We wrote this guide to set out how we would wish WikiTribune staff dotted around the world to engage with members of the community as engaged and supportive equals.
Editorial Team engagement with Community, V1.2 plan
The community is the secret to WikiTribune and interaction with collaborators is a privilege to be embraced by our staff editorial team.
The most effective means of interacting with those who wish to contribute content or edits will evolve but our current approach is informed by the experience of Wikipedia and the importance of TALK and PROJECT pages. We will use those methods first.
All our STORIES will also contain open invitations to engage. As our design evolves the pathways for the community to engage with us and vice versa will become clear and more natural than just through messages and fixed navigation.
The editorial staff of WikiTribune should consider themselves to be “producers” creating or starting STORIES, curating PROJECTS and participating in TALK sessions and bringing them all together based on professional judgment, the news flow and the need to maintain publishing frequency.
It is likely our news cycle will be longer than a more common 24-hour news cycle in order to preserve the “long tail” of community comments and engagement with a given piece of copy.
Staff journalists can expect to spend up to HALF their time interacting with the community on your own pieces and working to edit and help to PUBLISH STORIES from the community.
We ask staff journalists to:
- Use PROJECTS to seek input and engagement from the community: “I want to work on x.” and use the TALK section actively. Create a “Story Under Construction” on WikiProject for stories which break out of TALK pages into articles.
- Start “Story Under Construction” with a clear mission statement or introduction on what the story is about and what sort of help you’re seeking.
- Update your “what am I working on now” status regularly on your profile and link across to the relevant Project or Story Under Construction
- Offer expert interviewees the option to do a Q&A with the community
- Be a conversation leader — and a good sharer — off our network by using your Twitter handle to make requests, share material and expand @wikitribune reach. Go further and be ready to represent WikiTribune, invite users to join or visit.
When updating stories by collaborators, staff journalists are encouraged to both EDIT the stories directly and engage on the TALK page with advice and comments as equals.
Journalists should be doing what is needed to get the STORY to a publishable state and should be generous in their approach to “triage” and to feedback to non-expert collaborators. We cannot always expect 100 percent adherence to style.
We welcome your EDITS and TALK on this.