Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 33

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Future events

I notice that various things are being proposed on FE, but they never get copied to ITN/C and are either lost or proposed separately. Would it be worth getting the bot to copy over any items on FE when it creates the new day? Modest Genius talk 13:55, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Seems a good idea. I've no idea how easy or difficult it would be to programme a bot to do it, though. We'd have to ask Anomie (talk · contribs). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 19:11, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Should be reasonably straightforward - just look for a section on FE with the same name as today's date. If it finds one, move the contents to ITN/C and delete from FE. Modest Genius talk 20:04, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Raison d'être

David Levy made a comment in the discussion on the baseball story that I simply cannot let pass, as it affects the section as a whole. He says: "The section is intended to showcase articles written or updated to reflect recent/current events, not to report the top news."
I fear that several other editors share David's view of the purpose of this section, but I couldn't disagree more strongly. We are not here to "showcase" articles as if we were giving out prizes. We are here to provide a service to our readers, to help them find encyclopedic articles which provide background to current news stories. We insist on updates because articles which have not been updated are unlikely to be, well, up-to-date, and that's a fairly crucial point given that we're selecting them on the basis of their relevance to news stories. The existence of this section provides an incentive to editors to update articles, because they may well get their work linked to from the Main Page and a little plaque-type thingy to show off on their User talk page. The Main Page gets about 5 million hits a day during the week: at least 99.99% of those readers couldn't give an aerial accouplement about Wikipedia Processes, they simply want to find relevant information. They don't know if an article has been updated with at least five prose sentences and at least three references, and frankly, dear colleagues, they don't give a damn.
We should not be elevating our assesment of an article update to anything more than ensuring the article is up-to-date and useful, because those are the sole criteria that our readers are judging us on. We should be trying to ensure that articles relating to current news stories are as up-to-date and useful as we can get them in the short time available, because our readers are going to be looking for (and at) those articles pretty much regardless of anything that goes on at WP:ITN/C. This is especially true for articles about people who have recently died: ignoring them at ITN/C won't stop readers from looking for them (they do in large numbers), it merely removes a quality control step from our system. Placing artificial internal objectives on ITN can only distract from our service to our readers. Physchim62 (talk) 13:14, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

Please report top news on P:CE and showcase on ITN those news items with well updated articles. This is what we have been doing on ITN for years. --PFHLai (talk) 00:14, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Physchim62: I just read your message twice, and I honestly don't understand where the disagreement lies. So either I'm misunderstanding you or you've misunderstood me.
My point was that the section isn't a news ticker (intended to report the top stories, with little or no regard for the linked articles' content). Rather, the article must be created or significantly updated to reflect the event (i.e. to provide a substantial amount of information about it, not merely to switch from present tense to past tense or include a sentence or two comprising essentially the same information conveyed via the blurb). Do you disagree with that? —David Levy 01:21, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree that it's not a news ticker! P:CE is the closest thing we've got to a news ticker, but Wikipedia is basically an encyclopedia, so our role is not to provide the latest up-to-the-minute information, but rather to provide a description of a subject that puts it into a wider context. That description might include some very recent information, and should do if we're discussion topics which are in the news, but that's not our main goal.
Where we disagree is the second part. You say it's not acceptible "merely to switch from present tense to past tense or include a sentence or two comprising essentially the same information conveyed via the blurb." I say that depends on the subject matter and the story. If we have an article which gives a good, clear, balanced background to a subject and only needs some dates added and some verbs changing to bring it up-to-date, then that is a Good Thing that should be celebrated! For me, the fact that the work on the article was done before it became a big news story is irrelevant, because it is irrelevant to our readers and those are the people we should consider foremost. Physchim62 (talk) 01:47, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
So, taking the space shuttle as an example, are you saying it would be sufficient to post it if it contained background information, but the update for its docking at the ISS was simply "it docked"? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 01:51, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
The one that's up at the moment? I supported that – an I'm no fan of spaceflight stories – because the article told me that this mission was a bit different and it told me why. Once you got that, we just need to no that it really did dock (with a reference to say how we know), unless there was anything unusual about the docking.
Another example is the Chilean miners story, which will be ever more all over the news on Wednesday (probably). We have an article, 2010 Copiapó mining accident, that is in pretty good shape. We'll see what happens between now and the first miner coming out, but are you suggesting we shouldn't post it when we have a referenced statement that the first miner is back on the surface? That we should wait until we have a reaction from the President of Chile saying that he's very happy (as if he wouldn't be) or something like that? Because the latter is what we get if we concentrate solely on having an update of some "acceptable" length before posting (obviously we all agree that there are some articles that come through ITN/C that are just too poor to post, but that isn't the case I'm referring to) Physchim62 (talk) 02:21, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't mean to make it specific, I was just giving an example because I wanted to gain an insight into how much of an update you were talking about so I could better formulate an opinion. I agree with the point you're making, assuming that the article has been kept up to date (such as the Gulf of Mexico oil spill or the Chile mining accident), but I would still not feel comfortable posting an article whose only update was "it happened". I don't think we need reams of text on reactions as a requirement for posting, but surely we should require more detail than one short statement of fact? HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:49, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't recall the specific event, but there was an instance in which someone opposed an item on the basis that most of the relevant updating had occurred between its announcement (when its inclusion in ITN would have been premature) and its actual occurrence some time later. I strongly disagreed and supported the item's inclusion, noting that our criteria are based on no such technicality (which would be irrelevant to readers and essentially would punish editors for promptly updating an article instead of waiting until an arbitrary qualifying date arrived). So I want it to be clear that I'm not arguing that such a rule exists. (In your 2010 Copiapó mining accident example, the entire article relates to the overall event and has continually been updated, so the addition of a referenced statement that the first miner is back on the surface would suffice.)
But while information about the recent/current event needn't have been written within an arbitrary time frame, it must exist to a meaningful extent. It's entirely reasonable to suggest that we modify our criteria to allow for articles primarily containing background information (and I previously proposed a means of tweaking the format to include such items related to deaths of prominent persons), but the section does not and never has operated in that manner. —David Levy 02:58, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
I've taken a while to consider your comments, but I can't help thinking that you are just adding a (re)definition of "event" in there: if the article about the Chilean mine accident already covers the miners' rescue, which will be the new event when the story next goes up, then why doesn't a notable person's biography aleady "cover" their death? Or the award of a very significant prize to that person? We have these arguments every year for the Nobels.
I don't think you can escape the update question it that way. For me an ITN article should be sufficiently updated in the common sense of the term, not "significantly updated" in some special Wikipedia definition of the term. Physchim62 (talk) 00:04, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The ongoing rescue attempt is part of a larger situation encompassing the accident and the miners' resultant entrapment. Likewise, if a person's death is part of a larger situation, such as (but not limited to) one encompassing his/her illness, injury or abduction, and our article has been updated to convey this information, that certainly can be considered. What's insufficient (according to our current format) is an article that stagnated until its subject's death, at which point a sentence indicating that he/she died was added and several instances of "is" were replaced with "was," et cetera. —David Levy 00:52, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The interest in the Chilean rescue attempt is because of the miners' entrapment: in fact, there was zero international interest until they were found to have survived nineteen days. The interest in the death of a notable person is rarely in the circumstances of their death, but rather in their life. I fail to see to see why we should insist on details of, or reaction to, a death for an obituary story, but not details of, or reaction to, a rocket launch, for example? To echo a post below, we are not supposed to be "showcasing" updates, we are supposed to be presenting decent articles that relate to current events. That is how ITN has usually operated since I first got involved, so I don't think I'm proposing any great practical change here. Physchim62 (talk) 01:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
1. Perhaps you misread what I wrote; I stated that information about the minors' entrapment does count toward fulfilling the update requirements.
2. We always require that there be some substantial update related to the recent/current event. In the case of a rocket launch, an update consisting of the sentence "It was launched." would not suffice. However, such an article likely contains preexisting information directly related to the launch, so a relatively minimal update might be fine.
This is not so for an article that remained largely unchanged for the months or years preceding its subject's death.
However, as noted above, I'm referring to our current format. As outlined in the past proposal to which I linked, I support the idea of revising the section's format to accommodate items linking to articles that provide information about recently deceased subjects' lives (even if there is little to say about their deaths). —David Levy 01:57, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't see that we're going to convince each other here. Why not let's get some air and join the discussion below, which seems to be discussing problems which I find related to this one, especially where the OP demonstrates the creep to "showcasing" things. Physchim62 (talk) 02:08, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I get the feeling that there's far less disagreement between us than you believe, but we've gotten hung up on conflicting terminologies (which appears to be occurring to an even greater extent in the #Unannounced change in definition of purpose thread).
Was I correct that you misread my comments about the miners? Did you read my archived proposal? —David Levy 02:25, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Let's put it another way: in practice, we agree on the vast majority of stories, whichever way we look at it. ITN has to be flexible by its nature, and that flexibility allows in different opinions: which, for me, is how it should be. I did read your March 2008 proposal, and my reaction was "why shouldn't these stories be in the main section?" on your view. Actually, I'd prefer a separate obituaries section (and I think I've even proposed one at some point) with lots more entries, but that would require reorganizing all the Main Page...
But we still seem to disagree. You seem wish a specific "update" for a story (as you define the story) that is more than simply changing a couple of dates and a verb tense here or there; I say leave it to the nature of the story, so long as the article(s) are updated (in the general sense). You seem to look for evidence of work; I hope to look for evidence of quality. Physchim62 (talk) 03:11, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
1. "Why shouldn't these stories be in the main section?" Because our readers are accustomed to finding a substantial amount of information on the recent/current event described in the blurb, as dictated by our longstanding format. If we're to make an exception for articles about persons whose lives were extraordinary and deaths were precisely the opposite (which I believe we should), it would be confusing to insert these items without any sort of demarcation.
You would prefer a completely separate section, so isn't my proposed format actually closer to what you want? The layout (with a nested subsection) merely reflects our space constraints.
2. The article's overall quality is an important consideration, and I hope that you don't think that I believe otherwise. I honestly don't care how much "work" has gone into the article (and I've seen instances in which a great deal of work nonetheless generated low-quality results), provided that it contains at least a fair amount of information directly related to the recent/current event (to the extent that readers aren't following the link and finding one or two sentences conveying little or nothing not stated in the blurb).
3. I'm still wondering whether you misread my comments about the miners, as your response appeared to reflect the impression that I sought to exclude from consideration information about their entrapment. —David Levy 14:41, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I think the point of ITN is both to showcase articles of high quality and to help readers get background on things in the news. I don't see what it has to be one or the other. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:04, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

The difference is: should it be the article that we're judging on quality, or solely the "update"? Physchim62 (talk) 00:04, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
That's a good question. Personally, I think the former is more important than the latter; however, if the article has not been adequately updated to reflect what's new, it shouldn't be featured until that is addressed. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:46, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Unannounced change in definition of purpose

Prior to January 6 this year, the purpose of ITN was defined as

  • The In the News (ITN) section on the Main Page features up-to-date encyclopedic content reflecting important international current events.

It was then changed, with no discussion, to

  • The In the news (ITN) section on the main page features articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest to the encyclopedia's readers.

It has been adjusted since, and now reads

  • The In the news (ITN) section on the Main Page serves to showcase articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest to the encyclopaedia's readers.

So it is apparently no longer important that an issue is important, only that it is of wide interest, and apparently only to the encyclopaedia's readers. Presumably we know what is of interest to readers by analysis of page view statistics, and so we end up "showcasing" articles that are already receiving a large number of hits, presumably because readers are already aware of the news item and the page, and have found their way to it directly, thus making ITN unnecessary.

Unless there is any reliable evidence to the contrary regarding , what is "of wide interest to the encyclopaedia's readers" must be the "wide interest" of the adult anglophone population of the "wealthy west". Which essentially sets us up for a constant stream of reality TV and celebrity gossip, domestic political news, and the victory of the lowest common denominator.

Except that the editors active at ITN are probably not representative of "the encyclopedia's readers", but is disproportionately slanted towards the middle aged, higher educated male. So we have a snooty disregard of much that is of mass interest, and a slightly geeky priority is given to science stories and space exploration.

ITN is pointless if it simply acts as a slow echo of the mass media news outlets: people already know what the stories are, and are quite capable of finding the articles for themselves. Obviously, there is a level at which it becomes laughable if it ignores events that are highly significant, nor should well publicised happenings in the UK or US be ignored when their equivalent in other countries would be included.

But ITN is interesting when it brings to our attention the current issues that often slip below the radar of the main broadcasters, or when encyclopaedic background is not on the inside pages of the paper or the longer news bulletins: when it focuses on the important and international, not the locally well documented (Could any definition of ITN's purpose more enshrine the principle of systemic bias, against which we are meant to strive?)

We have a limited amount of space to fill, and so our discussions at ITN/C often end up being a comparison of the relative merits of proposals, and most contributors there, if honest, would have to acknowledge that they have sometimes opposed one suggestion in the hope of increasing the likelihood of the publication of an item that more reflects their own interests. And yet there was little stomach for a recent proposal that would have allowed the flagging up of articles on several sports in one hit, thus avoiding placing the events, any one of which might have been published on a less busy sporting weekend, in competition with each other. Interesting stories have been omitted because debate over an agreeable blurb has dragged on for so long that the news item has timed out before a compromise phrasing was agreed: UN resolutions have been thrashed out in less time than ITN blurbs. We have subjugated our mandate to provide reference to timely documents to our desire to demonstrate our headline writing abilities, as though we were trainee sub-editors on a local rag. We're "showcasing" our preferences and prejudices over and above updated encyclopaedic content.

So two proposals, that we return to the pre-January statement of intent (or at an absolute minimum, establish a consensus for change from it, rather than an insidious creep towards the mass media news) and that we prioritise posting of that which is of timely importance, even if in a note that is not much more than a bullet point or as part of a list of happenings. Kevin McE (talk) 23:45, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

I understand what you are saying, but wide interest has to be one of the criteria, although not the only criteria. If items don't have to be of interest to our readers, what's to stop us from just posting items of interest to ourselves? We have to serve the readers. That doesn't mean we can't say certain kinds of items (Paris Hilton, e.g.) are inappropriate for ITN. Really, the whole criteria page has to be redone and made clearer in terms of what the point of ITN is and what the criteria are. We should probably set up a process to do this. My idea would be first to come up with a statement as to what the goal of ITN is (To feature high-quality articles? To help point readers to background information on current topics?), then establish broad types of criteria (perhaps but not necessarily newsiness, wide interest, "importance," international-ness). Then we could add details to those criteria and add special considerations (geographic and subject diversity, etc.) and things that, notwithstanding the above, don't make good ITN items (routine items, Paris Hilton, etc.). -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:29, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't see what the big deal is with the change, since Wikipedia:ITN#Significance still states "Unlike the TFA and Did you know sections of the Main Page, ITN rejects items deemed trivial" which seems to imply celebrity news. The change has been in place for 9 months now, and the world hasn't ended. ~DC We Can Work It Out 16:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
"and the world hasn't ended" is not a very constructive contribution to a discussion: you can do much better thn that when you have a meaningful point to make. What has changed is the recent advent of justification of items, or their prioritisation, on the grounds of the number of hits a page already has, increasing systemic bias, and the recourse to this as a new reason for an intensity of indifference to lower profile/non-Anglophone nations no generally seen on these pages until recent months (my perception: I'm not going to start reading every previous debate for evidence, but a perception I am confident of). Kevin McE (talk) 20:29, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
What you call "systemic bias" I call "giving readers what they want." Wikipedia is here to serve its readers, after-all. ~DC We Can Work It Out 21:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Except that we end up with what a tiny number of self selecting contributors (including you and I) want, and eventually, the posting or not of many items just depends on which individuals are around ITN/C on any given day. What readers already want, they already know where to find; what is underpublicised, but can be seen as potentially interesting, is a real service to readers. There are already myriad news outlets available whose policy is "give 'em what they want", and we will invariably be slower and less complete than they can be. If ITN is not going to present an interesting alternative, it can only present a hopelessly uncompetitive imitation of mass media. Kevin McE (talk) 21:10, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree that replacing the importance statement with a statement about wide interest is not productive. That things haven't changed much merely reflect the fact that most regular contributors do not re-read the criteria every few weeks. However, adding the bit about substantial updates is a good thing. IMO we need to be featuring stories with good encyclopaedic background articles and not merely saving people from having to enter something into the search box. It's obviously a complicated area... Modest Genius talk 23:28, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


Despite my efforts to drum up some sort of considered debate, the MotoGP nomination is desperately lacking input. It's an ITN/R event, but the question is whether it should be posted now that the champion is known or in a few weeks when the championship ends. I couldn't care less which option we take, but a consensus one way or the other would be nice before it drops off ITN/C without any informed comments. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:14, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Domestic-ness and local-ness

Before I write the background of the issue for the RfC (see above), I thought of something: Are there really two related issues here? One is whether items predominantly of interest to readers from a single country are OK; the other is whether local-ness itself is a disqualifying crtierion. I have a feeling that even if the first issue is resolved in favor of allowing items predominantly of interest to appear, we'll run into another debate when someone suggests something like the California governor's election and others say it's "too local." Then it will be a whole other dust-up as we argue over whether "sub-national" items are OK. That said, how should we phrase the question at issue here? Should we try to combine the two issues (domestic-ness and local-ness) into a single question? Should we ask two questions at the same time? Or should we settle the issue of domestic-ness before tackling local-ness? -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:12, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

They're basically the same thing, unless we're drawing artificial boundaries. Modest Genius talk 23:07, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
OK. How would you phrase the question? -- Mwalcoff (talk) 22:28, 13 October 2010 (UTC)


By my count, ITN/R calls for about 47-55 required sports events a year -- that's one a week. That's not including any other sports news that occurs during the year -- world records, deaths, rare occurrences, etc. So we're getting to the point where we have sports news every few days, in a project where sometimes days will go by without any news from the rest of the world.

Furthermore, the number of items for particular sports on ITN/R seem to have no relation to their "importance" to our readership. For example, we have five marathons but only one American-football event, despite the fact the American football is probably the No. 2 spectator sport among our readership behind soccer.

I think it's time for a complete reassessment of what sports news should go on ITN, based largely on the following criteria:

  • Which events are of the most interest to our readers?
  • Which events get the most attention in the mainstream media?
  • Which events have the largest television audience?
  • Which events are the biggest economically (the Super Bowl is a $1 billion industry, supposedly)?

A (completely unscientific) experiment

I made educated guesses as to the share of the spectator-sport market for each major sport in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, India and the rest of the world, then multiplied each number by those countries' share of English Wikipedia readership to create an index we might be able to use to help determine what sports to emphasize on ITN.

Here's what I used for each country:

  • USA: American football 40, baseball 25, basketball 13, soccer 6, ice hockey 6, auto racing 5, golf 2.5, tennis 2.5, multiplier .521.
  • UK: Soccer 70, rugby (both codes) 9, cricket 9, golf 4, tennis 4, auto racing 4, multiplier .0903
  • Canada: Ice hockey 70, American football 5, Canadian football 5, baseball 5, basketball 5, soccer 5, golf 4, tennis 4, auto racing 1, multiplier .055
  • Australia: Australian rules football 40, rugby 30, cricket 15, soccer 10, tennis 5, multipier .032
  • India: Cricket 70, field hockey 15, soccer 15, multiplier .027
  • Rest of English Wikipedia readership: Soccer 74, basketball 5, rugby 5, cricket 5, ice hockey 3, golf 3, tennis 3, auto racing 2, multiplier .2747

Here's what you get when you put it all together:

  • Soccer 31
  • American football 21
  • Baseball 13
  • Basketball 8
  • Ice hockey 8
  • Cricket 5
  • Auto racing 4
  • Rugby 3
  • Golf 3
  • Tennis 3
  • Australian rules football 1

Cricket came out lower than I thought it would, but we don't have a lot of readers from most of the big cricketing nations due to their size, languages or economic status.

I am not suggesting we adhere rigidly to that ratio in making decisions, but I don't think we ought to ignore it, either. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 16:01, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

So basically this is about getting more American sports onto In The News. (talk) 22:49, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say that, and you know I didn't. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:17, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Seriously though, there are so many holes in your rationale and thinking that I'm surprised this experiment is not lying on the bottom of the ocean. For starters you make an assumption that a user/reader cannot follow more than one sport passionately. It may surprise you, but in the UK, cricket (in particular international cricket) has a very large following - far higher than the 9% you give it. I would say the true figure is much closer to 35-40% of the population having an interest. But this does not mean football only has a following of 50%, it just means that there are many people who follow both sports.
Secondly, your ranking makes no consideration of the fluctuations that often occur in interest from event-to-event. For example, an average viewing figure for an individual F1 race in the UK is around the 5-7m mark, yet last year's Brazilian GP was watched by over 15m people (1/4 of the population) because of Jenson Button's impending championship victory. By your logic, if we give precedent to sports popular in the English speaking world, simply due to the fact that there is a large amount of interest in them, we would also have to give a precedent to any sporting event won by a native of the Anglosphere because it will invariably have a large degree of interest to users who come from the same country.
At the end of the day, by your rationale England (English speaking population - 50m) winning the six nations is inherently more important than Wales (ESP - 3m) winning it , which itself is massively more important than France or Italy winning it (both with an ESP - <1%). In reality, however, any six nations winner is notable in the Rugby Union world (they are by default Northern Hemisphere champions) irrelevant of who is involved. --Daviessimo (talk) 07:34, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Doesn't using readership as a multiplier effectively hard wire systematic bias in to your analysis? It just tells us what we already know, there are are a lot of people from the US reading Wikipedia. ReadingOldBoy (talk) 07:36, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
it could very well be used as definition of systemic bias. perhaps mwalcoff should read WP:Bias again (or for first time) -- Ashish-g55 13:10, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
If this is a ploy to put more American football, I'd give my strongest possible oppose. The Super Bowl will be enough, and any championship that relies on computers which teams will play shouldn't be added. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 14:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I think this is interesting and I'm going to AGF on motives, as we all should. I think the results of the experiment are surprisingly accurate, though cricket (much as I hate it) should probably be higher, because it does have a considerable following in a lot of countries where English is spoken, but perhaps not as the first language. On a related note, I raised the idea of creating a separate sport section on the Main Page at T:MP to see if there was nay support for it. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 15:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm willing to AGF on the motives but I'm mystified as to how the numbers were chosen particular for RoTW. For example given that we already have Canada and the US, why is ice hockey so high? Why are there no other sports? Also am I right that the percentage of readers from each country is taken from the widely touted stats? I've remarked before that even if these are the best we have, we have to be careful not to trust them too much, particularly when comparing the developing world and the developed world. Nil Einne (talk) 16:04, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd presume Scandinavia has plenty of hockey followers? And outside the Commonwealth I don't think rugby is that popular. Having it as popular as basketball seems to be a stretch. I'd bet Estonians follow more basketball and/or hockey than rugby. Baseball is limited to U.S., the Caribbean and East Asia excluding China and probably a really few hardcore Dutch fans. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 16:14, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Another thing, I suspect cricket is a bit low for Australia. Nil Einne (talk) 16:17, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
That's because followers of cricket follow another sport when it's not cricket season. Same for American sports. Basketball is way too low, baseball is too low, and American football is really way too high. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 16:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Rugby may be more popular than you give it credit for - it's big in South America and Western Europe, and there are several countries that you wouldn't necessarily associate with rugby: Madagascar and Romania, for example. TFOWR 16:29, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Looking at [1], the countries in RoTW where ice hockey may be important are perhaps Germany (pales in comparison to football and probably even motorsport I suspect), Sweden, possibly Norway (although I'm not so sure how big it is from what I've read football, handball and skiing are I think quite a lot more popular), possibly Japan (again not really sure how big) and Russia. Note that from Sport in the Netherlands, hockey is popular there, not the strange ice kind, and also cricket (I'm not bothering to mention football). Of course we still have 11.6% other countries but I'm still not convince ice hockey should be so high. Nil Einne (talk) 16:37, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
You're not giving Ice Hockey nearly enough credit. It's pretty much a national sport (below football) in most of Eastern Europe, and specifically all of Scandinavia (ok, maybe a bit less in Norway), Finland the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan, and elsewhere.--Johnsemlak (talk) 17:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
(EC) Yes Romania may have the best rugby team outside the Six Nations of Western Europe. Dunno about South America though. The article views on Tri-Nations season article on the Spanish Wikipedia was really low. For the 2010 Tri-Nations series, at the final month there were 478 views. The 2009 (baseball) World Series had 3,277 views last November 2009. I heard that rugby is big in Africa, though. Like in Kenya. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 16:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I'd guess that Ice Hockey is bumped up by its popularity in Russia (and Eastern Europe)? ReadingOldBoy (talk) 16:42, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
But it's as popular to our "intended audience" as basketball and even more popular than rugby? –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 16:52, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Ice hockey and rugby are difficult to compare given that they're mostly played in different hemispheres. There can't be many places where both are major sports (but then, there can't be many places where the climate would allow for playing both). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
If it counts for anything, most North American sports appear at least once a year: in baseball there's the World Series (package deal with the Japan Series), in football the Super Bowl, the NBA and the NHL their Finals; only baseball, hockey and basketball are listed more than twice (all three have their world championships (hockey has one every year, baseball and basketball every 4 years), while basketball also has EuroBasket every odd-numbered year, which is only open to European teams... and Chris Kaman. So North American sports only come up twice on most years. Non-North American sports appear more frequently: soccer has the UEFA Champions League and it's South American counterpart and the different continental championships (there is one almost every year), rugby union has Six and Tri-Nations (both biannually) and the annual H-Cup, cricket has ~2 entries per year. Don't get me started on tennis and golf. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 17:53, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Dont' forget we have five marathons.--Johnsemlak (talk) 17:56, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

If we take Mwalcoff's stats at face value (which is questionable), what's the solution? What American football events are we gonna post to adhere to the stats? Do we start posting playoff wins, or even regular season wins? Obviously, thats ridiculous. There's just not much elsewhere to go in that direction. We already post the Super Bowl and the Grey Cup of Canadian Football (which I think can be included as (North) American football in this discussion). The only possible other inclusion it comes...the NCAA BCS Championship. Now actually, I think that's reasonable (i.e. one more addition of American football to ITN's annual events). Beyond that, any support for the Arena Football League?--Johnsemlak (talk) 17:56, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

The NCAA doesn't even want to call "that 'championship'" theirs. As what I've said, as long as computers pick which teams will play, then that shouldn't be here. Super Bow+Grey Cup is more than enough already. And hasn't the AFL folded-unfolded way too many times already? –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 18:00, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
In case I wasn't clear, the AFL was, uh, sarcasm. On the College football championship, I realize there a loads of flaws with nominating it, but the bottom line is it's a popular event. Doesn't its WP page get massive numbers of page views? Honestly I generally have no problem with leaving out college sports stuff but it's sometimes its weird to see 5 marathons put on ITNR (sorry to repeat that) and leave out one of the world's most watched annual sporting events.--Johnsemlak (talk) 18:16, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Oooops. Sorry on the AFL one. Let's be clear that it's the Arena Football League, not the Aussie one lest our Aussie users might get pissed.
This year, the BCS championship had ~24k views on the day of the final; compare that to the basketball one that had ~18k views, and was posted due to "special" circumstances. Also compare that to 2009's views of ~25k -- and that was not added. It's quite safe to say that either everyone hates Duke, or being listed at ITN didn't help in boosting view stats. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 18:30, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't get what the issue with posting the BCS championship game is. Sure, it's not recognized by the NCAA, but all major media organizations recognize it as the national championship. ~DC We Can Work It Out 18:59, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Let's not take my experiment too rigidly -- as I said, it's educated guesses. However, to clarify, I'm not saying only 9% of Britons follow cricket; rather, I'm guessing cricket has about 9% of the spectator-sports market in the U.K. Or, to put it another way, cricket occupies about 9% of the British sporting consciousness, compared with 70% for soccer. U.K. people, feel free to provide better numbers if you wish. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 22:54, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm assuming good faith on the numbers, which are certainly interesting. But I still don't think we should be basing any decisions on the last round of unreliable readership stats. We don't want to be dominated by self-perpetuating systemic bias. I agree some of the sports are well off their 'deserved' (on whatever criteria you wish) level of coverage. Problems I can see are having eight items for motor racing (could get rid of the three triple crown events? though that would piss off the Americans), football - the most popular sport in the world - has only 4 (though there's a scheduling issue with adding more of them) and marathons with 5. Modest Genius talk 23:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
I can understand if you say that it is possible to measure the "importance" of, say, political events, in a manner independent of reader interest. However, how is it possible to judge the relative importance of sports without considering popularity? What makes the World Cup of soccer more important than that of petanque? Popularity -- and the corollaries of popularity, such as TV ratings, attendance and economic impact (by which I mean the total spent on TV rights, advertising, etc., not the player salaries). -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Money should not be a criteria for ITN/C, otherwise any swimmers eg Phelps and Thorpe are less than the 200th best footballer etc, probably, and secondly during the 2007 Cricket World Cup, revenue and ads plummeted enormously as India = 80% of cricket revenue and they got knocked out in the first round unexpectedly, then the result would be that sports becomes the democracy of the potato couch nationalist. SSecondly AFL, and all rugby is most definitely far smaller than cycling YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 23:35, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Could we solve this by posting the league winners for soccer/American football? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 06:51, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

I'd have no problem posting the winners of a few soccer leagues. Say the English Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, and La Liga (I believe those are the top leagues). Possibly the FA Cup too. DC TC 04:26, Friday October 15, 2010 (UTC)
I'm surprised we don't already post the winner of the English Premier League. I think that is an obvious item to include; the others could be up for debate in my opinion. I don't understand how the final numbers of this were decided. While I assume good faith, it is clear that the person who created it knows very little about sports outside of the US - even when it comes to Canada (Canadian football is much bigger than any other sport outside of hockey here. To rank it tied with American football is laughable.) --PlasmaTwa2 18:36, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
It depends on what part of Canada you're in. In Toronto, the NFL is far bigger than the CFL. From your comment, I would have guessed you live in the CFL heartland of Saskatchewan -- and it turns out I'm right! -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:04, 17 October 2010 (UTC)
Come now, it's common knowledge that Toronto isn't a part of Canada! Toronto is like that weird, goth cousin that always comes to Thanksgiving dinner but never speaks to anyone and just sits in the basement all day... Joking aside, I would say the CFL is larger than the NFL in most areas of Canada, save for the GTA. --PlasmaTwa2 05:09, 17 October 2010 (UTC)

Style of blurbs

I'd like to discuss the style of blurbs that we use on ITN. This is one that is currently shown:

We are trying to showcase the 2010 Copiapó mining accident article. This is also the most relevant article to the story. But to find this article you have to notice that it is bold (not very obvious when the other blue links also stand out) or you have to read to the end of the sentence and guess that the word "rescued" is the relevant word to click. This is not very intuitive. I would suggest one of the following approaches:

  1. Only have one link on each blurb. If someone is interested they can read the linked article and click other relevant links from there.
  2. Have the relevant link at the front of the blurb.
  3. Link the whole blurb.

In this case, the three options would shown as:

  1. The first of the 33 miners trapped for two months in the San José Mine (pictured) in Copiapó, Chile, are rescued.
  2. 2010 Copiapó mining accident: The first of the 33 miners trapped for two months in the San José Mine (pictured) in Copiapó, Chile, are rescued.
  3. The first of the 33 miners trapped for two months in the San José Mine (pictured) in Copiapó, Chile, are rescued.

I think I would prefer options 1 or 2, but I don't mind as long as we can end this guessing game and make it clear which article we are showcasing. Regards — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose. We are not here to "showcase" articles, that is for the left-hand side of the Main Page. We are here to help our readers. All three proposed blurbs are less helpful to the reader than the one that is posted: this good-faith suggestion is an excellent example of what happens when simplistic ideas about Process get pushed ahead of real purpose of an online encyclopedia. Physchim62 (talk) 16:20, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
(You can make your comments without using bold "Strong oppose", it's the strength of your argument which will count.) I was actually thinking about readers here. If I was looking at that blurb and wanted to find out more - which is the best link for me to click? At the moment it is difficult to work out what to do. And we are here to showcase articles - see Wikipedia:In the news in case you've forgotten ;) — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 16:25, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
And see the various sections above that that particular point in WP:ITN is disputed to say the least. As for which link to click, I think we can rely on our readers intelligence to click the link which interests them most. If you look at click-through figures, we often get far more clicks on a non-bolded link than on the link we have chosen to bold because of its particular significance. This is especially true on stories about elections and sporting events, where our readers click on people's names, not on the specific article ITN/C has decided to "showcase". Physchim62 (talk) 16:32, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
You keep getting hung up on the word "showcase" without recognizing the context in which it's being used. You seem to think that we mean "reward editors by promoting" but we actually mean "assist readers by directing their attention to."
However, I agree that the proposed formats are inferior to the one currently used. The non-bold links provide valuable context, and the bold links stand out sufficiently. And as others have noted, format #2 would create an ugly wall of bold links, while format #3 is ugly on its own. —David Levy 17:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Note: I just removed the word "showcase" from the description. —David Levy 17:23, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Readers should be able to click the link which interests them. Okay, good point. But the current problem, I believe, is that there is no logical way of knowing where any particular link will take you. The word "trapped" could easily be a link to a general article such as entrapment; similarly "rescue" should intuitively link to rescue! It is this oper-piping that we do which makes it difficult to find the relevant article and turns ITN into a find-the-cleverly-hidden-link sort of Easter egg hunt. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:59, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Overlinking, easter-eggs, and the quality of non-bolded links are my concerns with option 0 (the status quo). Option 0 frequently resembles option 3, albeit with more usefulness, due to over-linking. I'm not totally convinced that option 1 is the answer, but something between the two would be a great improvement. TFOWR 10:08, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes fully agree. In the example we are considering:
— Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:22, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I quite like option 1: partly for the reasons you state, and also partly because some of the additional links are often quite poor. The bold linked article has to have been updated, but the non-bold-linked articles have no such constraint. Not keen on option 2 - one example looks fine, but 5-7 in a row will look repetitive. Option 3 looks horrible. TFOWR 16:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I think we're fine the way we already do it, though we should endeavour to have the bold link close to the start of the blurb (note that the chile mine item has since been changed to put the bold near the start). Often the additional links add a lot of value, because they can be to supporting articles which are often better written or provide good encyclopaedic information. Using only one link would indeed be good if we were a news site, but we're an encyclopaedia. Oh and option 3 is horrifically ugly. Modest Genius talk 16:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Agree with MG. I dislike option 1 because it forces readers to click on the single link that we've selected. What if I already know that the rescue is underway, but I want to find out where Copiapó is? Even if I can't remember the name of the town... Physchim62 (talk) 17:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
As noted above, I agree as well. —David Levy 17:16, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I could weakly support option 2, but I think the best option is just to do what we do currently, but try to keep the bold link as intuitive as possible or, when that's not possible, try to make it obvious the link doesn't go to some generic article like rescue. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 13:47, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
    try to make it obvious the link doesn't go to some generic article ... How can you do that exactly? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:13, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Alternatively we could think about highlighting the featured link in other more-obvious ways, such as the following: — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 14:39, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm quite against having a "template" for all the blurbs (i.e. bold MUST start) because it can churn out some pretty disgusting and inaccessible grammar.  f o x  19:39, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Not a hard and fast template, as all blurbs are different and one format will never fit all. But how about a few guideline suggestions such as the following:
  • Keep the featured link near the start of the sentence if possible.
  • No more than about 3-4 links in a blurb.
  • Avoid links to over-general articles like countries.
  • Avoid links to stub and start-class articles.
Any or all of these guidelines could be broken on a case-by-case basis, but it would give us something to aim for. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:43, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
By the way, I like your reword of the Chechen blurb:
  • An attack on the Chechen parliament in Grozny, Russia results in at least six deaths, leaving a further seventeen injured.
Linking "An attack" rather than just "attack" makes it clearer that we are linking to this specific attack rather than Attack. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:48, 20 October 2010 (UTC)


Kevin McE made the following comment in response to the Russell Williams nomination:

  • Comment: Why do people write as if "tabloid interest" and "wide coverage" are somehow mutually incompatible. Anything that is featured in the tabloids thereby already has "wide coverage" in the biggest selling papers, and therefore will be acknowledged at least, even if the coverage is less prurient, on broadcast and internet media who do not wish to appear aloof. Importance, not coverage: the public interest, not what interests the public. And on those grounds, oppose. Kevin McE (talk) 06:03, 22 October 2010 (UTC)

To which I reply: Who is to determine what is in "the public interest?" You? Me?

This kind of argument, which I see again and again, strikes me as elitist. Who are we to say that what interests the small group of people that regularly edit ITN -- things like the flag of Burma or the discovery of a galaxy -- is more "important" than what interests others, such as rapes and murders committed by a colonel or the Mark Sanford scandal?

Here's an idea I think we ought to adopt: If something is important enough to be featured prominently in highbrow newspapers such as The New York Times, The Times of London or The Globe & Mail, it's not too lowbrow for ITN. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:46, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I think one of the great advantages of the ITN/C is that it allows comments from contributers of various backgrounds without implying that each of us has to agree with every decision that's made. Kevin McE makes a perfectly valid statement of a perfectly valid opinion, and in a manner that is far more polite than some contributors I could mention. If we start wasting time arguing whether !votes are in compliance, not just with WikiPolicy (already a nightmare) but also with some special ITNWikiPolicy, instead of taking the simpler route of case-by-case discussion, then we may as well ask to move to the time-wasting side of the Main Page, and not the side that readers actually click on. We are not here to create the perfect WikiProcess, after all. Physchim62 (talk) 02:37, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
My point is that the agenda of the media (in the UK at least) is so driven by the revelations of the mass media, that the remainder of the press/broadcast media cannot afford to present themselves as so serious that they remain aloof from them: they are simply slower and slightly less likely to use 5 inch headlines. I think that if ITN also follows that lead, it will do so even more slowly and mildly-stated than the "serious" press. So it increasingly becomes a weak, tardy reflection of what any reader of wikipedia can access by dozens of other means. ITN is not a newsfeed, so it does not need to imitate newsfeeds: we can make it something encyclopaedic when we focus on items in proportion to the durability and spread of their importance, not the volume of short term attention. Kevin McE (talk) 10:28, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
ITN is not a news ticker. It does not serve to echo whatever is in the newspapers or other media sources. Its purpose is to be encyclopaedic. Tabloid-style items are not suitable, for two reasons: 1) they will be forgotten quickly, and in 5 years it's unlikely anyone will remember them; 2) the decision whether or not to post something on ITN includes some rather fuzzily defined idea of 'importance', which such tabloid stories do not meet. If you disagree with what does and doesn't meet the ITN/C interpretation of 'importance', go ahead and make comments on individual items there. There's no good reason for us to simply reproduce the from page of the BBC/CNN/NYT/whatever. Besides, those sources may not sensationalise things quite so much as, say, The Sun, but they're still hardly highbrow sources. Modest Genius talk 18:00, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
You say that "tabloid-style items ... will be forgotten quickly." To which I respond: Fatty Arbuckle, Lindbergh baby, Patty Hearst, Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson murder case. Have any of those been forgotten? Do you think they are unencyclopedic? Try putting them on AfD if you think so. I'm not suggesting we put Paris Hilton's marijuana arrest on ITN, but you'd never see a big story about that in The New York Times. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:47, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I've only heard of the last two (until I just checked the articles), one of whom was a celebrity-killing mass murderer and the other the subject of the most famous trial in my lifetime, so I'm not sure what your point is. Besides, there's a HUGE difference between 'notable enough for an article' and 'important enough for an ITN slot'. Modest Genius talk 23:59, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm very surprised you haven't heard of Patty Hearst or the Lindbergh baby -- must be a US/UK thing. I assure you the Lindbergh and Hearst kidnappings remain very well-known events in the U.S. The Lindbergh kidnapping is referenced in the Simpsons episode "Mother Simpson." My point is, you are incorrect when you say such stories of that type are quickly forgotten. Also, when you said ITN's "purpose is to be encyclopedic," it seemed like you were inferring human-interest type stories are not "encyclopedic." If that's the case, they don't belong on Wikipedia at all. But they clearly do belong on Wikipedia. In fact, Wikipedia is clearly stronger as an encyclopedia of pop culture than it is as an encyclopedia of science, since the scientific articles tend to be incomprehensible to everyone who's not already an expert on the subject. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:53, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Of those five examples Mwalcoff I had to look them up save the Lindbergh baby and the OJ Simpson case. However, I'd broadly agree that tabloid items aren't forgotten more quickly than other items, though I'm unsure what significance that has at ITN. I'm uncomfortable using a term like 'public interest' but I do think we should consider significance as well as interest. Who is to decide what's signficant? WP:CONCENSUS. I do think that substantial coverage in high-brow media is a useful indicator of what's more significant. However, we should still be critical of such items. Again, I think significance should be a factor.
I think this debate needs to be focused on real examples. On the earlier mentioned Mark Sanford assuming you're talking about his affair, I'd have to oppose that item's inclusion as insignificant. He was a fairly unimportant figure outside South Carolina. (If a similar thing happened to the Governator I might support depending on circumstances--he's certainly a more notable figure). Was Sanford even nominated for ITN? Certainly wasn't posted. On the other hand, if the OJ Simpson trial/verdict happened today, I'd feel we should post it if we had a decent article. While there was a certain celebrity/tabloid nature to that story it dominated the US news to such a degree I think we'd find it hard to ignore at ITN. I'd say a significant event with the royal family would another example, say if Prince William got married and it got the level of press coverage I imagine it would, we'd post that. I'm just speculating, of course. The decision would be by consensus.
If you ask me should we be 'elitist', I certainly say 'no' but that's a loaded word of course. However, we can still rate items by significance and use the community's consensus as a final decision maker on what's significant.--Johnsemlak (talk) 01:01, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Use of the UpdatedITN template

{{UpdatedITN}} is being used to give credit to nominators of featured ITN items on their user talk page. However, its use appears to be sporadic only. This is of course unfortunate. __meco (talk) 09:30, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

I've just addded this in Portal:Current events/2010 October 26; I want to suggest it for immediate ITN, but I'm not sure if that addition was all I wanted to do, so someone please check for me, and tell me if anything else is required. The article is brand-new (I just started it); the specific date that the animal was killed is uncertain, but the news has only reached the public today, and it is being featured on the front page of most major British newspapers today (26th).

Thanks, anyone who can help.

I will continue to work on improving the article. Sadly, have not managed to source a CC pic as yet either.  Chzz  ►  01:20, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

WP:ITN/C would have been the relevant place to post it, but I really wouldn't bother. In terms of enduring importance or widespread coverage, it has not a hope of inclusion. Maybe you could try at the Did You Know proposals page... Kevin McE (talk) 07:54, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Proposals on ITN/R inclusions

Anybody interested is free to chime in at WT:ITNR#Proposals on ITN/R inclusions. Grsz11 01:44, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Is there a particular reason why ITNR's talk page doesn't redirect here like Wikipedia talk:In the news/Candidates does? Only 37 people watch ITNR, as opposed to this page which has over 400. DC TC 03:49, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Frankly, it seems meaningless to try to discuss individual recurring events, when there is so little consensus on the basic principles and priorities that we have on this feature. We need an agreed "What are we about" so that same arguments of importance/internationalness/coverage are not rehearsed on every single proposal. At the moment, the criteria do not enjoy clarity, agreed interpretation or widespread acceptance, and are changed from time to time with no discussion. Kevin McE (talk) 08:31, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I absolutely agree. There needs to be a thorough discussion with the aim of redoing the WP:ITN page, starting with an agreement on what ITN is for, then what the broad criteria should be. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:13, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Mwalcoff and I agree on that, although I suspect we will be almost diametrically opposed in such a discussion. Kevin McE (talk) 10:42, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with both of you as well. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:25, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, so how do we get this going? I was in the middle of typing up the background and arguments for an RfC on the issue of items predominantly of interest to readers from a single country, but it seems silly to do that alone if we're going to do a total rewrite of WP:ITN. On the other hand, it would be good to at least start a discussion on the narrower topic before the U.S. elections next Tuesday. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:50, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

I think the best is probably to go for narrower proposals to start with - regardless of what happens overall the single country one seems sensible. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:32, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

Narrow discussions are probably more likely to generate a consensus; so that may be the way to go. It is concerning that we currently have, as I read it, no general criteria currently and that needs to be fixed.--Johnsemlak (talk) 14:47, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

RfC on domestic items

I've posted a summary of the debate on domestic items and the arguments against a prohibition at User:Mwalcoff/RfC. I need someone to write the arguments in favor of a ban. I'd also like people to see if I've represented the debate fairly and whether I've left anything out. I think for now comments should be posted here rather than on the page I created so no one gets confused as to what I wrote and what others wrote. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 03:31, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Can I ask what the point of this all is? When you originally mentioned this a month ago, it was pointed out that domestic stories do currently make it (French riots, Ayodhya dispute, etc.). Your draft seems to be focused on getting more American stories on. DC TC 03:53, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Whenever we have an event like a SCOTUS appointment, there's a lot of arguing between those who reject the recommendation for a lack of international interest and those who say international interest is not a requirement. I'd like to settle this once and for all. It may well be not an either-or thing, but I'd like to come to some kind of consensus. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:11, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Other than the Ed Milliband story are there any others you can find that aren't US stories? EDIT: Additionally given the elections stuff failed, that should be toned down. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:47, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Can you think of other non-U.S. items to put there? That would be helpful. I don't know what you mean when you mention the "election stuff." -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:07, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

I have to agree with DC that I"m not sure I see a point in this. ITN currently does not have a ban on 'domestic' stories. However, many ITN editors will continue to prefer items which have at least some international interest. I don't see that as a problem. It's OK for ITN to have diverse viewpoints. Certainly ITN editors should be reminded if need be that there is no 'ban' on domestic stories but editors have a right to support/oppose stories as they wish.--Johnsemlak (talk) 14:55, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Just looking at past couple months very quickly i was easily able to pull out following list. It is not complete and is fairly random. I did not include any particular deaths or any ITNR and i tried to stay domestic. Its simply an example of how many domestic events do make it to ITN. So i have to agree i dont see the point of this.

  • United States
In the Iraq War, Operation Iraqi Freedom concludes and Operation New Dawn begins; marking the end of foreign combat operations in Iraq.
The White House announces that Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta (pictured) will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the first living recipient to be so honored since the Vietnam War.
The U.S. Senate votes to confirm Elena Kagan as an associate justice on the country's Supreme Court.
U.S. General David Petraeus formally takes command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.
  • UK
After more than a century in British collections, the head of Noongar leader Yagan is ceremonially buried on the 177th anniversary of his last full day of freedom.
  • Portugal
In one of the longest trials in Portuguese history, six men are convicted on charges stemming from the child sexual abuse at the Casa Pia children's home in Lisbon
  • China
A traffic jam outside Beijing, China extends for over 60 miles (100 kilometres), leaving many drivers stranded for days.
  • Spain
The Spanish Basque nationalist group ETA announces a ceasefire; the first since a similar 2006 declaration.
  • Australia
The Labor Party, led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard, forms a minority government after a federal election in Australia that resulted in a hung parliament.
  • Iran
The Iranian government suspends the sentence of death by stoning for Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in response to international pressure.
  • Nigeria
Gunmen storm a prison in Bauchi, Nigeria, freeing over 700 inmates.
  • Turkey
Voters in Turkey approve constitutional changes in a referendum.
  • France
The French parliament passes a bill, controversially banning the wearing of the niqab or the burqa Islamic garments in public.
Former military dictator of Panama Manuel Noriega is sentenced to seven years in jail for money laundering in France.
  • Iceland
The Icelandic parliament indicts former Prime Minister Geir Haarde on charges of negligeance in office related to the 2008–2010 Icelandic financial crisis.
  • India
An Indian High Court rules that the disputed holy site in Ayodhya be split into three parts.
  • Russia
President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev dismisses Mayor of Moscow Yury Luzhkov with first Deputy Mayor Vladimir Resin appointed as acting Mayor.
  • Italy
Italian authorities seize €23 million in assets from the Vatican Bank amidst an investigation of alleged money laundering.
  • Malawi
Malawi changes its national flag.
  • Greece
Greek investigative journalist Sokratis Giolias is assassinated in Athens; the first such assassination in Greece for 25 years.

This is only my interpretation of domestic events making it to ITN. Notability isnt the factor. but clearly there is no ban of any sort on domestic events. we just need consensus and it gets up. -- Ashish-g55 16:33, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't call some of those "domestic" (Iraq War, Vatican Bank) but point taken. DC TC 16:36, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
well point was to stick to a single country of interest. but ya as i said im not refuting the notability. -- Ashish-g55 16:39, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
U.S. General David Petraeus formally takes command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan is certainly not a domestic item; The White House announces that Staff Sergeant Salvatore Giunta (pictured) will be awarded the Medal of Honor, the first living recipient to be so honored since the Vietnam War was posted and removed.--Johnsemlak (talk) 17:54, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
again. its a very quick list and not be taken too seriously. i didnt include many items either like "Dont ask Dont tell", France riots, quite a few pakistan blurbs. i just dont see how domesticity can be an issue simply because few items in the RfC did not make it as they didnt have consensus. MANY do -- Ashish-g55 18:08, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Point taken.--Johnsemlak (talk) 19:22, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

{od}I also don't see a point in any once and for all decision - this works well on a case by case consensus basis. ·Maunus·ƛ· 19:42, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I think the vituperative debate over the Kagan matter shows we could use some clarification regarding the criteria. There seems to be two issues here. One is whether domestic events are OK. Everyone in this discussion seems to agree that they are. Perhaps we should put a line in the criteria page to that effect -- not to prevent people from opposing any item but to stop votes along the lines of, "Oppose -- domestic news." The other question is whether items predominantly of interest to people from a single country are OK. That question remains open and, I think, should be discussed with the aim of reaching a consensus on the matter -- not necessarily an either/or statement. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:06, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
The Elena Kagan debate I think was not ITN's finest hour, I'd agree. Removing posts is always messy. It can appear there's a consensus to remove but generally once an item is posted only people who are opposed will race to comment at ITNC. Another issue is a pretty good consensus had been reached to post the item when she was confirmed.
The bottom line is that the question Mwalcoff is asking has been answered. I guess it's up to editors to try best to follow the criteria, and for Admins to consider how the arguments follow the criteria when making a decision.--Johnsemlak (talk) 03:19, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
The issue is not whether "merely" domestic items can be included, but how far down the scale of importance within a nation we should go, and how far that is determined by the assumption of the number of wikipedia readers in each nation. I remain of the opinion that if all Wikipedia does is repeat the headlines of mainstream press, it will never be more than a poor imitation of them, and that if it draws attention to less publicised stories of interest, and provide links to additional material, it is a valuable resource. Kevin McE (talk) 09:03, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
On the other hand, if there is a story in the news and Wikipedia has a high quality article about the topic, are we not doing our readers a disservice not to highlight this article? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 10:26, 29 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, let me ask this: What are the arguments against allowing items predominantly of interest to readers from one country from being posted? -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:37, 30 October 2010 (UTC)
I can't write an argument for a ban on domestic stories, and I would hope that consensus would be against a ban per se, even if the 'domestic issue' argument is still used. What I would say is that I think it's important for ITN to have a cosmopolitan outlook. Thus, stories of international interest should be a priority to some degree. I think this goes into the heart of how the criteria for ITN should work. In my opinion, it makes perfect sense for 'international interest/significance' to be a criterion but not a requirement (though I would hope we arrived at a consensus that 'international' has a wider definition than pertaining to, say, Belgium and Luxembourg). More broadly, I think we should come up with criteria that are inclusive rather than exclusive. IMO the current death criteria work well--we have three criteria any of which a death can meet in order to become eligible. Not meeting criteria #1 does not exclude a death if it can meet one of the other criteria. I think this philosophy allows ITN to be flexible with deaths, while having a required criterion creates problems that are likely not anticipated when the criteria are written in the first place. The previous criteria, as I understand, were much less flexible and resulted in not posting several very newsworthy deaths. Getting back to general criteria, I support reinstating 'international interest' as one criterion so long as it doesn't become a ban-hammer for stories that are of perceived domestic interest but are clearly notable enough for ITN.--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:27, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree that ITN should have a "cosmopolitan outlook." The question as I see it is whether this should be applied to individual items or to ITN as a whole. If we have seven items from seven different places, is that cosmopolitan enough, or do the individual items themselves have to be international? I would agree with the first idea rather than the second. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 22:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
A cosmopolitan outlook most certainly does mean ITN has to only have stories that meet the old 'international interest or impact' criterion. It simply means that we attempt to draw news from different parts of the world. Anyway that's my opinion. As I said, I think it's perfectly fine to have 'international impact or interest' as a criterion, as long as it isn't a requirement.--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:07, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm sorry -- there appears to be a contradiction there. Do you mean a cosmopolitan outlook does not mean that all stories have to be international? -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't see a contradiction. For me it means that the balance of all stories on ITN should reflect events in different parts of the world. Thus, as US story, a mid-east story, a Europe story, etc. I certainly don't want to set up quotas are anything like that but to aim to have a news of interest to a range of different people (including US users).--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:30, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Here's a question for the supporters of domestic items that I'm interested in having answered. What would your opinions be on having the elections in Quebec up whenever they happen? On the one side, it is generally small in population, but given its unique status in North America its elections should be treated as more important than just another state/province. --PlasmaTwa2 18:34, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
    I would be interested in all general elections for Canadian provinces, Australian states, Scotland and Wales, as well as changes in U.S. governors when they fall outside of November and select U.S. state elections in November, such as California this time around. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
    I would definitely support the Quebec independence referendum, 1995 if it happened today (Plasma you probably weren't referring to that) but I'd have to say I wouldn't support most of those subnational elections without some additional notability]]. As YellowMonkey pointed out well in ITNC, local government simply doesn't have the powers or sphere of control that national governments do. In the US, I think the fact that gubernatorial elections happen on the same day does give them, as a sum, a bit more notability and I think that should be considered. However, in looking at the coverage in the US (e.g. NYT), the dominant headlines are all about the Congress and the implications of those results. Governor's elections are very much secondary. In that light I'd have to say I don't support their inclusion now. Mwalcoff, when you were arguing this last year, the Governor's elections appeared more notable because they were not accompanied by Congressional elections, and combined they were of national interest; in your words, they were a 'bellwether election' that was analyzed closely by the national media and elsewhere. With Congress dominating the headlines now, I see much less interest in governor's races even in US, despite the fact that some major states were decided. Obviously, the local media tends to focus on governor's races in their own states, so the California race is a major item in California presumably. But even the LA Times is covering the congressional results most prominently as far as I can see. --Johnsemlak (talk) 06:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Obviously the creation of a new country the size of Quebec would be itn material, I don't think there would be a genuine reason to oppose that. But my idea is that, because Quebec has somewhat special status due to its French-speaking population in North America (for instance, membership in the Francophonie) I think the question of whether or not it is important enough for itn is not as clear as it would be for other states/provinces. Remember that, unlike most sub-national elections in North America, the results of Quebec's elections play a vital role when discussing Quebec seperatism; a victory by the PQ, for instance, would not only be important in Quebec, but to all of Canada because the party threatens the entire nation. And for what it is worth, a couple years ago, the result of the Quebec's election was posted on itn. This was right before I became actively involved in itn, so I can't remember the details myself. --PlasmaTwa2 22:45, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I understand that state/provincial governments don't have all of the powers of federal governments. However, I think that's canceled out by the number of English Wikipedia readers who live in those places. I wouldn't be in favor of adding results for an election in Upper Austria. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:31, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Tuesday's elections

It so happens that most U.S. elections take place on the same day -- "Election Day" -- in November. This year, it's Nov. 2.

I'm sure most people would agree that we should post the overall results of the Congressional elections, which will likely result in the Republicans winning control of the House of Representatives and narrowing the Democrats' majority in the Senate.

However, there will be thousands of other elections in the U.S. on Tuesday -- governors, state legislatures, referenda, etc. Obviously, we can't post all of these, but I do think we ought to mention the few biggest governors races in a second item. (This was mentioned before as an aside to a previous discussion on this page but was not discussed to a great extent.)

Four of the five biggest states (California, Texas, New York and Illinois) have governors races on Tuesday. The California election is the biggest one because the state is so big (37 million people), the election is a tossup, and the candidates are both well-known figures (former eBay CEO Meg Whitman and former governor and presidential candidate Jerry Brown).

Texas is less of a big deal because the race is not as close, but Texas does have 24.7 million people. New York is also not close, but the state has 19.5 million people, and everything that happens in New York gets a lot of attention. Illinois (12.9 million people) should be a close race.

To get another sense as to the size of these electorates, California is the second-largest Anglosphere jurisdiction behind the UK. Texas ranks behind the U.K., California and Canada. New York ranks fifth, behind Australia. Illinois is seventh, behind Ontario.

State governments are really important in America because under the United States' federal system, the central government in DC has limited powers, with the balance of powers left to the states. Many of not most of the laws that affect people's daily lives are state rather than federal laws, and unless they get Social Security or Medicare or work for the federal government, most Americans rarely deal with the federal government directly.

It seems very silly to me that we should post results of elections for little countries with few readers but should not post an election in California or New York state. We've even posted elections for figurehead presidents in parliamentary systems, which are far less "important" to their citizens than are elections for governor to the citizens of a U.S. state, if we're going to judge importance by the potential effect of the election on people's lives.

To create a "rule" that no "sub-national" election should be posted -- ignoring the realities of importance, reader interest, newsiness and article quality -- is the worst form of bureaucratic illogic. (Especially if all national elections should be posted.)

Some people may object to having two U.S. politics items on ITN at the same time. But this is just a refection of America's tendency to have all of its elections at the same time. It's very rare that we have any other U.S. election items on ITN outside Election Day -- perhaps a couple times a year, other than in presidential election years. I think we had Joe Sestak's primary win this year, that's the only one I can remember. So even if we have two items on Tuesday, that's only three U.S. election items all year. I hardly think that's out of line.

Sorry for blabbing on. To sum it up, I think we ought to have two items on Tuesday night or Wednesday morning:

Support well reasoned. It isn't unreasonable to post 2 things for an election in a country with half the readership of - as well as from one of the world's most powerful countries. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 00:30, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I watch U.S. news most of the time lately, but they haven't focused on the gubernatorial elections that much. It's all about some Senate races... and the day in, day out bashing of Christine O'Donnell.. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 03:26, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree with much of the reasoning above but I still think it would be good to try to fit it into a single blurb, even if it was longer than usual. Leave out as many unnecessary details as possible, like 'narrow majority'.
That's a pretty awful sentence. How is having two blurbs worse than one run-on sentence that's just as long?
Also, I think "California legalizes marijuana in opposition to U.S. federal law" will be a better news item than any of these. ;) Kafziel Complaint Department: Please take a number 05:39, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Considering Cuomo and Brady winning their respective elections is expected, that means it's not "news" anymore, unless they're beaten? –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 05:54, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
While I understand they're important, I've only heard two things from governor's races (outside my homestate). The Rent is Too Damn High! and Jerry Brown may have called Whitman a whore. DC TC 05:59, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

If California legalises Cannabis that should be posted too IMO, that has international significance as it paves the way for Mexico to legalise it. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:39, 31 October 2010 (UTC)

I would support adding the California Cannabis item as a separate blurb. Perhaps in that case we could drop the Governors' races. In any case, the governors' races would be mentioned in the article United States elections, 2010 linked in the blurb.--Johnsemlak (talk) 11:17, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Hah. It looks like Mwalcoff's plan to have two U.S. election blurbs will push through after all. Don't forget the 2010 World Series will end at about the same time. (Interestingly, it won't end on November 2.) –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 13:24, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
P.S. It is important to link both United States Senate elections, 2010 and United States House of Representatives elections, 2010. Why not:
HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 13:32, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
This would be a reasonable suggestion of the blurb. Fot the time being, I suggest skipping the governors unless anything really extraordinary happens. --Tone 13:53, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Howard's blurb is definitely a better alternative. It's reads much better, and there's no sense in having two successive items posted on the same topic. It's a bit of an overkill for readers who aren't from the U.S., or don't have a clue where Illinois is. Nightw 10:02, 1 November 2010 (UTC)

Well, we'll see what happens, but state leaders hardly have much effect on the economy, and none on military and foreign relations. Even though state leaders always take credit for economic growth or whatever, they can't make free trade deals, income tax reform etc. YellowMonkey (new photo poll) 00:18, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Agree, we'll have to see what happens. For what it's worth, the only state election I've seen getting significant coverage outside the U.S. is the California govornership (sp?). Even with that one, I think the marijuana proposition would be a better and more "international" story from California than the fight of the high-spenders. Physchim62 (talk) 00:40, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
BTW, I'd also support a mention if Reid is beaten. We have a good headshot, we can say "Harry Reid, defeated Senate Majority Leader, pictured." –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 12:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
The Nevada race has got far less international coverage than the big spenders in California. Reid might be a big cheese in Washington, but he's virtually unknown outside the U.S. I think posting that result would seem strange to readers, as well as risking "U.S. election overload" on the template. Physchim62 (talk) 15:53, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I'll repeat an earlier suggestion I made above that if we don't mention gubernatorial elections in the blurb, we can provide an indirect mention by linking to United States elections, 2010 in the blurb, which should have a summary of all elections and should put them in a national context.--Johnsemlak (talk) 16:14, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I've channel surfed CNN International, BBC and Fox News the past few hours and they've singled out quite a few individual races: Nevada's Senate seat and Delaware's Senate seat; none of the gubernatorial races are singled out. If Reid does lose it will garner plenty of press. I may had failed to see the California races -- they didn't even mention the cannabis proposition. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 16:31, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
That's today's news I take it: I was taking an image of the last couple of month's coverage. Of course the news today (outside the U.S.) is about trying to make sense of all the results that will be coming in, but La Vanguardia in Spain (to take a convienient example) still gives two column inches to the Nevada race against a whole half-page story to the California big-spenders. Not much on California proposition 19 today, but it had a two page spread on the subject on Sunday... Physchim62 (talk) 17:59, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
I don't like the idea of singling out the loser of an election. I recognize its newsworthiness, but that is usually not our style. A better blurb would be "Sharon Angle (pictured) defeats current Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid". The photo we have of Angle is low resolution, but a thumbnail would be OK on the main page.--chaser (away) - talk 17:38, 2 November 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chaser (away) (talkcontribs)
Good point. If this blurb will need an image, I'd suggest then to use a photo of the incoming House Speaker. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 04:06, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree Boehner should be the image - he's the most significant person arising from the results. But he should be described as "Republican House leader" or something rather than "incoming Speaker" because he could still get rolled by his caucus before taking the gavel.--Mkativerata (talk) 04:09, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Or we can wait until he gets elected at the opening of session but I think people will scream "U.S. biaz" when that'll be done. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 04:42, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
Illinois governor hasn't been called yet and the state isn't that big or internationally known. I don't think articles like Governor of New York has much news value here. If we want to cram in much information and many election links in limited space then how about:
PrimeHunter (talk) 14:22, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Alternative suggestion

Rather than trying to determine which races or candidates are notable, why don't we simply add ...and the Republican Party win a majority of governorships and a majority seats in the House of Representatives.? Swarm X 05:17, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I guess it's a known fact now that most people would strongly oppose even a mention of the gubernatorial elections in the section. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 05:25, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Why do you say that? Really, it's kind of strange that you should, because there's no strong opposition to any mention of the gubernatorial elections anywhere that I can see. There's reasonable opposition to specifying a few individual races, but a quick blurb about the transfer of power in governorships isn't unreasonable. In fact, we can simply add and governorships to the end of the sentence. I don't see how the general change in governorships is less notable than the change in the House of Reps. I don't think individual races are notable, but the general results are (as notable as the House results). The blurb is on the midterm election results, after all. Swarm X 05:45, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
Well, you can always try on WP:ITN/C. Give me a burger if it's not posted. :P –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 06:17, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
I know, but it's not really worth the effort. Adding a tiny blurb is one thing, but trying to formally argue for something that will go away in a few days is just a waste of time. Swarm X 08:18, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Death of Harry Mulisch

Please look at this nomination under 31 October again as I have added further information to both that and the article. --candlewicke 01:57, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Bullet points in ITN discussion

Could we put back (or replace) some guidelines on how to use Bullet Points in ITN discussion. It's a minor annoyance but editors seem to be all over the place on this. My suggestion is they only be used to suggest blurbs. I'd be ok with another rule but let's try to stick to something.--Johnsemlak (talk) 10:16, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

The rubrics were not updated as part of the change of format and introduction of a ToC. Many editors are used to using a bullet point on similiar-looking !polls of opinion such as AfDs. Current instructions also include a now redundant insistnce on usng level 4 headings under a level 2 heading (although the software treats it as level 3 in the absence of that) Kevin McE (talk) 07:36, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
If editors are used to using bullets for their votes, then perhaps we should stick with that. Then us indentation for discussion of an editor's comments. The current pattern is definitely a mess. --Johnsemlak (talk) 08:26, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

You know what really irritates me, superlong headings like Andy Irons, 3-time surfing World Champion suddenly dies aged 32 while still active and Serbian Boris Tadic visits and apologizes for Vukovar massacre. It makes the TOC overlap with T:ITN on smaller screens, and just looks bad. DC TC 21:04, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Edit them then. Kevin McE (talk) 23:13, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

ITN on disasters with deaths

Can we find a rule to apply in the case of relatively-common disasters that get a limited amount of deaths? I believe I have seen in the past months plenty of disasters of at least 50ish deaths that make me believe that on average there is at least 1 or 2 such events in an average week. I am not against putting disasters with 100+ or 200+ up, or disasters with notable damages, or unusual damages, but there seem to be quite a few users that think a bomb blast in Irak with 50 deaths, or a tropical cyclone/storm in the middle of the storm season with 50 deaths is automatically worth ITN news. Yes it is tragic, but can we have a rule to focus on truly unusual events? Nergaal (talk) 15:39, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

This is a perennial issue, and yes, we we do try to focus on unusual events. But I don't think death toll is the only criterion of something being unusual. Physchim62 (talk) 15:47, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
We should try to use criteria that indicate significance. Rarity of the event, amount of damage, amount of casualties, amount of people affected, news coverage, or other possible interest factors (e.g. a volcano) are all possible criteria. Another type of event that gets debated are traffic or boat accidents in developing or undeveloped countries. They are rather frequent and and often involve high death tolls.--Johnsemlak (talk) 15:58, 2 November 2010 (UTC)
Just to give an example: in the last couple of months I remember quite a few noms for storms in SE Asia of around 50 deaths that people kept supporting. Can we find a rule to discourage such noms? Nergaal (talk) 01:33, 3 November 2010 (UTC)
I suppose you are referring to Typhoon Megi, one of the baddest storms ever, that killed 45 people in 2 countries? –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 14:29, 5 November 2010 (UTC)

Why would you want to discourage any nominations? --candlewicke 01:52, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

messed up candidates page

Someone seems to have made a mistake on the candidates page; Nov. 1-3 are inside Nov. 4. Can someone please fix that? I don't know how. Thanks. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 00:16, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Seems fixed now. I've noticed this problem a few times.--Johnsemlak (talk) 08:23, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

I can't see anything now except P:CE for November 7. --candlewicke 06:04, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Should be okay now. For future reference, it occurs when an editor deletes the closing |} in the Portal page (see diff). Nightw 07:47, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

I'm moving to close this. Probably someone uninvolved care to look on how the discussions went on whether to add or remove some items on WP:ITNR. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 06:58, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

I find it very difficult to giive any credence to a process that tries to determine long-term choices withou consideration of the circumstances that will prevail at the time of their enactment, and give that authority, when the principles for such decision are so unclear as ITN policy is thesse days. Kevin McE (talk) 07:22, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
So are you saying we should scrap WP:ITNR? I could possibly support that, too. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 07:29, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I've read Kevin McE's post several times, and still can't work out what it means... Scrapping ITNR would be a recipe for disaster though, since we'd just end up with massive discussions every time such an item turned up, and would completely screw over our balance between different items. Modest Genius talk 19:10, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
I hope I'm usually more cogent than that: I probably shouldn't try to type first thing in the morning. When ITN/R was first put together, there was a general, although poorly defined, agreement about criteria for inclusion in ITN. More recently, a number of editors have started arguing on the grounds of page traffic and reader geographical density, a line of argument previously absent and the validity of which is not unanimously agreed: the text of criteria on ITN has been changed a few times, sometimes without prior discussion. I am not confident that the current phrasing enjoys great acceptance, nor consistency of interpretation. While we were not without disagreement prior to these recent months, the situation has become more polarised. While that is the case, I certainly don't think that we should be trying to apply an uncertain policy to future events. ITN/R should give items a preferential status in ITN/C, an assumption that the item should go up, but given that consensus can be overturned, it cannot be considered any more authoritative than discussion on ITN/C. But I don't think now is the time for changes to ITN/R, an opinion shared by most people who commented on this page when the proposals for changes on ITN/R were flagged up. Indeed, given that the consensus in the first thread of this page as is it currently composed was against this being an apt time for ITN/R changes, how can those ITN/R changes be said to have consensus? Kevin McE (talk) 20:36, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Ah, that makes more sense. Items have indeed been removed from ITNR when they occurred but attracted opposition at ITN/C. You're certainly correct that there are significant problems with the ITN process itself (though this is hardly new). That doesn't invalidate ITNR, nor does it circumvent any discussion on changes to the list. If/when new criteria are ever agreed, we can go over the list then. Otherwise, while the status quo persists, there's no reason not to continue using ITNR. Modest Genius talk 21:13, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
On another note, is it worth redirecting that talk page to this one, this being the central discussion page for ITN and that being an under-watched, relatively obscure talk page that doesn't attract much attention. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 21:21, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Agreed. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:22, 11 November 2010 (UTC)
Possibly. I think the vast majority of users who watch THIS page are aware of ITNR's existence. If they're not also watching WT:ITNR, there may be some reason for it, since ignorance of its existence does not seem plausible. (for the record, I had WT:ITNR on my watchlist long before WT:ITN) Modest Genius talk 21:46, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

I've been editing ITN on and off for about four years, and I can attest there has never been a consensus as to what makes a good ITN item. When Nancy Pelosi became U.S. House speaker in January 2007, we had exactly the kind of debate we had with Elena Kagan this year, with the same arguments made on both sides. I think the talk page for ITN/R ought to redirect here. This will ensure the greatest degree of discussion for ITN/R items and reduce the number of pages ITN users have to follow. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:50, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

What we put up has always depended on the editors who are around on ITN/C at the time, because that's the only way we keep the slot going. Over the three years or so that I've been contributing here, I've seen (what I see as) a welcome move away from purely political stories, especially of the kind "we put her up so we must put him up"; I've also seen yo-yo movements in the sports stories we put up (I hate them, but I have to accept them to be part of a collaborative project). I pushed through the infamous straw goat story, but I have no repentence! It got 120k hits while it was on ITN, compared to 4k hits for the comparable period the previous year. We should not be dogmatic about our selection criteria, as long as the story is "in the news" at least somewhere and the article is presentable for the Main Page. That also means that we should not be dogmatic about ITNR, which is merely the product of an old consensus, not necessarily of our current participants. In any case, ITNC follows ITNR more in the breach than in the compliance, as any quick check of the nominations will show. Physchim62 (talk) 00:37, 12 November 2010 (UTC)

Call of Duty Black Ops

I'm not opposed to a top selling video game running in ITN for a day, but three days just seems like too much for me. Television shows with 10 to 100 times as many viewers as the number quoted never make it to ITN, do they? I'd really like to see it replaced with e.g. the APEC summit or Haiti's out of control cholera epidemic. Ginger Conspiracy (talk) 08:06, 13 November 2010 (UTC)

That's not how ITN works. Once an item is added, it stays on, gradually moving downward as new items are added, until is is "bumped" off the bottom. How long that takes is based solely on how quickly other items are added.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 15:16, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
Feel free to propose a TV show once it reach large amount of viewers. --Kslotte (talk) 13:51, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Non-chronological replacement

Rather ironically, considering the previous thread, this convention has now been broken, with Volleyball being added to the template and the Asian Games being removed on the basis, not that it was the oldest item, but the oldest sports item. I can certainly understand the action, and have no wish to censure it, but I don't think that such a break from convention should pass without inviting comment here. Kevin McE (talk) 20:33, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

It's not the first time it's happened. It occasionally happens with obituary-type death stories; when there is an important update that can be rolled into a previous story; and, of course, every time we run a "sticky", keeping an important ongoing story on the template when it would otherwise have dropped off. I don't think it's a big deal as long as it's only occasional. It seems to me to be part of our discretion to try to keep some sort of subject matter balance on the template (within the limits of the news stories coming in). Physchim62 (talk) 20:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Physchim. Chronologically, the difference between the removed item and the oldest was only a few hours and the alternative would have left us with 4 sports items out of 6 items total on ITN. Where it's practical to do so, we should try to keep some sort of subject balance rather like we try to maintain geographical balance. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 20:54, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
It was my suggestion so obviously I support the move. It was nothing against the Asian Games; just seemed like a pragmatic solution to avoid overloading the template with sports stuff. I suppose one issue is that because this is done so rarely it seems to be a big deal, and it really isn't.--Johnsemlak (talk) 15:23, 15 November 2010 (UTC)

AfD should not be allowed on ITN items

What happened with Shanghai fire ITN was rather disappointing even if it got corrected. I propose a new rule for ITN (maybe extended to Main page?) that AfD should not be allowed or an automatic speedy keep should happen on linked and bolded articles. One must gain consensus on either Main page talk, ITN talk or ITN/C first(if its already on main page that is). No admin or user should be allowed to just go ahead and put an AfD on articles and automatically take them off Main Page. if an AfD gets consensus on talk page then go ahead and do it. its rather easy to do and can be used as a time wasting tactic against items that have already gained consensus. its pretty much WP:POINT, we should have strict guidelines against it (admin or otherwise). -- Ashish-g55 03:32, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Agreed 100%, except that copyright violations could still be deleted. DC TC 04:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
If the WP:BUEREAUCRACY hadn't required a WP:ANI thread and a WP:ERRORS thread (as well as contacting HJ Mitchell on his talk page) and it taking over 6 hours from the ANI thread for it to be restored then I'd be far more happy with the current process, so maybe AfD's should be banned for ITN items. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:35, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
All in all if I hadn't gone and made a big fuss about it the story probably still wouldn't be back on the front page. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:38, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with closing such AfDs as speedy keep, possibly renominate when it's off the Main page. --Tone 08:53, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Since this is not the first time it has happened, I'd say we limit it to those who had commented on an ITN/C discussion be barred from initiating an AFD. Those who are uninvolved can do so. We can't prevent those who don't know of ITN/C to be bounded by its rules. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 12:47, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

It's not uncommon for an article to go directly from ITN/C to AFD, so no. What we need is a mechanism where an article can't go from the Main Page to AfD, as happened with the Shanghai fire story. I would include orange level cleanup tags as well, as we had the Venezuelan election story pulled because of some WP:POINTy tagging. Physchim62 (talk) 13:07, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
Like I said, I'd WP:AGF for an uninvolved user who did not participate, and was not informed of, by the ITN/C discussion. If ever a rule shall be created, I'd want it to be limited to participants at the ITN/C discussion. –HTD (ITN: Where no updates but is stickied happens.) 14:28, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
There are 3 things here.
  • An editor just puts the article up for AfD and doesnt know about ITN/C in that case a speedy keep can take place and that user can be informed of the rule.
  • An admin puts it up for AfD and removes it from ITN, this should have not happened since an admin who knows enough about ITN to remove an item should also know about ITN/C and the fact that the item must have gained consensus. In this case i feel like its borderline WP:POINT and such activity should be banned. In rare case where the admin has no clue what ITN/C is then again a speedy keep can take place.
  • And finally last case exists where editors from ITN/C put article up for AfD which should also be banned since thats also nothing but WP:POINT. In all of the cases decision made at ITN/C should take priority and if an article does need deleting then it should be discussed first -- Ashish-g55 14:59, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Don't we sort of already have this rule? Wikipedia:Speedy keep#Applicability says "Reasons for a speedy keep decision are....The article is currently linked from the Main Page. In such a case, please use Wikipedia:Main Page/Errors to have the link removed before nominating the article." Granted, that doesn't out-and-out ban starting such a discussion, but I can't see where the net effect is all that different.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 23:13, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

That's what happened, and it wasn't exactly an easy process to revert. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:45, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
actually that is not what happened. What happened was that an admin decided to not only start AfD but also remove it from main page which made Wikipedia:Speedy keep#Applicability invalid and speedy keep actually did not take place hence it took 2+ days to get it back up. So we need more of an ITN specific rule perhaps that bans such action since items already reach consensus at ITN/C. -- Ashish-g55 23:56, 18 November 2010 (UTC)
I think the current process is god enough, provided it gets followed. By putting a link on the front page we get more eyes on the subject. So previous consensus might get overriden. However consensus should be established for removing the link from the front page before any AfD is started. Taemyr (talk) 09:18, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
If and when a main page article is AfDed we should remember to refer to Wikipedia:Speedy_keep#Applicability#5. --Kslotte (talk) 14:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
WP:SK #5 needs to be rephrased though. At the moment it implies that users should get the link removed from the MP (through WP:ERRORS, or by implication removing it themselves if they're an admin) before nominating. What everyone here seems to want is that the nomination should wait until it's off the MP. So I suggest something like:
  • 5. The article is currently linked from the Main Page. In such cases, please wait until the link is no longer on the Main Page before nominating the article. If the problem is urgent, consensus should be gained at WP:ERRORS to remove the link before nominating for deletion.
Modest Genius talk 21:09, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Sounds good. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:33, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
I've updated the guidelines. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 15:15, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Re-use ITN per month

Why doesn't we re-use the items that are dropped of the ITN template? The items could be collected by month and be used at Portal:Current events and past months (for example October 2010). --Kslotte (talk) 14:09, 20 November 2010 (UTC)

Note that past items are recorded at Wikipedia:ITN archives if anyone is interested. I am not sure that there is demand for further reuse of old ITNs (most will already be listed in the current event archives anyway) - Dumelow (talk) 14:31, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
The point here is that ITN is of better quality then Current events portal news. --Kslotte (talk) 14:42, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
The archives exist, if you (or anyone else) want to do something with that content then all that's required is to gain consensus wherever you wish to use it. It's not ITNs job to implement reuse of ITN content. Modest Genius talk 21:02, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
OK, I have to take up the discussion at the Current events portal. --Kslotte (talk) 17:35, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

Template:ITN credit

Is Template:ITN credit used anymore? Is it automated or the responsibility of the posting admin? Grsz 11 06:47, 21 November 2010 (UTC)

The posting admin is supposed to give them. DC TC 16:06, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
Anyone may post the template. No one is required to. (I'm aware of no discussion in which we established consensus that it would be formally included in the process.)
On several occasions, editors came to this page to request that the template be added to their talk pages or those of others (and the instructions even encouraged that at one point). This reflected a mistaken belief that it's an official trophy awarded by administrators. In fact, it's a simple notification and implied expression of gratitude. No special authority is required to place it on someone's talk page (including one's own, if notifying/thanking oneself makes someone happy). —David Levy 17:20, 21 November 2010 (UTC)
And, the templatee is in use. --Kslotte (talk) 17:24, 21 November 2010 (UTC)


In case anyone's interested, I have written a mini-essay on ITN. I'd be happy to hear comments or questions. --Mkativerata (talk) 03:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

i think your "Thirdly, there are a number of contributors to ITN who are not strong article writers" point is really out of line. wikipedia welcomes all, not only "strong" article writers. and so should ITN -- Ashish-g55 04:35, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
If it's a competence problem, no, the editors are not welcome to expect that their contributions will be on the main page, let alone not reverted.--Mkativerata (talk) 04:40, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
who is expecting to be on main page? if its on ITN then it is already on main page. and that means it was approved by some admin atleast. So how is the user who wrote the article at fault. i find the above point insulting towards ITN editors actually since u r saying there is something wrong with ITN because editors are incompetent. like wth -- Ashish-g55 04:50, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
My point is that ITN is particularly vulnerable to incompetent editors. An incompetent editor creates a substandard article. Ordinarily, little harm done. On the main page, the harm is exponential - it can manifest itself in plagiarism, inaccuracies, etc. And we currently don't have sufficiently strong mechanisms at ITN to filter the incompetence. One plagiariser did it for years.--Mkativerata (talk) 04:53, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Ashish's point that it's not helpful to refer to editors as 'incompetent' or 'not strong'. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit and that is a core principle that is even more important than WP:V or even WP:C. That said, the concern of blatant copyright being linked to the main page is real, and Mkativerata should be commended for spotting the Columbia floods article and pulling it. Having looked over the article's history, the text was nearly all copied from the sources linked in the article!! So we clearly need to step up our monitoring of this process. Checking sources, checking for plagiarism, etc should be a routine part of the job here, and not just for admins who ultimately post the story. --Johnsemlak (talk) 16:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, checking for plagiarism is something that needs doing more carefully. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:17, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
Agree. Whatever my other differences of opinion with Mkativerata, the Colombia floods story was a valid catch, essentially copy-pasted sentence by sentence from the sources. Physchim62 (talk) 18:23, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
"Anyone can edit" is a statement of principle, not a statement of practice. I don't think it is controversial to say that some editors who come to the project are not competent. They edit in good faith, and in many if not most cases the incompetence corrects over time. But it isn't always the case. When competence can't be corrected, it is a problem for the project. --Mkativerata (talk) 19:55, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I agree that the time-critical nature of ITN makes us vulnerable to articles which are of poor quality or which violate copyright. But I have three issues:
  1. What do you propose we do about it? DYK already has a (simple) formal process for assessing articles, but that's hardly helped. Other than 'people should be more careful', what are you trying to suggest?
  2. Your third reason ('there are a number of contributors to ITN who are not strong article writers') is a reasonable observation of fact, but I disagree with the implication that this is either a primary problem or that such people should be discouraged from contributing. If someone creates a poor-quality article, the correct response is to help turn it into a good-quality article, not decry the poor quality and tell the author that they shouldn't have bothered.
  3. Different contributors are better at different things. Some do a good job of hunting down sources, others can write good prose, some are good at formatting, wikicode and copyediting, and another set have a knack for spotting sourcing and copyright problems. All these of course overlap to various extents. Whilst ITN does need more of the latter, that doesn't mean we should discourage any of the others. Or were you more referring to those who contribute mainly in 'back room' project ways, rather than in article space?
As is always true, ITN could do with more regular contributors, in this case to ensure that a larger number of critical eyes are cast over each item before it is posted. But that's not something that can easily be changed overnight. Modest Genius talk 23:21, 22 November 2010 (UTC)
I think Mkativerata raises some good points. I think ITN has largely gotten away from the goal of featuring quality content. I believe this is because some ITN regulars are putting too much emphasis on what they think ought to be considered important, or what others should be interested in, rather than what is likely to be or turn into a quality article. For example, the article on Sonia Sotomayor is a "Good Article", but ran into all kinds of opposition as an ITN suggestion, while the Columbia floods article Mkativerata mentioned had no opposition at all despite having a completely unacceptable article. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 23:50, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
To respond to MG, unfortunately I don't think there is a clear solution, certainly not in terms of a change in policy or process. I think what is needed is a change in approach. Mwalcoff has suggested on such change: focus more on quality of articles rather than in-the-moment newsworthiness. Another approach is for ITN participants - article contributors, !voters and posting admins, to take more responsibility for examining an article being nominated. Sometimes I suspect that once an article is over a certain length and has a lot of footnotes, it "looks good" and no-one looks much further. The only procedural solution I can think of would be to abolish ITN "credits", but I'm not sure that hits the mark.--Mkativerata (talk) 01:42, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
A couple of ideas, each of which only takes a few clicks really:
  • encourage editors to regularly cut and paste a few a couple passages from the article into Google and see if it gets any hits (i.e. copyvio).
  • click on the history of the article, and check the talk pages of a few significant contributers. If they have warnings for copyright violation, their contributions should be viewed suspiciously.--Johnsemlak (talk) 12:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Another useful method is to check at random some of the footnotes used in the article for close paraphrasing. --Mkativerata (talk) 20:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Another thing we can think about is seeing ITN as a way for readers to find background information to help them understand topics that are likely to read about in their local or national media rather than as a way to emphasize what ITN editors think they should know about (such as the flag of Malawi). Articles on topics that are widely covered by Anglosphere media and that are of interest to a lot of readers are likely to have the most traffic before going on ITN and, therefore, may be of higher quality than an article on a topic that's rather obscure to most of our readers. Yes, that will lead to "systemic bias," but as the Main Page FAQ says (more or less), if the Main Page is going to reflect the best of the English Wikipedia, it's going to reflect the bias of the English Wikipedia, and there's no way around that. (That doesn't prevent us from trying to feature geographic diversity to the extent we can without compromising the goals of ITN.) Also, it may not even be necessary to have an article on the exact news event -- we could feature an article that provides just some background on the subject until the article on the event itself is up to par. For example, let's say Felipe Calderón, the president of Mexico, is assassinated. Until the article on the assassination itself meets our standards, we could put in bold the B-class article on Calderon himself. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:22, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

Bullets vs. Tabs on ITN/C

I know this was discussed a little while ago but i dont think we got a solution since ITN/C is a mess with people using "*" and ":" wherever they want. i see many times *** to do the tabbing and its really making things ugly. Sometimes people put in a * to drive focus to their comment and others follow it with more *s. Either we need a notice in giant font telling everyone * is a bullet and not a tab... or come up with some better solution. -- Ashish-g55 19:14, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

I agree that it would be better to have consistency, and that the format used in the example discussion is the best option (at least, the best that I've seen suggested). There did use to be an item in the 'please do not' section asking people not to use bullets except for blurbs, but that was removed by User:Chaser recently. Modest Genius talk 23:49, 1 December 2010 (UTC)

serbia defeats france

I've changed "Serbia defeat France" to "Serbia defeats France". Although both may be acceptable, the latter is more common. Serbia defeat France retrieves ~140 hits, while Serbia defeats France retrieves ~3500. Kingturtle = (talk) 14:12, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

The argument over "defeat" versus "defeats" is nothing new here, but this is a new development - using the specific headlines to decide? If we have one ITN that gets more google results for "Britain defeat Greece" and the next ITN headline gets more google results for "India defeats Nepal", are you suggesting we have both styles on at once simply because Google says so? --Golbez (talk) 14:29, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, we should be using common usage. Which, obviously, is not easy to determine when different English speaking cultures have different language norms. It is worth investigating what is commonly used by news sources. This isn't about Google "saying so". Google doesn't "say so", it reports what's out there. I'm sure the results would be similar in Yahoo...but Yahoo doesn't actually provide the numbers. Btw, in the case of your example, "India defeats Nepal" gets more hits than "India defeat Nepal". Kingturtle = (talk) 14:36, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
We have a standard phrasing to avoid this perennial ENGVAR issue: 'The 2010 Davis Cup concludes with Serbia defeating France...' Not sure why we're not using it again this time. Modest Genius talk 14:43, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course, if we were accurate and honest enough to put the blurb for these things that have happened in the past tense, it wouldn't be an issue. Kevin McE (talk) 15:34, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Most English-language news headlines are written in the present tense. Perhaps it's unwise for us to emulate this convention (which undoubtedly contributes to the misconception that the section is a news ticker), but there's nothing inaccurate or dishonest about using such a style. —David Levy 16:24, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Most English-language news headlines are also written with no attempt to follow the normal rules of sentence construction. Our blurbs are not the same genre as a headline. Kevin McE (talk) 17:57, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree that our blurbs differ substantially from news headlines and needn't emulate their style. I also agree that we should switch to writing them in the past tense (thereby countering the common misconception that the section is a news ticker). I only disagree with the assertion that the use of present-tense wording to describe past events is inaccurate and dishonest. —David Levy 20:05, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
I describe it as inaccurate and dishonest because the present tense reports that which is ongoing or habitual, and most of the things that we describe are neither. The completion of the X-37's maiden flight is over; the Israeli fire does not continue to kill 40 people; GFAJ-1 has now been discovered, written about, reviewed and studied; Serbia do not regularly beat France in Davis Cup finals; the order that Continental must pay compensation to Air France was made on a specific date, and that was two days ago; no matter how many men are sworn in as President of Cote d'Ivoire, they don't do it habitually. In some of these cases, a present perfect tense might be justified or even preferable, but the simple present tense is inaccurate, and as such its use can be described as dishonest. Kevin McE (talk) 08:16, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
As noted above, the present tense is used to report past events in news headlines around the world. I agree that such a practice needn't (and probably shouldn't) be carried over to ITN, but I don't understand why you regard it as unusual and "inaccurate," let alone "dishonest." (Do you believe that readers are being misled? Do you regard your example misinterpretations as likely?) —David Levy 10:43, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
The tense in question is the historic present, not a straightforward present tense. In case you're interested. (talk) 23:56, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


I think it might be useful to have sort of a meta-discussion here on the various nominations related to the ongoing WikiLeaks situation, and possible future developments. I think that WikiLeaks and its various developments has been the biggest story in the media for quite a while, and there are several decent Wikipedia articles covering the news (Julian Assange, Denial-of-service attack, WikiLeaks, etc. But so far recent nominations aren't getting consensus support. We posted the WikiLeaks release of diplomatic cables some time ago, and this is being used as a reason not to repeat posting something related. I fear we may be missing out on the biggest story of the year by continually ignoring what's a pretty major current event because of a rather arbitrary policy.--Johnsemlak (talk) 19:01, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

The problem is that this is one of those 'rolling' stories, in which each individual event is not particularly notable, but the combined effect is more than the sum of its parts. I agree that the story is worth a second posting, and its absence from the current template is embarrassing. But quite how it should be handled or what such a blurb should be, I don't know. Modest Genius talk 20:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
The next target for hackers seems to be Amazon. if they successfully take it down then i would suggest posting that. Amazon going down would be quite a big news since their entire business is online. however it seems like they are failing at taking it down CNN -- Ashish-g55 21:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I have made a number of impassioned comments on this topic on the project page. In brief: I continue to feel it is fine to cover the continuing facets of this story as they crop up. Not to do so, I feel, does the ITN section a disservice. To date a relatively small (in terms of numbers) group of objectors feel otherwise, however. The current incarceration of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is my current focus, but a case can be made for coverage on several other WikiLeaks fronts as well. Jusdafax 00:43, 11 December 2010 (UTC)

So sorry if this post is in the wrong place. An editor suggested that the DYK just submitted might be appropriate here (instead). Anna Frodesiak (talk) 08:33, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

Posted on the candidates page. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:43, 31 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I'll remember that for next time. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 09:58, 31 December 2010 (UTC)