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Copied from Talk:Main Page. The original section was at: Talk:Main Page#ITN issues in detail


Short Summary by Eraserhead1Edit

There have been a number of complaints made about the In the News processes. This proposal is to make the guidelines more specific and clearer so that outdated news isn't displayed on the main page and that the news coverage is more consistent across topics. The aim of the proposal is to increase participation.

The main way of doing this is to create a template (see below) which has several criteria to formalise and streamline nominations with the idea that each nomination is checked as to whether it meets those criteria. As well as the traditional news requirements these criteria also give some weight to articles which are Good article class or higher.

Additionally there is a monthly target of posting 60 stories, which is more in line with the other sections on the main page and which means a story should be posted on average every 12 hours. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:10, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Please see the #Discussion section below for comments. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:14, 6 March 2011 (UTC)

Listed on WP:CENT. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:18, 6 March 2011 (UTC)


  • I don't think that changing the label and leaving the same ITN process will do any good. The issues regarding poor ITN performance have been raised too often in the last months, and either some action is taken, or we'll see more complaints in the future, which could lead to a compete scrapping of the section from the Main Page one day. I have collected a set of proposals for improvement of the ITN process, both suggested by other editors and my own. I think it is better to discuss the proposals here (at least initially) than on the ITN talk page, since the interest of the wider community may help to implement some actual changes, while the conservative attitudes of regular ITN editors are more likely to get all proposed changes sunk in the discussions with no outcome. GreyHood Talk 21:42, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • A) Increasing ITN participation. ITN needs more regular editors, more admins and more people that are not regulars but nominate something from time to time. This will help to post more news and update more articles, as well as improve balance of topics.
    • This is not so much a proposal, but rather an aim and indicator of success of proposals below or other possible proposals. If we manage to make ITN nomination process less slow, more predictable and friendlier to non-regular editors, than I'm sure we'll achieve the aim of inreasing participation.
    • However, specific actions could be taken to try to increase participation. For example, I've seen a number of people leaving messages on the talk pages of new users encouraging them to nominate their articles for DYK. Something similar could be tried for ITN, if there are people who are ready to take the task.
    • A link such as "Nominate an article" could be permanently added to the ITN box on the Main Page, so that every MP editor could easily find the ITN/C and nominate something.
  • B) Making ITN guidelines more specific. The main page of WP:ITN, the WP:ITN/C and other ITN-related pages should contain a more clear statement of ITN purpose for the encyclopedia, highlighting its similarities to, as well as differences from an ordinary news ticker.
    • The minimum requirements for posting the news should be stated in detail and in prominent places: the age of the news, the expected size of update, requirements of neutrality, non-violating copyrights and BLP, etc (see below, the last proposal).
    • Detailed recommendations should be made on what news items are considered non-trivial: international significance, rarity of the event, major effects on a large number of people, etc (see below, the last proposal)
    • The ITN policies should give Featured, Good and A-class articles, as well as Featured lists a priority in posting (though the trivial news involving such articles should be excluded, of course).
    • Wikipedia:In the news/Recurring items should be expanded (The voting for the new ITN/R proposals is already under way, so at least this point is already in the midst of implementation).
  • C) Making sure that ITN doesn't display outdated news. This is a major source of complaints concerning ITN, and should be dealt with. Whatever we call ITN and whatever encyclopedic applications it will have, the basic idea behind ITN is a news ticker. And this news ticker should not be ridiculously slow. ITN should be made closer in dynamics to other parts of the MP, and the articles on ITN should not enjoy too much display on the MP compared to articles in the other sections.
    • We could make removal of an obviously outdated news a part of the instruction for admins. This will cause, however, problems with MP balance that will have to be solved in the other MP sections.
    • The ITN timer should be set turning red after 12 hours, or at least yellow after 12 hours and red after 24 hours, so that to encourage posting of at least 2 news items per day. This will help to save the readers from stale news.
    • The goal of posting an average 2 news per day and 60 news per month should be made a clear priority in the ITN guidelines, a measure of quality of ITN performance.
  • D) Formalizing ITN discussion process. The discussion process on WP:ITN/C should be made more formal, clear and predictable, and at the same time faster. ITN should include a review procedure, like it happens on DYK. Below I propose a form for the nomination review, which includes the typical criteria for the nominated blurb and article.

Formalized templateEdit

  • Basics
    • Blurb: A Significant event has occurred in Someplace that resulted in things happening.
      • ( Pass if the blurb is well-worded and correct,  Fail otherwise)
    • Article(s): Updated article
      • ( Pass if the article exists,  Fail if not, or if it is only marginally related to the event)
  • Minimum criteria
    • Date: Date
      • ( Pass if the event is less than 5 days old,  Fail otherwise)
    • In the news: A news source from country A, A news source from country B
      • ( Pass if there are enough sources,  Fail if too few or if the sources are questionable, or if there is lack of international interest)
    • Update/New article: Diff that shows the update or statement of the new article size
      • ( Pass if the update consists of at least one paragraph or a new article consists of at least 3 well-formed paragraphs and doesn't look like a mini-stub,  Fail otherwise)
    • Style/Referencing: Copyediting is (not) required, references are (not) in place
      • ( Pass/ Fail)
    • Copyright/BLP/NPOV: (No) Copyright/BLP/NPOV issues detected
      • ( Pass/ Fail)
  • Additional criteria
In cases of deaths of prominent individuals, the Death criteria should be used. GreyHood Talk 14:41, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Such a form (we could make a template for it) is filled either by nominator or by any other editor who likes to make a review of a plain nomination. By default, the nomination is posted if it passes with basics, the minimum criteria, and either ITNR or two different additional criteria. Some of the additional criteria may be omitted from review (all but the first one in the case of ITN/R), and the whole procedure could be omitted ("speedy nomination") in case of too obviously significant event which has a good article (for example, in case of FIFA World Cup Final).
After initial review is made, the other editors either confirm that everything is all right, or help fixing the "failed" points, or disagree with a reviewer and change review marks to opposite or to  , notifying of the change in their comments and explaining the reason. If an issue is addressed by someone, the mark is changed with notification in a comment. If at least one user, except the reviewer, confirmes that everything is all right, and all issues are addressed, an administrator checks the review history and posts the nomination. There should be no support/oppose votes, just comments on how nomination passess or fails particular criteria.
Hope this doesn't look too complex. Anyway, most of the current discussions on ITN go along these lines, and if we make a formal procedure, this may make things faster, though it will require more work from nominators/reviewers. Also, this will highlight the issues, and encourage nominators to prepare beforehand and propose articles that should pass the basics and minimum criteria, and choose news which are likely to pass more of the additional criteria. GreyHood Talk 21:42, 5 March 2011 (UTC)


Comment I think this is a good proposal, but its going to need an RFC I think. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:24, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree, this is getting to a stage where a self-contained RfC is needed. —WFC— 00:58, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Support the criteria aren't totally black and white, which does allow some latitude, but it should make discussions simpler, and for the criteria to be applied more consistently. Additionally it should be easy for admins to see what is worthy of posting. With the target as well it should lead to a similar quality of stuff being posted from different topics - I think 60 articles a month is a good target, but I see no reason it cannot be changed afterwards if the consensus is to post more or less content. I don't think there is any issue with the template criteria, they seem very well thought through - I think giving some weight to good content is a good idea. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:31, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Remove the section altogether per WP:NOTNEWS. Lugnuts (talk) 09:38, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
    • That's not the point of ITN at all. ITN isn't around as a news ticker, but to showcase encyclopedic articles about events that are in the news. Strange Passerby (talkcontribsEditor review) 10:09, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment Although I've yet to see both of these arguments in the same sentence, there are those who use the notion that ITN is not a news ticker to argue against reform, yet at other times say that because the name sounds nice we should continue to call stories up to 8 days old news. I'm very much neutral on which way we tackle this from, but surely one or the other has got to give. If we're going to call it "news", we should generally be hitting a three-day turnaround. If on the other hand we are very happy with the way the system runs, we should ditch the ITN moniker on favour of something more relevant. —WFC— 11:14, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Of course if we aren't going to turn round stories reasonably quickly, in a comparable way to other content on the main page it becomes rather difficult to justify the sections existence. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 12:36, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Length of a piece of string issues abound: how large is a large country, how long was long while ago, how many people constitute a large number, what degree of affect is serious? What page of a newspaper/depth of linkage counts as coverage in the media? By this ticklist, the transfer of Robbie Fowler to transfer from North Queensland Fury to Perth Glory would have gone up: earning good article status has nothing to do with significance. Kevin McE (talk) 11:55, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
If article quality is never going to be even a partial criteria, then ITN is definitely a news ticker (if only a very slow news ticker) as it takes no account of the encyclopaedic value of the content.
Additionally while possibly tightening up these criteria would be better we can do so later. Greyhood has done a good job of spelling out the unofficial criteria often used and it gives latitude on ITNC for some discussion. I also don't think its clear that Robbie Fowler's transfer would have gone up, it is a GA, but its hard to argue its internationally significant, and it certainly isn't rare, nor does it affect a large number of people nor is there a precedent.
Now that would mean that if he was the first British player to play in Australia, or it was a record fee transfer in Australia then it could have gone up, but I don't think that would be an issue. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 12:36, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
The criteria may be further specified to a large extent. For example, a "large country" may be defined as a G20 member. A "large number of people" affected depends on the type of event and effect: typically that would be 30 people dead in an aircraft incident or bombing, about 1000 of people displaced due to a flood, etc. GreyHood Talk 17:39, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I think we need a process to overhaul ITN. First, we need to define why the feature exists. Then, we need to name the criteria for what makes a good ITN entry. Then, we can add details about what should be excluded from ITN as well as other factors we should consider (geographic diversity, for example). I would caution against hard-and-fast numerical rules for notability, such as a certain number of people who die in a plane crash. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 19:46, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that hard and fast numerical figures a probably not the best idea. People weren't happy with the suggestion for elections. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:49, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, I've mentioned these your concerns in the proposals above. As for the "hard-and-fast numerical rules" such as numbers of people for determining notability, I'm also against such rules in fact, but I believe that we should have strong recommendations written in the guidelines. GreyHood Talk 20:24, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Mwalcoff, we need to consider how we handle this rather then just diving in to it headlong and hope something good comes out of this (history has shown that doesn't tend to work well on wikipedia with complex issues and substanial participation). For example I personally still believe the Template talk:In the news/Archive 11#Proposal: restructure the section (User:Monotonehell) was a decent idea. In fact I even started a proposal once User:Nil Einne/ITN reform but then decided it would require way too much work then I was willing to contribute so quickly gave up on it. Of course that was a fair time ago and things have moved on since then but I still believe there are a lot of good ideas we can take from there in ITN reform. (Including perhaps consideration of the name.) Not everyone may agree, but without defining what we want from ITN and what we hope to achieve I don't believe we will get anywhere useful. (To repeat an example I mentioned below, saying we want 60 per month which you then say we already get doesn't help explain what you're trying to achieve. To use another example, when most people say ITN is not a news ticker and in your proposal you say 'the basic idea behind ITN is a news ticker', it's also not clear how this is going to lead anywhere useful unless you can first convince people that ITN is a newsticker.) P.S. I would hope the read more about proposal doesn't come as news to any of the proposers since IMHO when you are making a proposal for reform, it's expected you are already somewhat aware of previous proposals, consensus and other common issues. Nil Einne (talk) 14:44, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose under "If its not broke dont try and fix it" ITN works because its largely because its ability to be flexible and often times quick to responding to current events. I have heard a general dislike to ITN do to its alleged promotion of WP:NOTNEWs article and events.... which is total bullshit. We usually screen out WP:NOTNEWS events really well very few item that end up on ITN that would even remotely fall under the criteria. I think our current system is a good screening process before posting articles. I have heard griping thats its the "least dynamic thing on the main page" which is valid observation but not a valid criticism. We get all sort of nominations everyday, i'd geuss we only post maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of stuff nominated. I agree that we need more particpation but no on is but No one thinks ITN is that relevant. But when a Senator gets shot and then ITN get flooded with all sorts of editor clamoring to get our article for the event on the Main page. The Resident Anthropologist (Talk / contribs) 01:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Seems you had written this comment before you actually read the discussion on Talk:Main Page. GreyHood Talk 14:37, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
It is a valid criticism as you could include something else instead that was more dynamic, and get more content onto the front page. Increasing the rate to one post every 12 hours doesn't appear to be far off the 2009 rate anyway. EDIT: Of course if you have a better suggestion of how to deal with the issues with ITN I'm all ears, there may be better solutions than this proposal. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:43, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
If the rate is already what you want, then what exactly are you trying to fix or achieve? How are you going to get more content onto the main page if you've already agreed we're in fact already close to achieving your target. I would note you've made the claim that keeping an item on the main page for 3 days is 3 times longer then FA or FP. This is fairly misleading. FAs are linked to from the main page for 4 days. When they are no longer TFA, they are still linked. Further while SA/OTD items are generally only present for a day, many of them particularly important ones reoccur year after year. Further despite some of the claims above, I haven't see any evidence complaints about ITN are increasing. We have been getting complaints of all sorts (why isn't this item on ITN, why is this item on ITN et al) about ITN since the 6 years I've been here. We've also been getting complaints about language number categories, the general look of the main page, too many games on FA, FA being crap/unimportant, lack of censorship, the cursor not appearing in the search box, and what have you. This doesn't mean all these complains are completely without merit, but it also means we don't have to do something just because there are complaints. So we get back to the question, what do we want to achieve? If we are already close to your desired rate, then it remains unclear. It seems to me a bad idea to try to force us to have an update every 12 hours. The nature of world is that sometimes days go past without anything significant happening, sometimes a series of significant things happen within hours. ITN as it's not a news ticker is by nature is always going to reflect this to some extent. If we are already achieving close to the desired rate, this means we should either hold off on items even when they are ready just so that we have one every 12 hours when in fact they should be posted sooner then that or perhaps even we should exclude important events simply because they happen too close together while adding othr elss important events simply because there's less happening. Either way this seems like a bad idea to me. Now I recognise we could try to add items faster and there are some problems in getting updates, in getting consensus to add an item and in getting someone to add the item but that's a different thing from saying that we need to have one every 12 hours. Nil Einne (talk) 14:31, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
The rate is far from what we want, you must have missed or misunderstood something. In 2009 the rate might have been all right. But now it is not, and during the last two months there were long discussions of ITN problems on Wikipedia talk:In the news and on Talk:Main Page. GreyHood Talk 14:55, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I support all the criteria listed above. I think perhaps we don't need some of the more complex rules there (and either ITNR or two different additional criteria) but overall it looks flexible and clear.--Johnsemlak (talk) 09:22, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
I would like to add that we should keep our Death criteria, which should work well with the above. Also, one of the few criteria for general news items that we do have is that we reject items deemed trivial. I'd suggest adding something along those lines to the minimum requirements above (news item is not 'trivial' or something like that). In general, I do not support exclusionary criteria, but I think that is one basic standard all ITN items should meet.--Johnsemlak (talk) 09:27, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
Absolutely agree on Death criteria, I have added a note to the end of the template. As for the rejecting of items deemed trivial, that also is a valid point, of course. But then we need a definition or criteria of triviality. GreyHood Talk 14:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

  • Remove the section altogether. It doesn't work, it never has worked. Not least because nobody can even agree what the hell it is for, let alone get enough people interested in putting up with its time-wasting idiosynchrasies to make it work as it sort of is intended to work as of now. Take the name for examle - it's clearly utterly wrong, which is pointed out several times each week, yet nothing ever happens. That's before you even get into specific problems of the process:
    • the complete disparity between classes of event considered ITN worthy (elections vs. anything else, space vs. anything else, earthquakes vs. anything else, people pretending 8 completely different motorsports are all the same class of sport, yet variants of handball are all super important world sports etc etc etc, the tedious demand for American college sports while other professional world championships are completely ignored, the posting of the completely expected deaths of Nobel prize winners while ignoring their achievements when alive), and there are frankly a 101 different examples of these completely incomprehensible outcomes, which while they are often defended as 'consensus', ITN is in reality the most lax place on the pedia for demonstrating how to divine what is the properly argued non-vote counted consensus
    • the fact that the divination of 'consensus' in ITN/C discussions flip flops between POV arguments and objective evidence and back again pretty randomly day to day, in a way that would be completely unnacceptable in any other discussion venue
    • the uselesness that is ITN/R notwithstanding which produces most of the problems instead of solving them, the completely arbitrary nature of every single other discussion
    • the complete inability to figure out what needs a sticky or how to deal with ongoing events
    • the waste of time that are the existing clear instructions which require an update before you even think of posting to ITN/C. And we want to make it more beaurocratic? Why? Who even cares if the current rules are being followed?
    • the rather suspect decisions of several admins who turn up now and again and seem to think several aspects of ADMIN don't apply to ITN discussions and post items they vote on and see a mere 3 one word votes as 'overwhelming support' in the face of one detailed rebuttal
    • the time-wasting and tediously repetitive obsession with bias, which is completely and utterly pointless when you can't even answer the question, what's ITN for?
    • the fact that some deaths are posted even though there is a sticky link to recent deaths - why is it even there?
    • the fact that it takes hours to post events that are obvious ITN items and are known about well in advance - the World Cup Final, the Super Bowl, the Wimbledon tennis final, etc etc
    • the fact that it's normally a complete waste of time even suggesting blurbs even in those obvious item circumstances, a passing admin will just draft it however the hell they choose
    • and finally, the fact that for big enough events, or lameness like the Wiki10 posting, it doesn't really matter what the hell any of the regulars think are the facts of the matter of all these issues, as the board is just flooded with votes to simply list or delist an item, which despite NOTAVOTE, is normally pretty successful
  • It's broken, it's irreparable, and it takes up space that could be used so much better. I can say with absolute certainty based on years of experience of ITN, that you aren't going to increase participation without major changes. You aren't going to increase the turnover without major changes. And tweaking the guidelines or the rules is generally a waste of time, and the ones proposed above are miles from the major changes required. There have been proposals to 'reform' ITN for years, they have all been a waste of time as nobody has ever tackled the elephant in the room of its basic purpose, or been prepared to face up to its major problems even if they think that is a settled issue. Everybody is seemingly happy that it just limps on like this without majorly fucking up frequently, while in comparison, things like TFA and DYK are the very epitomy of valuable, structured, understandable processes that absolutely deserve their place on the Main Page. Those processes have undergone many developments over the years, as its easy to do that when you know what the basic purpose of it is, while the only change I've ever seen actually get implented on ITN by contrast, is to get a TOC sorted. The people insisting it's not a news ticker are simply wrong, or are at least completely misguided in their belief that the wider community don't see it as one. It's a news ticker which is simply very slow, as it cannot get its act together and figure out how to be an efficient and usefull news ticker, and cannot figure out how to reform itself to make it not appear as if its a news ticker. And anyone who doesn't think ITN encourages daily creation of articles that are the very epitomy of NOT#NEWS violations, hasn't been watching it long enough. ITN is one of the biggest drivers of the massive and relentless Google age driven RECENTISM MickMacNee (talk) 15:34, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • Agree with you on the fact that ITN is a news ticker (and too slow currently), and will always be a news ticker because it's the basic idea behind it. Disagree that ITN is irrepairable. We just should try to make ITN process more "valuable, structured, understandable" as it is on DYK and TFA. GreyHood Talk 16:18, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • And I hope that comments such as this one by MickMacNee (not the first comment of such kind here and on Talk:Main Page) show the people who underestimate the seriousness of situation, that either we reform something now (the content and extent of the reform is the purpose of discussion) or ITN will just be removed from the Main Page once, and perhaps not long while ahead. GreyHood Talk 16:18, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
      • How do you define "news ticker"? If you mean "something that lists brief, headline-like items pertaining to news," the label fits. But the term typically carries the additional connotation that said entity's intended purpose is to report news (which absolutely does not accurately describe the section, though MickMacNee is correct in stating that such a perception is widespread).
        So if you're merely referring to the section's style, I suggest that you modify your terminology (because the common statement that the section "is not a news ticker" refers to something entirely different and has no bearing on how frequently updates should occur). –David Levy 18:49, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
        • I agree with your definition of a news ticker. But I don't think that reporting news is an additional connotation non-relevant to ITN. ITN's purpuse is reporting news, yes, but the news related to the updated encyclopedic articles. I have already proposed the term "encyclopedic news ticker", that is something that looks and acts basically like an ordinary news ticker, but provides links to the encyclopedic material and serves the purposes of navigation in Wikipedia and further improvement of its content. GreyHood Talk 21:10, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
          • Okay, I believe that we're on the same page (apart from semantics). When I mentioned "the additional connotation that [a news ticker's] intended purpose is to report news," I meant that without qualification. In other words, when people refer to a "news ticker," they generally are thinking of an entity for which that the end is to report news. Conversely, while the section reports news, this functions as a means of directing readers to encyclopedia articles with relevant updates.
            As MickMacNee has noted, many people don't realize this; they mistakenly believe that the section exists simply to report news (without regard for the existence of relevantly updated encyclopedia articles, let along their quality). When people say that the section is "not a news ticker," this is the misconception that we seek to dispel.
            The confusion isn't confined to newbies. Occasionally, administrators lacking experience in this area add items linking to non-updated articles (and sometimes become frustrated/annoyed when they're informed that they were incorrect to add news to a section titled "In the news"). This is why we need to change the name to something not containing the word "news" (and yes, we also need to address other problems). —David Levy 23:28, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
            • As for changing the name, this is not an issue for me, and I'm ready to accept any better name. But so far, I haven't seen any good enough proposals, and ITN with all its drawbacks remains the best variant (short and at least partially describing the purpose of the section). GreyHood Talk 00:06, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
              • That's precisely why our continual name change attempts invariably fail. There is consensus for the general idea, but we've never managed to come up with a title that the community prefers over "In the news." —David Levy 00:15, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
        • As for the problem with the frequency of updates, this is not so much connected to the question of whether ITN is a news ticker, but to a number of facts: that having the stale blurbs standing in the ITN box for over a week, as it frequently happens, is a waste of the MP space; that high rate of the rejected ITN nominations is a waste of editors' time; that the low number of news posted aggravates the problem of topic imbalance. GreyHood Talk 21:10, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
          • I agree that these problems are significant and unrelated to the above "news ticker" issue. —David Levy 23:28, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
    • In response to the "the fact that it takes hours to post events that are obvious ITN items and are known about well in advance - the World Cup Final, the Super Bowl, the Wimbledon tennis final, etc etc" ... items are not posted until there is a suitable update worthy of going on the Main Page. Even though we know who won the Super Bowl, the article is not going up until it is updated, which can take several hours if no one is up to the job. SpencerT♦C 00:29, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
      • I did what looks like a decent update for Seiji Maehara - the Japanese foreign secretary - in 15 minutes, and noone else was even trying, for something like the Superbowl, which has vast amounts of interest, we should easily be able to get something up in an hour. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 00:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
      • I did know this Spencer, infact it's the very reason I listed it - to show that ITN cannot even function in a way a normal reader would expect it to, even in the situations when editors absolutley positively know well in advance that their work at updating an article is guaranteed to be on the Main Page. And it's been that way for years. It's broken. MickMacNee (talk) 00:55, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
        • That's where I think one of the the issues is. With many (but not all) ITN articles, the content is simply updated to reflect recent events, not so it can be posted on ITN. Obviously, because of this, articles take longer to be updated and thus go up, and this is especially seen in such articles such as the Super Bowl. I think we run into ideology differences between ITN and other sections such as DYK, where the articles are generally updated for the Main Page posting and the little banner on your talk page, and for some of the big concerns to be dealt with, perhaps the mindset needs to change. SpencerT♦C 01:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
          • DYK gets its fair share of recent events posted. Even though it has a massive queue all the time, and even though it's now actually quite onerous to qualify for a spot, and now you have to review someone else's submission too, it still kicks ITN's ass all day every day in terms of quality and amount of good quality timely content served to the readers. And I have my doubts whether even half the required updates of ITN items actully come from random Joe's, rather than people who either did it for ITN, or did it as they are serial ITN focused topic editors, or were simply alerted to the need of an update by someone wanting to post it at ITN (which by the rules, shouldn't even be making it to the nominations page). MickMacNee (talk) 03:25, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I think MickMacNee's point is pessimistic, but the best point of the thread so far.
However I do think that if we are prepared to be serious about it we can reform it so its useful.
I think if we include good encyclopaedic articles in the criteria and manage to be consistent across topics (so if there's a business story that's as important as the elections in wherever we think they should be posted it should go up). Now maybe that means that the 2nd generation iPad would be posted (as iPad is a GA) I don't think that matters - to be honest its probably more important than elections in Samoa which we recently posted. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:48, 7 March 2011 (UTC)
You can't possibly think that a head of state change is of lesser importance than a hardware release. That's absurd. A head of state change comes with a possibility of major change in the state, which is why we feature them all. It might not seem important to residents of developed countries, but imposing this thought-process on smaller English-speaking states is unfair and completely unjustified from an objective point of view. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 18:24, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't say the Ipad is more important than Samoan elections, but I would say that it is of 'wider interest', which is a criteria for ITN.--Johnsemlak (talk) 03:49, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I think not taking the "wider interest" thing into account is one of our flaws, while things like elections and earthquakes may be "important" we have to post other stuff too of lesser importance but wider interest. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:15, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Agree about MickMacNee's post. I also agree that there's got to be someway of being realistic about this. The objections about posting the IPad2 made me cringe a little. It was a subject covered globally and the article was in great shape. People were interested in it, much more than elections in Samoa. The only way out is to work out a way to allow them both. Which means lower the notabilty bar, or really as you said, make the bar consistant across subjects. In terms of elections, the Somoan elections are pretty far down the list. The IPad was way, way more notable in it's field than the Somoan elections were in theirs. User:RxS|RxS]] (talk) 05:33, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
If we post the iPad 2, that is a clear COI issue; why didn't we post the other tons of tablets released in the last year? Why are we only concentrating on Apple's releases? The first iPad is different because it was the first to be mass-produced for commercial sale, but not this. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 18:24, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
What COI???? Is Apple paying us?--Johnsemlak (talk) 03:49, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Erm, sorry? EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 17:14, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
Where is the conflict of interest if we post an IPad item? RxS (talk) 19:18, 12 March 2011 (UTC)
I think COI was a little too strong... I'm saying that we're biased toward Apple's releases, whereas tons of other tablets are being released. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 20:22, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Given we haven't posted any Apple releases, and given for better or for worse Apple releases are generally more notable than other technology releases I don't see how we can be bias towards Apple. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 01:33, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

There are numerous metrics that demonstrate that there's greater interest in the iPad 2 than most other tablets. Example: Google News Xoom, Google News Galaxy Tab, Google News Ipad 2.--Johnsemlak (talk) 06:27, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I strongly disagree with MickMacNee's post. ITN can be frustrating, but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Let's work to improve the feature. Jusdafax 22:35, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
The point that MMN is trying to make, is that ITN hasn't really (so far) changed enough over the years. We need to be bold and make steps to move it forward. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 10:51, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I just read his comment over. His view is that ITN is "irreparable", and I disagree. I do admit that trying to participate in ITN is sometimes like trying to drive a car with power steering, when the engine is shut off. Jusdafax 10:59, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
I see your point, but it isn't going to be trivial. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 11:03, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

What's ITN forEdit

I think one of the key points made by Mick above is that the section has no clear purpose. A lot of oppose !votes on stories - especially as those making claims of "trivia" "no advertising" etc. are basically people saying WP:IDONTLIKEIT, which is really not very conductive to anyone being able to create content. Now sure there are good oppose votes - I think this one is valid for example, but the WP:IDONTLIKEITing has to stop.

Personally I think ITN should be a combination of covering topics of interest to our readers, covering good Wikipedia content (GA's etc.) and with a healthy dose of international coverage as well. Although other people may have different ideas from me about what we should do, the only sensible way forward to me seems to be to post some stuff that everyone likes. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 00:46, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

The main page is a highlight of all the things we do well; featured content is obviously one, but ITN demonstrates our ability to rapidly compile and summarize information when there is a huge spike in interest. It also gives readers a clear pointer to whatever article name we're using to describe e.g. 2011 Egyptian revolution because search is inherently inferior to a link. That, to me, is the actual purpose of ITN, and everything else is just a question of what to fill in the section with when there's nothing going on. Nifboy (talk) 02:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Well the sad truth of the matter is that the filler material is what ITN mostly concerns itself with. Now that the protests is a sticky - the current full list that is on ITN right now - SSI Egypt storming, Samoa election, NASA failure, Brazil Dam ruling, Chad election, if showcasing spikes of interest is the goal, I'd be pretty confident in saying that not a single one of those items would have appeared in the top 1,000 list of articles being rapidly updated at any given time, not even at their peak edit rates. And when you get to the tail, they are nearly a week out of date. That's a hell of a lot of Main Page space to waste to direct readers to those 5 articles without the hassle of using the search box. If it's really about spikes of interest and finding links - then let's just automate it to produce a simple list of pages. Not only could you fit tons more links that way, at a stroke, that would eliminate several of the built in problems ITN has - it will always be showcasing updated content, it will always be directing readers to the in demand pages, and it will never be held up by tedious arguments about bias, or relative importance, or a wait for an admin to post it, or any of the other things that routinely hold up the ITN/C process. The only thing it doesn't do is showcase 'quality'. But the irony is, most of the time spent in discussion at ITN is over articles that are too poor to post anyway, or don't even exist, and people generally ignore the quite regular times when someone points out that even though the article has been given a properly referenced update, it has a giant BLP tag on it, or some other such glaring issue. By the time it's fixed, it's old news, and who was ever going to see it because it was the subject of a spike of interest, has already done so. MickMacNee (talk) 03:25, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I have to admit that I don't know that much about the ITN process. I did look up what happened to Super Bowl XLV last month, and saw that it took over nine hours after the end of the game for it to first show up on ITN. Meanwhile, the Super Bowl XLV article was consistently being updated during and after the game; I don't think it took nine minutes for the final score to be posted to the article, much less nine hours. I don't understand why an event like the Super Bowl, which is scheduled in advance, listed on Wikipedia:In the news/Recurring items as being suitable for inclusion on ITN, and has its article updated by multiple Wikipedia editors almost in real time, would need to have its inclusion on ITN delayed for hours. (Note: I realize that some editors, particularly those outside the United States, don't care about American football at all and might not want to see the Super Bowl listed on ITN. However, I would note that either the game should be listed or it shouldn't; its relevance to the rest of the world didn't change during the nine hours after the game ended.) Basically, I think ITN should be a news ticker of sorts, and that means not delaying the listing of events whose notability, at a minimum, has been pre-ascertained by WP:ITN/R. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 04:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
  • WP:IDONTLIKEIT opposes are the main reason ITN is so broken down, and it's made worse by low number of particpants. As few as 2 editors can torpedo a nomination. Even worse sometimes, WP:IDONTLIKEIT turns into WP:IDONTLIKEIT,ANDNORSHOULDYOU. MickMacNee made a lot of good poionts above, but I think there is a fix. The fix is to lower the notabilty (for lack of a better word) standards and increase the number of postings. If we could post a couple a day, people would be less concerned about something they don't agree with getting posted because it'll be rotated out faster. Of course this doesn't mean article quality should slip. The first question that should be asked is if the article is in good shape, and is it updated. Then, unless it's clearly something no one would be interested in, post it. RxS (talk) 05:23, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree. At the moment, ITN is ridiculously picky, which is quite discouraging and probably means editors are less incited to even nominate an event to begin with. The results for the Chadian elections came out a week ago now. It's old news. A greater frequency in postings will have many benefits, and this means lowering the "noteworthy" standards. Nightw 05:47, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we should lower the bar on notability but this is far easier said than done as I see. If we move the goalposts on notability back, presumably some events that under today's standards wouldn't be posted will be posted in the future. To go directly to a controversial example, if we reform will we post the 2011 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship?--Johnsemlak (talk) 06:55, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I think the best way forward on WP:IDONTLIKEIT is for the posting administrator to ignore them. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:37, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been bold and added a comment that WP:IDONTLIKEIT opposes should be ignored to the sample posting. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:42, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
@RxS, practically every oppose on the Charlie Sheen story is WP:IDONTLIKEIT, and we haven't posted another celebrity story for months, so I don't think just posting more stuff would solve the WP:IDONTLIKEIT issue. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:45, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't know, I think most of the WP:IDONTLIKEIT opposes are draped in the opinion that it's not notable or important enough (or doesn't deserve) to include in ITN. If we lower that standard, it'll be harder to use that kind of oppose. Either way though, lowering the "notability" standard is the only way forward as far as I can see. RxS (talk) 15:26, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with lowering ITN's "notability" criteria. It's a (slow) news ticker that IMO should give showcasing quality Wikipedia articles more priority (like FA & DYK) than having great historical significance (like OTD). As the person/event is "in the news", it and related articles will garner increased interest and editors. Right now, the rejected candidates at ITN/C are as interesting as the accepted ones, as long as the article is of reasonable quality and updated. MeekSaffron (talk) 19:23, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Please don't label opposes you don't agree with as simply being IDONTLIKEIT. If I've ever seen a true IDLI oppose at ITN, they are very few and far between. Lots and lots of items get nominated at ITN that have no real-world significance, and saying so, or saying it's tabloid material, or anything along those lines is in no way, and in no form, an IDONTLIKEIT oppose vote. There's no way to objectify significance on many of these things, it comes down to a lot of feel and experience, and expressing that should not be institutionally discounted, which Eraserhead's proposal here does. Courcelles 07:57, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think there's any of that going on. People are opposing the Sheen thing as tabloidy, but Wikipedia as a whole covers those kinds of topics without any problem. What other reason is left? The topic is notable enough, the article is basically in shape, there's interest in it and it's covered around the world. There are IDONTLIKEIT opposes all over that discussion. And it's quite common on other nominations. The Sheen topic has plenty of real-world significance, not Earth shaking of course but that's not a condition for ITN inclusion. RxS (talk) 17:33, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Thanks for making that comment. The issue with the tabloid fodder in the Charlie Sheen is that there are a huge number of high-end English language sources covering it tabloid fodder would be a legitimate argument if that wasn't the case. And actually there are loads of WP:IDONTLIKEIT !votes, everyone argues that major business events are "business as usual", that posting the iPad is wrong because "its advertising" and all sorts of other nonsense that means stuff that is perfectly valid by any objective criteria doesn't get posted.

If stopping people making WP:IDONTLIKEIT comments would mean that Charlie Sheen would go up, good. That just shows we've got a process that can handle controversial topics properly - whereas the current discussion just makes it clear that we can't handle them at all. If having that process meant that something I didn't want to go up went up or something that I like not going up then, great, it would still be massively worth it to have a good process.

To be perfectly honest I don't think 2 and a half men is funny and I've only watched it about twice, and while I'm sure I'm bias by taking a side in the discussion I am not actually that excited by it, which is why I haven't made any improvements to the article. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:14, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Of course if you guys want to restrict the amount of celebrity news we can post with some objective criteria, possibly including strong coverage by non-tabloids, then by all means, that sounds good, if those objective criteria would stop us posting events like Charlie Sheen - great - at least we don't have to discuss it. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:26, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think you're understanding IDON'TLIKEIT. To be honest, we probably don't post enough business events; it's a section of my paper every single day, and maybe a few a year go up; the last one I remember was the OneWorld merger of British Airways and Iberia. There's also whole pages of utter crap in the daily paper, even the NYT or London Times that would be A7'ed or laughed off the 'pedia at AFD; the fact that 109 papers pick up on a story doesn't really prove notability enough to have an article, much less the hyper-notability that is current ITN standards. OneWorld was news; that two airlines from different countries were allowed to merge, especially given the mess Branson put up over British and American's ties within that alliance was surprising. The Ipad was a slightly better version of one company's product. Putting that on our main page would have directed another million eyeballs towards Apple's product launch that was in now way surprising or unexpected; a claim that it would have been advertising cannot fall under IDONTLIKEIT, editors have a responsibility to not let our main page become a sales site for Apple products, or anyone else's. Courcelles 08:27, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Sorry I was talking about the original iPad nomination, not the recent one. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:50, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I sort of think I opposed it (but it doesn't matter enough to look), but hindsight being 20/20, yes, we should have posted the original Ipad. It turned out to be significant enough that it met the criteria. The problem is that the launch buzz and marketing speak at the time made it hard to realise it would be as important as it has been this last year. Courcelles 08:56, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Regarding the Sheen nomination, whether it's called IDONTLIKEIT or whatever, it was frustrating that many editors objected solely on the basis of it being tabloid material. It was demonstrated several times that the firing had been reported well outside the tabloid sphere, by reliable sources in their main section, not an entertainment section. I think this level of coverage ought to be enough to at least nullify the 'tabloid' objection. We don't have to post everything that makes the top of the BBC main page, but at least that level of coverage ought to be a baseline of coverage in the media that makes it eligible for ITN. This is a frankly worrying trend of objection at ITN IMO. Editors oppose an item; other editors make a counterargument with reliable sources to back it up; and the editors respond by saying, 'oh, those reliable sources have some ulterior motive'. This happened in the discussion on adding IOS updates in to ITNR. Some editors said that mainstream sources are often criticized for over-covering Apple. This may be true, but it's speculation, and Eraserhead demonstrated that he couldn't find any references to this criticism. --Johnsemlak (talk) 15:51, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Quite often we are more elitist than even the Economist (like we are on the Sheen story), who are much less populist than the BBC. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:55, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I do think the biggest lesson we need to take from the Sheen thing is that we need some celebrity criteria like we have death criteria. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:18, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

I think an important thing that were missing with the Sheen thing is the fact that the article quality and lack of substantial update was generally ignored in the focus on vote quality and arguing, etc. There is a two sentence update. (Charlie_Sheen#Warner_Bros._dismissal). This does not meet minimum ITN standards. Even though debate has been rolling on and on, there is still not much more of an update days later. In short, we can't afford to ignore article quality even though the overall voting procedures may be debated. It's irrelevant to blame IDONTLIKEIT opposes for articles not being posted if there is a lack of a sufficient update. SpencerT♦C 00:19, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't think a well referenced two-sentence update is that far off our update requirements (plus I believe there other updates in the article). Had there been consensus that it was notable enough it could have easily been expanded a bit. Also, one could argue that the events leading up to Sheens dismissal were updated as well.--Johnsemlak (talk) 01:35, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
And there is also that orange tag. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 07:53, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Yep. Yellow tags can be overlooked on occasion, as they are mostly style issues, but nothing sporting an orange (or red) tag can go on the MP. That's one rule that should never change- don't highlight content we've flagged as problematic. Courcelles 08:02, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, there was a suggestion to link to Two and a Half Men which doesn't have any tags.--Johnsemlak (talk) 09:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Lower standards, more nominationsEdit

I will reiterate the statement that ITN is not broken and is not worthy of being removed; there are just two simple problems with the process, and these can be fixed very easily.

The first problem, as we've pointed out numerous times, is the standards for determining which nominations should be accepted. ITN, at its core, is a news ticker. That's what it was made for, but we're limiting it to showcasing quality articles. This reduces output significantly, and I would estimate that about 30% of rejections are due to this. Another problem with the current standards is the subjectiveness we are forced to go through to get a nomination through (i.e., WP:IDONTLIKEIT and other WP:NOTNEWS-based arguments). This is because the criteria are too vague. There should be a set of guidelines as to which nominations should be allowed on the front page, and which should not. GreyHood's example is more along the lines of what I was thinking, and is what should be instated to ensure a more objective process. From now on, we should be focussing on inclusionism, not exclusionism.

Of course, another issue we have is the low number of nominations. Some days we don't even have a single nomination for a day, which doesn't make sense when news outlets never run out of material. I think this is just a matter of complexity regarding what to do on the nomination page, and more importantly, regarding where exactly ITN/C is. When I took a closer look at ITN on the front page, I knew that there was a process behind it, but I had no idea where. I still don't understand, to this day, why there isn't a direct link to the nominations page (even something as simple as "Nominate an article") from the front page. This basic addition would make this process a little bit more lively. Also, I think we impose too many instructions on new contributors here. Here is the current set of instructions:

Order to suggest a candidate:

  • Find the correct section below for the date of the event in UTC.
  • Start, find or modify a blurb directly in the light green box for that day's Current events. Make sure that you include a reference from a verifiable, reliable source.
  • Update an article linked to from the blurb to include the recent developments, or find an article that has already been updated.
  • Nominate the blurb for ITN inclusion under that day's ITN Candidates subheading, emboldening the link to the updated article.

There are criteria guiding the decision on whether or not to put a particular item on In the news, based largely on the extensiveness of the updated content and the perceived significance of the recent developments.

Submissions that do not follow the guidelines at Wikipedia:In the news will not be placed onto the live template.

For one, we don't actually care whether or not the event happened on that specific date, never mind making sure it is in UTC. Second, we usually formulate a blurb halfway through the nomination process, whenever the nomination is gaining some ground. Finally, updating the "bold" article has nothing to do with nominating it. If those were trimmed out, we would have a much more friendly set of instruction, and that will maybe come with new nominators. The only thing they should have to do is nominate an article. That's it. Everyone else should be able to take care of the rest, including the decision of whether or not to place it on the front page.

In short, this is what I think should become the process for a future ITN candidate:

  1. Nomination. Nominator gives a quick abstract of the story, preferably with a link to a reputable news source covering it.
  2. Evaluation. Contributors check the article against the new criteria, which should leave little room for discussion, i.e., it should be as close to a clear "yes" or "no" at all times. We should be announcing what does not match, so that we have a clear view of whether the nomination is salvageable or not. Fix if necessary.
  3. Preparation. If the article matches the criteria, a blurb should be formulated by the contributors and modified if necessary by others.
  4. Release. One of several admins checking the page a total of at least five times per day posts the blurb on the front page.

Quick and simple. This reduces the time necessary to get a nomination from ITN/C to the front page a little. I suppose it sort of resembles this already, but having this at the top would serve as a better introduction to the process than what is there.

I think that if we get these things straight, the only thing we really have to do is decide on better criteria. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 17:47, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I think this is sensible, better criteria would help define what ITN is for. I certainly agree on inclusionism, that's why I've started supporting even pacific island elections. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:44, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree that we need to be more inclusionistic. However, I don't think we should compromise on the necessity of quality articles. Instead, I think the problem is that people are being too stringent on the "importance" of the subject matter. That is not to say we should allow trivial items in, like the latest Lindsay Lohan arrest. However, people have claimed that things such as the election of the governor of California is not important enough to go up on ITN, even if it had a quality article, because California is "just a subnational government." Similarly, the selection of the new British Labour Party leader, which is akin to a U.S. primary election, was rejected as not being important enough. I think that if a news event has a quality article, is widely in the media and has a lot of reader interest, it should be OK for ITN so long as it is non-trivial. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 19:39, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I would even go as far as saying that some trivial things (although Lindsay Lohan could be considered as being very trivial -- and borderline pathetic for ITN) could also be considered. So I think the only things we should be avoiding are local political stories with no significance and trivial stories on a case-to-case basis. At least then we'll have many more updates and less rejections. Also, I think I went a little far with what I was trying to say with article quality. I forget what my point was, but I agree that the article quality should remain the same. However, the minimum update requirement should be a little more lenient; it should be based on a case-to-case basis, because sometimes an update is much harder to write for specific stories. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 19:57, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Yeah certainly the article standards shouldn't be lowered. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:41, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I further concur with Mwalcoff, article standards should not be lowered to allow more items to be posted; more articles must be brought up to Main Page standard before being posted. SpencerT♦C 22:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
A link such as "Nominate an article" on the MP is a very interesting idea, worth trying to implement (I just hope there won't be any tide of trivial nominations). Other your proposals are also sensible. We should have a simple nomination process, so that every unexperienced editor could easily nominate something. But after something is nominated, we should use strict criteria for review of the nomination, like I proposed above. GreyHood Talk 19:54, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I have inserted this to the list of proposals. GreyHood Talk 20:10, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I've been bold and removed the UTC comment and the blurb comment, as they looked pretty obviously suitable for removal. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:15, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Modest Genius has removed the UTC comment and he has a good point. I think the best probably is though if nominations are just added to the latest day section, what does everyone else think? Unless we are going to do away with day sections entirely we do have to consider this - even though it is a technical point. Its difficult to write code to figure out if someone has already added a date section and to adjust it accordingly at midnight UTC, and adding new dates at midnight UTC+12 would be confusing - especially to Americans. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:53, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Do we need day sections? Wouldn't the time stamps (and their order) of the nominations themselves be enough? RxS (talk) 02:26, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Fair point, that might be better. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:30, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
The day sections help determine the correct date for bulleting the nomination in the template (used in {{*mp}}). I find the day sections certainly help when posting items. SpencerT♦C 21:59, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

Getting admins attentionEdit

Apologies for starting multiple threads at the same time, but Yesterday evening I made an update to the Japanese foreign minister sacking article, and at the time I went to bed at about 00:00 UTC there was a pretty clear consensus to post the article. However when I checked the article this morning at about 11:00 the article still hadn't been posted to the front page, and actually the Jacques Chirac article had overtaken it. So I posted a new section at the top of the page to remind everyone about it and that it needed posting and was (fairly I think) criticised by tariqabjotu for doing so as it wasn't very far below.

Frankly he has a point that its annoying, but its clearly also an issue about getting admins attention about what's ready to post. I was thinking of putting [READY] into the subject line of any articles that are ready to post and to put [POSTED] into the subject line of anything that has been posted and [PULLED] if it has been pulled. As I don't think this is a controversial change (and it can easily be stopped afterwards), I'm going to start doing so now as I think there's quite a lot of value in seeing whether it works or not, but feel free to comment on the idea. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 18:42, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

I just saw this and I thought it was an excellent idea... but I'm wondering what [PULLED] means? I see it was used for the Jacques Chirac story but wasn't that posted? EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 19:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
It was posted, and pulled several hours later due to the trial being suspended. WP:ERRORS diff MeekSaffron (talk) 19:27, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh right, right. My bad. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 19:35, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
FWIW I've gone for sentence case for the notices. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:27, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
And even with this change you still have stuff sitting for at least 11 hours ready to go with a massive update and unanimous support. This is a news section - stuff needs to be posted reasonably quickly - what else can we do to make the process work better? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 19:03, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I'd like to see a dedicated team of admins, who check in at ITN on a regular basis. Failing that, just as people feel free to go to WP:ANI with an alert that WP:AIV is backlogged, we should get on that widely-read noticeboard and give them a reminder when blurbs have consensus and are just sitting there. Or, several of us ITN contributors who are non-admins could run for admin - though I'd prefer not to myself, I must admit. Jusdafax 22:43, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
All good ideas. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:14, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I was looking at the Dalai Lama nomination and it looks like there are a number of !votes suggesting to wait until Monday, so possibly [Wait] should be added to sections that we aren't going to post now, but are going to post later (as the lone opposer I won't do so myself in this case). -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:14, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

A templateEdit

To make nominations clearer I've created Template:ITN candidate which gives the article and a blurb for each nomination - both are optional, and I think its worth seeing if this is a good idea. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 13:45, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Bring back international interestEdit

In the News is still interesting!Edit

I think it's important to bear in mind that despite the problems mentioned in this discussion, ITN does serve a useful purpose and its interesting for our readers. While I don't know the statistics, I believe it is the most popular of the sections on the main page in terms of clicks (does anyone have the stats on that). Of all the sections, ITN is the one that primarily provides links to timely articles. Some ITN blurbs feature stories that are at the top of the international news headlines or are trending topics on Twitter. Of course, this isn't necessarily the case with all ITN blurbs and we do not report all popular worldwide headlines, but I think we get a few. We've had several blurbs on the Middle East and North Africa protests which have been extremely popular headlines lately and now we have a sticky link for the topic.

So I think it's important to say that we so some things well. But we're trying to find ways to improve the service so here's my stab at it.

I think we still haven't adequately tackled the question--What is ITN for? The section above eventually went on a tangent and didn't solve the question. I know it's stating the obvious but I think we should start with the basics already at WP:ITN: ITN serves to direct readers to articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest.. I assume we all agree on this. If we do, we can go from there. Are there any parts of this aim that we want to change?

After that, we need to consider how best to provide links to stories. I think teh key thing here is to always remember that that is what ITN is for, to link readers to stories of interest. That's fundamentally why we are not a newsticker, even if we are similar to one.

Let's go back to our core aim. ...recent or current events of wide interest.... What is wide interest? To me, there are three issues here. What are our readers interested in? What are our readers interested in reading on Wikipedia? And what aspects of these stories are our readers intested in reading on Wikipedia (do they come to Wikipedia for more background information on stories they've already read about at news sites, or is there a different pattern?) Is there a way of reliably finding out what our readers are intersted in? I think we sometimes assume that for example since 80% (or whatever) of users come from the US, therefore they want to read about US topics. Is this true? What topics are WP readers interested and want to see on ITN? (sports, politics, current events, entertainment, etc) Should we pay more attention ot article view statistics? Once we know reliable what users are interested in, then we ask, how does this affect what we post? Do we stick strictly to reader interest, or do we have other priorities (countering systemic bias for example)?

Another question is what is being substatially updated. When we nominate topics we always start by asking what stories are signficant they we find teh articles related, often with little consideration about whether they've been updated or not. Perpaps we should consider doing this in reverse. First, find articles that have been updated recently (about current events) and then nominate them. Also, do we want to consider revising our update requirements? Why do we have an update requirement? What purpose does it serve? This is particularly relavent in a case like a recent death. The article on the person may be of excellent quality and very worthy of showcasing on the main page, and of wide interest to our readers, but only have a 1-2 sentence update. This may result in ITN editors adding unnecessary undue weight to the article in order to make it eligible for posting. Do we want to take a look at these rules? Finally, we sometimes get into a debate about the length of a prose update. Certain topics, notably sports, are often not updated in prose but have timely and informative updates in terms of tables. Can we consider a table 'updated content'?

Another question that should be considered more IMO is, what types of current events does Wikipedia do well? I am not well informed on this so we should discuss it but also seek reliable information on it. It does seem to me, however, that our biggest weakness having article updated in an 'up to the minute' fashion. Even with scheduled events such as the Super Bowl, it seems to take quite a while to get an updated article out. Another area I'm not sure we do well is science unfortuantely. I could be wrong on this, but it seems to me that it's difficult to get science articels well written by people knowledgeable of the topic. Once we idenify what Wikipedia does well, thene we ask, how does that affect Wikpedia postings? Do we try to focus ITN coverage on Wikipedia's strengths?

That's my two cents so far.--Johnsemlak (talk) 14:44, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

I think wide interest should focus on our readers interests (which means a reasonably high number of Anglo-sphere stories) but we should also be countering systematic bias with good updates on international topics, which I think we do a reasonable job of. I don't think the update criteria are particularly strict, 2-3 sentences isn't that much - even in an FA if the specific event you are covering isn't trivial. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:56, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
To clarify: Current update criteria as defined by current criteria say 5 sentence update to an existing article (generally deemed sufficient, to be more precise), not 2-3 sentences. SpencerT♦C 22:04, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Well if its an FA/GA then 5 sentences might be WP:UNDUE especially if we want to also highlight quality articles without a particularly significant event occurring.
I think there is merit in highlighting good articles which have a less significant event occurring as well as our other aims, while a post every 12 hours is the current target and one I think is reasonable probably even a post every 6 hours wouldn't be too frequent if we can find enough suitable content to post. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:06, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I do think that unless the article is at least a GA a 5 sentence update should be made. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 23:10, 10 March 2011 (UTC)

On iPads and Samoan elections (moved to a new heading so it won't get lost)Edit

The discussion above about iPads and Samoan elections demonstrates the danger of trying to rank items based on "importance." A Samoan election might be of huge importance to a couple hundred thousand Samoans, but of little importance to others. The new iPad may be of less importance to the people it affects, but it will affect far more people, especially among the Wikipedia-reading public. And that's assuming that a change in government could have really had that much of an effect on people's lives. Obviously, something like the Russian Revolutions of 1917 have a huge impact on just about everyone in the country, but I'm guessing that (for example) there are a lot of Canadians for whom it would have made little difference on their lives had the Liberal Party beaten the Conservative Party in the last election.

Really, there is no absolute, objective definition of "importance." What is important to you may not be important to someone in a different place or under different circumstances.

I think that instead of importance, the key should be "non-triviality," meaning that trash-tabloid items like Paris Hilton news don't make it. That's only one criterion among several that should go into determining if an ITN suggestion is posted. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 02:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes, that is a good point. As much as we would like it to be, importance is completely subjective. Triviality and amount of coverage should be the sole important factors in deciding whether or not to post a story. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 02:44, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Well, there are several other factors too: reader interest (both how many people are interested and how much they are interested), timeliness, whether it's a finished event, assuring geographic and subject diversity, and so on. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 05:18, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
Mwalcoff I agree with your points but let's also point out that the iPad also suffers from the objections many editors have to posting 'commercial' news. (I feel we are too conservative on this, but anyway).--Johnsemlak (talk) 06:19, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
We really need to get real about commercial products, they are an important part of the news, and we need to stop being scared to post them. Possibly we need a brief commercial products criteria or at least some mention of them in the guidelines so that they get posted more often. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 10:48, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
The thing is, while importance is indeed subjective, it's also relative. I'm sure few would disagree that a tsunami killing thousands of people is infinitely more important than the bloody iPad 2. But is said tsunami more important than a cure for cancer? Is the iPad 2 less important than a small earthquake causing minimal damage and no deaths? Who knows? Each item has to be judged on an individual, case-by-case basis, and that's what the whole purpose of WP:ITN/C is actually for; it's not about simply checking a proposed item off against a checklist of criteria and giving it the stamp of approval. The purpose of reforming ITN is to provide much clearer guidance with a strong consensus backing it to assist in these discussions about deciding which items are suitable. I feel like this is being forgotten here to some extent.
On the subject of business and commercial matters... I think the T-Mobile/AT&T merger example below is an excellent one. Here we have two major corporations, who may potentially create an enormous company with a very sigificant and notable monopoly on the mobile communications sector. Highlighting this matter fits the ethos of Wikipedia. The iPad 2, on the other hand, is simply "Business releases product". It's not real news, regardless of anticipation. We have no reason to post it, as we simply don't gain anything from it, and that just doesn't sit right with me at all. Posting such a thing achieves nothing more than promotion of such a product. Now, "Business releases product that is first of its kind" or "releases product that cures cancer" or "Business recalls product after causing death of thousands" etc.? That is news. Perhaps it involves a little promotion in the process, but it is highlighting something of encyclopedic interest and relevence to Wikipedia. That's something I could get behind. --Dorsal Axe 15:46, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Celebrity CriteriaEdit

Because every time a celebrity event is proposed we have a big unproductive argument about whether the event is notable I think some specific celebrity criteria are a good idea.

  1. If the celebrity event is on ITN/R that takes precedent over meeting the following criteria.
  2. News sourcing, to show that celebrity postings aren't trivial the news sourcing requirements should be higher than other stories. At least 4 reliable sources should be presented, these should come from 3 different countries in at least 2 different continents, including at least one outside of the Anglo-sphere (Australia, Britain, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the United States).
  3. The celebrity should be famous for doing something worthy and shouldn't be famous just for being famous. So they should be a sporting star, musician, TV star, film star or royal who is expected to become King or Queen, this means that Prince William and Prince Charles meet the criteria, but Prince Harry does not.
  4. They should ideally have won an high-profile award such as those on ITNR. Alternatively they should be particularly highly paid, profitable or well known in a large number of countries, or they should hold a particularly notable world record. This means Roger Federer's retirement would meet the criteria, but Tim Henman's retirement probably would not.
  5. Celebrity births, engagements, marriages and divorces should not be posted unless they are a royal.

Thoughts? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 16:47, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

2--I would drop the reference to '2 different continents' and 'outside the Anglosphere'. We don't have this requirement for ITN in general so I wouldn't require it for celebrity news. However, I would require that teh news be reported in mainstream, non-tabloid, news sources in their main section, not solely their Entertainment page.
5--Not sure if this is necessary. Royal weddings are considered affairs of state, so I don't think we need a specific mention.--Johnsemlak (talk) 08:25, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
2, this seems like a better way of preventing trivial news as proving a story broke into the "real news" section can be tricky online - especially as we can't easily upload screenshots of news sites. This seemed a better way of showing that there was serious coverage. The Indians are hardly likely to cover issues involving minor British celebrities.
5, fair enough. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 12:31, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
  • I think we should stray away from having too many "types" of criteria. We should have one general set and the one for deaths. Those two should be able to cover all aspects, even those regarding celebrities. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 22:10, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
    • So what do you propose we do to stop discussions like this one, or this one which are clearly unproductive? There's no reason we couldn't expand this sort of criteria to other areas (such as products) or maybe even generally, but I wanted to keep it simple, and celebrity nominations do seem to be particularly troublesome. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:21, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
      • I think the aforementioned criteria on whether or not significant coverage was given to the particular event and whether or not the event is trivial and does not impact day-to-day lives. Charlie Sheen should have made it even with the old, vague criteria because a #1-paid actor was fired from the precise job making him #1. Of course, your criteria is more precise and would probably have decided the outcome of the situation with no protestation, but it would rarely serve its purpose. EricLeb01 (Page | Talk) 00:50, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I like the idea, but I don't know if I like having definite criteria, like the number of countries the story has to run in or saying Prince William is OK but Prince Harry isn't. I'd prefer to set out some general principles and let ITN contributors make decisions accordingly. I do think that we should distinguish between plain old celebrity news (Charlie Sheen gets arrested) and legitimate news that involves celebrities (Warner Bros. fires Charlie Sheen from highly rated TV show). Also, I think in this case what we should look at is not the "reliability" of the sources but the seriousness of them. In order to be appropriate for ITN, news of this type should appear in serious newspapers like The New York Times or Wall Street Journal, not just Entertainment Weekly. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 01:11, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

I would say that a lot of the problem here stems from the question put forth above, 'What is ITN for?' I lot of people object to celebrity news on the basis of 'Wikipedia/ITN is not a tabloid/entertainment magazine/ etc'. That sounds hard to dispute, but it leaves out the all important question, what is ITN. We still need to answer this key question, then come up with basic criteria that can be used for all events. Hopefully, sensibly written criteria could be applied to celebrity news without specific criteria just for that. But the problem is the core question just isn't getting answered.--Johnsemlak (talk) 11:53, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
That I agree with, we need to say what we think ITN should be. Maybe we should start making some statements about what we think its purpose is and point out which ones we agree with, a bit like a user RFC. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:10, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

What is ITN for attempt nEdit

OK so we don't seem to be doing a particularly good job of discussing this rather fundamental issue that has been pointed out by a lot of people, so I think its worth spelling out what I think ITN should be for.

I think it should be to highlight stories that are currently in the news and are of likely interest to our readers with a strong emphasis on providing a good internationalist coverage of stories. Articles should only be posted with an appropriate update.

Our coverage should also attempt to cover topics from the breadth of the project. To achieve that we should post an approximately equal split between the following categories of story:

  • Business and Economic news
  • Political stories
  • Disasters
  • Culture
  • Science and Technology
  • Sport

Additionally we should aim to post articles of Good Article or Featured article status that are more tangentially in the news than in other cases so we can highlight some of Wikipedia's best content. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 22:30, 16 March 2011 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea to establish the purpose of ITN before determining what the criteria should be. I believe the purpose of ITN should be:
  • To help readers find and quickly access content they are likely to be searching for because an item is in the news
  • To feature quality Wikipedia content on current events
  • To point readers to subjects they might not have been looking for but nonetheless may interest them
  • To emphasize Wikipedia as a dynamic resource -- Mwalcoff (talk) 22:46, 16 March 2011 (UTC)
I think these two suggestions could be combined into something sensible. Any further comments? -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:59, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
I think that somewhere keeping in mind WP:NOTNEWS when forming content criteria, especially "routine news reporting on things like announcements, sports, or celebrities is not a sufficient basis for inclusion in the encyclopedia. While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information." And the same should be for ITN, as well. SpencerT♦C 16:21, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Good point. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 17:18, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Mwalcoff completely nailed it. ITN is basically a portal by which users can access quality articles on subjects that are getting news coverage. I especially like the fact that whether a news event is especially notable or otherwise globally/internationally relevant is not emphasized. RxS (talk) 18:03, 19 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I think that as part of the criteria, we can also describe what does not make a good ITN entry, such as "routine" matters. -- Mwalcoff (talk) 04:52, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I too agree with Mwalcoff's criteria, providing it is realised that some items may not meet all the criteria. My view is that ITN should be used to both direct readers towards, and to showcase articles that have been recently updated and can be, or have been, improved due to work done, or the potential for work to be done, during the news cycle about the topic relating to that article. The emphasis should be on the articles and the article updates, not on the news. In other words, ITN is not there to report the news, but to report our updates on articles about topics that are currently in (or have recently been) in the news. I would even go so far as to say that ITN should have a mixture of items of immediate interest, and items that are of less immediate interest, but showcase how articles can be improved during a news cycle. The former would attract readers and others to help improve articles on fast-developing stories, and the latter would showcase how the news cycle can (on a longer timescale) drive article updates. I have three case studies as examples, which I'll post below in a new section. Carcharoth (talk) 06:33, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
I like Mwalcoff's criteria too, and I don't think they are designed such that all the points have to apply to each thing posted. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:27, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Time available for discussionEdit

One point I'd like to raise is that at the moment, ITN/C operates on a 5-day cycle. Some candidates get submitted immediately on the day the news breaks, and hence 5 days are available for discussion before that discussion gets archived. Other candidates, though, may not get submitted until a few days later (some people actually wait until they think the article is ready before submitting). This puts those candidates at a disadvantage, since they will appear lower down the page and less people will notice and comment, and they will get less overall time for discussion. Is there a way to ensure that candidates submitted 1-2 days into the 5-day cycle don't get lost in the noise of more recent discussions? This will be particularly relevant if the aim is to get more submissions. One way to do it would be to have each candidate marked by both day of the news (though in some cases, the news coverage spans several days) and the date of submission, and to have the option to view either in order of submission, or in order of date. Would that be too difficult to do? Carcharoth (talk) 05:20, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Another issue if we are posting more stuff is that stuff is always posted in date order, so at the moment nothing from earlier than yesterday will be considered for posting. If stuff hasn't been posted and is fairly new maybe we should insert it at the top of the section, even if its slightly older than stuff further down the template. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:09, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
People can post under the day they're nominated, rather than the day of the event. That already happens sometimes anyway. -- tariqabjotu 17:03, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Three case studies and using ITN to drive article improvementsEdit

The examples I have chosen here all met opposition (and in one case was not posted), and all relate to recent deaths (though one was re-submitted after the funeral, after a submission after the death failed).

In my view, the posting of the first two are examples of ITN reporting news and pointing to our article on the news almost as an afterthought. The third example (though I am admittedly biased here, as I nominated it) is an example of an article being improved from this to this (Good Article). That was from 27 February to 18 March (some 20 days), and the article was nominated once at the time of the death, and then again at the time of the funeral. What was notable was the amount the article has been edited and improved by in the interval. I found myself wondering if this should count for anything in the ITN criteria or not? Maybe there should be a line in ITN to showcase articles that have been improved to a certain level after appearing in the news, following an initial ITN submission (whether that initial submission resulted in the item being posted or not)? In other words, if someone submits a candidate for an item that was in the news, and then returns a few weeks or a month later and says "following the recent news cycle, the article has been updated and reached this standard, I would like to ask for it to be included in the improved articles in the news or good articles in the news line for the next week or so", then that would actually really be driving article improvement (e.g. consider if Warren Christopher was taken to GA-standard), which would be tremendously exciting and also help meet a lot of the criticism that comes the way of ITN. Do people think this idea is workable? Carcharoth (talk) 06:44, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

  • But that would take away room from the ITN which already has a major shortage of room, as seen in the last few days new blurbs are coming at decent pace, but as no new room has been added that means that now the blurbs are disappearing way too fast. Important blurbs are being treated like Farrah Fawcett by Michael Jackson, instantly removed from the news just because many other also important events are happening. So I feel we should try and get more room for ITN, if that is somehow possible. (maybe use one of those slide down boxen somepeople use for userboxi?)Passionless -Talk 07:31, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
    • The (admittedly vague so far) concept I have is for ITN to be redesigned slightly to have "Headline news" (or "Global news") and "Article improvements". The former would be what we currently have, but with only 5 lines and slightly shorter blurbs (more radical would be to dump blurbs altogether and just list articles - you would do it alphabetically and highlight alternate entires to make it easier to scan the list). The latter would list articles that had: (a) featured in the news in several countries within the last few weeks or month; and (b) were either already GA or FA, or had been improved to GA or FA class (must have gone through a formal review process). Dumping the blurbs is too radical, but I think it is easily possible to have a line or two at the bottom of the ITN template to showcase GA and FA articles currently in the news that have had timely updates. More restricting would be to require the work done to get to GA or FA status to have been prompted by the news cycle - realistically, it would only be possible to get B-class and GA-class article-level improvements within a month - FA takes longer. I'll try and do a mock-up of what I've got in mind. Carcharoth (talk) 08:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
      • @ Passionless, the only reason stuff was removed too quickly was due to an admin making a mis-call about main page balancing and removing too many blurbs from ITN, and there being 5 stories posted within 24 hours, which is far from typical. If it becomes typical we can re-consider, but I doubt that will be the case.
      • I think we should post existing FA's/GA's in the main in the news section, and accept that they might not be as wildly exciting as other stories, but that they won't be stale either, I think making ITN smaller is something worth keeping as a suggestion if we can't post enough suitable content from the current system - however if there is suitable content which has been updated to a good standard and has been in the news a while, adding it to the main page seems like a good idea. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 09:04, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
        • Eraserhead, I think calling the removal of the Yemen "an admin making a mis-call" is a bit harsh. I did some Main Page balancing prior to that removal, but I almost intentionally left it unbalanced. I don't know why the Main Page looked unbalanced to you, but it didn't look that way to me after the removal of the Yemen item. That being said, I think OTD needs to bear the brunt of some of this balancing. Yesterday's TFA was not that short; ITN should not have needed to been cut down that much. Note that I even removed one item from OTD, and they were still taking up their fair share. The space issue might need to be coordinated with the other sections, especially DYK and OTD, to ensure there's space for at least five items (or four long items) in ITN. -- tariqabjotu 14:37, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
Screenshot of the Main Page last night
  • I think by unbalanced I mean in the middle, which at 1024x768 (which I fixed in my browser), and to me the following image does look rather unbalanced, and there was certainly room for another ITN entry. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 15:24, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  • The aim is not to make ITN and TFA balanced; it's to make the left and right columns balanced. As I suggested, because OTD was taking up more than its fair share of the column (or, alternatively, DYK was too short) we were in a bit of a bind. I know placing DYK hooks is a long, complex process, so I try to go after OTD instead. I had already removed one OTD hook earlier in the day, leaving just four (below the recommended five to six) and there was still a problem (as your image suggests) because OTD has some long, long hooks. So, like I said, we need some coordination between the two sections. -- tariqabjotu 16:58, 20 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Ah, in which case I'm entirely wrong in my comment. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 16:59, 20 March 2011 (UTC)

Progress so farEdit

Well the page I wanted to add this to was deleted under me, but I think it was basically a general comment about what we've done so far and I wanted to post it anyway.

  • Recently we have introduced markers so that its possible to see at a glance what has been posted, and what is ready to post. We've added a template Template:ITN Candidate which makes it clear at the top which article is supposed to be updated and to suggest a blurb, which seems to have added some discussion about what blurb would be good to use - and not just leaving it up to the posting administrator. We've also become much more civilised and sensible about our posting criteria, there are a lot less !vote opposes, and there are a lot less silly complaints. The US vice president story is a prime example of all of this, the oppose !voters pretty much all made good cases, noone opposed it because "she's an American" or anything that could be claimed to be saying that, and then when it was posted it was because David Levy made an even better argument as to why it should be posted.
  • We've also made progress in posting articles which are less important in the news but are high quality articles, the Geraldine Ferraro story is again a good example of this, as is Knut the polar bear (though that one seems to have been a little controversial).
  • We've also made progress on posting stuff which is being covered by the global press, on the London protests story people seemed to take my point that it was being covered by CNN, Xinhua and Al Jazeera seriously as showing the event was being covered worldwide and wasn't just a local event.
  • Finally I think the administrators have done a much better job of posting stuff in a timely manner, I don't feel that stuff is sitting around ready to go for hours on end as often as it was before.
  • I don't think we've made enough progress on posting product launches or business stories, the AT&T and T-Mobile merger story should have really been posted. Its the leading business story in this weeks Economist. However on the former maybe everyone else has more concerns about advertising than I do, and on the latter we have made progress, there weren't opposes, just people saying we should wait until the deal is finalised - and it can be renominated then.
  • From the discussion here hopefully we can get the timer to go red after 12 hours (and maybe yellow after 8 hours or something), maybe a link on the front page to suggest things for inclusion, and ideally a better idea of what ITN is for, but even if we do none of those things we appear to have already made progress in those areas regardless. And even with posting more stuff I think we've done at least as good a job of making sure stuff is updated properly, if not a better one.
  • Now maybe in three months we should look at our topic and geographic balance again, and then go and talk to the projects and encourage them to nominate articles as appropriate, but lets see how it goes, there's no need to overdo moving forward, as otherwise you can't figure out what is appropriate to change. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 20:07, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
I think there's been a good deal (thanks to your efforts to a great degree) of progress. I also agree there's topics that need a little work, but all in all I for one like the direction it's going for the most part. RxS (talk) 21:25, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
Congratulations, there is indeed much progress. I hope the other proposals will be implemented as well. Perhaps, the criteria that I've proposed at the beginning are too complex and excessive to use them in every next case, but I still hope that something like that will be eventually included into the guidelines. GreyHood Talk 17:00, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

Arguments after items are postedEdit

A point has been made about arguments on the April fools section. We need more !voters, but we also need !voters to drop the stick, I think if you have commented before an item is posted on the main page it is rarely appropriate to comment again after it is posted. If you haven't commented before the item is posted, by all means comment afterwards, but otherwise you need to drop it. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:05, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

This does apply to both sides of the discussion, and should apply double to complaining about an item getting posted in another items discussion section. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 08:15, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Is this a guideline suggestion? If so, I disagree. We should not be trying to limit discussion of an item, and it is valid, for example, if someone conditionally supports an item, but those conditions are not met (and the item is posted), then the person should be allowed to comment after the item is posted. SpencerT♦C 17:02, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
I was intending for this to become at least an informal guideline. I'm happy to accept that the suggestion needs some more work, but lets be honest and accept that 90% of the time people re-commenting after something has been posted are refusing to drop the stick, or are remaking arguments that don't need making again. -- Eraserhead1 <talk> 21:31, 1 April 2011 (UTC)
Return to the project page "In the news 3.0".