Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not TV

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Wikipedia is not a television station or television news or weather broadcast. Most television news are broadcasts of current news, reporting current events in the world.

Wikipedia does none of these things. Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, written from a neutral point of view and based on reliable sources.

Note to all experienced users: This essay is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.

Wikipedia is not a journal of current news and weather[edit]

Wikipedia does not report on everything going on in the world today. There is usually no need to write articles about things with no historical significance whatsoever.

Due to the inherent biases of Wikipedia editors, there tends to be a lot more written on topics that have occurred more recently, especially events following Wikipedia's founding. In many cases, the problem is not that an article is on a topic with little historical significance that is encyclopedia, it's that there isn't an article on a topic with at least as much historical significance. For more on this phenomenon, see Wikipedia:Recentism.

When editing Wikipedia to reflect current news, always ask yourself if you are adding something truly encyclopedic and important, or mere trivia. If it is the latter, there may be no need to write about it.

Wikipedians are not journalists[edit]

Journalists offer firsthand reports of current events. Wikipedia does not. Wikipedia is not a primary source. See Wikipedia:No original research.

Wikipedians are not meteorologists[edit]

Meteorologists forecast the weather, including hurricanes, typhoons, and cyclones. Wikipedia should not do this. However, in the United States, because many U.S. newsreporters have limited work-day schedules, Wikipedia volunteers have continued online hurricane coverage, with combined maps, storm-track and intensity data, while news teams were gone. Although volunteers might have out-forecasted, or out-warned, reporters in the past, there is no guarantee of future performance. A better focus is to update the storm histories to indicate how fast storm waters have risen, how strong storm surges have eroded coastlines, how intense outer-band gusts/tornadoes have been, and the manner in which people were injured/drowned, rather than give the impression of correctly forecasting the future. Popular opinions have ignored that houses on 14-foot stilts have capsized, 3rd floor levels have been gutted, and evacuation roads have become flooded hours before a hurricane arrived. In 2008, some large historic hurricanes were still mis-described in Wikipedia articles.

Do not cause people to die[edit]

If a weather forecast is written on Wikipedia, some people may depend on it and die as a result, particularly with hurricane forecasts. Be very cautious to avoid this situation.

Wikipedia does not disseminate the opinion of those who write it[edit]

Wikipedia is not a soapbox. It is not a forum for you to spout your opinion to the world.

Wikipedia articles are supposed to be verifiable and written from a neutral point of view. Injecting your point of view into articles is considered unacceptable. If you're blatant enough about it, you could be labeled a vandal.

This also applies to your user page. Many Wikipedians frown on the use of user pages or subpages to disseminate opinions. There are plenty of sites around the web that you can use to spread your opinion to the world. Your Wikipedia user page and subpages are intended to aid in the construction of an encyclopedia. See Wikipedia:User pages.

Wikipedia does not expose the truth[edit]

You may see yourself as a daring investigative reporter or weather reporter, contacting everyone from anonymous sources to people in positions in power, hoping to learn the truth about a subject. Through your myriad of connections, you uncover the scoop of the century. Wikipedia is simply dying for this scoop, right?

Wrong. Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought or weather forecast. Any contributions you make to Wikipedia must be verifiable, meaning anyone can check the facts for themselves, and based on reliable sources. We expect you to cite your sources for your contributions. If you attempt to publish "scoops" on Wikipedia, you may be found in violation of our no original research policy, and your "scoop" is likely to be reverted for being unverifiable by a rouge admin. Wikipedia is not Wikileaks, nor will it ever be Wikileaks.

Note that, if you first publish your scoop in a reliable, reviewable source, like the Washington Post, the article that it appears in can then be used as a source in a Wikipedia article. However, it must appear in independent media first. This is one of the quirks of WP:NOR. Also, if you post something on Wikileaks that causes huge controversy, it is likely that you will feel the same sense of satisfaction from using the power of Wikis in the pursuit of truth, justice, or whatever else you may be seeking.

See also[edit]