U.S. Politics

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Project: U.S. Politics is a platform for providing and discussing politics in the United States. For related Projects go to ‘See Also’ below.

You can pitch ideas on the TALK page, or for more topical issues, on the Daily News Agenda.

Stories in Progress

  • The Mueller inquiry and the developing news that President Donald Trump’s disgraced former National Security Advisor General Michael Flynn may be prepared to testify that then candidate Trump directed him to communicate with Russia on his behalf.
    – Right now we’re reporting this story inside the WikiTribune Briefing
    – We’re kicking off an EMERGING story if you want to add information or TALK
  • What’s in the J.F.K Assassination Papers: What’s in them, what’s left out
    • Goals: 1) Compile the important takeaways from these unclassified documents. 2) Identify stories that are unreported or underreported by other news outlets. Be sure to explain why these stories matter.
    • The Reporting Team: This story will be 100 percent community-driven. Community member Pete Young will lead the project, WikiTribune reporter Charles Turner will work in a supportive capacity.
    • Thousands of JFK assassination papers released — but not all
  • Trump Lifts Elephant Hunting Ban: Story on trophy hunting of endangered species.

Existing Stories That May Need Updating

Rough guidelines and tips:

  1. Avoid partisan reporting. Let the reader take what they want away from the article.
    • Just because a subject comes across in a negative/positive light, does not mean coverage is ‘skewed’. Reporting on the facts is very different from steering the reader towards a conclusion. We should always aim to do the former.
  2. Primary sources are always better. Here are some great ways to get primary sources
    1. FOIA requests, form is below. If you know of a data set or a document that’s not publicly available, request it from the agency that has it. You must do those two things first, make sure the information exists, and then make sure you’re requesting from the right agency. NOTE 1: There may be a small fee // NOTE 2: Police departments are notoriously difficult to FOIA.
    2. Elected representatives: Senators or Representatives, on all level of government, will meet regularly with their constituents, if not take emails or calls. Try to contact their offices, or themselves in person.
  3. Cite the .gov website when reporting on new laws, rather than any secondary coverage. This helps ensure accuracy in reporting.
  4. Whenever making a statement about an event, statistics, something someone said, or a policy, link to the source.
  5. This is a given for all of our articles, but is particularly crucial for articles about politics: Never present anyone’s opinion as facts. In the event that an author includes a personal opinion, it must be clearly stated as such, with the person’s expertise in the area explicitly presented.
  6. Use the full name of the organization initial capitals every time they are mentioned e.g. Central Intelligence Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Supreme Court of the United States. Do not use more vague terms e.g. the justice department, the immigration department etc. This avoids ambiguity. The same goes for politicians and civil servants – include their position or job title when they are first mentioned in an article. Capitalize job titles but descriptions can be lowercase e.g. President Donald Trump later becomes the president.

Before creating your story, remember to check out our how-to guide, style guidelines, and a list of sources most trusted by the WikiTribune staff.

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