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The Media Wikipedia News

Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible? 167

Larry Sanger writes: Online news has become ridiculously confusing. Interesting bits are scattered among repetitive articles, clickbait, and other noise. Besides, there's so much interesting news, but we just don't have time for it all. Automated tools help a little, but give us only an unreliable selection; we still feel like we're missing out. Y'know, back in the 1990s, we used to have a similar problem about general knowledge. Locating answers to basic questions through the noise of the Internet was hit-and-miss and took time. So we organized knowledge with Wikipedia ("the encyclopedia that Slashdot built"). Hey, why don't we do something similar for the news? Is it possible to make a Wikipedia for news, pooling the efforts of newshounds everywhere? Could such a community cut through the noise and help get us caught up more quickly and efficiently? As co-founder of Wikipedia, I'm coming down on the "yes" side. I have recently announced an open content, collaborative news project, Infobitt (be gentle, Slashdot! We are still in early stages!), and my argument for the affirmative position is made both briefly and at length.
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Is a "Wikipedia For News" Feasible?

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  • I don't get it (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @05:57PM (#48510459)

    Isn't this already a thing [wikinews.org]?

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Interesting)

      by richlv ( 778496 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:04PM (#48510507)

      and there seem to be quite a lot of other projects like this, for example - https://grasswire.com/ [grasswire.com]

      one issue might be that news are more interesting for various parties to push their agenda. a wikipedia article can be used to shift perception, but it is likely to be corrected. a fake news item, even if later corrected, will have impact on the perception of the viewers.

      as an example, grasswire covers russian-ukrainian war, and it gets very slanted messages through every now and then.

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

        by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:17PM (#48510605)

        And I believe the oldest still-operating one is Indymedia [wikipedia.org], which was founded in the late '90s. It's unapologetically aimed at being activist grassroots media, though, not aiming at event-handed mainstream news coverage.

        • Re:I don't get it (Score:4, Insightful)

          by HBI ( 604924 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:38PM (#48510735) Journal

          I don't think even-handed coverage is possible, when journalism as a whole is essentially paid trolling for one agenda or another. People just want to read stuff that reinforces their preconceived notions, and I am no exception.

          Find me a story with no slant, and i'll show you a story (virtually) no one read.

          • by radtea ( 464814 )

            I don't think even-handed coverage is possible, when journalism as a whole is essentially paid trolling for one agenda or another.

            We can at least hope for news stories that convey a minimal amount of relevant background information: http://www.tjradcliffe.com/?p=... [tjradcliffe.com]

            The cost of supplying a few concrete facts relevant to the background of each story is apparently too much for various news outlets, but with the kind of crowd-sourcing Larry is suggesting this could be done. It'll be interesting to see how this effort evolves.

            Ideology may always be with us, in the sense that that "there is no view from no where" but it is (precisely!) equa

          • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Interesting)

            by schnell ( 163007 ) <me@scCURIEhnell.net minus physicist> on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @11:12PM (#48512209) Homepage

            when journalism as a whole is essentially paid trolling for one agenda or another

            If that's what you think, you are reading/watching/listening to the wrong news outlets. It's the same reaction I have when I hear people say "there's no good music anymore" - that's completely untrue. If the radio isn't playing the stuff you like, there are lots of other places you can find good stuff if you just invest the time to look.

            There are plenty of high quality news organizations out there today which are dedicated to providing an even-handed, responsible professional journalism. It's true that, as was famously once said, "the only truly objective journalism is sports box scores." And you can - especially if you are looking for it - find some degree of bias in anything. But there's a 180 degree gap from the minor and inadvertent bias you may find in an Associated Press, BBC World, New York Times (or even Al Jazeera - the American not Qatari version) article versus the intentional bias you find in a FOX News or Huffington Post story.

            To your previous point, though, I agree that bias-free reporting is not necessarily dull but is - by design - afraid to answer the "why" of the "Five W's" for fear of losing balance. I try to mix my news reading between (generally) unbiased news from NYT or BBC with biased but (from my viewpoint) more insightful sources like The Economist or Slate.

            However, I am strongly opposed to the frequent Slashbot trope that "there is no professional journalism left, it's all biased" and hence there is in general no credibility gap between what the NY Times prints in its newspaper about the Ruble crisis vs. what "iwantputinsbaby07" posts to Twitter. Professional journalism is real, and it will always have a place of preferential credibility to unknown sources with unknown motivations. Meanwhile, slanted journalism will still probably generate the most clicks - but at least if you're picking your news sources to be pre-sorted to agree with your opinions, you know what you're buying.

            • i understand your desire to find a positive spin on things, but (and i mean this genuinely in as friendly way as possible), you have the wool pulled so far over your eyes that you are incapable of seeing a 'hidden agenda', even when it is screaming with a blowhorn in your face. (the fact that you can refer to the NYT and BBC as even '(generally) unbiased' speaks volumes.) i know this sounds like i'm razzing on you, but i sincerely am not, just trying to speak the truth.

              unfortunately, you will probably st
              • by schnell ( 163007 )

                A fair comment and I appreciate your civility (pretty rare on Slashdot these days).

                My viewpoint is due to a specific bias of my own: I was a Journalism major in college and worked as a reporter at a couple "mainstream media" (EEEEEVIL!) newspapers before moving into technology. I'm not a deluded idealist viewing journalism from the outside with the "wool pulled over my eyes," I was a practicing reporter for several years.

                And you know what? I was taught in college for four years to be above all else unbiased

                • I take no offense at your comments, and appreciate the reciprocated civility. That being said, i'd like to point out that in your response (and i'm not trying to play line-for-line devils advocate) you begin by admitting to having a specific bias, and then reject my offering (of a book that in my opinion has the potential to communicate some critical eye (and mind) opening things) with what sadly amounts to an argument of 'i know what i know, so i don't need to investigate anything that offers contradictor
          • by nbauman ( 624611 )

            I don't think even-handed coverage is possible, when journalism as a whole is essentially paid trolling for one agenda or another. People just want to read stuff that reinforces their preconceived notions, and I am no exception.

            Find me a story with no slant, and i'll show you a story (virtually) no one read.

            Here's one. http://news.sciencemag.org/arc... [sciencemag.org] According to Feedly, it had 100+ readers on Feedly alone. I just read it yesterday.

            As a journalist, I can tell you that there are a lot of different definitions of "even-handed", but it possible.

            For about 50 years, the Wall Street Journal was very profitable, and it was owned by the Bankroft family, who hired the best editors they could find, gave them good salaries and budgets, told them to publish whatever they thought was important, and never influenced the n

    • by neminem ( 561346 )

      Yes, yes it is already a thing. I was going to post that, but I can see I've already been beaten to that like three times already.

    • Allvoices.com
    • Crowd-sourcing content is one aspect, but I'm very much looking forward to "subscribing" to a story and getting only updates after that -- as short as possible, whether they be corrections, links to related stories, or truly new information. I can fit a lot more news into my day if I don't have to hear/read the same context/intro information each time there's an update.

      Less important to me is a "ask the author" system, by which readers can suggest directions for investigative journalists to take: how is thi

      • by tepples ( 727027 )

        Crowd-sourcing content is one aspect, but I'm very much looking forward to "subscribing" to a story and getting only updates after that -- as short as possible, whether they be corrections, links to related stories, or truly new information.

        On Wikinews, you can put a story on your watchlist and review its revision history.

    • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Informative)

      by Larry Sanger ( 936381 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @08:00PM (#48511247) Journal
      Hi, I'm the Infobitt founder/CEO. No, it's not the same thing at all. Wikinews doesn't address itself to the problem of making sense of the news in the face of facts being scattered among repetitive articles, clickbait, etc. Traditional citizen journalism just gives people a platform to write articles and pretend to be journalists. We're not doing that. We're inviting people to find, rank, summarize both individual facts and stories (which we call bitts, which are made up of facts). Our mission isn't to add to the cacophany of the news, but to organize it.
      • by ah.clem ( 147626 )

        You know, I like this idea a lot, but I am not sure about it's success. I can see it would be very useful for collecting like information into one place and provide a single point of entry for all information relating to a particular story or like stories (for example, a few days after the Ferguson shooting, a white cop in a southern town shot an unarmed black man he pulled over for a seat belt violation, and the city sat on the information and video for almost a week, which resulted in no story at all, wh

      • Traditional citizen journalism just gives people a platform to write articles and pretend to be journalists.

        That's quite the broad brush you're tarring people with.

        Google already tried a system where users ranked and commented on entries - it was pulled because people immediately gamed it.

        We're not doing that. We're inviting people to find, rank, summarize both individual facts and stories (which we call bitts, which are made up of facts)

        So, almost the same as citizen journalism, people get to decide what is and isn't news, how important it is, and write summaries of articles instead of the articles themselves. A distinction without a real difference, and also wide open to manipulation and trolling.

        The reason slashdot is (still mostly) a success isn't becaus

      • In this thread [ycombinator.com] you post an answer about profit sharing schemes [ycombinator.com]. Why not be up-front and say that this is a for-profit business that is going to rely on free labor (the pitfalls of which were pointed out here [ycombinator.com] further down the page.

        Our mission isn't to add to the cacophany of the news, but to organize it.

        Let me fix that for the readers ...

        Our mission isn't to add to the cacophany of the news, but to profit from free labor.

      • Re:I don't get it (Score:5, Interesting)

        by nbauman ( 624611 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @11:28PM (#48512275) Homepage Journal

        I'm a journalist. After looking at your samples http://larrysanger.org/wp-cont... [larrysanger.org] http://larrysanger.org/wp-cont... [larrysanger.org] I was wondering what the benefit is of Infobitt over Google News.

        You had an Ebola story. I would define the task as gathering information, verifying it, identifying the important issues and organizing it. By that definition, I think the New York Times did a pretty good job. I got most of my information about it from Science magazine and New England Journal of Medicine. (The trade press covers stories with an order of magnitude more detail, they understand it better, and they know better how to identify the important issues and organize it.)

        Jon Cohen did a lot of the Ebola coverage for Science. He covered the AIDS epidemic, wrote one of the leading books about it, and covered several other major epidemics around the world in the kind of detail Science magazine's PhD-level readers want to know. He has a salary that's enough to live comfortably and an expense account that can send him around the world. I can't imagine how crowd-sourced volunteers could ever deliver information about Ebola as well as Cohen could.

        I could say the same for New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA, Lancet, BMJ, Reuters, and several other news sources. The big difference I notice is that your Bitt is a miscellaneous collection of stories, some of which is unverified bullshit, like Darrell Issa's pointless partisan attacks on Obama. There were easily 100 major stories on the Ebola quarantine that day. Why did you pick those 8?

        If I were giving a journalism class, I would say, "A news story has to have a story."

        There's a fire hose of information out there. The first job of a journalist is to throw out 99% of it. Then throw out another 90%. Then try to make some sense out of it.

        For example, JAMA last week had 8 or 9 articles on the theme of reforming health care delivery.
        http://jama.jamanetwork.com/is... [jamanetwork.com] Each of those articles illustrated one important aspect of the problem, and they all fit in together. They deliberately had one article that contradicts another article.

        Sorry to be so tough but that's the way editors treated me, and that's the way I treat reporters today. It's for their own good.

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        Our mission isn't to add to the cacophany of the news, but to organize it.

        Doing it through "wisdom of the crowd" will lead to positive reinforcement loops, resulting in news biased in the direction of what most people already believed anyways. This self-reinforcement will make these news irrelevant.

        • Irrelevant perhaps, but that doesn't mean it won't be popular, at least among certain demographics.

          After all, if it comes to reflect their biases more the longer they use it, they'll be more and more likely to want to get their news from there.

          So from that perspective, it sounds like a win for those selling the ads on it, and a depressing loss for the rest of humanity.

          Dan Aris

          • by Tom ( 822 )

            So from that perspective, it sounds like a win for those selling the ads on it, and a depressing loss for the rest of humanity.

            Good summary of most of the commercial activity on the Internet today.

      • Larry, I'll take this opportunity to bring up this dilemma to you, then.

        Wikinews seeks to be NPOV, like Wikipedia. In practice, both sites parrot whatever is said: there is a "No Original Research" philosophy which eliminates all forms of punditry in theory. Unfortunately, that means repeating the unfounded position of other pundits.

        Ideally, your news source should reign in the pundits. For the PETN underwear bomber, CNN went berserk over him talking to well-dressed men during a flight transfer, and

    • I am the founder of Newslines [newslines.org]. We are the closest thing to a Wikipedia for news, although we are really a mix of daily news, Wikipedia and YouTube. Our writers create news-based timelines on any person, product or news event.

      There are many problems with the way Wikipedia deals with news (see my article Wikipedia's 13 Deadly Sins [newslines.org]. On the reader side, news pages are text-based, very unstructured, and don't have embedded videos and cannot be sorted or filtered. On the writers' side there are many problems with

  • The probable most obvious question is how will that project differentiate itself from Wikinews [wikinews.org]?
    • by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:11PM (#48510559) Journal
      Since they "are still in early stages", how would you want them to differentiate themselves? I can think of a few things that can set it apart from a site like Wikinews which is based on vanilla Mediawiki:
      - Multiple, personal, compound filters (subject, region, country, town, breaking, highest ranked)
      - Rich feeds (mail, RSS)
      - A personalized front page based on your filters with some "suggested reading" thrown in
      - Article ranking based on moderation and reputation (of both source site and submitter)
      - Comment section (we need our flamewars)
      - A mobile app (yes, you can go with a mobile theme, but some newspapers and news aggregators have apps that actually make finding and reading stuff a lot easier)
      • Since they "are still in early stages", how would you want them to differentiate themselves?

        They already are "differentiated", if by that you mean pretty non-functional website that requires you to sign up (you've got to be kidding me) just to get a peek.

        For once, "nothing to see here - move on" is dead on.

    • by pavon ( 30274 )

      Well based on the current interface, it will differentiate itself by making articles a series of disconnected statements, with no editing for flow at all. This makes it easier to link back to the original source of each statement, but kills any sort of readability like the worst of the inverse pyramid writing style rising again after its near death.

  • by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:03PM (#48510495) Homepage Journal

    Online news has become ridiculously confusing.

    Nonsense. I take Drudge Report [drudgereport.com] and Slashdot as the news-sites of record — and I have not missed anything important yet. Thank you very much.

  • Online news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fhic ( 214533 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:07PM (#48510533)

    I use Google News as my home page. It's constantly updated, the selection of news is pretty good, and they offer multiple links to each story. On the downside, there are occasionally articles that are paywalled or click-bait that makes it through the filter, but it is what it is. It's pretty good for a no-humans-involved system.

    • Of course. There are no humans involved in Google News. LOL.

    • I too use Google News to see what's going on, but for every story large enough, I find myself reading the Wikipedia page.

      Too much "mainstream news" (and I loathe myself for saying that) is opinions about the opinions of other people with opinions on the news. Tune in at 11 for Kim Kardasian's reaction to the NFL "Hand's Up" player entrance reaction to protester's reactions about Ferguson verdicts -- our experts will provide insight!

      At least the Wikipedia page gives me information on all the players -- can'

      • Outside of the mainstream news though likes the equally bad targetted news, a field which depends upon knowing the readership and telling them what they want to hear. This has a polarising effect, amplifying the two-way split of American society. Liberals read liberal news and get more liberal, while conservatives read conservative news and get more conservative.

        • I think the argument is that the mainstream news is already split with Fox and MSNBC being the two most obvious flag bearers for their side. Nobody actually wants calm, reasoned news, presenting the pros and cons of a situation. It's a surefire recipe to make both sides hate you.

      • I give up on mainstream news because of this. MH370 was a classic example. There simply was no information other than the plane had gone missing without trace, but this didn't stop hundreds of news hours dedicated to worthless opinion and speculation. I actually got more useful info reading these pages because we have pilots and ATCs in our ranks who could offer an honest technical viewpoint without feeling the need to sex it up or oversell it. Any new News site needs to focus on useful information only and
    • Re:Online news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @07:51PM (#48511189)

      Ugh. I dislike google but credit where credit is due.

      I didn't see any:

      10 things articles
      6 ways articles
      Guess what X is Y
      No Celebrity gossip
      No pun headlines
      No shock headlines "X will shock you..." / "You'll be amazed by Y" etc

      wow. I didn't know new like that still existed outside of places like /. nevermind that google would be behind one.

      Thanks

    • Re:Online news (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Larry Sanger ( 936381 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @08:04PM (#48511271) Journal
      Infobitt founder/CEO here. Hey, I love Google News. But what they don't do is summarize the stories, nor do they make a credible effort of organizing the news in a way that makes it possible to get caught up with the news quickly and efficiently. Suppose you want to really learn about a story that is being covered by many different news sources. Google News provides the awesome service of letting you find all the coverage quickly. But what they don't do is make it any easier to extract original reporting from among the facts contained in those articles. You can read one article, and that will get your fingers on one part of the elephant...but if you want to handle the whole elephant, you'll have to wade through all the other articles as well. A community of newshounds could do that for you, summarizing all the unique facts in a nonredundant way, putting them in order of importance. That's what we're trying to do.
      • by shri ( 17709 )

        May I suggest that you go back in time (or go into the future) and look for a video called "EPIC" or "Googlezon".

        A lot of this is possible with crowdsourcing, but use machine driven processes for the basics - far too many agendas out there once your site / service becomes popular. Look at text / sentiment analysis engines and mashups with larger public databases to drive facts.

      • Your news site is DOA.

        I can't even LOOK at it without "signing up"?

        I can at least LOOK at EVERY OTHER NEWS SITE without giving them my info.

        Loose the sign in requirement, or go away.

  • US Centric? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by irrational_design ( 1895848 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:07PM (#48510535)
    I once spent six months in a foreign country. Upon returning home I was amazed to read major American newspapers and to see for myself how drastically what they were reporting was different than what was actually going on. I knew what I had experienced first hand, and I knew that what the American papers were reporting was flat out not true. (I still don't know what to make of this since it wasn't just one paper, but all the ones I looked at. I'm no conspiracy nut, but how does that happen?). However, the foreign news such as the BBC was reporting the news accurately. Since then I've not trusted anything reported by American papers, after all, if I know that they were mis-reporting something I knew about, how do I know the truth about things I don't know about first hand? I stick to foreign based news nowadays. Fortunately with the internet that is easy to do.
    • Interesting. Give some examples.
      • Pretty much anything having to do with Dutch euthanasia laws or cannabis use.
        • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

          I don't know why you hold up the BBC as a shining example. They put out the line of the current government which, as it's conservative, involves regular scare stories and bullshit regarding euthanasia and cannabis.

          • by gsslay ( 807818 )

            Examples?

            The BBC is regularly berated by the current government. And by all other political parties. Which is usually a good indication that they're getting it right.

      • You don't even need to leave the U.S. to see this. Just compare an international site such as BBC News to the mainstream American press. Often a huge difference in how the same stories are covered.
    • Would you be willing to share an example event and a link to the false reporting?

      • An example??? Why leave it up to me you doubter? Ok here's why; as the old saying goes "He who controls the media controls the people" Whether its not reporting all the facts or painting a rosy scene, it's lies. Don't ask for proof, sheep. Naaaah. Calling someone a "Coward" or "cowardly act" does not UNmake you one mr president. Just read or watch the BBC and draw your own conclusions. We ALMOST tell the truth...to be fair. No wonder we have lost all credibility in the world, except to maybe the GOP (Go O
    • Britain and France are prime examples of a countries that finally did away with the crap tabloids and their phony reporting.

    • Re:US Centric? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 ) <sharper@booksund ... minus herbivore> on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:26PM (#48510663) Homepage Journal

      Ever read mainstream news reporting about a topic you were very familiar with? Perhaps something related to technology, or a local issue you were in the middle of?

      Most people have had that experience. The more you know about something, the less the story seems to be accurate.

      Yeah, all the rest of the news stories are about that accurate also, people just mostly don't notice.

      Think about it.... it's mostly some j-school grad who asked a couple people some questions to get quotes, then threw the "story" together. Usually they're lucky if they understood what they were told, let alone can explain it in a manner which actually enlightens their audience.

      My best luck as been with subject matter experts who blog on news topics related to their subject. So I get my economics news and analysis from economics professors (not the pet ones in the NY Times), my legal news from law professors and judges who blog, my technical news from a technical site focused on that part of the industry, etc...

      Even then you have to be willing to read multiple viewpoints to try and see a bigger picture than one voice is going to paint for you.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I once spent six months in a foreign country. Upon returning home I was amazed to read major American newspapers and to see for myself how drastically what they were reporting was different than what was actually going on. I knew what I had experienced first hand, and I knew that what the American papers were reporting was flat out not true. (I still don't know what to make of this since it wasn't just one paper, but all the ones I looked at. I'm no conspiracy nut, but how does that happen?). However, the foreign news such as the BBC was reporting the news accurately. Since then I've not trusted anything reported by American papers, after all, if I know that they were mis-reporting something I knew about, how do I know the truth about things I don't know about first hand? I stick to foreign based news nowadays. Fortunately with the internet that is easy to do.

      I'm in the same boat. I'm sure US News has always been, to some degree, carrying water for the rich and powerful, but I always felt it was at least plausibly true, if not actually true. But right around the lead-up to the second Gulf War, that dynamic just broke. US Media was, almost without exception, peddling such an obvious laundry list of already-discredited-back-then conspiracy theories that it didn't even pass the laugh test anymore--but they just kept doing it, for years on end. At some point I j

    • I'm no conspiracy nut, but how does that happen?

      Believing in conspiracy theories without any/sufficient evidence is what makes one a conspiracy nut - a type of fanciful thinking. Given sufficient evidence, the 'nut' label is no longer required. Believing that there are no conspiracies is another type of fanciful thinking.

      I stick to foreign based news nowadays. Fortunately with the internet that is easy to do.

      And if you want to specifically find foreign perspectives on US endeavors, Watching America [watchingamerica.com] aggreg

    • My experience is that, regardless of country, the reporting of any news of which I have firsthand knowledge is wrong in all sorts of ways. Usually they get the gist right, but that's about it... and they don't always get that much right. I remind myself regularly that this cannot be an artifact related to my personal knowledge, but that all news reporting must be flawed.

      Just take everything with a grain of salt. Or a pound.

    • Infobitt founder/CEO here. We want to solve this problem by creating a separate homepage for each nationality, or perhaps simply by filtering the news in a certain clever way that I won't bother to describe. The great thing about a big online community coming together to build Infobitt will be that we can indeed compare different sources. Perhaps your impressions of U.S. news is correct. Perhaps when stacked up directly with other reporting, you'll find it's not as bad as you think. We'll be able to tell m
      • We want to solve this problem by creating a separate homepage for each nationality

        ... like google news already does ...

        r perhaps simply by filtering the news in a certain clever way that I won't bother to describe

        ... probably because it doesn't exist yet ...

        the great thing about a big online community coming together to build Infobitt will be that we can indeed compare different sources. Perhaps your impressions of U.S. news is correct. Perhaps when stacked up directly with other reporting, you'll find it's not as bad as you think.

        ... like google news already does ...

        These sorts of stories irritate a lot of us because we've (1) seen them too often before, and (2) if you were to pitch this on Shark Tank or Dragon's Den they'd ask you what your differentiators are, your revenue model, and why they shouldn't throw you out in the first 30 seconds.

        The rules are the same as in the tank - "Don't tell us - show us." If you don't have something already up

    • by pavon ( 30274 )

      I still don't know what to make of this since it wasn't just one paper, but all the ones I looked at. I'm no conspiracy nut, but how does that happen?

      If they were all wrong in the same way, it is possible you were just reading slightly edited versions of the same account provided by a news feed like the Associated Press.

    • "I was amazed to read major American newspapers and to see for myself how drastically what they were reporting was different than what was actually going on."

      The elites are afraid of political awakening, and you really don't understand what science has discovered about the brian... you dear sir, don't live in 'reality'. See the science:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

      Also a real news site:

      http://therealnews.com/t2/ [therealnews.com]

      The (mass surveillance) by the NSA is just more part and parcel of state suppression of diss

    • American news journalism is dead, and has been for many years.

      You are honestly better off watching al jazeera than any US television news for surprisingly neutral reporting of facts.
  • Solved by Google News, Trending Topics, Aware friends and followers, Flip Book, A collection of mainstream newsies for breaking news sites, mac rumors. Slashdot is about 24 hours behind many of the news stories that end up here. But you're just being lazy if you feel you need to goad others into providing you yet another news feed.

  • by Snotnose ( 212196 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:11PM (#48510567)
    I find I reliably get most of my news, and fast, from fark.com. Beats bbcnews (ok), yahoo (sucks), cnn (ok), and abcnews (ok) consistently.
  • by ihtoit ( 3393327 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:19PM (#48510617)

    you (or we) don't allow Government to get its regulatory paws on it as a journalistic source - because that means they can control what goes out, like every other regulated news agency out there. What's left at the moment are fringe agencies who have given such regulators as ATVOD the big fuck-you biscuit, like UKColumn and TPV. These are what a lot of people (read: sheep, for you populists) would term lunatic agencies yet you tools completely trust the BBC, Daily Mail, etc - two State-controlled agencies that respectively told us that Tower 7 had collapsed (23 minutes BEFORE it fell on its own footprint) and that living is bad for us. I would rather trust an agency that offers the first hand evidence - such as UKC and RT (I know, it's controlled by Moscow but they cover UK stories the BBC won't touch which is fine by me but they do get the facts rather than rely on op-eds from random Government copier monkeys from the Department of Redundancy). Perhaps I'm a little biased in recommending the UKColumn because I do regularly send them information (no I don't get paid by them).

  • I welcome another source, but it isn't clear that you'll have much impact on available content. Most news is just noise. Everybody has the same stories at the same time it seems I think partly because the average reader's attention span isn't there to focus on deeper analysis, but deeper analysis is expensive in terms of author time and someone who spends two months researching a story worth telling rightly wants to get paid for it. There is value in the tidbits we passively consume on a daily basis, but it

  • I thought everything2 was "the encyclopedia that Slashdot built"

  • by dpbsmith ( 263124 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:41PM (#48510765) Homepage

    It seems as if there is some historical revisionism going on. My understanding is that Larry Sanger was a guiding light behind NuPedia, a web encyclopedia that was to be written by experts and vetted by authorities--and that after several years of work, only a few hundred articles were completed.

    Wikipedia was started as a side-project and rapidly outpaced NuPedia. Sanger acknowledged its success but regretted Wikipedia's failure to value expertise, and proceeded to launch a new project, Citizendium, which has struggled and sputtered and currently survives with about 20,000 articles and relatively little prominence.

    While Jimmy Wales acknowledges Sanger as a co-founder of Wikipedia, and has said that Sanger created many of the policies that to which Wales credits Wikipedia's success, nevertheless it seems a little disingenuous for Sanger to emphasize "Wikipedia."

    • by Aluvus ( 691449 )

      Your post confuses me. For quite some time after Wikipedia got big, Wales tried to downplay the role that Sanger had in Wikipedia, specifically choosing not to refer to him as a "cofounder". That was historical revisionism.

      And I don't find anything horrifically disingenuous about Sanger describing himself as the Wikipedia guy rather than the Citizendium guy. I am confident that Elon Musk does not introduce himself as having worked on a late-90s project to transfer money wirelessly between Palm Pilot devi

  • by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @06:50PM (#48510823) Homepage Journal

    I read a bunch of news sites and its easy to see if they are left or right leaning. Wikipedia isnt balanced anymore. There are paid editors who are very left, and the majority is left, feminist and social justice leaning. They can bend any topic to fit a narrative which is damn annoying for a fact based article when its riddle with emotional propaganda.

    Just google gamergate and wikipedia, editor ryulong is the perfect example. https://encyclopediadramatica.... [encyclopediadramatica.se]

    Love watching news on youtube, the young turks network is pretty good. I like to play the TYT drinking game, take a shot every time they blame a republican or mention gun control.

    • by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @07:02PM (#48510911)

      Wikipedia has another reason for that. The internet is not random sample. It does lean quite liberal, by American standards. Partly because internet culture started off in academic and student populations, and partly because a lot of the english-speaking members are from the UK, Australia, Canada, and other places Americans tend to regard as borderline communist states.

  • What role did Slashdot play in building Wikipedia? Sounds like hyperbole, pretty typical for U.S. news media, I suppose.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @07:07PM (#48510945) Homepage

    Same story was on Hacker News last week. From the same guy.

    • And he got the same hard questions there - with lame responses [ycombinator.com] that show this isn't even half thought-out.

      It is bothering me that I have to even sign up to view anything on Infobitt.com. That already is sending me away since I refuse to blindly sign up for any service.

      Ditto.

      I have of course wondered what it would be like to do Infobitt with a wiki, and I considered setting a wiki up for that purpose. The bottom line is that wikis lack the potential reasons for using the Infobitt format in the first place--making it easier to compete as well as collaborate, making it possible to vote on small pieces of content (as well as the ordering of the content), etc.

      In other words, wiki forces users to collaborate on the same extended piece of content. This has all sorts of great effects, if enough people are participating. But it makes it harder to make short fungible pieces of content, rearrange them by vote, and do contests to discover the best version of each type.

      Contests? Welcome to Facebook games meets the news.

      lsanger 9 days ago | link

      Battling organized partisanship is a problem for down the road. My hope is that, by the time we deal with that, we'll have the funding and the personnel to code up a system that enables us to test out some technical solutions to this problem. There are lots of ideas...

      Shouldn't this be figured out before, and not "down the road?"

      We're considering doing a profit-sharing system, but I'm worried about the effect that will have on the community.

      So why not some more (or at least SOME) info on the financial model???? It's obviously for-profit.

      Another complaint about login being required:

      But why you need people to log in to see about page? Just 1 static html page so I (not really me, because I spent a lot of time on that conversation anyway, but somebody, whatever) could decide if it's worth my time to sign up using real email account. It's, well, the point of about pages, to explain people what is that stuff they are looking at, and if they really want to go further. Scalability issues? That 1 static html page could be hosted anywhere, and, besides, if your servers aren't dying to host login page it wouldn't make very much difference anyway.

      ... and now some MOAH FACEBOOK:

      We need to code the "like" feature as the first step to implementing this.

      After more than a year and basic features missing?

  • NASA is developing the capabilities needed to send humans to an asteroid by 2025 and Mars in the 2030s.

    This is a topic many of us love to read about, but it is just not news, it was at the top of Infobitt. News is something that when your spouse waves you to the TV to see something huge your able to give more backstory than Wolf Blitzer. News is something that gets you to shout "HEY O M F G". News unfortunately bleeds. News is, well new. Seems unlikely to be generated by casual social media chat.

  • by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Tuesday December 02, 2014 @07:49PM (#48511183)

    The issue with online news isn't that the interesting bits are hard to find. It's that everyone has different interesting bits, there's a ton of duplicated content, and it's hard to follow issues and tell when something new has happened. Plus crowdsourcing is going to be tough when you're following a moving target of quickly developing events.

    I think a much cooler idea would be to arrange the facts in a timeline as stories develop across weeks and months. Basically a fancier version of timelines on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] with better visualizations. When you notice a story you could hop over and get a simple overview of the coverage, and if you're following a story over a period of time you could routinely hop over and see the main events that occurred.

  • New short life makes things complicated: crowd wisdom is able to make wikipedia articles good, but it takes time. If we try to use the same method for news, it will be obsolete once verified.

  • by lindseyp ( 988332 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2014 @01:14AM (#48512609)

    http://www.newslines.org/ [newslines.org] exists to aggregate news in a timeline by SUBJECT, where the subject could be a person, place, event etc.

    It does fill a niche that I think is not really covered well by wikipedia, google news, or any of the services I've yet seen.

    *disclaimer, newslines.org is a startup of a good friend of mine and I do have a financial interest.

  • Does anyone care to fill me in on why Wikipedia is "the encyclopedia that Slashdot built"? I've been visiting here since approximately the time of Wikipedia's ascension, but don't recall any link other than both being somewhat nerdy and popular among the same groups.
  • by Tom ( 822 )

    Who wouldn't want a news stream that thinks porn stars and manga characters are right up there in importance with world politics and science, but local events and locations are not notable enough to be mentioned?

    For all its goods, WP has many downsides as well and in a news stream, they would come out more strongly and more visibly, because they wouldn't be hidden under layers of administrative control, aggressive editing and irrelevance.

  • The first hurdle is the Western obsession with "objective" reporting. No such thing exists. But in the pursuit of the appearance of objectivity, you get slanted news constantly disguising itself as authoritative truth. Sometimes you get the same phenomenon on Wikipedia but at least there, interpretation of data is kept to a minimum. There is so much to report on, and so much information to curate, one has to employ a particular world view to decide what part of the story is important to tell. When it come
  • News are short lived and should be delivered as fast as possible, it is not something that is refined over time like a Wikipedia article.
    Moreover, news are very personal. Are you interested in sports ? what sport ? what team ? and fashion ? and video games ? It's nice to have a listing of what most "editors" think are important news but I don't necessarily have the same interests. There are systems that can help you getting the most relevant news for you but that's more a Google-like job than a Wikipedia-li

  • ...not make the same mistakes we made with Wikipedia?

    1) People editing X should have some knowledge of X

    2) If a person Y complains and corrects an article about Y it should be automatically dismissed. This has happened to me, twice and others who are actually well known.

    I signed up, it's a great idea.

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