopher Giordano Bruno, best-known as a proponent of heliocentrism and the infinity of the universe, was burned at the stake as a heretic by the Roman Inquisition. There is even a military offensive (since these were mentioned above): 1859Colonization of Cochinchina: The French Navy captured the Citadel of Saigon, a fortress that was manned by 1,000 Vietnamese soldiers, en route to conquering Saigon and other regions of southern Vietnam. --candlewicke 20:54, 17 February 2010 (UTC)

I have complained about this in the past but people who update the template seem to enjoy drama a bit too much for the sake of this Encyclopedia. See a related issue below. Nergaal (talk) 06:29, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

As there is a section on deaths of individuals for ITN, I think it would beneficial to start an discussion for add something about groups. For example the Pavarotti's death was deemed unworthy of ITN, so this should be taken as a comparison criteria when 40 people die in an avalanche where much more people die due to wars. Nergaal (talk) 07:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
How does the 40 people example compare to the criteria for individuals
1) The deceased was in a high ranking office of power, and had a significant contribution/impact on the country/region.
With all respect, but these people lived in a village.
2)The deceased was a very important figure in their field of expertise, and was recognised as such.
This people lived in a village in the "land of mountains" where avalanches are probably common
3)The death has a major international impact that affects current events. The modification or creation of multiple articles to take into account the ramifications of a death is a sign that it meets the third criterion.
What impact?

I hope there will be some responses. Nergaal (talk) 07:30, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

You seem to be suggesting hat we veto ITN stories because they contain death. We wouldn't have the Copernicium story, in that case, as elements can no longer be named after living people! Seriously, I think it is an utterly unworkable proposition. We could have a Main Page section entitled "Nice Things that have recently happened", but I doubt it would get many readers: nor would it act as a quality check on newly created articles for morbid events, as ITN currently does. Or perhaps you think you can wave a magic wand and make those articles go away, or stop people from reading them through the search box! Physchim62 (talk) 13:47, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Not just on ITN. Can we please limit the amount of death. Period. I'm too young. It's not fair. (talk) 11:43, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
I think there's always "too much death" for any single individual, especially when it happens to that particular person! Physchim62 (talk) 13:49, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

How about a limit on the number of hooks that can simultaneously say "killed N people"? Today there are three! If we had the same stories, but changed the hooks so that all but the most recent omitted the numbers, that alone would be a significant improvement in tone. Melchoir (talk) 23:50, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

You mean right now would have: An avalanche buries a village in northwestern Pakistan, killing people. A minaret collapses at a mosque in Meknes, Morocco, during Friday prayers, killing people and injuring others. --candlewicke 15:32, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Or simply merge them even they are not very related. That way they take 1 instead of 2 spots. Nergaal (talk) 16:45, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Ah. So - An avalanche buries a village in northwestern Pakistan, killing people and a minaret collapses at a mosque in Meknes, Morocco, during Friday prayers, killing more people and injuring others? --candlewicke 18:01, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I think that was an uncharitable interpretation of what I might have meant!
Why not simply: "An avalanche buries a village in northwestern Pakistan. A minaret collapses at a mosque in Meknes, Morocco, during Friday prayers." Melchoir (talk) 23:51, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

How about: "Thousands of people die every day due to various illnesses and injuries". (talk) 20:50, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I like it. Or how about one permanent reminder in the ITN section: "Someone on Earth has died as you were reading this sentence". --candlewicke 22:15, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Pakistan and Afganistan news

Closely related to the deaths issue above: Isn't it normal than an ENCYCLOPEDIA to feature other news than those from that remote part of the World. US is obsessed with those backwards contries, and every death there is reported as if it is the biggest news ever. So what dozens of ppl died in an avalanche? Hundreds die every day because of the war. Hundreds die because of hunger in Sahara. Do we have to bring all of them up? Why can't the template concentrate more on other aspects of the World also? There is tons of science that is more important to the World than an avalanche/war/disasted in the SAME part of the World. CNN does an over-the-top coverage of that already, and it has tons of copiers online. Why can't we focus on Nature or Science (journals) articles instead? They are less drama so CNN won't conver it, but an encyclopedia SHOULD! Nergaal (talk) 06:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Right now we actually have a decent geographical balance; Morocco, Niger, Pakistan, Dubai, Afghanistan/Pakistan, the U.S., and Canada (the Olympics) Look at WP:ITN/C; right now a science story seems to be getting good support if it is for real, but politics, war, and disasters make news. We filter out some of the nonsense the media picks up on (Austin two days prior?), but for the most part the news is the news. Bradjamesbrown (talk) 06:32, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
So what? CNN does a sufficient job at that. Are we a blog website? As an encyclopedia I believe there should be less emphasis on drama and more on longer term changes. Also, it feels like every single time I check ITN there is something about AfPak. Balancing ITN would mean having them on there about spots*1/100 of the time (taking into account that there are about 200 countries in the world, and ignoring that there are tons of topics not country related-i.e. science), not every single day with two entries. Nergaal (talk) 06:35, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
If you want to complain, please go and complain to editors of the 'real encyclopaedia articles', who seem to view ITN contributors as brain dead morons who know nothing about the world. Whether it is the fact that they don't move a page until 20 hours after everyone else knows its name has changed or some users completely revert updates on there lack of factual accuracy, it is very hard for us at ITN to update articles regarding, science, archaeology, linguistics or any other specialist subjects. Everyone is quick to criticise ITN for having too many deaths, or having too many ITNs from one country, or missing out on stories that they consider highly notable, but 99% of the people who do the criticising are completely unwilling to chip and help correct these problems --Daviessimo (talk) 09:10, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
In all seriousness I tried to bring attention to a very serious bias on ITN. If from all of that you only saw the complain part then I kind of made my point. To chip in? My suggestions usually on scientific topics have been turned down several times. I have raised the issue of deaths/over-politicization of ITN a few times and where did it/I/they end up? Just look above and see that I was trying to create a serious debate on if group deaths actually deserve to be filtered somehow; you will see that you were the only one editor who replied, and you did't even bother to argue with my proposal. Nergaal (talk) 14:59, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Yes, but the way you phrase what you are saying is essentially the same as everyone else who doesn't like ITN - "You're doing a rubbish job, implement my suggestions and ITN will be brilliant". The fundamental issue with ITN is, has been, and always will be a lack of contributors, who are not only willing to discuss nominated items in a subjective manner, but also update articles as well. I myself have in the past pro-actively attempted to get more science based items listed on ITN, but my experiences when updating articles has been that users more in the know, tend to be highly dismissive of mainstream media sources, preferring peer-reviewed journal articles as sources. There is nothing wrong with this on the whole, but, it significantly hampers the ability of ITN users to update and develop an article.
Regarding your suggestions, I would point out that I see them as being akin to 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. Rather than proposing a method whereby we can improve the number of contributors to update neglected stories, or, in reference to more specialist subjects, get a user who is more knowledgeable in that area to help, you suggest we should just simply reduce are coverage of deaths and politics. The reason the latter are so common is because they are easy to update and develop for the average non-expert user and reducing there numbers will not solve the issues plaguing ITN. --Daviessimo (talk) 16:29, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I phrased my dissatisfaction not in an ideal way. Your point about other articles don't get updated is not quite accurate. My original "anger" stems from what I saw on the ITN/C page: basically if it is 2+ deaths or AfPak everybody votes support. While if there is a proposal for something other than that it is way more likely people to vote against as it is perceived as not worthy. There are enough nominations there to replace death/AfPak news, but there is a strong bias towards the latter ones. The simple solution is simply to favor "other" news over those that keep coming on ITN, as there is a sufficient supply of nominations. This doesn't require any extra amount of work than it is done now, only an increased willingness to get over AfPak and stop prioritizing deaths over other topics; even if the latter sound less full of buzz, why not cover them instead of a random avalanche in a remote region of AfPak? Nergaal (talk) 17:09, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Well can you provide an example of what else could be put up. At the moment I see support for two individual deaths items - John Babcock and Alexander Haig (which is not going to solve the problem) and support for the Romanians taxing fast food (the problem here is no update). In terms of items opposed we have a plane crash that killed two (as a death item this wouldn't be any good if there was support) the resignation of an Irish minister (which is generally opposed on the lack of notability outside Ireland) and Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama (which, as is the case with all political meeting, will be judged by international reactions). Thus for the three days eligible I see no viable alternatives as it stands. ITN has a role to showcase and points users in the direction of encyclopaedic articles that relate to current events. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint), the vast majority of current events do not belong in an encyclopaedia. The very nature of the world is that major natural disasters, air and rail accidents, wars, disease, drought, famine etc do get recorded and achieved in encyclopaedia as part of human history and as such are likely to get preference over news items that have no outright value in an encyclopaedia (here is just an example of some of the top stories on the BBC now that aren't going to make it into an encyclopaedia [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]). Given that, what are we supposed to do? --Daviessimo (talk) 18:25, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
←But why is the avalanche in Pak that notable? Yes, it is a tragedy, but probably in most of the days there are more causalities coming from the war in the country. I just think that if the avalanche would have happened say in South America, less publicity would have been made which in turn would have lead to a situation where that exact news happening in another part of the world would not get into the ITN. There is a saturation in the media right now with almost everything what happens in AfPak, which I don't care; but wikipedia should not suffer from this bias and saturation. It should be encouraged to limit submissions from the same part of the world if all the newspapers abound with them from that part of the globe for a while (like it has been the case lately with AfPak). For the Olympics for example we have some criteria preventing that. How are ~10 unrelated deaths/catastrophes in AfPak worth within weeks more covering than listing all the gold medalists in the Olympics? Even ignoring all of these, there is another aspect I find annoying: because of so many deaths/AfPak news, really big news like Avatar's record (which even for an encyclopedia is much more notable to cover than an avalanche) tend to get bumped off the template in at most 2-3 days (during weekends maybe 4), and the image gets changed in probably 6h. And besides this, even when there are very few deaths/AfPak news, it might be worth encouraging more extended blurbs. For example now the government news has twice more text than the element entry, instead of encouraging the opposite. Furthermore, I did nominate the element news in July when the discovery was officially accepted only to find out that people opposed it in favor of waiting until the name is chosen; now, the blurb has absolutely no mention of who made the discovery, and the blurb is almost minimal. Little things like this should be encouraged for rarer type of news (especially those lacking drama) and not just wait instead that whatever death news comes around we put it there no matter what. Nergaal (talk) 19:22, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Note: The Olympics are there permanently under "Olympic summary" since 13 February and are given more time than any ITN. How could every single gold medal be reported? There would be no space left for anything else. --candlewicke 18:09, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that you expect ITN to cover your type of news, the stuff that you want to read. So does every individual who complains on this page. It can't be done, it's a simple as that. We don not have the software developed that will let each individual editor (casual readers simply reply by not coming back) choose his or her own personalized main page to the detriment of what the pleb have to put up with. For that simple reason we stick with the imperfect system we have, which works imperfectly but rather better than dogmatic comments made out of spite over individual stories. Physchim62 (talk) 19:30, 20 February 2010 (UTC)
Not quite. I just think people don't actually want to read about deaths and AfPak, but news agencies cover them abusively and it seems here happens the same think. Nergaal (talk) 16:43, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd say the coverage of science, especially the astro missions, are solidly covered YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 23:41, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

ITN variant of Godwin's Law

The estimed General Counsel of the Wikimedia Foundation, Mike Godwin, long before his current position, famously came up with a "law" of Internet discussions that the corollary of which states that the first person to call the other a Nazi has automatically lost the argument. Might I suggest a variant for ITN discussions about the posting of the deaths of (possibly) notable individuals: that the first editor who mentions Pavarotti has automatically lost the argument? If there is sufficient support, we could even extend it to include Ted Kennedy... Physchim62 (talk) 22:25, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Haha! Support both! Perhaps we should have a rule similar to WP:OTHERSTUFF? His death should have gone up but that was nearly 3 years ago and I'm sick of seeing Pavarotti and Kennedy repeatedly brought up in discussions. Stare decisis does not apply to ITN. HJ Mitchell | fancy a chat? 00:22, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Oppose Pavarotti's death wasn't featured, how is this rule more important than the death of Pavarotti? Besides, this rule is 85 years old, there was no surprise on its posting, it will make a hardly noticeable change. And of course everyone who visits english Wikipedia lives in the United States, and no American will ever be interested in this rule. --FixmanPraise me 03:44, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
hmm wait does that mean i live in united states, since im on wikipedia? -- Ashish-g55 03:54, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Of course, you hadn't realized? Physchim62 (talk) 11:05, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Please note that I was being Sarcastic, I ment Sipport. --FixmanPraise me 16:53, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Your description of Godwin's law is inaccurate. —David Levy 04:27, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I've redacted the proposal to make it accurate. Unfortunately, I could also state the variant in a way which more closely approaches the original formulation of Godwin's law: "As an ITN/C discussion of a recent death grows longer, the probability approaches one that someone will complain about the absence of the death of Luciano Pavarotti (6 September 2007) from the Main Page, inferring that the recent death under discussion should not be featured either." Physchim62 (talk) 11:05, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Support The idea that anything on WP, much less a decision you're acknowledging as faulty (and I think the Pavarotti decision was) should be restrictive three years down the line is a little bizarre. One of the advantages of the Wiki format is the ability to learn from something that didn't work. Even the SCOTUS can override stare decisis when it sees fit (or Plessy v. Ferguson would still be law); we aren't even bound by the principle- indeed, one of our policies is to ignore all rules when necessary over ebing bound to poor decisions! Bradjamesbrown (talk) 11:14, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I think you're missing the point. I agree we aren't bound by poor decisions. However the decision to exclude Pavarotti was IMHO the right one based on the death criteria at the time, which haven't changed much since, and I haven't seen any evidence there's substanial disagreement on this point, at least by people who understand the death criteria. Therefore, the idea that Pavarotti is irrelevant because it was a flawed decision is wrong. Now I'm not saying we have to discuss Pavarotti all the time or even that it's a useful example (each case should be treated on its on merits) however I would be concerned if people dismiss it for the wrong reasons. This doesn't mean it justifies excluding any other items but in so much as it helps people to understand the death criteria, it is a useful example and if people think it was a flawed decision when there's little evidence for that then perhaps it's not wrong that it's brought up so often. Now I'm not completely opposed to relaxing the death criteria, but we haven't yet done so despite repeated arguments here and there, IMHO it's unlikely without substanial changes to how ITN operates for example the perpetual proposals to concentrate more on background info. Now if we do substanial change the death criteria, the relevance of Pavarotti (and everyone else, e.g. those excluded like Edmund Hillary, Ingmar Bergman and those included like Ted Kennedy) do become largely irrelevant but it doesn't mean we made a mistake in any of those cases, simply that they occured under different criteria. Incidentally if you want to change the criteria, you should be concentrating on that rather then coming up with Psychim62/Fixman/Bradjamesbrown's law. In short oppose (not that I get what there is to support or oppose, if you want to have your own law feel free to it, it doesn't mean anyone else has to care) Nil Einne (talk) 18:25, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Not at all. The mistake was made to blindly follow a set of criteria which was giving the wrong results! The criteria in themselves do not matter in the slightest. ITN gets 100,000 readers a day, the overwhelming majority of whom are blissfully ignorant of the existence of WP:ITN/DC and care even less. No one is come up to us and saying "Bravo! give yourselves a bunch of barnstars, you've really successfully followed all the criteria this week!" So no, I shaln't waste my time trying to change the death criteria, because that would be according them far more importance than they actually merit. Physchim62 (talk) 08:02, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I would like to see a justification to why the news of this mans death should be presented in this template and on the main page. For one I certainly haven't heard of him, and aside from a minority neither will most of the people living outside of the United States. There are far more notable individuals than him who have died and not gained a mention on this template. Haig clearly wasn't a world reknowned figure and to be honest his death is hardly going something that the average man will raise his eyebrows at it is it? Routerone (talk) 08:34, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I didn't know Jyoti Basu even existed nor was he world renowned figure (w/c is not part of the deaths criteria anyway) so... –Howard the Duck 08:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
(ec) Sorry, I didn't realise that the criteria for the inclusion of a death on the main page depended on whether or not you had heard of them or thought they were notable. We'll have to get that sorted fast :) In all seriousness though, the purpose of an encyclopaedia is to educate people on things they don't know. If you want to find out why he was notable enough may I suggest you read the article. 99% of people have never heard of Tim Berners Lee, but without that man we wouldn't be here now, so its important to remember that sometimes notable people are not known to the masses --Daviessimo (talk) 08:48, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
So by your criteria we should announce the death of every figure who has a wikipedia article on this template? I think not! You have quite obviously missed the point, there will be much more notable figures than Haig who will die in the upcoming years yet their death will still not get a mention, yet by your "criteria" they should, shouldn't they? If you're putting people like Haig in you are opening up the floodgates for more questioning to why others aren't getting a mention over him. You say "an encyclopedia article is to educate people on things they don't know", however we're not discussing an article in itself are we? We are discussing a news template here. The article on Haig is obviously there for people who are interested to read him up, that doesn't automatically mean because he is little known that he warrants a newspiece does it? Again you are stepping into silly grounds by suggesting that "if people don't know about him, lets put him up so people will learn", meaning should every obsecure topic get a news mention because people haven't heard of it? Again I think not. The fact that I have never heard of this guy, and that a likely 99% of the people I know at college, at home or friend wise won't have either speaks louder than words. The notability of an individual for their death to warrant a newspiece is decisive criteria like it or not, and hence if you disagree then like I said you're lowering the bar so that every death can be included on this template! He isn't a well known public figure outside of the United States, and what's more bizzare is that he never held a legacy that was of widespread public interest in the first place. Henceforth you cannot justify his inclusion on that template, without lowering the standard to include others. Routerone (talk) 10:19, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
No offence intended; but your user page says you're doing your A-levels. Haig was Secretary of State in the early 80's; before your time. I'm not surprised you've not heard of him; had you heard of Iskandar of Johor whose death went up a few weeks back? I've been to Johor, and I hadn't heard his name before. If we only posted deaths every last person on WP had heard of, no deaths at all would ever get posted. Further, nothing is stopping you or anyone else from posting on WP:ITN/C and expressing objections before these decisions get made, instead of after they've been up for the better part of a day. Bradjamesbrown (talk) 10:42, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Well I must admit that I was unaware of WP:ITN/C. However, you saying "If we only posted deaths every last person on WP had heard of, no deaths at all would ever get posted" is as if you are automatically assuming that announcing the deaths of of individuals on the template is a compulsory means, when in all fairness it isn't, and that gives me the impression that you think "oh we have to put somebody up, or there will be nobody to put up!" which in all fairness makes the whole thing look like a waste of time, so wouldn't it be best to put the deaths up when really necessary? Now to add on you say "If we only posted deaths every last person on WP had heard of, no deaths at all would ever get posted", again you are assuming automatically that posting deaths on the in the news template has to be done, when as I outlined it doesn't. Plus, I was thinking along the lines of a "Majority of wikipedians have heard of" in regards to the people who die rather than "All wikipedians have heard of statement" overall. Now in regards to Haig, you can't write me off of "not having heard of him" because of my young age. I know a great deal of notable individuals who lived before my time and could name virtually every president of the US, but a secretary of state? It's hardly a world reknowned position is it? Like I said if we are including this guy, then we should include every countries equilivent of the same position shouldn't we? Plus the argument of "there will be no death postings at all if we exclude people like Haig" is useless as I mentioned, as if there are no death postings, would it really matter? It would certainly be an improvement on including obsecure individuals wouldn't it? Routerone (talk) 10:59, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
But obscurity is a relative viewpoint. Alexander Haig is obscure to you and many others, but he is also known to many others again. We should always attempt to be as objective as possible and you should to. I had never heard of him, but when the item was nominated I read the article and made an objective conclusion that I saw notability. That is why I suggest if you've never heard of him, read his article and if you still have an issue, come back then and provide a objective reasoning. Bare in mind the death criteria place emphasis on an individuals importance within their field and in this case you have someone who has held several (and not just one) senior positions in US politics.
On a side note I would also suggest that maybe you have a misunderstanding of the purpose of ITN. Fundamentally it is not a news service (yes everyone knows the name includes the word 'news' but that's another issue). Its role is to point users in the direction of articles that relate to current events. We have Wikinews for those who want to be kept up to date on with what is going on in the world in general. At the end of the day if you do not want to/are unwilling to click on the bolded link to understand why this item has made it to the front page of an encyclopaedia, then there is not much other users can do --Daviessimo (talk) 11:36, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
also if this didnt go up you would have seen mass arguments on how ITN is anti-american. ITN cant please everyone. personally i dont disagree that bar keeps getting lowered as i have said before but fact is compared to the deaths that are being featured now on ITN this one clearly and easily passed the criteria. so it was posted. -- Ashish-g55 18:52, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Haig died at an unremarkable age due to unremarkable causes, and his death has not been particularly consequential due to the fact he was mostly retired. If the current White House Chief of Staff had died, it would be a very different matter. I agree that ITN is not actually a news service, but rather a convenient way to direct users to a variety of articles. However, on this basis, we could post unremarkable "news" events about many obscure people and topics just for this convenient purpose. The inclusion of Haig appears rather USA-centric. For example, I very much doubt the death of William Whitelaw, 1st Viscount Whitelaw would have made ITN if Wikipedia was around in 1999, yet he was Deputy Prime Minister of the UK for almost ten years. Directing users towards an article about such a politician of such a prominent position may be a noble and worthy cause for Wikipedia, but this rule is much too permissive. --Tom dl (talk) 08:54, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
The consensus appeared to be that in this instance, Haig was judged on the totality of his career rather than one single aspect. He was not only a Secretary of State, but also Chief of Staff and a 4 star general. He was, for a period, in control of NATO forces in Europe and in total served under 3 presidents. When that was all added up, it was decided he was above the bar of what would be considered notable. It is hard to say whether or not deaths before Wikipedia existed would be listed, but it is worth bearing in mind that the criteria have been lowered over recent months to make it a bit easier to get on the main. Critically, the age restrictions and holding a position at the time of death rules can now be overlooked, so if William Whitelaw was deemed to have had an esteemed career, there is no reason why he couldn't have been listed --Daviessimo (talk) 09:22, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Whitelaw would never have gone up because no American has ever heard of him, and he never should have gone up either, because his death was insignificant, even for people who knew who he was. It will certainly be interesting to see though if this talk of the bar having been lowered works for a non-American next time. The guidance was clear, and I'm guessing nobody is going to bother to update it for this new precedent, as usual. MickMacNee (talk) 10:30, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
How about Jyoti Basu? –Howard the Duck 11:32, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I wasn't around for that nom, but I'm guessing the superlative card was played more than anything else, and the various objections of 'who?' would have been present, but ignored. As ever, it depends on everything, even on which admin turns up to judge the 'consensus', and whether another one thinks its time for a wheel war or not. MickMacNee (talk) 11:42, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
So it ultimately depends on the posting admin. Was the admin who added this blurb an American? –Howard the Duck 11:46, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
It was me and I'm British. User:Tariqabjotu was about to update with the Haig blurb at the same time (see the template history) so at least two admins concurred on this - Dumelow (talk) 11:57, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
So there goes the U.S.-biaz argument.
(I'd have to say though: it is mostly non-ITN-regular admins who post these U.S. items.) –Howard the Duck 12:04, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
LOL. A British admin posted it so that means there is no US bias? That's novel. I note Tariqabjotu was born in the US, but he has hardly been the normal ITN admin, he regularly posts items I've otherwise seen get ignored and tarpitted. He deserves a barnstar probably. MickMacNee (talk) 12:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Actually I'm lost, are you talking about who posted Haig, or who posted the Indian? MickMacNee (talk) 12:16, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Dumelow posted Haig. It was Tone who posted Jyoti Basu [6]. Physchim62 (talk) 13:04, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I actually now think the Indian governor was posted solely as a non-American "answer" to Ted Kennedy. Heh. –Howard the Duck 13:22, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Don't be ridiculous, Howard, I've usually found you far more incisive in your comments. Jyoti Basu was posted with six supports (plus the nominator) to one oppose. The single oppose was because his death hadn't been reported in any U.S. media, something which was quickly found to be simply untrue, whatever the good faith of the opposing editor. Ted Kennedy was mentioned in the nomination in passing, but not at all in the subsequent discussion: anyone can view the archive of the discussion here Physchim62 (talk) 15:53, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
The nominator did actually mention Ted Kennedy on the nomination so... –Howard the Duck 02:56, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

It's a personal view, but when I look at ITN candidates about recent deaths, I am looking for something which makes them stand out from similar people. To continue the hypothesizing about British cases, I think it is fairly obvious that we will post the death of Margaret Thatcher when it happens, even though she has been very ill for many years now. But we probably wouldn't post the death of John Major, her successor. Thatcher was obviously a politician of global standing, Major obviously wasn't, despite his fundamental role in the Northern Ireland peace process: just look at the fact that I felt obliged to remind non-British editors that Major was even Prime Minister (and for 6½ years at that, and not all that long ago). In other areas, Desmond Tutu is another obvious candidate when he dies – he was something more than just a senior churchman, even if he will never reach the absolute top of the Anglican Church. Linus Pauling would have been a scientific candidate, had he not died in 1994 – not only at the top of his field in chemistry, but also a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and a controversial advocate of taking massive doses of Vitamin C. Pelé might be a sporting example, notable as much for what he does off the soccer pitch as for what he did on it.
It's hard to condense that into a strict guideline, I realise, but ITN is not about blindly following rules or posting everything that comes up. Other editors will have different criteria than mine, which is why we have a discussion process. I would favour more recent death stories, and even a dedicated section for them, but most editors seem to want to limit them as much as possible. Do we make errors? of course we do! But the definition of an error depends on the criteria for success. Our article on Miep Gies got over 50,000 hits the day after she died – should we have posted the story (we didn't) and, if so, how can we try to spot notable deaths better in the future? Or was it a success that we didn't overly publicise an article which wasn't actually very informative at the time of her death? As for Alexander Haig, his article has been viewed by more than 150,000 people since the weekend, so lucky for us that it was already in decent shape! Physchim62 (talk) 13:04, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

Thatcher, Pele, and probably even Tutu, when they die, will meet the existing death criteria, no problem, its not rocket science. Pele and Tutu are still active in their field even, and will likely still be if their death is sudden. This guy didn't meet the criteria, pure and simple. He went up for being a once important yank, pure and simple, and any similar non yank death would not have a chance. I have no problem with discussion of other case, to give people a chance to persuade others how examples like Pauling deserve a listing, but that was not a discussion at all, because the fact it failed the criteria was pointed out time and again, but simply ignored. If you want to talk about ITN being all about directing people to articles with quality updates, then please point out what the Haig article tells us about his death, other than, he died. Funnily enough, this is pointed out in the death criteria as marking out someone whose routine death should not get posted. ITN is not about page views, its irrelevant banging on about them. The Gies example shows that nobody has a problem finding information not posted to ITN, because its not exactly hard. MickMacNee (talk) 13:53, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
Further, compare and contrast Ted Kennedy#Death with Alexander Haig#Later life, health, and death. I honeslty don't see how anybody can argue this guy's death was notable in the slightest, unless they ascribe to the idea that ITN is an American news ticker. I'm fine with that btw before anyone starts making daft accusations about being anti-American, but it's certainly not what the ITN guidance currently says ITN is, and if that is what is should be, there are a hundred better ways the process could be organised and the updates laid out. MickMacNee (talk) 14:01, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I supported Haig's inclusion on the main page, but even I would be crying 'US bias' if we didn't list John Major. Given that the Queen's position has head of state is largely ceremonial, the Prime minister wields considerable legislative and executive power and acts as the de facto leader of the country. To be honest, I'm not a fan of comparing the likelihoods of deaths from differing political systems being listed because the way power is diffused varies too much. --Daviessimo (talk) 14:20, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
I don't think there should be automagic inclusion for top level politicians which goes over and above what we have already. At the moment, if a Head of State dies in office it is ITN/R: we could probably admit that the same criterion would be applied to heads of government in parliamentary systems (such as the UK). When it comes to former Heads of State, it becomes more complicated. Why should we post all of the deaths (and there are a lot) while denying coverage to deaths of notable individuals in other spheres of activity? Would that not be a systematic "pro-politics" bias on ITN? How can we not recognize that Desmond Tutu was more globally notable in his period of activity than George Bush père was in his? George H. W. Bush just did his job as President of the United States, Pelé was the best footballer in the world but has also continued to represent the sport (the most popular in the world) after retirement: for me, that is the difference! Physchim62 (talk) 14:49, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
It would be a great disservice if Major won't go up. –Howard the Duck 05:17, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
We've got plenty of time on that one: he's only 66 and seems in good health! Physchim62 (talk) 08:27, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I thought Haig went up because of this in the lead of his article, "A veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam War, Haig was a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star with oak leaf cluster, and the Purple Heart." It's a small club. (I did oppose his inclusion and still do.) -SusanLesch (talk) 07:38, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't have supported putting him up solely on his war record: after all, that's sort of what soldiers do, go off to war and win medals and all that. I was more thinking of his role in the Watergate scandal or, as the article puts it, "Haig has been largely credited with keeping the government running while President Nixon was preoccupied with Watergate, and was seen as the "acting president" in Nixon's last months." There's also his role in negotiating the Paris Peace Accords during the Vietnam War, which has been emphasized in several obituaries I've read. He doesn't seem to have been a brilliant Secretary of State, but he did gain a certain notoriety in that post. Put it all together and you certainly get a character who's a bit out of the ordinary, and that's good enough for me. Physchim62 (talk) 08:27, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
He was also involved in mediation over the Flaklands islands which makes it appropriate that the Falkland islands dispute should appear on ITN next to his entry. Perhaps the two could be combined. (talk) 17:29, 24 February 2010 (UTC)

I think all living former U.S. secretaries of state should go up when they die, except Eagleburger, who only served briefly. Secretary of state (equivalent to foreign minister in most countries) is the most-notable position in the U.S. Cabinet, with the exception of the vice president. Kissinger and Rice are no-brainers. Powell was in his time the highest-ranking African-American in history and was also chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and national security adviser, so he should be a shoe-in. Albright was, before Rice, the highest-ranking woman ever in the U.S. government and was ambassador to the UN before that; she was (and remains) very well-known in the U.S. and abroad (she was once a rumored candidate for the presidency of her native Czech Republic). Christopher, Baker and Shultz all had long, distinguished careers, holding several important positions, and were quite familiar to the world during their terms because of all the U.S. does in foreign affairs. I think only people of extraordinary notability should go on ITN when they die; I think having been U.S. secretary of state (or UK prime minister) qualifies. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:39, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

I'd probably accept everyone except for the guy that served in an acting basis and the last 3 people you've said. –Howard the Duck 02:54, 25 February 2010 (UTC)


Male player? Are you ppl proposing that there has been a female player with such an achievement? If not, that's an awfully interesting way to phrase things. -- Y not? 03:53, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

A female player has indeed achieved such a thing. Belinda CLark scored 229* in a women's ODI backin '97. ReadingOldBoy (talk) 08:05, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Why is Thaksin Shinawatra on ITN? The "substantial prose update" is nothing more than a blow by blow bullet point list of the judgement and the article has maintenance issues, the most obvious of which, while not fundamental is that enormous lead section. I don;t think the article meets our criteria and should be taken down, imho. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 03:20, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

{{sofixit}} –Howard the Duck 03:49, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Men's ice hockey gold medal game -- combine with closing ceremonies?

Moved to WP:ITN/C because this takes place today. --Tone 11:26, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Please update the picture

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

Can someone update ITN with the photo of Manmohan Singh as seen here --candlewicke 23:04, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

Done. Thank you Tariqabjotu. --candlewicke 00:04, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

News candidates have support but are not posted and contain relavent articles with info, please post or discuss more accordingly

  • Feb 24 - PM apologises for "forgotten Australians" (still needs blurb)
  • Feb 25 - Vincent van Gogh (more discussion needed)
  • Feb 25 - Inauguration of President Viktor Yanukovych (more discussion needed)
  • Feb 26 - Glacier struck
  • Feb 28 - Libya's leader calls for Jihad (holy war) against Switzerland (more discussion needed)
  • Mar 1 - British mission lost hundreds of Pakistani passports (still needs blurb)

Thanks. ~AH1(TCU) 03:31, 3 March 2010 (UTC)

Giant lapse in attention or judgment

How is it possible that the Australian storms item got posted with none of the ITN regulars intervening to prevent this clearly non-notable event from going up? I've requested in the item discussion that it be removed, however, it appears that responsible admin regulars are indeed asleep at the wheel. __meco (talk) 07:54, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Clearly non-notable, from your point of view. When the item was added to ITN, it had been more than 27 hours since the previous item was added. Per ITN regulations, at that point it is acceptable to add items that have not yet gained consensus if there is reasonable support. That item had been on ITN/C for about 48 hours, a fairly long time for an ITN candidate. It had 5+ supports, and only two opposes. I can't ignore what other people say simply because you object, and I don't see this as blatantly unworthy of ITN. I rarely consider dead people a requirement for ITN items. It was a major storm, AFD notwithstanding. -- tariqabjotu 08:24, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
(ec)Well, whether you like it or not, ITN works on concensus and at the time of posting there were 5 votes in favour to 2 against; easily enough for items to be listed. I would point out that just because there were no deaths, it doesn't automatically make something non notable. The case has to be judged against the norms for weather in that region and this storm certainly appeared to much more severe than normal. --Daviessimo (talk) 08:27, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Note: Article is at AFD. –Howard the Duck 10:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Anyone can start an AfD. I also wish people would have the courtesy of getting consensus for removing the article from the Main Page before getting consensus to delete the article altogether. Obviously, if the former can't be done, the latter wouldn't. This was codified in some guideline somewhere, but, unfortunately, it has been removed. But, I still think its message stands. -- tariqabjotu 16:38, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
The AfD has ended and the article still exists. --candlewicke 20:21, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Aha! I thought that Main Page clause was removed. -- tariqabjotu 21:43, 11 March 2010 (UTC)


Why is Template:ITNbox permanently protected with a big scary red lock now? --candlewicke 17:19, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

No idea, it was tagged under Wikipedia:High-risk templates. I don't know why, it's hardly highly visible. I could see no reason to leave it protected so have unprotected it - Dumelow (talk) 17:27, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks, just went over there to add the link for Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/In The News. --candlewicke 19:11, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Healthcare bill

OK, I think I understand what's going to happen with the U.S. healthcare legislation that's dominated the news in the U.S. for the past several months:
1. The House passes two bills, the "Senate bill" and the "reconciliation bill"
2. Obama signs the Senate bill
3. The Senate passes the reconciliation bill intact by March 26 and Obama signs it, ending the process
3A. The Senate passes the reconciliation bill with changes by March 26
4A. The House agrees to the Senate's changes to the reconciliation bill
5A. Obama signs the reconciliation bill

Considering the magnitude of this event and the fact that it has been just about the only thing in the U.S. national news for a while, I don't think we have to wait until the ultimate final end of the process to put up an ITN item. I think we should put up a blurb Sunday after the House passes the bills and update the item shortly thereafter when Obama signs the first bill.

If the Senate passes the reconciliation bill intact (not thought to be likely) later, we can repeat the process then for that passage. If the Senate makes changes, we should put up the second ITN item after the House agrees to the Senate's changes and again update it with Obama's signature.

Now what could really throw a monkey wrench into the whole thing is if the Senate makes changes to the reconciliation bill and the House refuses to accept them. I don't know if it would then go to a conference committee or what. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:13, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Wait for either the bill gets to be passed or dies. This time, the death of this proposal seems remarkable enough for ITN. Previously, measures that don't change the status quo won;t make it but this one is a little different. –Howard the Duck 23:17, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I have to agree. It should definitely go up when it passes or dies, but I wouldn't like to see the same item featured twice. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:19, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I completely concur with HJ Mitchell; put it up when it's either dead or law (or when the House and Senate pass the same bill. Obama signing whatever he gets is a foregone conclusion). Bradjamesbrown (talk) 23:54, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree. My point is, there are actually two bills, and I think we should put the item up after the passage of the first bill tomorrow and not wait for the end result of the second bill. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:16, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
I agree as well. The comment on this side of the Atlantic is that it wouldn't make much practical difference even if the reconciliation bill dies (although it would be a big political storm). So from what I've heard up to the moment, the news story is the House voting the Senate bill. Physchim62 (talk) 09:02, 21 March 2010 (UTC)


I did a count, and the Winter Olympics had a total of 52 instances for the entire event, about 22 instances for the opening ceremony, spanning February 12 - 15 (3 days) and 30 for the closing. As of now, the Paralympics has 32 instances, spanning March 13 to Present (7 days) for the opening ceremony alone. Has anyone else noticed that the Paralympics has been lingering for too long? My political conspiracy side tells me there is a systematic bias to promote obscure events for any number of reasons, i.e. to draw attention to those items underrepresented by the mainstream. My logical side tells me there needs to be more updates. --Jay(Talk) 08:32, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

It's "more updates". I'm aware of no conspiracy. There have been two updates of List of unreleased Michael Jackson material and Millennium Prize Problems so hopefully that helps (though these are arguably obscure to those with little interest in mathematics or music). --candlewicke 20:39, 20 March 2010 (UTC)

3 to be posted

2010 Six Nations Championship, Catholic sexual abuse scandal in Ireland and Girija Prasad Koirala all look ready under March 20 if someone wants to check them. --candlewicke 12:15, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Ah, so this is what happens when I go on vacation. I'll be traveling for an additional two and a half weeks, so I hope someone else picks up the slack; I'll only be checking Wikipedia about once a day rather than my usual once an hour. -- tariqabjotu 18:33, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Well done Tariq! You wait all week for a decent news story, then 3 come along at once! HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) --candlewicke 19:38, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
Nice work. I'll try to keep an eye on ITN while you're away, been a busy week or two for me though so I haven't been able to check Wikipedia too frequently - Dumelow (talk) 19:50, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

Wording "partially recognised" is biased

As is partially unrecognised. And if we go to the extremes: partially legitimate and partially illegitimate also are. Disputed territory is a more appropriate term. I have been trying to explain this view of recognition being an ambiguous term before, but not to much avail. I hope with this examples given someone understands the point more expediently. And the point is: if you use partially recognised, it appears as if it could and will come to be totally recognised - recognition can be interpreted as a process not just as a state of affairs. Previously I had less success in succeeding editors acknowledge this fact - perhaps because of the hotter topic, not such a broad public, me being perceived as a POV editor, or something else. I don't know. Anyway I hope this is a better place to discuss the matter. Looking forward to read the replies, --Biblbroks's talk 23:53, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

I don't believe that calling it a partially recognized will make anyone believe that it will be fully recognized one day. Fact of the matter is, it is partially recognized. I don't believe there is any bias within that statement; we recognize that the territory is both recognized by some, and not by others. Disputer territory is no better; the same people that might believe partially recognized means it might be fully one day could thing that disputed territory means that it is merely an area that two parties are fighting over. Example; you cannot call the Republic of China a disputed territory; it is a sovereign nation that is recognized by a few countries in the world. Disputed territory is no better than partially recognised. I don't see the reason to have to change it; personally, it feels way to PC for me. --PlasmaTwa2 02:21, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Fact is that it is partially illegitimate also, because those others, you mention not recognizing it, could be treating it illegitimate. And also parties don't necessarily fight over disputed territories - as is in the case of Kosovo.
Abkhazia is named "a region ...whose status is disputed" in its article. This is somehow misrepresented in the blurb, if not contradictory to the main article on Abkhazia - oversimplified to the least to say just "partially recognised Republic of Abkhazia". Doesn't partially recognized takes one side more than the other? In this case perhaps. Using different terms in same contexts (appositions and definitions) is more associated with journalism, and literature, and an encyclopedia shouldn't allow itself inconsistency - especially in delicate political issues as these.
I have been exchanging opinions on a similar subject at Talk:Kosovan passport - perhaps we could centralize the discussion somewhere. Also I addressed this issue of ambiguity in the term recognition couple of times earlier in the Talk:International_recognition_of_Kosovo (see's_name_change and further links) but those attempts were not so fruitful to illustrate my point. For the current issue of the blurb maybe the wording "disputedly legitimate" could do, huh? At least according to the short glance at the map on the International_recognition_of_Abkhazia_and_South_Ossetia#Positions taken by states.
Simple question: what did you use PC acronym for - politically correct? --Biblbroks's talk 03:44, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
To be honest I would say it is politically correct. If something is 'partially recognised', it is inherently also 'partially unrecognised'. Needlessly attempting to remove any tiny hint of bias (if there even is one) requires a overly complicated re-phrasing of the statement that is indicative of political correctness. --Daviessimo (talk) 09:13, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
This came up in the main page, the relevant article is List of states with limited recognition. While there's no reason why we have to follow other articles, in this case perhaps limited recognition would be better. Of course that article does include the category "UN member states, not recognized by at least one other state" and hopefully most would agree there's no need to mention those as having limited recognition on the main page. I agree we should aim to be consistent on the main page in any case. Nil Einne (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
So how should it be put then - "limitedly" recognised. Or as an additional postposition with limited recognition? Limited appears better then partial to me, but with disputed as part of the syntagma (disputed territory, disputed country, or something else) is still the optimal solution. For now: since the terms recognition and recognised are ambiguous. In this context. Acknowledged is better alternative to recognised - does partially acknowledged sound awkward? All the best, --Biblbroks's talk 02:35, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
I would suggest that with limited recognition or partially recognised would be a better description of Kosovo of Sahrawi ADR than of Abkhazia or South Ossetia (or Northern Cyprus). It would be better in the latter cases, I suggest, to be more specific: recognised as sovreign by 4 UN member states, to express just how limited the recognition is. Exactly where the threshhold for this treatment is would be difficult to say, but with only one territory (Taiwan) boasting between 4 and 65 UN acceptances, that is not an urgent issue. I would propose that disputed territory is more applicable to (or in my perception more often applied by UK news sources to) those with no formal recognition by sovereign govts. Do the BBC/Reuters/CNN/any other reputable source have their guidelines in the public domain? Kevin McE (talk) 07:32, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Pope Benedict

Obama signing the signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act at the White House

Greetings. I am sorry to start this thread yet again. The big Google story happened on Monday, so please correct the date from March 24 to March 22. The big Obama story happened on Tuesday, so please correct that date from March 22 to March 23. Also, after the order is corrected, please use the photo at right. Thanks! -SusanLesch (talk) 21:06, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Just did this whilst you were posting here. See WP:ERRORS - Dumelow (talk) 21:14, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

I tried to create a new candidate entry for Denisova hominin, but I seem to have screwed up the process. My entry currently resides at Portal:Current events/2010 March 25. Should I have just added it to the 24th? Hiberniantears (talk) 21:18, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Yep, you can copy it to 24. I assume you would like to nominate it for ITN, this is done outside portal space, directly at WP:ITN/C page. --Tone 21:36, 24 March 2010 (UTC)


Google now redirects its .cn domains. See -- Marawe (talk) 00:11, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it's on the template. It's the fourth down. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 06:29, 27 March 2010 (UTC)
I think HJ has missed the emboldened s in Marawe's posting, and that Marawe has mistaken this forum for the Errors page. I'm not aware whether domain should be in the plural, but I'll bring Marawe's observation to the attention of those at WP:Errors (although I suspect it is largely the same people as here). Kevin McE (talk) 08:43, 27 March 2010 (UTC)


It is not necessary to display the prefix "ROKS" in the hook. Mjroots (talk) 12:16, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, I have removed it. I wasn't sure if it was needed or not (I suppose saying "South Korean Navy corvette Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan" is redundant when you think about it). Thanks for bringing this up - Dumelow (talk) 12:19, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Blurb picture update

I'm moving here a discussion which unfolded in the section nominating the Mokambo massacre where many people are likely to miss it. (the first sentence of the first entry refers to that article.) __meco (talk) 08:02, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

I have expanded it a bit. If we update we need to bear in mind that the Obama item has got to stay (or find a pic for another item) as it is the only pic we have at the moment - Dumelow (talk) 19:02, 29 March 2010 (UTC)

On the picture note, there are pictures of: Google's China HQ, the South Korean ship that sank, a map of where the submerged island was, and a memorial for the subway bombings. BobAmnertiopsisChatMe! 19:38, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
We do need a change of picture but nine of those are directly relevant to their blurbs. I could possibly get alongside google's China HQ but the ship picture is a similar ship, not the ship and maps aren't generally used on ITN and, especially at MP resolution, a "this is where the island was" would be of little help to readers and if we're featuring pictures of attacks, it's better to have one of the immediate aftermath. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:28, 29 March 2010 (UTC)
I'd support posting File:Medvedev at Lubyanka metro station 1.jpeg, but that's the only one we have right now that's meaningful at 100px. We don't seem to have anything of the aftermath of the bombing except File:Комсомольский проспект после теракта в метро 2010.jpg which doesn't really look (viewed out of context) as related to the bombing at full size, and would be useless at 100px. Bradjamesbrown (talk) 07:37, 30 March 2010 (UTC)
I have just posted the Volvo item. I have used a pic of the Ford CEO which should solve the image crisis for the time being - Dumelow (talk) 10:54, 30 March 2010 (UTC)

April 1

April 1 is coming closer. As usual, the idea is to have the whole Main page covered by things that seem April fools but are actually all true - we can just slightly play with wordings. Last year, we started to put some effort to ITN as well and some quite nice ideas came out (my favourite was a shower of diamonds over Sudan). This year, there are some suggestions already at Wikipedia:April Fool's Main Page/In The News. Ideally, we should stick to the guidelines that the event should be recent and the article needs to be updated. Because of possible lack of good stories, we can choose some events that are a week or two old - if this shows necessary. Everyone is welcome to contribute. --Tone 22:49, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

We need more eyes on the candidates for tomorrow... Please have a look. --Tone 11:08, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

We have two spaceflight items

I hope I can be excused for using this spot to do a little canvassing for the two spaceflight-related items that are currently nominated for ITN featuring. I usually let the nominations and votes/discussions take their course, but in this case I want to give these two stories (the UK establishing its own brand new space agency, and, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo on its maiden flight) an extra push. With all the mundane and often depressing news we usually present I personally find everything related to man's exploration and ventures into space positive, inspiring and injecting us all with a much needed optimism for the future, so at least, if I can present everyone who reads this with a heads-up and encouragement to support these two item, I figure it's worth the exertion. __meco (talk) 18:37, 25 March 2010 (UTC)

We said we'll have SpaceShipTwo on ITN when they launch it to space, not just a test flight at low altitudes (that was my point back then). I don't think it will take them long to get to space now that the ship is ready. Regarding the agency, we have a consensus to put it up on April 1 when they start working. So, no worries, we are not ignoring space items ;-) --Tone 18:53, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
:-) __meco (talk) 19:42, 25 March 2010 (UTC)
Since the item is not up yet and also seems to have been taken off the nomination/discussion page, perhaps there has been some glitch? __meco (talk) 09:30, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

who cares about sony

not me, why is this big news —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:26, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Well, others do, and the event had to go through a trial to show up (and this was specifically extensive, because today is April Fools Day and, if you haven't noticed, the whole current events section is a little strange. I hope that answers the question. smithers - talk 03:21, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

in the news; my foot hurts, let's talk about it —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Number of items

Ten items on ITN seems like a bit much. The normal amount is around five items. I would set the line after the Volvo item. --PlasmaTwa2 00:20, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

It's a question of Main Page balance, to keep the lengths of the two columns roughly the same. The TFA blurb is unusually long today. Physchim62 (talk) 00:32, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Indeed. I'll investigate the possibility of adding one or two items to OTD. The only other viable options are trimming the TFA blurb or reducing the number of items in each of the day's DYK queues. —David Levy 00:37, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
I was able to add three items to OTD, so the situation is less extreme now. —David Levy 00:54, 2 April 2010 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} It's not decree. It's "Послание Президента России Федеральному собранию" like State of the Union address. --TarzanASG (talk) 17:23, 1 April 2010 (UTC)

Not done: {{edit protected}} is not required for edits to unprotected pages, or pending changes protected pages. --JokerXtreme (talk) 02:36, 2 April 2010 (UTC)
Err, T:ITN is certainly a protected page. However, you would get a better (and faster) response at WP:ERRORS. The item is no longer on ITN. Modest Genius talk 18:29, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

NCAA basketball tournament -- "once-in-a-generation sports story?"

On Monday night in Indianapolis, the final game of the 2010 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, the championship of U.S. college basketball, takes place. This year is especially interesting because it matches the Butler Bulldogs, a so-called mid-major program, against the Duke Blue Devils, one of college basketball's traditional powerhouses. No mid-major team has won the tournament since at least 1990, and I don't believe any team from Butler's conference, the Horizon League, had even reached the quarterfinals before this year (while a member of the conference). The AP calls Butler's appearance in the final a "once-in-a-generation sports story." To use an analogy that might be understood overseas, this would be like Real Madrid or AC Milan meeting a Norwegian or Swiss team in the UEFA Champions League final.

In previous years, requests to include the NCAA basketball final have been turned down on the ground that we only include "top level" sporting events. I'd like to put out a trial balloon to see what people would think about a change this year. If Butler wins, it will probably be the sports story of the year in the U.S., assuming the U.S. doesn't pull an even bigger shocker and win the soccer World Cup. Even if Duke wins, I think we ought to seriously consider mentioning it in light of less rigid standards that seem to be applied to ITN suggestions these days. The NCAA "March Madness" (which actually finishes in April) is one of the top 4 or 5 sporting events in the U.S. in any given year, knocked down a notch this year because of the Winter Olympics. It probably attracts more attention domestically than do the NBA Finals. Butler's presence, win or lose, has attracted even more attention than usual to the game. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:53, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

The Euroleague Final Four will have an easier time at getting in (it's queued at ITN/Future events)... –Howard the Duck 08:57, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Space flight

I've had a go at writing some new space flight criteria for WP:ITNR. Please take a look and comment at Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items#Space flight. Modest Genius talk 18:26, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

In light of some comments I've heard lately and a conversation with User:NuclearWarfare, who updated the template yesterday, I've created a new ITN subpage at Wikipedia:In the news/Admin instructions (shortcut WP:ITN/A) in the hope of providing accurate but easy to follow instructions for administrators unfamiliar with the process of updating ITN. I'd like to add a link to it from here, WP:ITN and /C as well as WP:ERRORS. Before I do, though, any suggestions or comments or suggestions, pro or con would be appreciate here, on its talk page or on my own talk page, but bear in mind it's supposed to be a simple how-to guide for admins new to ITN. Thanks in advance, HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:43, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Could an admin (or an accountcreator!) please add this to the editnotice for T:ITN or even just replace the whole editnotice with a note pointing to ITN/A since everything in it is covered there. I think it would be of more use if linked from there. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 12:42, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Can someone please check this under April 8. --candlewicke 13:45, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Anyone? Time is running out. --candlewicke 22:26, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Not really. The Senate hasn't passed it yet and President Zardari hasn't signed it. If it doesn't go p now, it has two more chances to. Therequiembellishere (talk) 22:33, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Iceland eruption

Not just Scandinavian and British air spaces have been closed, the Belgian air space has also been closed and the Netherlands will follow suit after 5 o'clock UCT (7 o'clock local time). See here for a source. Please add this information. Steinbach (talk) 15:34, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

This is already being discussed at WP:ITN/C#Volcanic cloud disrupts European air traffic. Your input would be appreciated there, though. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:54, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

UK general election

Is this not a valid item for "In the News"? Johnhousefriday (talk) 17:46, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

As it says in the header, you want WP:ITN/C. Algebraist 17:49, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
The announcement of a general election is not ever covered. The results will be and I have nominated this at WP:ITN/FE. —  Cargoking  talk  18:03, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
There should never be a "never" rule on ITN. I don't see why the announcement of a general election in the country with the second-most users of the English Wikipedia can't go up. I doesn't mean we have to post the calling of an election in Uzbekistan. I also think there ought to be a "sticky" link to the United Kingdom general election, 2010 in ITN for the length of the campaign. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:43, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Considering we never do that even for the US presidential election, that request is right out. --Golbez (talk) 01:00, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Well, we should have done that for the US election, and I suggested it back then. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:02, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Do you suggest we do it for any English-speaking country? Or just the top 2? 3? And how long would you have kept that up, because that campaign lasted a long time. --Golbez (talk) 01:03, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I suggested the U.S., UK, Canada and Australia. (You've got to draw a line somewhere.) I believe I made the suggestion in August 2008. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:32, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
What about Nigeria? Or is that in the wrong part of the world? --candlewicke 01:37, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
How many English Wikipedia users do you think are from Nigeria? I've never encountered any that I know of. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:08, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
Or the Philippines, or South Africa, or India? The former two are in the Anglosphere and the latter has more people speaking English than the other two combined. The Philippines started their campaign a few weeks ago. I would not support any of these because it's only the launch of the campaign. The only thing that truly matters is the election itself and of that, the results. And yes, I've run into several editors from these three countries and a few Nigerians as well. Therequiembellishere (talk) 02:42, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
My point is that one of the aims of ITN is, or should be, to help people who come to the Wikipedia home page looking for information on a topic undergoing a surge of interest. I think a lot of people will come to Wikipedia looking for information on the UK election, just as they surely did for info on the US election or the Olympics. Only events of an extraordinary interest and encyclopedic-ness that last for more than a few days would merit an sticky ITN. I think that considering how many of our users come from the US or UK, those countries' national elections would meet that criteria. Where to draw the line after that would be a subject for discussion. Maybe we do have a huge number of readers from the Philippines, I don't know. Note that the French and German Wikipedias have sticky entries on their ITNs, so I'm not the only person to think of this. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 03:10, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
You guys already added a Philippine election-related blurb... –Howard the Duck 03:14, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
That was about a politically-motivated massacre related to the election. Not the official launch of the election campaign. Therequiembellishere (talk) 03:18, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I did say it was an election-related item not an election campaign-related item... –Howard the Duck 03:26, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd have to say nothing particularly notable happens in election campaigns, except maybe when a major candidate withdraws. Or when candidates are nominated. In parliamentary systems you guys usually report an out-of-scheduled dissolution of parliament. This one's more or less scheduled since it's been 5 years since the last election. –Howard the Duck 03:32, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
i dont understand this misconception of wikipedia being only for people in countries where English is first language. US/UK may have more english speaking people where its their first language but about a couple billion can speak it and more can understand it around the world. and thats who wikipedia is for. Entire world where english can be understood. So arguments about how people who come here only come here to look for US or UK items is absolutely incorrect. As said above India has quite a large population of english speaking people, it may not be the first language there but most can still understand english quite well. Since we dont post general election announcement there why should it be posted if its any other country? (unless something out of ordinary happened ofcourse) And being a non profit encyclopedia i see no reason why it should matter where our visitors come from. we are not on a mission to please our visitors... its to build a good encyclopedia. which in my opinion can never be good if its not neutral. -- Ashish-g55 04:04, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
It's simple, they're the people who read it. (But I don't think the announcement of the election should be included, though you could make a case for adding the election to ITN when polls open) ~DC Talk To Me 19:20, 8 April 2010 (UTC)
There's no reason to presume only people who speak English as a first language are going to read the English wikipedia. If you are arguing we should go by actual visitor stats, that's a completely different argument from saying we should worry about how many first language speakers there are in a country Nil Einne (talk) 02:22, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the actual statistics, there's no clear cut reason to cut off India, it isn't that much lower then Australia. [7] Note that the English wikipedia is the most popular by far for India [8] Also those statistics, as with any statistics of that sort have some natural problems. For example "Also all ip addresses that occur more than once on a given day are discarded for that day", and while there are good reasons to do this, it means that those behind a NAT or proxy (transparent or not) are not going to be counted properly, these things generally being more common in developing countries (AFAIK it's very uncommon for normal ISPs to put their customers behind a NAT in most developed countries, but it's hardly uncommon in developing ones). Of course in addition it's potentially impossible to count those behind a caching proxy (transparent or not) no matter what you do (depending somewhat on the visitor and how the proxy is set up) and for ordinary ISPs these are more common outside the US. Of course the statistics are also dependent on proper geolocation info which isn't always accurate, as the anomaly of 18% of Australians visiting the Japanese wikipedia likelu demonstrates [9] Nil Einne (talk) 03:09, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd go by the stats of who's reading it, and the last ones I saw showed that about 50% were from the US. ~DC Talk To Me 06:39, 11 April 2010 (UTC)
Your initial reply to Ashishg55 was "It's simple, they're the people who read it" even though Ashishg55 comment was on first language. You didn't mention anything about stats. As I mentioned above, if you want to go by people reading it as shown by (perhaps slightly flawed) stats, then fine, but presuming that we should go by first language is silly.
The issue of first language is of course a red herring, and should have no consideration in discussions like these and while I do note that no one brought up first language before Ashishg55, it's a common suggestion so Ashishg55 had a relevant point which you didn't really address in your initial reply (instead you seemed to imply you think it's okay to go by first language because they're the people reading it whereas as I've already said, we shouldn't care what their first language is).
Or to put it a different way, 'it's simple, they're the people who read it' is inaccurate because it isn't simple. In fact first language is only a minor reason (and shouldn't have any relevance to us), as the stats themselves suggest. Clearly population affects the numbers, but surely does access to the internet, education, literacy etc. After all, as I mentioned the English wikipedia is the most popular by far in India.
So the simple answer and better reply would have been something like 'first language doesn't matter, what matters is who reads it and people from ... read it' rather then suggesting it's simple and okay to discriminate by first language because they're the people who read it.
Nil Einne (talk) 12:26, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
My response (which you ignored in your above comment, the long-winded one starting with "Your initial reply to Asishg55...") was "I'd go by the stats of who's reading it, and the last ones I saw showed that about 50% were from the US." It speaks nothing to primary languages.
For the record, the stats I referenced are these.
Interestingly enough, the top four countries visiting Wikipedia are ones where English is the primary language (combined they account for 73% of views). Actually, that's not interesting because most people would expect that to be the case.
I'm not sure why the English language popularity in India is relevant. They still only account for 25 out of 1000 views to the website (and yes, Australia accounts for only 40 out of 1000 and Canada 50 out of 1000, but that means we should put less focus on them, not more on India).
15:17, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

Milestone: 1,000,000,000 edits

The number at is approaching 1,000,000,000. -- Wavelength (talk) 22:32, 15 April 2010 (UTC)

It's not worthy of ITN unless it gets coverage in the news. ~DC Talk To Me 03:40, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Interesting for the Signpost, but not for ITN, sorry. Bradjamesbrown (talk) 03:47, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Thank you both for your replies. -- Wavelength (talk) 04:10, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
No problem. But as a side note, didn't a banner get put up for the 3 millionth article? We could do something similar to that, but I think it would be better to wait for 1 billion edits on just this site (or half a billion) ~DC Talk To Me 05:32, 16 April 2010 (UTC).
Shouldn't the Wikimedia Foundation put out a press release about it? I'm sure it would get wide coverage. __meco (talk) 06:01, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
It seems to be above 1,000,000,000. --candlewicke 22:11, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
To be honest, I'm not sure it'll be of great interest to the media. Unlike say with articles, where we can choose an article there's nothing much to comment on (sure we can choose 1 billionth edit, but even presuming we purposely ignoring vandalism and look for a decent edit, what's to comment on someone say correcting a spelling mistake?) However the best place to address suggestions like that would be directly to the foundation somehow, either by e-mail, in meta, in one of the mailing lists of perhaps a blog comment. No point telling random people on a random place no one in the foundation is ever likely to read. Nil Einne (talk) 12:45, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

This is a fantastic milestone. I have proposed recognising it on the main page banner. Please comment at Template talk:Main Page banner#1,000,000,000. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 15:01, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

This is linked to from the main page, but is in a sorry state with no less than 19 "citation needed" tags. They are probably warranted, but as it stands it's mostly an embarrassment to Wikipedia. But perhaps the idea is that people will check by via the main page and fix it? Geschichte (talk) 17:19, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

The version that was posted had only three such tags. The current number is simple vandalism: it cannot be considered helpful editing to put a {{fact}} tag immediately before four references. Conilleta (talk) 18:21, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

A better picture of the eruption in Eyjafjallajökull

Here's a better picture of the eruption. --Jóhann Heiðar Árnason (talk) 20:41, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Thanks, updated. Great photo. --Tone 10:07, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

Rules related to Marriages

As Tone mentioned

"Well, I remember we've once discussed the case where a king gets married (for example prince William if he were the king at that moment), that seemed to be somehow ITN-worthy. But this is not the case here. --Tone 15:22, 14 April 2010 (UTC)"

So I would like to know do we mentioned the marriages of head of states, while they are in office ? One example would be of Nicolas Sarkozy who married while being a in office. Was it posted then ? Also Our own President is a widower these days if he marries in next 3 years (that is while in Ofiice) can we post that ?.--yousaf465' 06:28, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

I think we should make these decisions on a case by case basis, depending on how much coverage the wedding gets. Buts truth be told, there are around 200 countries in the world, and I think only a handful (if that) should get their head of state (or head of government, no reason why a well covered PM's wedding should be excluded) on ITN. The only countries I'd consider automatics are the UK and US. I also think if William or Harry got married now, it should be added to ITN, even if they're not monarchs. ~DC Talk To Me 07:01, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd say a divorce would be more notable, or an Edward VIII case. Who was that European prince, perhaps not ruling yet who was married but busted for cavorting with strippers. Those things are more likely to increase republican sentiment, although of course there are also BLP issues YellowMonkey (vote in the Southern Stars and White Ferns supermodel photo poll) 07:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
i would say no marriage is notable enough except current british monarch as thats more of a commonwealth thing (not just UK) and will be major news in many countries including UK, Canada, Australia etc. Rest would be too local and insignificant internationally. -- Ashish-g55 14:05, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm inclined to agree with DC in that we should be deciding this kind of thing case by case. I would however, completely rule out "celebrity" marriages. I would agree that the British Monarch should be automatic, and possibly close heirs to the throne (Charles [who is already married. Again!], William and Harry) because that affects the 16 countries of which she is sovereign (54 if we include all members of the Commonwealth) rather than just one. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:00, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
Nicolas Sarkozy's marriage to Carla Bruni didn't make it onto ITN (archive). Prince Charles' second wedding in April 2005 was posted. Conilleta (talk) 18:17, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
ITN has pro-monarch-wedding and anti-democratic-head of state-wedding bias :P –Howard the Duck 02:48, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually, judging by this thread it's a pro-British POV. ~DC Talk To Me 06:17, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh yeah it is pro-British POV ;) , but you see we can't post the marriages of Saudi King or any other such monarch. If Nicolas Sarkozy's couldn't made it I don't think Asif Ali Zardari will make it, if he ever marry while in office. So should we leave it on case to case basis ? For Jacob Zuma type cases I think rules for Main page may apply. --yousaf465' 07:34, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

(←) Because ITN is for items "in the news." I can't say with much certainty which marriages will get significant coverage until they come up. I can say that the marriage of a sitting US president (which has never before), a reigning British king/queen or someone close to the throne would get coverage. But anyone else would be a pure guess, so why make a hard and fast rule? And what's wrong with doing it on a case by case basis? ~DC Talk To Me 09:18, 18 April 2010 (UTC)

The marriage of a Pope would also probably get significant coverage... Physchim62 (talk) 10:06, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
pope can get married? hmmm... didnt know that. would be big news i suppose -- Ashish-g55 23:54, 18 April 2010 (UTC)
What about Wales Jimmy's marriage, will we post it ? --yousaf465' 15:43, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
No unless it's with Rachel Marsden. –Howard the Duck 18:08, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
No regardless. I agree that marriages of high-ranking British Royals and the incumbent POTUS would be significant enough, but everything else we should treat on a case-by-case basis. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 18:48, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
I thought Jimmy might turn Polygamist. ;)--yousaf465' 09:43, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

The name of the page is In the news

I know I've brought this up before, but I dropped it for a while as it had seemed like we were moving in a positive direction. Recent ITN decisions, however, have gone from absurd to ridiculous ("no" to Goldman Sachs but "yes" to a ban on neon in Pakistan, something which sounds like it was made up by someone looking for an example of the most-obscure potential news item he could think of).

People seem to forget that the name of the section is In the news. That does not mean it should be a running news ticker. But it does mean that the section ought to feature items that are actually "in the news," at least in the countries from which most readers of the English Wikipedia come from.

There's nothing wrong with the occasional quirky item from an out-of-the-way place. But as long as we're going to call it "In the news," it's ludicrous (had to break out the thesaurus there) to have those "quirky" items all the time while rejecting the things that are really "in the news."

I'd like to establish a guideline that generally, news items that are given highly prominent coverage by the bulk of the "serious" national U.S. media shall be deemed to have met ITN requirements for "notability," "importance" and "encyclopedicness" or "encyclopedicity," take your pick.

Similarly, items that are given "extremely" prominent coverage by the national media of the UK, Canada or Australia (the second, third and fourth ranked countries in English Wikipedia readership) should be deemed to have met those criteria. Generally, the smaller the area, the bigger of a deal it would have to be to qualify.

This does not mean that these items would automatically go up. They could still be rejected on the grounds that they are "routine" news items, such as an ordinary Obama speech, or that they are part of a single, long-running event, such as an election campaign, or that there's no article or only a poor article on the subject. (Also, the guideline would not prohibit other types of items, such as science news and national elections in obscure places, from going up.) But it would eliminate arguments over whether these things are "really important" and ensure that "In the news" actually offers what it advertises.

Too often, items that are "In the news" have been rejected because of misinformed arguments by ITN naysayers. For example, when the Goldman lawsuit was suggested and I pointed out Goldman stock had dropped around 15%, or whatever it was, someone actually said, "Much bigger companies go up and down that much all the time," which is flat out wrong. (For one, there aren't many companies "much bigger" than Goldman.) More recently, when I suggested the Arizona immigration law, someone said it "does not appear to be ... unusual," when it was indeed the first law of its type in U.S. history. (Which is why it was the lead story across the U.S. media.)

So instead of arguing that the entire media is wrong about the importance of an item, I suggest we give the media the benefit of the doubt, and when they're all in agreement that something is a big deal, we can consider it a big deal.

There is an alternative -- we can rename "In the news" as "Geopolitics cruft and quirky news items from around the world" or something like that. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 22:05, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

I won't debate each of those individual cases with you, because I know you're making a general point (though if you want to, I'd be happy to discuss it in a new section or on my talk page ;) ), but I'll say that I think the the neon signs angle was the wrong one to take, but the energy policy itself was the real story (as was reflected in the blurb).
As to your suggestion, was the use of "high" in the US media and "extreme" elsewhere intentional or were you using them interchangeably? If it's the latter, I don't necessarily disagree with you but not everything that makes the top story on CNN, ABC, the NYT, WSJ etc is necessarily significant enough to go up- for example a tiny little plane crashing into a building (just an example!) similarly, not everything on the top of BBC News, The Times, The Guardian etc would be significant enough- for the last week, the top spot on BBC News' front page has been illustrated either by a picture of Gordon Brown or lots of planes lined up.
On a similar note, I think we should require nominators to provide at least a few news links and preferably a link to an article in the nomination, rather than just the word "Nom" (which seems to have become common lately) so that it's easier to assess the significance. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 22:24, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
In response to your first question, yes, I did use the different adverbs intentionally. I didn't mean to make this into a thing about geography, but basically I think I think the degree of exceptional-ness (exceptionality?) need not necessarily be as high for a U.S. item as for, say, a Canada item. Basically, I think that if something is the lead story in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and the NBC, ABC and CBS nightly newscasts, it is important enough to go on ITN. In Canada, on the other hand, it's not uncommon for something like a police officer getting killed in Winnipeg to make the Globe & Mail, National Post and national TV news because Canada is a smaller country, population-wise, and the bar is lower to make national news. So I think when it comes to Canada, we should require an item to be exceptionally prominent before we can go ahead and say, "This is definitely important enough for ITN."
As to your second point, I don't think that all items that are nationally prominent are necessarily good ITN items. I mentioned that "routine" events such as an Obama speech or the latest update on a long-running event, such as an election campaign, are probably not appropriate ITN items. You bring up another category -- a small plane crash that might be a "hot item" on cable news networks and the Internet because it's happening right now but that's not likely to get much play in the papers tomorrow or on the evening network news. That would not make a good ITN item. One way to separate those kinds of stories from items more appropriate for ITN is for those of us with access to the hard copies of the papers to point out how they're being played or to look at the front pages at [10]. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:19, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
I fixed your link for you (you need the http:// for external links)! You make a good point, as a general rule, if it's the top story on all the major US news services, it would probably have a pretty good chance of getting on, but there are plenty of "story of the minute" type items (like the plane crash for example) and I personally opposed the Goldman item. I think "world news" pages are better indicators than website front pages because the latter tend to give greater emphasis to item of national importance- perhaps if something is top of the major US services and, for example, BBC World News, we could consider some sort of rule, but I think the best option is just to make your case on ITN/C. If you have a good argument for or against something, most people will recognise that. I have to say, of the three examples you listed above, I agree with the outcome of all of them, but, less recently, there have been some bizarre outcomes. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:36, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Mwalcoff, thank you for stating the obvious (I mean it, I'm not trying for sarcasm). "Wikipedia: In the news" should focus on items actually in the news. And I support your idea that stories making headlines across the US should be on here, as should stories making international headlines (though routine stuff, like speeches, etc. shouldn't). People actually turn to Wikipedia for information on major news stories, and it makes sense to put them where people can find them. ~DC Talk To Me 00:57, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
If the "something which sounds like it was made up by someone looking for an example of the most-obscure potential news item he could think of" happened in the United States would it be "something which sounds like it was made up by someone looking for an example of the most-obscure potential news item he could think of"? That energy policy ITN was an emergency situation and had more effects than a neon sign ban. --candlewicke 04:33, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps his issue is with even mentioning the neon sign part in the blurb? There are other measures mentioned in the article, but the neon sign part was chosen to be on the main page, which sounds like a joke. ~DC Talk To Me 05:50, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I'd agree with that. The energy policy certainly was significant to go up, but I think we were wrong to focus on the neon sign ban. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 16:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

The name of the section should be changed to something like "Behind the news" with a subtitle similar to "Articles with background information of current events" to do away with this misconception that the section is a news service and to highlight that articles that expand on news items are what's intended. Monotonehell 16:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)