How does WikiTribune plan to avoid “edit wars”?
If you’re a Wikipedian, you might be familiar with the “flagged revisions” model used extensively by German Wikipedia. WikiTribune will use a similar system. In short, articles will be editable, but the changes won’t go live until a trusted person – staff or community – has reviewed it. That way, readers won’t see anything unchecked or problematic. It’s open, but not wide open.
Controversial topics generate a lot of heat and accusations of bias. How are you planning to handle that?
Controversial topics are hard. We don’t have a magic fix, but there are some useful social norms and values that can really help a community deal with them. “Assume good faith,” “No personal attacks,” “Don’t push an agenda.” Plus a willingness to ban people who misbehave.
Will major groups within the community get to choose someone who represents them?
Yes. We’ll have more details on that later.
Why are you only hiring from London?
We’re just getting started. Jimmy is based in London, so it makes sense to start there. However, we’re hoping to grow and develop internationally over the coming years.
How will you make sure you have enough volunteers to keep the community going?
That’s a big part of the work ahead, making sure that community members are supported and welcomed. But we’ve got a good headstart with our experiences from Wikipedia and Wikia.
Who is WikiTribune aimed at?
We’re very much hoping for a wide readership across a diverse cross-section of humanity. Important journalism is journalism that matters to everyone.
How will WikiTribune combat trolls?
By banning them. It is really important that we build a community that values being responsible, nice, and respectful.
How do you become someone who can approve edited content?
We’re testing and refining our processes behind the scenes – we’ll let you know when the time’s right.
You’re starting with a small team – how can you tackle the relentless cycle of news?
The key is to not bite off more than we can chew. We won’t be able to cover everything, especially not at first, so we’ll need to do a bit of experimentation. It’ll be a combination of what our readers want to see, what our journalists are best at, what our community wants to do and are best at, and of course what’s newsworthy right now.
Why does WikiTribune have community members working alongside professional journalists? How is that better than the existing model?
Firstly, communities are very good at spotting and helping to correct biased language (and typos). Secondly, we don’t think the only people who have valuable contributions to the news are professional journalists, and we don’t want to see those contributions buried in the comment section. News is relevant to everyone. Thirdly, the community gives us scale. Our reporter might not be around to update a story at 5am, but someone will be.
Will WikiTribune’s journalists be paid?
Yes. Professional journalists will be fairly paid and work as equals to community editors.