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Sources – where WikiTribune staff look first

Talk (11)


Alan Hutchinson

"For an alternative attitude to Syria,..."

Alan Hutchinson

"Sorry. Correction. The URL of Reporte..."

Alan Hutchinson

"Your list of primary trusted sources ..."
Peter Bale

Peter Bale

"Joel, absolutely use CTV or CBC or th..."

We have a young team at WikiTribune and in order to focus their attention on reputable sources and sources as close as possible to stories they may need to refer to, I wrote them a guide to “preferred sources.” This doesn’t mean they’re the only source, it just means staff can usually be pretty certain the report is from where it says it is and that if there is an error that it will be corrected clearly and as quickly as possible.

The feedback on our original posting on this list has been interesting with a number of community members urging us to broaden the range. We do so on a daily basis in our actual work and I will keep this list fresh too. We are also encouraging the team to look for multiple sources and points of view on stories they need to refer to others on.

Here’s the guide staff are currently working with as of October 24, 2017:

Staff should consider sources from this list as reliable and ethical places. Sources in the first section can be hyperlinked directly, the second section requires description.

Any links or materials from other news sources should be clearly attributed and explained, such as “human rights group Amnesty International” or “the U.S. Weather Bureau.”

The list is not exhaustive or final. It is a group of news organisations which are transparent, have large or effective networks and have robust processes or corrections and attribution. We should aim to drill down to the original source which is frequently AP or Reuters. This is not a substitute for our own sourcing and fact-checking. It is an aid to sourcing information on events we may not be able to get to or get information on effectively.

Preferred news sources which do not require specific attribution beyond the hyperlink to the original source:

Associated Press
BBC News

Sources we’re comfortable linking to for hard news but which require attribution in addition to the hyperlink include:

New York Times
Washington Post
The Financial Times
Wall Street Journal
The Economist

BuzzFeed Investigations
The New Yorker

The Guardian
The Times
(of London)
Agence France Presse

[Links to opinion, commentary or editorials on these sites must be distinctly marked and labeled as that to distinguish from hard news reports.]

Sources we believe staff can use with reasonable certainty of quality processes at the publisher:

The Atlantic
Wellcome Trust
Bureau of Investigative Journalism, London
Caixin, China
Rappler, Philippines
Gazeta Wyborcza ,
El Confidencial — Spain
De Correspondent
The Intercept
[reporting rather than commentary]
Center for Investigative Reporting,
San Francisco
Die Zeit, Hamburg
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Munich
The Sydney Morning Herald
South China Morning Post
El País, Spain

Additional considerations:

  • Is it clear they had the information first? If in doubt attribute to the original if you can.
  • Are they putting a spin on an original report from elsewhere? If in doubt who is actually on the spot.
  • Do they have expertise in the area you are sourcing to them on?
  • Can I more effectively source this material directly myself?

History for projects "Sources – where WikiTribune staff look first"

Select two items to compare revisions

13 November 2017

11:17:04, 13 Nov 2017 . .‎ Fiona Apps (Updated → Accepting minor edit)

11 November 2017

13:53:00, 11 Nov 2017 . .‎ Clive Tabraham (Updated → edit)

01 November 2017

14:35:32, 01 Nov 2017 . .‎ Lydia Morrish (Updated → Formatting fix)

29 October 2017

17:26:39, 29 Oct 2017 . .‎ Peter Bale (Updated → Set Help-FAQ)

28 October 2017

20:35:24, 28 Oct 2017 . .‎ Charles Anderson (Updated → tidy up)

Talk for Project "Sources – where WikiTribune staff look first"

Talk about this Project

  1. Your list of primary trusted sources does not surprise me but it is worrying.
    The BBC news is not reliable. Almost everything they state is true, but their choices of statements, and their juxtapositions, are sometimes completely misleading.
    Here are two examples: the conflict in Syria, and supposed antisemitism in the British Labour Party.
    The various wars there are very mixed and confused. I do not understand them. However a few things are evident. To start with, the BBC has not been impartial. There is a wide range of authoritative academics who give different analyses. A better source is the London Review Of Books. Also, the BBC has not been clear in its reporting of other conflicts nearby. Maybe thirty years ago, a US battleship spent a while off the coast of Lebanon firing shells into that poor country. The BBC reported that fact, but after a while it struck me they never explained why the USA chose to do that. At least, I never heard them explain it. Also, they vary somewhat in the way they describe President Assad, but as far as I can tell they always suggest he is in the wrong. A quarter of a century ago, I was personal tutor to Emma Akhras when she studied Computer Science at Kings College London. She set high standards both in her work and in personal conduct, and she did not look kindly on anyone who did not. If her husband President Assad were not basically decent then I doubt she would have stood with him as she has done.
    Anti semitism:
    BBC Radio4 news has been consistently libellous about Jeremy Corbyn. In particular, the “antisemitism” story is a total concoction. Typically, a BBC statement about it takes the form: “A Labour supporter said something silly and unpleasant..”. First, who is to say who is a Labour supporter? The Labour Party has no effective way to vet members. It is easy for political enemies to join and then make such statements. Second, what is antisemitism? It could mean a dislike of any one of a wide range of attributes, e.g. 1 Jewish ancestry. 2 orange hair and a funny nose. 3 involvement in Jewish culture. 4 citizenship of the state of Israel. 5 aggressive Zionism. Allegations of anti semitism are very hard to refute because the word “antisemitism” is so confused. Third, a few supposedly reputable genuine Labour Party members have actually joined in. Just very recently, late March this year, Tony Blair did. I don’t know why. He may be sincere. Even so, he may believe earlier BBC propaganda and be echoing it. It is also possible he is under pressure from above. He is a member of the UKs lawmaking body, a secret committee called the Privy Council. As such, he is bound to obedience. If the senior members of the Privy Council have decided to try to destroy Labour chances under Corbyn, and if they have told Blair to take part, he has to. The BBC may be under similar control.
    For an alternative view of news sources, please see a web site called Reporters Sans Frontieres
    on the WorldWideWeb. It ranks nations by their levels of press freedom. When I last looked, the UK was fortieth. That is not good. The best place to look for uncensored news seems to be Scandinavia.

    1. Sorry. Correction. The URL of Reporters Sans Frontieres is
      Google “corrected” my typing.

    2. For an alternative attitude to Syria, unlike that of the BBC: see
      Hugh Roberts
      “The Hijackers”
      London Review Of Books
      37(4) pages 5-10, 16 July 2015

  2. This isn’t a source for breaking news and isn’t a newspaper, but I was wondering if some sort of partnership or connection would work with intelligence squared debates. The debates are always very topical and informative and seem like many would be logical stories.

    1. Interesting. We can certainly look at taking in some of their content. Will do.

  3. What about and are they reliable sources of news? Also is it worth having a blacklist of news sources, that should not be trusted?

    1. Interesting idea on a blacklist. Members of the community have started a list of sources here:
      We do occasionally refer to The Independent and The Telegraph but I would argue that they are often less than clear about the original source of material which is often Associated Press or Reuters news agencies.

  4. What would you consider a good source in Canada? I know that Reuters & Associated Press; however, if we look at CTV News or CBC News, can we use those as well?

    I’ve mentioned it before, but I’d like to start contributing and would like to make sure that I’m following the guidelines.

    1. Joel, absolutely use CTV or CBC or the Globe & Mail, all of which have high standards but I would always attribute anything you are referring to from them. Remember this guide was really for the staff team to get them up to speed and referring to known high quality sources – slightly subjectively. I am actually thinking of ensuring we identify every source.

  5. These are great sources, but wondering if we might also consider adding, the US equivalent of the BBC, to the list of sources? And possibly The Atlantic, which has recently beefed up its news team and tends to straddle the left-right divide in the US pretty effectively?

    1. Thanks Eric. I do agree both are strong and credible and I think relatively transparent in fixing errors which is what part of this is about. Peter

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