Wikipedia:WikiProject Newspapers/Learning resources

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Lists of newspapersEdit

One of the first articles that should be created is a list of newspapers for a given country or Administrative Division within a country. Lists have been created for all U.S. states, Territories, Washington, D.C., and other countries already and templates exist to show all Lists within a Continent or State. The list would be named [[List of newspapers in Country]] or [[List of newspapers in State]]. It would contain an introductory paragraph and one or more sections, such as:

  • Daily newspapers
  • Special interest newspapers
  • College newspapers
  • Other newspapers, local newspapers
  • Defunct newspapers (Sometimes the defunct newspapers are listed in a separate article or are broken out by century)

The list should have one or more categories:
[[Category:Newspapers in State| List of newspapeers]]
[[Category:Media in Country]] or [[Category:Newspapers in Country]] for countries other than the United States or United Kingdom

Lists of newspapaers in U.S. States usually contains the following in a see also section:
* [[Media in State]]
* [[:Category:Journalists from State]]

{{hidden begin|title = U.S. newspapers|titlestyle = background:#cdc8b8}}
{{U.S. Newspaper Footer|State=State}}
{{hidden end}}

The talk page of the List should have the template, {{WikiProject|class=List|importance=High}} in it. Lists of newspapers in countries should have importance=Top. Lists of newspapers within a state or administrative region should have importance=High. Other High level importance articles would include major national newspapers. Other newspapers would either be Mid or Low importance, depending on the level of notability.

It is convenient to add the top of each newspaper article within a Country/State a {{See also|List of newspapers in Country/State}}, so that user will be aware of how to find other newspapers within the Country or State/Administrative Region.

Country templatesEdit

The continent and country templates are used to navigate newspapers by location.

Preparing to write newspaper articles for a certain stateEdit

Short video on the value of having Wikipedia articles about newspapers

The following are the recommended steps in preparing to write a newspaper article:

  1. Determine the name and location of the newspaper. A location of the newspaper is need to uniquely identify a named newspaper. Some newspaper names are very common, such as the Chronicle, The Post, etc. Use the exact name of the newspaper in the text of an article. However, the article name may need to have the location in it to form a unique article, e.g. The Post (Ohio newspaper) and The Post (Texas newspaper).
  2. Determine whether the newspaper is already in a [[List of newspapers in "State"]] article, e.g. List of newspapers in Minnesota, List of newspapers in Washington, D.C., List of newspapers in North Carolina. Newspapers that already have articles will have blue links. Newspapers without articles will either have red links or no links at all. If the newspaper is not in the state list, add it to the appropriate list within the state list. Some large state lists are broken up into separate sections for daily newspapers, special interest newspapers, college newspapers, local newspapers, and defunct newspapers.
  3. Do research to determine if the newspaper is notable. If notable, proceed to write an article or draft article.
  4. There may already be a draft article. Check the "States" tab of WikiProject Newspapers, and click on your state. Is there already a Draft article on the newspaper.
    • The simplest versions of a state page will look like this -- a resources section and a section with simple list of links.
    • A more developed "state page" will look like this -- the list of links is still there, but it follows a detailed list of "resources" (potential source materials to consult, etc.) and the papers in the list are divided into sections, reflecting how much work they require, whether the work has been begun, etc.
    • Familiarize yourself with the relevant reference materials. If your "state page" already lists some, take a close look at them; get a feel for what kind of information each one has to offer. If an important resource is not available online, check it out at the library.
  5. Do some independent research on resources relevant to your state.
    • Do web searches for phrases like "<state name> newspaper history" etc. Be creative; if you find that there are scholars who have delved into the topic, add their names into your search strings. Search on the titles of several prominent newspapers in your state. Etc. Use Google's specific "news" and "books" searches, and play with the options -- restrict the date ranges, etc.
    • Visit your library and look for books on the history of journalism.
    • Check some general sources, and search for your state's name. For example, there are some full issues of the newspaper The Fourth Estate (focused on jourmalism) available and searchable online.
  6. Keep notes on what you learn on the State page above -- for your own later reference, as well as for your fellow Wikipedians!
  7. By now, you should be developing a sense of what newspapers have received a good deal of coverage, and/or have had the strongest influence in your state. Do some research on those specific papers, and you will probably find additional resources.
  8. Start the article as a draft or create the article if you have sufficient information to create the basic article. (see instructions below).

Highly recommended newspaper article elementsEdit

The Infobox newspaper is used to show the basic data about a newspaper and appears at the top of the article. In general, an article about a newspaper should include all of the following {{Infobox newspaper}} template elements:
{{Infobox newspaper
| name =
| foundation =
| founder =
| editor =
| publisher =
| owners =
| headquarters =
| publishing_city =
| publishing_country =
| circulation =
| circulation_date =
| circulation_ref =
| type =
| oclc =
| ISSN =
| website = {{URL| }}

The text portion of the article should contain

  • At least one inline reference citation besides the newspaper itself. Use cite web, cite news, or cite book references
  • Previous names of the newspaper and dates they were used.
  • Notable awards the newspaper has received
  • Whether the newspaper is still being printed and whether there is a digital or Facebook version of the newspaper

If this information is not available after search, find the best alternative -- an old circulation number, the earliest known date published. If the publisher is not known make sure the owner is listed.

Here's a general outline of an article, with notes, about the fictional "Metropolis Bulletin". Be sure to look at it in "edit source" mode as well, to see the wikitext that generates the article.

Note for contests: For the purposes of the charity challenge, whether each page has met these requirements will be determined by a team of researchers and students from Wellesley College, who have been doing research in this area, particularly in how absence of well-developed Wikipedia pages on news sources adversely affects the public's ability to judge credibility.

Stages of article developmentEdit

We recommend following this sequence as you create a new article:

  1. 'Add the basic newspaper information to the List of newspapers in Country/State: Every newspaper, both current and defunct, should be added to the existing list of newspapers in the State of country, regardless of its notability. The required information, as discussed above includes the name of the newspaper, the location, frequency of publication, year founded, year ceased publication for defunct newspapers, owner/publisher, and references.
  2. Assess notability: Before you put much work into a new article, it's important to determine whether or not it meets a Wikipedia "notability guideline" -- that is, whether sufficient source materials exist to justify its inclusion on Wikipedia. If you publish an article on a newspaper that is later deemed not to meet the threshold, your article will likely be deleted. The general notability guideline is the overall rule; there are more specific definitions for various topic areas, but not for newspapers. (There's a draft of a new guideline here; it might be helpful to look at this, but keep in mind this is not a formally accepted guideline!) Basic rule of thumb: Your newspaper should be mentioned prominently in a book, journal, or news article about newspapers (e.g., "History of Journalism in <State> or <County>"), plus 2-3 more independent sources, such as lists of winners of statewide or national awards; online databases of information about newspapers; biographies of founders or editors of the paper; etc.
  3. Draft: Start your article as a "draft." A draft is publicly visible and editable, but it will not be found by standard searches on Wikipedia, Google, Bing, etc., and there are essentially no standards you have to meet; it will stay online for at least a few months, permitting you to gradually get it to a state you are confident is worthy of publishing as a true Wikipedia article. To start a draft article, click the appropriate "Draft:..." link on the title of the paper on the state page.
  4. Stub: A stub is the minimum version of an article worthy of publication on Wikipedia. Once you have a few sentences about the paper with the most important information, with proper inline footnotes to a few source materials, you can "move" the page, removing the word "Draft:" from its title. This will effectively "publish the article on Wikipedia." If you're new to Wikipedia, it's strongly recommended that you have a more experienced Wikipedian review your draft prior to publishing a stub. If you're a student working on an assignment, check with your instructor; or, you can always leave a note on this project's talk page: WT:WPNEWS
  5. Start: A "start class" article is generally considered to be a bit more complete than a "stub." For the purposes of our project, an important element would be including a basic infobox. See Assessment Criteria for details.
  6. [higher quality ratings]: Wikipedia has a system of quality ratings. This WikiProject is focused on quantity (above a basic quality threshold) more than quality; we aim to start 1,000 "stub"- or "start"-class newspaper articles. But for context, the quality ratings you should be aware of are these:
    stub—start—C—B—Good Article—Featured Article
    The final two (Good and Featured) require formal peer reviews; the levels lower than that are frequently self-assessed.
    If you want to know more, see: Wikipedia:Content assessment

Other learning resourcesEdit

This 6 minute demonstration video will give you an overview of how to create an article that looks about like this one.