Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Resources

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The Signpost
Article resources

Resources for writing Signpost articles

Template code[edit]

Article template[edit]

To create a page with the standard article layout, you can use the Start article buttons in the Newsroom. Alternatively (if the desired section name isn't yet listed there), you can paste the following code into a blank page and save:

{{subst:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Story|Your headline|Username|January 28|2015-01-19|2015-02-02}}
  1. Story headline (required)
  2. Your username (required; additional authors can be added afterwards)
  3. Month and day of publication (required; e.g. January 28)
  4. Date of previous edition (optional - if this is a regular feature, this creates a link to the previous edition)
  5. Date of next edition (optional - if this is a regular feature, this creates a link to the next edition)

Hopefully, you'll find that most of the details have been filled in for you, automagically.

Related articles[edit]

For linking to series of related articles covering a topic over time, you can use this sidebar template.

{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Series|Series title|Article link one|Date|Article link two|Date}}
  1. Heading
  2. First article page
  3. First article date of publication
  4. Second article page
  5. Second article date of publication

This template can accommodate up to 15 articles with dates, by repeating the page and date parameters alternately.


Sometimes there will be some brief points to make that fit better in a sidebar from the main article. You can do this with the following code:

  1. Subheading (optional)
  2. Heading (required)
  3. Body text (required)
  4. Footer text (optional)
  • The footer can be used for a brief note linking to further information, or where to submit news for next time.
  • Don't use punctuation on the end of the subheading or heading.
  • It's usually best to use bullet points for the body text, unless it is all one item.

Major edit[edit]

Rock drum has created this template for use on Signpost articles when they are undergoing a major edit, to help avoid edit conflicts. Please note the parameters:

{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Inuse|user=[[User:Example|Example]]}}

WikiProject talk page[edit]

Rock drum has created this template for use on the talk pages of WikiProjects that have featured in the WikiProject report. Please note the parameters:

{{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/WikiProject used|link=[[<Article link>]]|writer=[[User:Example|Example]]|day=<Day and number>|month=<Month>|year=<Year>}}
  1. Link (required)
  2. Writer (required, can accommodate more than one user)
  3. Day (required)
  4. Month (required)
  5. Year (required)

The Signpost Barnstar[edit]

The Signpost has its own barnstar; award it to someone you think has done a significant amount of work in the project!

Regular sections[edit]

News and notes[edit]

The "News and notes" section features news and reports about the English Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects, as well as the Foundation itself and its chapters. For topics that are also covered by external media, there can be some overlap with the "In the news" section, see below.

In the media[edit]

The "In the media" section reports coverage of Wikipedia and Wikimedia in the media (in a wider sense - for example, relevant blog posts or recently published academic research might be covered here too). There is some overlap with "News and notes". A rule of thumb is that if the news was broken by an outside medium first, or if the fact that there has been media coverage can be regarded as more newsworthy for Signpost readers than the content of this coverage (such as when facts that are well-known among Wikipedians are reported by mainstream media for a wider audience), then it belongs in "In the media". In this section, it is especially important to name and if possible link the original source, to avoid excessive copy-pasting, and to strive to add value by providing context or relevant details (e.g. if a newspaper reports about vandalism in an article, one might link the corresponding diffs).

WikiProject report[edit]

Each "WikiProject report" features a WikiProject (or other long-term collaboration on the English Wikipedia), informing the reader about its work, achievements and problems, and the perspective of its collaborators. Coordinated at the WikiProject desk

Discussion report[edit]

The "Discussion report" was introduced with the goal of providing "a summary of the most significant ongoing discussions and polls of community-wide relevance".


Featured content[edit]

The "Featured content" section reports on recently featured content on the English Wikipedia.

  • WP:GO is by far the most useful resource, setting out all promotions in convenient weekly logs.

Other resources include:

Sister projects[edit]

Technology report[edit]

The "Technology report" covers news and developments related to the platform that Wikipedians/Wikimedians use to collaborate. This includes bug fixes and new features of the MediaWiki software, and the operation of Wikimedia sites.

Although the report aims to cover such matters for a general audience, sometimes readers need to be familiar with certain technical concepts.

Arbitration report[edit]

The "Arbitration report" covers ongoing or recently concluded arbitration cases on the English Wikipedia, as well as a selection of news, announcements, and other matters relating to the Arbitration Committee. Aiming to be unbiassed, from the perspective of an outsider, the report summarises the progress of matters (eg; what has or hasn't happened in a particular case), responses to developments (eg; responses to a proposed decision), and the content and practicalities of matters (eg; what a decision means; what does it tell us, and how might it affect us).

Ideally, after reading the Arbitration report, readers will (1) become aware of something that they weren't aware of before, (2) understand or appreciate something about an arbitration-related matter that they might not have otherwise, and (3) think about at least one arbitration-related matter, look into it for themselves, and come to their own view regarding that matter.

Although the report is particularly useful to users who do not follow all arbitration-related matters, it is part of a publication; the report is not a replacement for anything and common sense should be used while reading.

Editor-in-chief duties[edit]

  • Publishing, which has four steps in an automated script.
    1. First, the front page. The script will spit out a semblance of a front page (example) which you then organize and add a picture.
    2. Second, the script will add all of the articles to these pages, which you will then organize. We've traditionally used an order of: 1) from the editor, 2) op-ed, 3) special report, 4) news and notes, 5) in the media, 6+) everything else, 7) tech report, and 8) recent research. Some of these, however—particularly special reports/NANs vs. op-eds—have been flipped based on the importance of the stories. These pages are critically important, as they form the basis of what is sent out to the mailing lists and literally every subscribed talk page in the movement.
    3. Third, the script will send emails to the mailing lists based on what you did in step two.
      • If you've messed up, which means you messed up on step two, don't proceed. Fix the error so you don't have a bigger mess in step four, then send an email to the WMF coordinator for the Wikimedia-announcements mailing list to ask them to reject it. You'll have to send a manual email from wikipediasignpost@gmail instead, using the pre-generated output here.
    4. Fourth, the script will message all of the talk pages in the movement for you. It is also supposed to update the archives and create pages for the following week, but it's currently broken.
      • If you've had a minor error, correct the page in step two, but remember that all non-en.wp talk pages will also have the error... so pray that it's minor.
    5. If you see errors, copy/paste them in an email to the script maintainer.
    6. Clear the newsroom by replacing the table with {{subst:Signpost assignments|{{subst:#time:Y-m-d|Tuesday + 1 day}}}}, and leave a nice note for everyone under "current discussion."
  • Social media
    • We have active Facebook and Twitter feeds. Tweeting is absolutely critical, as we can get large amounts of hits through our approximately 3500 followers (I measure clicks with
    • A week of Facebook posts can all be scheduled at once; Tweets aren't so friendly.
    • Spread out your posts to maximize views and hits.
  • Newsroom management
    • Clearing the newsroom each week is a simple copy/paste of a template (click "edit" in WP:Newsroom to see it). I think the rest (like manually changing "Irregular articles" for an op-ed) is pretty self-explanatory, but please send me any questions.
    • Leave a message in the newsroom under "Current discussion" to say something like "good job!"
    • Make sure you take a look at the articles at least once during the week to make sure they're getting finished and not saying anything too insane. The traffic report and FC are definitely more chatty than the other sections, but you don't want them to go too far over the line.
    • Page naming. I've tried to stay pretty consistent during my tenure, so for example, I used "op-ed" for all opinion pieces during my tenure. "Special report" is a special item that goes beyond NAN; for super-in-depth looks, I've used "investigative report" two or three times. Otherwise, you'll only see a few weird ones, like "Wikimania" for an extremely packed 2012 issue; "Breaking" for the Lila Tretikov announcement, which came out quite literally as we were publishing; and "Exclusive" for the audio interview with her. "In focus" is one I always wanted to use more but only used once.
  • First point of contact
    • As part of the editorial team, you should be, if possible, the first one to reply to comments on the main talk page or in the newsroom. I typically let comments on articles go by unless they are a request for clarification, particularly in spelling/grammar, or a direct, substantive shot at the author/the Signpost.
  • Content
    • This is simultaneously the most important and most fluid of the areas you oversee. Content, as you are aware, is most affected by who you have writing in a given week. So, for example, without people for NAN, we haven't had NAN. It is also, however, affected by your priorities. Your focus will affect the content you put out. If you place a high emphasis to being the WMF's watchdog, then I assume you'll look to recruit a metapedian to tread back down (and improve!) the path walked by us in the last couple of years. If you decide to pare it down to en.wp centric items, you'd be looking for prominent en.wpians. Etc., etc.
  • Solicitation
    • If you see an incredibly insightful comment from someone, it's worthwhile to privately message them and ask if they want to make it into an op-ed. Many won't, and many will say yes and quickly forget about it. But you'll also have successes, and it's these sort of pieces that generate discussion and help keep the Signpost relevant. Bonus: it requires very little work on your part.

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