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Feedback on everything please!

Talk (808)


Ingrid Strauch

"Libraries don't use "Gaza" but "Gaza ..."
Natalia Avdeeva

Natalia Avdeeva

"Thanks Zeke, great idea. Customisatio..."
Natalia Avdeeva

Natalia Avdeeva

"Thanks for the suggestions, Peter and..."
Peter Bale

Peter Bale

"Actually I did Palestine since it is ..."

Natalia is our VP of Digital and is very keen to have a very detailed open dialogue with the community in a very agile and vocal way to help her understand as deeply as possible what the needs of the community are. Right now, Jimmy and Fiona are the only people on the team with deep MediaWiki/Wiki experience and we are giving feedback as quickly as we can, but of course we don’t spot everything and we also want to iterate/innovate on traditional wiki experiences.

Let’s gather product ideas here and then Jimmy and Natalia will review and prioritize. Some things will obviously have to wait as we have limited resources, but other things (particularly things that are both easy and crucial to collaboration) can be done quite quickly in the next few weeks.

Feel free to edit this page, but mainly let’s use the talk page to put forward ideas.

History for projects "Feedback on everything please!"

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16 March 2018

( tax ) .. - Tag Nikolai Glushkov created; 16:13:58, 16 Mar 2018.. Lydia Morrish (talk | contribs)‎ ( created )

07 February 2018

17:38:52, 07 Feb 2018 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Removing WikiProject Category code)

20 January 2018

07:14:13, 20 Jan 2018 . .‎ Anthony Vadala (Updated → removed extra space)

12 January 2018

26 November 2017

• (view) . . Comment: With his new proposal, FCC chair Ajit Pai seeks to end net neutrality debate‎; 00:24:56, 26 Nov 2017 . . Eric Fershtman (talk | contribs)‎‎ ( Comment -> Thanks, Angela! )

03 November 2017

31 October 2017

13:14:41, 31 Oct 2017 . .‎ Julian Garamendy (Updated → removed extra space)

30 October 2017

11:11:43, 30 Oct 2017 . .‎ Natalia Avdeeva (Updated → added a link to the Talk page)

Talk for Project "Feedback on everything please!"

Talk about this Project

  1. I was thinking of adding an article about what is happening in Gaza but in the “Categories” section there is no option for “Palestine”, “Gaza Strip”, or the “West Bank”. How are categories added?


    1. Actually I did Palestine since it is an accepted geographic and cultural definition even if some may argue about its existence as a political and national entity. Thanks for raising it.

    2. That is a very interesting question and highly political as you know. I am now going to add Gaza and West Bank even though they are not officially countries in a sense.

      1. Libraries don’t use “Gaza” but “Gaza Strip”:

        The Library of Congress Subject Headings put it like this:

        Narrow terms:
        Gaza Strip
        West Bank
        Holy Land

        The German authority file – Gemeinsame Normdatei (GND) – puts it like this:

        Palästinensische Autonomiegebiete
        Palestine (Palästinensische Autonomiegebiete)
        West Bank and Gaza Strip
        Land: Israel

        Land: Israel

        Gaza City

        Gaza (Region)
        Land: Israel

  2. Hi Wikitribune,

    I think that Wiki should optimise web-viewing by utilising columns.

    This is something we have seen in print for centuries; it’s a more effective use of space, and far easier to read.

    Most text-based sites and platforms are optimised for phones and tablets. A single column with scroll here is fair enough – these are screens designed for use in portrait.

    However, many still read long-form and journalism from their laptop or pc monitor (office workers use these screens 7hrs+ a day). A single scroll-column is less effective on these landscape screens. It leaves hideous blank space either side, and only a paragraph and a half of text onscreen. This is awful to read, and a poor use of space.

    Columns which fill the window, with sideways scrolling, would be far more optimal.

    WT can, and should, innovate not only in how journalism is produced, but how it’s consumed, too.


    1. Hi,
      May I request adding an option maximizing a “print” command apart from a landscape or narrow column view.
      Thank you.

      1. Thanks for the suggestions, Peter and Aidan.

  3. Hi Natalia,

    I’ve seen this elsewhere in the thread, but the WIkiTRIBUNE banner is blacked out in Version 11.0.3 (12604. Pilot still appears.

    1. Hi Jonathan, thanks for spotting. We will look into it.

  4. Hello

    Do you plan to have an App for both android & Apple?


    1. Hi Alberto, we are planning to, starting from an iOS app this year.

  5. We put this on the original story about Skripal which I hope covers some of this issues raised:

    If you want to explore more tenuous scenarios see this report recommended by an RT staffer. One or two contributors to WikiTribune have also noted the comments of former British diplomat Craig Murray who has been disowned by his former employer but who offers an alternative perspective.

    Editor’s note: In reports and edits from WikiTribune staff, we will attribute material that we do not receive ourselves to sources we consider to be historically reliable. If we are in doubt, we will leave it out or try to be clear that the assertion is highly contested. We welcome your help in this. This has been particularly important in the reporting of this story and its related items.

    Statement from the Russian ambassador to the OPCW chemical weapons agency

    1. For what it’s worth Channel 4’s fact-checking team has done a valuable analysis to try to sort through the information and disinformation on the potential source and nature of the nerve agent said to have been used on the Skripals.

      1. And sorry for all the ‘nagging’ 😀
        I appreciate the work of community and your work in particular a lot, just want to ‘encourage’ more alternative views in reporting (when allegations are explored) and sticking to the evidence first of all, even when other media start to drift away from it.

      2. Thanks for taking your time to address the concerns Peter, and for publishing the article I drafted. It does confirm my belief that you’re all on the ‘good side’ so to say, trying to make a good source of evidence-based news.

        I still wouldn’t agree with your judgement of the words of Russian officials as “most of it has been intended to sow doubt rather than address the seriousness or questions raised. For example, the idea that the attack could have been from the Czech Republic or Ukraine or somehow self-inflicted or from Porton Down itself.”. They just denied this all situation from the very beginning and said it could have been any other country, and I don’t see anything untrue or disinformative in such statements – I thought the presumption of innocence was still considered a norm, but it doesn’t seem so now. For some reason many people including you believe that it’s almost certainly Russia and other theories/scenarios are ‘tenuous’, even though I can’t for the life of me see any motive for the Russians to do such a thing in an already tensed diplomatic crisis they are in and with the world cup on their nose. It just doesn’t make sense. The aged words of Putin saying that traitors will choke or whatever are given as a proof, but that’s kind of ridiculous thinking it really meant so much to target Skripal right now. That’s my opinion, of course.

        But that is the point, your opinion clearly differs from mine, so we should not give our opinions here, we need to bring only evidence to the table, before making any conclusions.

        The proofs of it being a ‘pattern’ of ‘hybrid war’ – all ‘global’ states engage in that kind of warfare right now, singling out Russia just because their high rank military officials confirmed publicly it is the world we’re living in (and in the context of US-led coups and revolutions overthrowing governments) is kind of strange to me as well. The UK themselves not so long ago engaged in Iraq war based on a false pretence and allegations, just like we’re seeing now, so I don’t understand why we need to see only Russia behind every crime without evidence being provided first, just because ‘who else could have done that? sounds like Russians could’.

        “This cannot be a judgement free zone where everything is treated equally regardless of its credibility or the clear attempt to use a campaign of disinformation to sow doubt. That is a known and clear tactic which we have to be careful not to fall into ourselves. ” – that’s exactly the problem, ‘credibility’ is subjective based on your beliefs and this is why it is important to have a diverse community with different beliefs with a diverse editorial team, that is certainly not an easy task.
        In my view the credibility of what Boris Johnson or Theresa May say about this incident is laughable at and the speed with which they have come to their conclusions and started this anti-Russian global campaign proves it was just a pretext, whether organized by them or not. I don’t say it was not Russia, but I’d describe it as ‘the least likely’ scenario.

        Actually, thanks to the lack of information we have received from the UK government about the details of the case, all we can do is build assumptions, and the Channel 4 fact-checking article is an example of that. We just don’t have the info. Still, despite none evidence given or investigation conclusions, NATO and EU countries trust the words of UK officials and continue to grow the international tension. That was expected though.

        The evidence stated in the High Court judgement ( says:
        “CC: Porton Down Chemical and Biological Analyst
        Blood samples from Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal were analysed and the
        findings indicated exposure to a nerve agent or related compound. The samples tested positive for the presence of a Novichok class nerve agent or closely related agent. ”
        That’s as much vagueness as there could possibly be when you frame something that you are required to, like “we’re not sure whether it is a nerve agent or not, but it seems like that. And, even though we’re not sure whether it is a nerve agent, it seems to be something like Novichok class nerve agent OR a closely related agent.”
        They officially aren’t able to confirm the type of agent used at all (I’m not even talking about where it was actually produced and how it got there), while UK government has already made its conclusions. So, I can’t see how words of UK officials can be treated seriously and not like ‘disinformation’ when they don’t care about evidence.
        Just check Boris’s words to DW:
        “DW: You argue that the source of this nerve agent, Novichok, is Russia. How did you manage to find it out so quickly? Does Britain possess samples of it?

        BJ: Let me be clear with you … When I look at the evidence, I mean the people from Porton Down, the laboratory …

        DW: So they have the samples …

        BJ: They do. And they were absolutely categorical and I asked the guy myself, I said, “Are you sure?” And he said there’s no doubt.”

        I wonder why Porton Down did not say ‘there’s no doubt’ to the court, probably because lying to the court is punishable and they were actually pressed to frame the ‘Novichok’ idea by the government despite the lack of evidence.
        (PS: by the way, accidentally or not, BJ actually confirmed they have samples of it
        PPS: Channel 4’s analysis is a nice piece overall.)

        1. I’ll try to make sure we include that DW piece. It is a reliable source anyone can see that the language used by the current foreign secretary is unusually florid for someone in that position: for example the remark about the World Cup being compared with the Berlin Olympics. We can report it and let others make up their minds but I think most “reasonable people” would think that remark was a gratuitous overreach.
          It’s interesting what you say about opinion. On WikiTribune my own opinion should be irrelevant but I do think on TALK I can be allowed a little latitude to discuss some of the thinking behind our decisions with thoughtful people like you and many others who challenge what you’re reading or challenge whether those we quote have sufficient facts behind them. It is also the case that people like a prime minister have a pulpit and access to information which make them news almost regardless of what they say: by virtue of their status.
          Thanks for those links to the Skripal evidence. It is interesting to me that so may diplomatic expulsions have occurred from other countries before the results of the OPCW inquiry are known.
          This one will run and run.

  6. It seems to me that the coverage of Skripal case by WikiTribune illustrates a problem that we have at the moment – the community is too unbalanced. Most of the writers come from the UK, so the points of UK media and UK governent are live practically within hours, but the information about Russian responses are given very briefly and in such a disproportionate amount that the reader will just not pay much attention to it (besides, they are often provided with author’s comments the info Russian government says should not be trusted, e.g. ‘tried to sow doubt’, etc. The words of Boris Johnson and Theresa May are considered credible and news-worthy, while no one cares much about questions from the Russian side in the issued aide-memoire, which are legitimate ones and I’d personally like to hear the media and the people of UK ask their government.
    We all know that NATO countries support each other, so if May says ‘it is highly likely’ that Russia is behind it – all NATO countries will repeat that (even though ‘highly likely’ is nothing and Scotland Yard told it would take months to investigate the case (!)). Still, as journalists, we should not take one side or the other, we need to be skeptic and to ask ‘uncomfortable’ questions to all governments, otherwise we become another propaganda machine.

    I like the new feature anounced by Jimmy that drafts become public at once, I’m not sure, though, if it will be enough to make the website more objective and not ‘one-sided’ as it is now. I tried to publish an article about the official MFA Russian aide-memoire that is quite precise and logical and it asks the kinds of questions I expected our media and WT to ask from the UK government, but I see no responses about that article after the initial couple of brief suggestions by Burhan Wazir via email.

    If there’s something wrong – I could rewrite it, but there’s just no feedback for about two days now. And that doesn’t seem right because first of all I wonder why the questions asked in that aide-memoire do not disturb editors and journalists at Wikitribune and why it takes so much time to publish the article I drafted while others repeating the same old “all EU countries (read NATO) supported that Russia is ‘highly likely'”, like it was unexpected.

    I’m not saying the staff and community here is not trying to do well, they obviously do, but I just don’t see that they really cover the situation without taking one side, and I don’t actually believe that is possible – everyone of us has certain views in this world. It’s just that the community should not be controlled by UK editors and the community itself needs to be diverse in order to represent all views adequately (based on facts, of course). I’d also like to see less speculations in articles (they are not directly made by the staff here, but the speculations are put into the mouths (or taken out of them ;)) of certain ‘experts’ that the author decided to ‘cherry pick’ and include in the article. Generally the ‘experts’ hold the point of view that is close to the author’s one, and the author does not give a word to experts representing the other side. I can give you many examples, but decided to write it here as my general observation as it would take much time to write under each article and I don’t have it now.

    (By the way, I wonder if there is any public info about percentage of people from different countries in the WT community, to understand how big the ‘geographical’ impact is and whether anything is being done to correct it now or in the future. The thing is that for now it is better to just combine news from Reuters, BBC and RT in order to get the full ‘puzzle’ – Reuters is more or less trying to stay neutral, BBC is progovernment as is RT, so they kind of represent what Russia and UK can say. WikiTribune is kind of a BBC/Reuters mixture giving no full picture and staying quite ‘pro-UK’/mainstream media most of the time. I hope WT one day becomes a source representing the complete puzzle.)

    1. We do use Reuters a great deal because it is the most balanced and effective news source in our view with the most people in the most places and an almost unique ability to report from both sides of conflicts. I am not here to defend the BBC but the idea it is pro-government is laughable. RT can sometimes cover stories that others do not but is not entirely reliable on stories which go to the heart of the Kremlin though we will use that perspective when it sheds light.

    2. Our demographics in readership terms at the moment lean towards the United States, the UK, some of continental Europe, the Commonwealth (mainly Australia and New Zealand) and some in India.

    3. So, we have published the item from the Russian government you submitted:

      The trouble with the vast majority of commentary that has come out from official and unofficial Russian sources since this incident is that most of it has been intended to sow doubt rather than address the seriousness or questions raised. For example, the idea that the attack could have been from the Czech Republic or Ukraine or somehow self-inflicted or from Porton Down itself.

      This cannot be a judgement free zone where everything is treated equally regardless of its credibility or the clear attempt to use a campaign of disinformation to sow doubt. That is a known and clear tactic which we have to be careful not to fall into ourselves. It is a tactic also addressed in what I consider to be an excellent and informative report by our team on hybrid war:

      I also think this item in the Washington Post about the concept of “whataboutism” is relevant to this discussion as well:

      We need to avoid conspiracy theories from all sides and from our community and anyone else peddling them. The real news and factual information is extraordinary enough without conspiracy theories.


    4. I mean, you know the old adage: “actions speak louder than words”.

    5. I tend to be negative myself, in the sense that I often express critic more than I do praise. But I do see a lot good things.

      In all honesty, I think we’re doing well considering the resources we have. I joined up in December, we’re in March now, and I still see very few active external contributors. There is a lot that needs fixing, true, but despite this, we’re slowly building momentum: we’re covering the major topics already. I mean, it works. We’re slowly but steadily becoming an alternative.

      I just wish the core staff would understand that this is not a general, but niche news site and that most of our readers are probably well informed already. We have to go beyond “reporting”, like “XXX said this, YYY said that”. We have to understand that this kind of “factual” is not the same as neutral. Skripal coverage was factual, but not neutral. By replicating every statements of the UK government we used our platform to spread their rumors.

      We have to keep context in mind: we report on an attempted murder (attack seems an exaggeration) and then, on the same or following day, we flood the site with articles such as “Russians are perfecting hybrid warfare”. We can’t realistically expect our readers to keep each story separate. Just because we’re not saying so explicitly, it doesn’t mean we’re not validating an unproven assumption (the Russians did it).

      1. Miguel, I understand your perspective but I don’t share it on the hybrid war piece in particular. It is a new and fascinating doctrine which Russia is deploying to considerable effect. It is a deeper take on the story beyond the daily news. It has also been extraordinarily difficult to find credible Russian comment, whether official or media, that it is not intended to muddy the waters rather than add any clarity. This is a deliberate tactic too and we cannot just parrot nonsense in the interests of a theoretical balance — such as saying it might have been the Czechs, or Slovaks or Ukraine. I don’t believe neutral means disconnected from reality.

        1. Peter, I wish I had more time to work on the stories, I think that’s more productive than posting comments. However, in less than a month I’m going to release to the public the preliminary edition of my book and I can’t really be distracted right now.

          Actually, please keep that release in mind. I’m finally going to present the Theory of Information, which is what I used to come up with, among many other things, Alternet.

    6. Hi Michael, I would like to address two points.

      Firstly, you write that you just don’t see that „they [i.e. the staff and community] really cover the situation without taking one side, and you don’t believe that is possible – „everyone of us has certain views in this world“.
      I do believe that it is possible to take more than one side at least to a certain extent, moreover I consider it indispensable when reporting. Reporters have to explore the theme in it‘s relevant dimensions and hereby bring together sources from several sides. Reporting is not about the reporters opinion.

      Secondly, I wouldn‘t put it like that that the UK editors control the community. If someone of whatever nation is missing one side being covered, he might complement the report or suggest the report being complemented. If you should be right that there is an imbalance – which I assume to be partly true, too – this is not only due to UK editors but nontheless to those others who don‘t edit. It is not due to the UK editors if the community isn‘t diverse.

  7. Any chance of an IBAN (international bank account number) so those of us in Europe (and selected countries in Africa and South America) without a visa card or paypal account can donate?

    1. Hi Robbie, we only accept cards / PayPal at the moment. Thank you for the suggestion, we will be looking into it.

  8. Is there someone that can work with RSS reader Feedly ( to improve the way WikiTRIBUNE RSS feeds are handled? It may be too soon to be available as a default news source option, but when addd to Feedly manually the stories in the feed should be current and photos should be handled properly.

    1. Hi Joseph, thanks for reporting, we will look into it. Looks like that WikiTribune – All Stories is the right feed with current stories. Could you give some examples of where images are not handled properly? Thanks for your help!

      1. It may have been resolved. I am getting current stories on all my feeds now. Thanks!

  9. Hi, when I click on the All Stories page and then click on the ‘Explore:All topics’ drop down, I am very confused as to what order the categories are laid out in, is it possible to have them alphabetical?

    1. Thanks Adrian, good point, we will fix that

  10. Hi, quick UX question. Once a user has registered and signed in should the ‘Join WikiTribune’ banner still be present? All it does once signed in is redirect to the front page or refresh the page.

    1. Thanks Adrian, good point. It shouldn’t.

  11. Has there been any thought about putting a button on the home page that says “Write for WT here” that leads to the “5 Ways You Can Help”? It’s not entirely clear from the landing page how to navigate to that.

    1. Hi Jessica, thanks for your feedback. We have Help section in the main menu that leads to that page and other pages with guidelines on how to write / edit stories on WikiTribune.

      Do you think it’s not intuitive / visible enough?

      1. I think if you want readers to also think about contributing, when they come to your home page there should be something them pulling them into the process. I’m compiling a list of questions as I write my first story.

        1. Absolutely. If you have any further ideas, please share. Thanks Jessica

  12. Yo, makes it look like WikiTribune isn’t up yet. You might want to redirect it to

  13. Do others also find it counter intuitive to have the most recent replies above the ones which they respond to? I understand that there is an argument to have the most recent first but am i alone in thinking it is outweighed in this context by wanting to read through argumentation chronologically?

    It’s fair enough having the most recent, fresh threads at the top but, on balance, the dialogue within each thread would be better chronological wouldn’t it?

    1. Hi Jon, thanks, comments should be listed in chronological order. We will change that.

      1. Thanks Natalia. Really appreciate the response. Guessing that WikiTribune has bigger challenges but maybe chipping away at the lower hanging fruit will help too. Hope so and wish you all the best.

  14. There is no option to edit my comment while I wait for moderation of my comment. Can that be changed in the future?

    1. Hi Nino, thanks, comment editing is on the roadmap.

  15. I think you do a very good job of covering the news, and only the news. Unfortunately, it’s gotten so, that, as a reader, I’m looking for a little more. Not really opinion, because normally I don’t agree with journalist’s opinions and I feel the world would be a better place if journalists didn’t influence their readers. But I can’t help but feel something is missing. Perhaps point/counter-point discussions, perhaps honest critiques of both left and right. But as it is, I feel the articles, although quite truthful and without spin, have less to offer than those I’ve already read. If wiki-tribune was the only news source I read, it would be great. But consider that I’ve already read 4 or 5 (or more) articles on the same subject wiki-tribune is covering. True, those other articles are polluted with opinions and spin much more so then wiki-tribune, but by the time I read wiki-tribune, it ends up just being more factual with less spin, but not really covering anything new. Maybe a way wiki-tribune could differentiate is by providing significantly more depth then regular news outlets. Obviously, that is difficult given the speed of news. I want to see wiki-tribune succeed. It’s important. Yet I don’t feel I’m learning something new when I read it. (just trying to be honest).

    1. So, what’s missing? Expert analysis, a “balance” of sides? More access to go deeper on original source material? We are looking at these questions too every day and the point you make is shared.

      1. On the other hand, if the intention is for all these valuable things to come with time once some critical mass of contribution is passed by users, then it’s understandable that in the short term the style might be different in order to create some reinforcing loop to attract that critical mass.

        Unfortunately i guess further along the sensationalism spectrum might be most effective at that. And speed of news 🙁

        Wondering if that judgement is in more need of experienced specialists like Wikitribune (the facilitator) rather than the general crowd (its contributors)….

        1. We’re all experimenting with this. The briefing and our news stubs (to use a Wikipedia idea) are intended to allow us to be timely and current and relevant and then buy a little breathing space to think about what something really means without joining the stampede.

          1. How about the whole process being about working together in ‘reducing uncertainties’ rather than ‘claiming some truth’?

    2. Hullo Richard et al.

      I’m a novice here, so forgive my ignorance.

      May I ask, is not ‘community editing’ the real strength of WT?
      Is not the aspiration that WT becomes the only ‘community guaranteed’ site …much like Wikipedia?

      What might help WT become that ‘go-to’ masthead could be quite paradoxical for a digital site.

      Farhad Manjoo has this to say about the ‘news’:

      In comparing digital news with print media, he suggests, amongst other things, that it’s worth waiting a little for one’s news..’Breaking news has been broken since 2013….getting news a day old..’ is not a bad thing. …

      Apart from growing the community, maybe it’s also the case of publishing ‘more slowly’…bi- weekly… and not daily…?!?

      1. That is a really good question and we agree to a huge extent. We are trying to do a combination of keeping current — choosing carefully what the staff team devotes its time to and wrapping what we cannot expect to cover well in the briefing — and then doing other subjects as what some people call “slow journalism”. It is all a pilot and we are all learning daily. For example, most community engagement seems to occur 24-72 hours after publication than immediately.

      2. I agree. Like often when solving problems by removing complexity rather than by adding it, i think this is a potentially very robust and sustainable solution that warrants consideration.

        Most of us do not need more daily news in our age of information overload; we need good news that we can get as close to trusting as possible, based on:
        – crowd sourced robust dialogue and argumentation; that crowd continuously and iteratively improving communication quality, structure and fact checking, logic and assumption checking, identification of vested interests….. Hopefully WikiTribune can be the much needed facilitator of that.

  16. Hello Natalia,
    now the author’s name has disappeared from this story, .
    I suppose this is an unintended effect of a software tweak 😉

    1. Hi Jean-Jacques, there is a setting in the Editor “Exclude author from byline” (above Primary Category). You need to untick that box.

      1. Hi Natalia, thanks for the tip, just unticked that box, now awaiting editing.

  17. Hi Jean-Jacques, sorry for that. We are aware, and will fix the issue with the next update (probably today).


    1. Hi Natalia, thanks for repairing the list of articles per contributor.

    2. Hi Natalia, thanks for the quick and positive response.
      While respecting the privacy of anyone who prefers to write under a pseudonym, others would find it useful for WT to publish a list of those who give their time and experience to this unique experiment in collaborative journalism. For the sake of transparency, contributors could be asked if they wish to be on such a list under their own name or a pseudonym, and all their articles would be listed. As an example, this is done by a leader of global journalism, The Guardian, under ”Contributors”, .
      Thank you.

  18. Please, someone help me to understand this: why the title “Mexico City’s political contest is becoming a turf war” is inappropriate while “Nerve agent attack would be new chapter in Kremlin playbook” is appropriate?

    1. I am not sure what this refers to in the Mexico City example. I don’t see a story with that title.

    2. Seriously, what’s going on here?

      I understand Sergei Skripal’s death is a hot topic in the UK, but unless we have something useful to add, we should keep quiet about it. No information is always better than disinformation. It is jaw dropping that we’re reprinting this kind of gossip as a front cover just to have coverage on the issue.

      I want to believe that this is just economy of information: that there is so much information available in English from the US/UK, it’s easy to just reprint stuff to make a quick story. But we’re giving the world the impression we’re just another fake-news source because this reads like propaganda machine. Let me put it this way: we’re following just have one narrative: the (evil) Russians did it. But we have no solid proof of it whatsoever.

      Myself, I find it just as probable that the British government is getting rid of double agents and blaming Russia. It’s killing two birds with one stone. Why this and other similar cases like Alexander Litvinenko’s only happen in Britain? Is the British government a sacred entity we can’t put into question?

      1. We don’t run conspiracy theories. Also, there is no “Russia is evil” narrative here but please remember this is the use of a military nerve agent (from a category designed to get around chemical weapons bans) in a quiet British town.
        Also: it is well-documented that Russia interfered in the US election and has a adopted a policy of “hybrid war” as part of its military doctrine.
        If you can find us some good countervailing information on Russia would be good. The trouble is right now that official Russia responses — apart from the always skilful Sergei Lavrov — is sarcastic and not to be taken seriously. It is, in effect, trolling. We’d welcome an alternative.
        You may “find it just as probable” but that isn’t a strong enough basis to turn it into news. You will see throughout the work from WikiTribune on this subject that there is substantial original reporting and interviews with people who have spent their lives teaching or working on these subjects.
        I also think you will find — as soon as today — that the United States will be moving against Russia in other respects so this is far from being just a big story in the UK. Remember: it is a use of a chemical weapon to target one person which has contaminated many others. As occurred with Litvinenko.

        1. See, I apologize if I was a bit harsh earlier, there is obviously no easy way for me to raise criticism on this. However, it’s our duty to keep an eye on each other. And I see “exceptionalism” here (our colleagues in the US are also prone to that). It’s a double standard to suspect foreign states yet fail to hold your own government to the same level of suspicion.

          You say it’s a conspiracy “theory”, but I see Julian Assange, who was granted political asylum by Ecuador, being held captive illegally in London, in public view, for several years now. Despite a UN resolution. As far as I know, he’s not even been charged of anything in the UK. And even if he was indeed guilty of what he was accused of (which I doubt), there is something called “timing”. He builds Wikileaks and suddenly is persecuted? We can’t afford to be naive. It’s OK to avoid speculation, but there is something called “educated guess”. There is no doubt that the British government is perfectly capable of political persecution. If they are capable of doing that to Julian Assange in broad daylight, it’s reasonable to suspect that they are capable of a lot more in the shades.

          From what I heard this morning, they beat me to it, but I was going to suggest to put into question the alleged monopoly Russia has over the chemical agent used in the attack. Chemistry is anything but a monopoly and nerve agents tend to be quite simple in structure, despite the mystical aura. Just about anyone who knows this substance is also capable of manufacturing it, so the origin is not proven. Right now, there is nothing pointing to Russia other than sayings from the UK government and we shouldn’t validate rumors.

          In broader terms, we shouldn’t try to wash our responsibility by claiming that “the specialists think so”. We always have the last saying in what we publish. It’s like medicine: you can consult as many specialists you wish, but in the end you have the last word on your own health.

        2. One more: I have added some interesting additional sources at the bottom of the hybrid war analysis. You’re welcome to add others if you could please adopt a similar style to present them:

        3. Just on the hybrid war point, we do refer to the Russian allegations that the US wages a form of it in the colour revolutions but I also think it is fair to include all that material from General Gerasimov because it is Russia that has so interestingly adopted the concept of hybrid war as a doctrine.
          Right now it is also really hard to find people with high veracity to represent the Russian side of this debate or conversation. We are looking and if you have further suggestions on alternative voices we’d love to have them there. The difficulty, as the BBC found this week with a sort of ping pong between former Polish foreign minister Sikorsky and a Russian politician that it degenerated into a sort of abusive tirade of sarcasm and misinformation. Whereas something like the Murray questions about Porton Down and so on have a bit more meat to them.

        4. We have included your very welcome suggestion about what Craig Murray has put on his blog. He is an interesting voice in all of this though of course sometimes a controversial one. We will be careful assigning him credibility as a chemical weapons expert as such but it is good to have at least a sensibly expressed note of caution. I have also told the team (and would encourage community members) to stick to the formulation we started with after the Theresa May statement which is more about “responsibility” than direct blame, as it were. Her point, which we tried to get across in the day but which can get lost in the pace of the story and the comments flying on all sides which is either that Russia did this officially or allowed a nerve agent to fall into the hands of other forces or people. We will endeavour to keep these points absolutely clear and your input on this story is really valuable. Please keep it coming and if you see other well modulated voices that others might have missed please do this again.

  19. Regarding violence in videogames and the like.

    Similar concerns were voiced about comic books.
    See the history of Association of Comics Magazine Publishers founded in 1947.

    Later the Comics Code Authority (CCA) was formed in 1954.

    It did not work then, except to suppress the publication of some comics.
    There has not to my knowledge been any evidence of a valid relationship between popular media and violence.

    This has been and will continue as pure political posturing.

  20. What options are there / might there be in the future for groups that coalesce around particular articles to purchase academic papers if required? So, for example, a health story which right now tends towards “The BBC reports this, NYT that”… could be better served by instead obtaining the Lancet paper (paid content) and reviewing that?

    1. That is a really good idea. We have an arrangement with Wellcome where we will be publishing some of their research:
      It is not impossible the Lancet might be persuaded to open access for some pieces and of course some of the open sites like PLOS One positively encourage this sort of scrutiny.

      1. Useful to not that all European Commission funded scientific research will be open access from 2020. Moreover the Commission wants to build its own publications platform to support this process (European Commission 2017).

        While not related to academic publishing, it might be of interest that some news sites use the “weak paywall” model, for instance, the New York Times (Dourado 2012). WikiTribune editors should therefore be aware that a google search might reveal a non-paywalled URL whereas a direct visit to the site requires registration and payment.


        European Commission (21 December 2017). Towards a Horizon 2020 platform for open access — Information note. Brussels, Belgium: European Commission.

        Dourado, Eli (29 November 2012). “Chapter 6: The Times, they are a-changing: the new economics of weak copyright enforcement”. In Brito, Jerry, Tom W Bell, Eli Dourado, Timothy B Lee, Christina Mulligan, David G Post, Patrick Ruffini, and Reihan Salam. Copyright unbalanced: from incentive to excess. Arlington, Virginia, USA: Mercatus Center, George Mason University. pp 95–107. ISBN 978-098360775-5.

  21. An opt-in weekly instead of the daily would be the most efficient thing for me.
    Mailbox gets crowded with all those daily newsletters, truthfully

    1. I agree. Ultimately, it might also be helpful if that was from a weekly persepctive rather than just a collection of all the daily content.

      That would usually mean more editorial preferences but maybe some preferences / criteria could be configured by the user these days.

      In terms of the news items (rather than analyses or longer term articles), some daily sensations may edit themselves out of a weekly summary as new information during the week shows them to be less relevant than first expected.

      1. Ok. Tell you what, we might also make the Friday one more of a wrap up of the week and see how that works. Please give feedback.

        1. +1 That would be a great and really appreciated step. Thanks and for the communication. Loving Wikitribune. Thanks to all contributors for that too.

          If we could then just sign up for the Friday one, that might also be a next step. But actually that should be fairly easy for users to filter out themselves with tools like GMail anyway.

          1. Isn’t Friday ‘Take The Trash Out Day’? Do you think that choosing Friday for a roundup, rather than say Sunday for example, might add to the attractiveness of attempting to bury unwanted news on a Friday?

      2. Thank you for your feedback, we will be looking to introduce more flexible newsletter subscription options

        1. Thanks Natalia. And for contributing to such a desperately needed and potentially valuable service to our society. All the best.

  22. A useful feature could be to allow people to contribute facts and their sources in bullet point format without writing the article content, then allowing others to write the actual story using whatever facts and sources have been gathered. For any given article/project, there could be a page with bullet points of facts/sources ready to be added to the written article. It’s easy for me to stay in either “fact-gathering” mode or writing mode but I’m not as efficient when switching between the two.

    1. We’ve been wondering exactly this. Do you have any examples of what you think might work? I have been thinking of a sort of add a fact or a factbox thing for this very reason that a fact is clearer and in a sense more self-contained than an assertion or report.

    2. Thanks Dan, good idea. We can definitely experiment with that

      1. In which case, articles should have an assigned status (and thinking aloud here): work-in-progress released frozen.

        The concept of freezing stories might be useful? In the sense of accepting only corrections.

        Which leads to the notion of versioning stories. So, like Wikipedia, readers can refer to an earlier incarnation using a dedicated URL.

        Indeed I look forward to the day WikiTribune abandons WordPress and commissions its own platform software.

        1. Riffing off of this idea, one of the challenges as a reader of WT is that articles are alive. Articles can stick around for a while and sometimes get new information and sometimes don’t. If new versions were classified based on how large the change was, and you do basic user tracking, it would be possible to be smarter about which articles are presented to the user.

          For example, when I log onto the site, the first articles could all be new ones that I haven’t seen or clicked on and articles that I’ve read that have received significant updates. Below that could be articles that I’ve seen, but haven’t clicked on, and below that (possibly hidden behind a button), articles that I’ve clicked on that haven’t had significant updates since I clicked.

          If you’re highly concerned about privacy, you could implement this with all of the tracking data stored on the users client.

          1. Thanks Zeke, great idea. Customisation is something that we definitely want to experiment with once we get more content on the site.

    3. I also think this would lower the barriers to more people contributing.

      IMHO, it is perhaps even more relevant to raise dialogue about what the most important points are and how the communication should be structured than to fill in the language between. This innovation of agility could raise the level of dialogue, accelerate its dissemination, while both broadening it and keeping each focus more pertinent.

      1. I didn’t mean to diminish the importance and value of the communication that comes with good use of language or even prose, just to add my two pence worth that Dan’s suggestion could enhance collaboration effectiveness by allowing people to do what they are best at, or more importantly, to not feel constrained from contributing by what they are less confident at.

  23. The WT logo is broken in Firefox 58 on Windows 10:

    It’s an SVG file, not a font.

    It renders correctly in Edge 16, where it is served as a PNG file, but with the bottom of the letters slightly trimmed off, which looks like a design decision without the comparison to Chrome…

    Mostly correct in Chrome 64, where it’s apparently served as the same SVG as in Firefox.

    Note that Edge doesn’t actually need a PNG. It renders SVGs fine, including the SVG served to FF and Chrome (I just opened the SVG directly in Edge to see). Though in this case the PNG is a smaller file and maybe should be served everywhere. Or not.

    Haven’t had time to look at the SVG markup to see what’s happening in FF.

  24. I just read “Why American healthcare is so expensive” and was stunned by how amazing it was to read a balanced news article. I honestly had no idea how much pleasure I’d find in doing such a thing.
    Being a Canadian I don’t really have a dog in that race except indirectly but I immediately signed on to WikiTribune as a grateful reader.

    1. Gosh, that is good of you. Charlie will see this too. I’d be interested if you could dissect it a bit more. (No pun intended but it’s not a bad one).

  25. Hi, is it possible to star a page/story/project in some way, like in Wikipedia, so that we can keep an eye on something of particular interest to us that we forsee potentially contributing to in future?

    A ‘subscribe’ option like in GitHub might be even more valuable so that we can be notified of specific types/levels of change to those pages/stories/projects when they happen.

    All the best to WikiTribune!

    1. Seconding this would be a useful feature for contributors. A ‘subscribe’ or at least a ‘star’ option would help my workflow.

  26. Along the same lines as Richards comments, Flipboard integration for online/ off line reading would be well received.

    1. Hi Christopher, thanks for your suggestion. We’ve registered our feed on Flipboard, just waiting the application to be approved.

  27. Hi Natalia, please could I put in a request for some form of offline reading capability for those of us who travel by tube or plane.
    The Guardian do this really well through their iOS app & the FT also did it well via a web-app (before they moved back to an iOS app last year.)

    1. Thanks Richard, mobile apps including offline reading capability are on our roadmap for this year.

  28. I’d like to see who or what profits from the continuation of an absolutely impotent drug war…
    Perhaps beginning with a detailed analysis of the effects of the drug war versus the effect of the disease of addiction… Separate them then look at how they effect each other.

    I’m a retired addiction counselor and college professor… And there is a sufficient amount of information to indicate that much of what is being blamed on drugs is, in fact, caused by the drug war.

  29. Pros / Cons of having a partnership with The Guardian or other similar groups?

  30. What about a dedicated discussion forum for Wikitribune?

    Where people can upvote ideas and ask questions. Where you see at a glance which questions and ideas have been done and answered. Where the community can discuss things together and @mention each other. Where good comments rise to the top, so they won’t get overlooked. And where one sees what others disagree about.

    You can use Talkyard for this. I’m developing it, and it’s free and open source. You could place it at, and later on integrate it with people’s accounts here at, via single-sign-on.


    What are your thoughts? B.t.w. Talkyard has Slack chat features too, so you could use it as a combined forum + real time chat.

    (Personally I think Wikitribune right now is missing out on meaningful discussions and ideas, because of only using this Talk page.)

    1. Hi KajMagnus, we are aware of limitations of current Talk pages, and looking to improve the existing functionality. Upvoting, mentioning, better search are some things that we will be looking to improve.

      Thanks for the link to talkyard, I’ll take a look.


  31. NEW YORK – Feb 5th– Dear Wikitribune team, cc Natalia Avdeeva, Phil Collins

    Thank you. Really. I’ve been hanging out with journalists to get my news and my conversation since before I can remember. This is a splendid idea you’re working on and I’m glad the monthlies did not get charged for nothing.

    The newsrooms of the past, present, and future have placed their trust in practice and practitioners of graphic design. This is how iconic papers – Times, FT, Guardian, etc. – have become part of cultural fabric and national identity.

    While I may be weary of commenting on logos, as it would be a bit inconsiderate and maybe brash, a dedicated DESIGN (product? is that too tech-y?) TALK would be an important forum to improve the product. Mainly I think it is needed to improve the mobile experience and perhaps even to maintain the beginnings of a community-driven bugtrack.

    Thank you, again.

    Ermolay Romanov

    1. Hi Ermolay,

      Thank you for your kind words and for the suggestions.

      You are right, it probably makes sense to start dedicated forums around digital product, design, editorial processes, content etc. When we just launched, we thought it would be more convenient to have one space to drive all discussions around WikiTribune improvements (as boundaries between topics can sometimes be blurred), but it doesn’t have to stay that way once we grow.

      In the meantime, please share your ideas on this page or email at [email protected].


  32. The “Talk” field overlaps the news text field. Is that intended? It’s distracting.

    1. Hi Jan, what device / browser you use?

        1. Thanks Jan. Any chance you could email a screenshot of what you see at [email protected]? Thanks for your help!

  33. Hi Guys
    just started reading your site and enjoy same, like your attempt to get
    every thing as accurate as possible. So I was a quite surprised to see your
    article “What does this EU pesticide review mean for bees?” features a
    pic of a European Wasp which is normally classed as a pest.
    Sorry to be so petty but it caused a few chuckles here.

    1. Hi Bruno. It does look like a wasp but it’s actually a solitary bee. However I am going to change the picture so it’s more obviously a bee.

  34. Hey guys, any chance we could get the daily e-mail newsletter in podcast form – sort of like NPR and BBC do their headlines on Funnel? I myself find that things have a higher chance of disappearing in my e-mail inbox than in my podcast subscription list. If you guys need help setting it up, let me know – I’m available 👋🏻

    1. Do you mean an NPR 4-6 min latest news segment, updated on the hour? I think that’s an excellent idea. It might be a bit tough to figure out exactly what headlines filter down to “top stories” as it takes significant editorializing, though. I wonder if folks have any thoughts as to whether editors do this on their own or use some sort of crowdsourced data to help determine what is a top story.

    2. Hi Alexander, thanks for the idea and for offering your help. Do you mean automatically converting text into a podcast feed? Could be interesting, if there is demand among our readers for this.

      On a related note, we now have RSS feeds exposed on the site:

      1. Hi Natalia! What I mean is something more like Leo C suggested, a news segment in which somebody reads the news out loud like a newscaster. In my mind, at least to just get started with, this would be the ‘audio version’ of the WikiTribune newsletter, sounding somewhat like these NPR segments do:

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