Wikipedia:In the news

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Administrator instructions

This page relates to the "In the news" section of the main page. You might be looking for Wikipedia:Press coverage.
For proposing new items to be posted, see Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates.
Model of the Schiaparelli lander
Model of the Schiaparelli lander

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The In the news (ITN) section on the main page serves to direct readers to articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest. ITN supports the central purpose of Wikipedia—making a great encyclopedia.

Unlike Wikipedia's sister project Wikinews, Wikipedia is not an online newspaper and does not accept original works of journalism or first-hand reports. However, many Wikipedians are motivated to create and update encyclopedic articles of timely interest. ITN originated in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, when entries were created and put on the main page within minutes of the attacks. The entries led to an infusion of interest by editors in creating a main page section that linked to articles providing readers the context behind the news.

Events posted on ITN are listed in approximately chronological order, with the more recent entries appearing first. They are generally not sorted by any degree of importance or significance.


  • To help readers find and quickly access content they are likely to be searching for because an item is in the news.
  • To showcase 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.


Candidates for ITN are evaluated on two main grounds: the quality of the updated content and the significance of the developments described in the updated content. In many cases, qualities in one area can make up for deficiencies in another. For example, a highly significant event, such as the discovery of a cure for cancer, may have a sub-par update associated with it, but be posted anyway with the assumption that other editors will soon join in and improve the article. Conversely, an editor may write an in-depth update on a topic normally considered marginal, thus convincing commenters that it is deserving of inclusion. A successful nomination will normally go through several procedural steps before being added to the ITN template.

Updated content[edit]

Each ITN item contains an emboldened link to an article providing a substantial quantity of directly relevant information, attributed to reliable sources. Typically, the article has been updated to include this text or created in response to the recent/current event.

The decision as to when an article is updated enough is subjective, but a five-sentence update (with at minimum three references, not counting duplicates) is generally more than sufficient, while a one-sentence update is highly questionable. Changes in verb tense (e.g. "is" → "was") or updates that convey little or no relevant information beyond what is stated in the ITN blurb are insufficient.

In the case of a new, event-specific article, the traditional cut-off for what is enough has been around three complete, referenced and well-formed paragraphs. An example of the minimum required update for a new article is Fuzhou derailment at the time of its posting.

If the recent/current event relates directly to previous occurrences (e.g. a major award honoring past achievements), the article can be considered sufficiently updated when there is consensus that it contains appropriate, up-to-date coverage of the entire chronology, irrespective of when the text was written or how many sentences pertain specifically to the recent/current event (apart from the requirement that it be mentioned).

Updated content must be thoroughly referenced. As with all Wikipedia articles, citations must be to reliable sources. While articles on topics such as sporting events and economics lend themselves to tables of numbers, updates must be at least in part written in prose to qualify for ITN consideration. References should be correctly formatted and not bare URLs.

Articles that are subject to serious issues, as indicated by 'orange'- or 'red'-level tags at either the article level or within any section, may not be accepted for an emboldened link.

An accepted blurb may be transferred to 'Ongoing' by an administrator if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if the administrator is satisfied that regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s). Major developments should be nominated for a new blurb. An article listed as 'Ongoing' should not be taken as being considered as a featured article or otherwise maintained on the front page for reasons other than its newsworthiness.


Whether or not a topic is significant enough for inclusion in ITN is often contentious, and ultimately, there are no rules or guidance beyond two:

  • The event can be described as "current", that is the event is appearing currently in news sources, and/or the event itself occurred within the time frame of ITN.
  • There is consensus to post the event.

It is highly subjective whether or not an event is considered significant enough, and ultimately each event should be discussed on its own merits. The consensus among those discussing the event is all that is necessary to decide if an event is significant enough for posting. Generally, proof that an event is being covered, in an in-depth manner, by news sources is required. Caution should be taken when assessing news sources for prominence, because most major news outlets provide individualized experiences for each user, based on geography and browsing history. What one user sees as a top headline may be buried for others, and vice versa. Do not assess whether a story is "prominent" or not based on where you see it reported on major news websites for this reason. Other principles may be helpful:

  • The length and depth of coverage itself (are the articles long and go into great detail, or are the articles short and cursory?);
  • The number of unique articles about the topic (does each major news source dedicate its own reporting staff to covering the story, or are they all simply reposting the same article?);
  • The frequency of updates about the topic (is the article posted once and forgotten about, or is it continuously updated, and are new articles related to the topic appearing all the time?);
  • The types of news sources reporting the story (is the topic being covered by major, national news organizations with a reputation for high-quality journalism?).

These sort of principles are useful in convincing others to support or oppose posting a story. However, on their own none of them are sufficient to override consensus. Remember, the people you are attempting to convince is the rest of the community, not the admins, and it is rarely helpful to badger others who may have a different opinion.

Historically, the community has tended to frown upon certain types of arguments related to the significance of a story. Any user may, of course, support or oppose a candidate for any reason, but be aware that the following arguments have historically not garnered much support:

  • Arguments about a story related to a particular geographic region, country, ethnicity, people group, etc. are generally seen as unhelpful. Almost all news is of greater interest to a particular place and/or group of people than to the world at large, and arguing that something should or should not be posted, solely because of where the event happened, or who might be "interested" in it because of its location, are not usually met with concurrence from the community.
  • Arguments that deal with the appropriateness of topics in general but also ignore the specific story being discussed are also usually not supported by the community. Opposing a specific story merely because one opposes all stories of that type (such as elections, or sports, or disasters) do not often generate agreement from the community. This also holds true for arguments based on similar stories which have coincidentally appeared recently, such as multiple elections on the same day, etc. Please assess and comment on the merits of each story on its own accord, not in relation to other similar stories.
  • Arguments based on ethics or morals—for example, refusing to support a story because the topic may be offensive to some, or refusing to support a story because one finds the story itself reprehensible—are usually rejected by other members of the community. Bad things may appear in the news, and what is being assessed is not the moral or ethical "goodness" of the story, but its prominence in the news and significance.
  • Arguments based on personal interest and knowledge are rarely sufficient to generate agreement among the community. Merely because one has not heard of a story, or does not personally care about the story, is insufficient when assessing significance.


  1. There is a sufficiently updated non-stub article, with credible sources cited.
  2. The item has been nominated at Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates, with an emboldened link to the updated article(s). A freely licensed image to accompany the item may be suggested. Ideally this image should be related to the top news item. If there is no suitable image available for the top item a relevant image for an item further down the list should be used instead.
  3. If there is consensus to do so, the blurb is added to Template:In the news.

Organization of the ITN section[edit]


Most In The News postings come in the form of blurbs. A blurb is a short explanation of the importance of the story in the news, with a specific article we are highlighting to direct readers to to learn more information. The highlighted article should always be of sufficient quality to be posted on the main page; this usually means:

  • That the article is adequately referenced (a few cn tags is usually not a barrier to posting, though the article should not lack references in any major section, and biographical information is given special scrutiny.)
  • The article does not have any other major issues. Usually, orange and red level tags are generally considered major enough to block posting to ITN, though editors are cautioned against tagging an article merely to block an article from being posted, especially where the article is of sufficient quality. Other tags (such as yellow level tags, or notices about merge discussions, etc.) are not themselves sufficient to block an item which otherwise has consensus; articles which are moved or merged may have their links in ITN updated through WP:ERRORS.
  • That the article is long enough to give readers a full picture of the background of the story we are posting (stubs never get posted, even start-class articles will often get opposed if they are lacking enough context to fully understand the subject)
  • That the article is adequately updated to provide a full picture of the facts and relevance of recent developments. While it is impossible to give a minimum word limit, it is generally inadequate if the entirety of the update is only a sentence, such that no more information is in the update than would be in the blurb.

Blurbs are posted in rough chronological order by the date when the event occurred. There is usually no effort made to be more specific than the date, and admins will generally not research the exact minute when an event occurred to make sure that multiple events that occurred on the same date are strictly in order. Please do not request that events be re-ordered unless the date itself is wrong. The number of blurbs varies from time to time, depending on the length of each individual blurb and the relative lengths of other sections on the main page. The goal is to avoid excessive white space, especially between the right and left columns, and older blurbs may be periodically removed or added to achieve this.


The ITN section usually has a captioned picture in the upper right corner. Pictures generally have to meet the following criteria

  • The picture must be fully free to use, with a proper license and provenance. In almost all cases, that means the picture is available on Wikimedia Commons. Pictures locally uploaded to Wikipedia for use in articles under the guise of fair use criteria are NOT eligible for publishing on the main page.
  • The picture must be of a person or event mentioned in a blurb. The person or event is notated with a parenthetical comment (pictured). Generally, purely decorative elements (like flags or logos) aren't posted (many are ineligible because of non-free content policies anyways); maps (which are often too small to read in thumbnail format) are also not posted.
  • In most cases, the picture is posted for the topmost blurb which has an eligible picture to go with it. (this may be a lower blurb if no pictures are available for higher blurbs). The use of a caption and the parenthetical (pictured) is used to direct readers to the context for the picture.
  • In rare cases, NONE of the articles may have eligible pictures. If that is the case, there may be no picture posted. This may not be something that can be corrected, unless a proper picture can be found. If you DO have a proper picture, it can be reported to WP:ERRORS for prompt posting. General complaints of a lack of a picture are usually not able to be fixed unless the complainant has a specific picture to post.

Ongoing section[edit]

The purpose of the ongoing section is to maintain a link to a continuously updated Wikipedia article about a story which is itself also frequently in the news. The following criteria are usually used to post something to ongoing:

  • Older stories which are scheduled to roll off the bottom of the list may be added to ongoing at admins' discretion, provided that the linked article is receiving continuous updates with new information on a regular basis.
  • Any story may be proposed for an "ongoing" link through the normal use of the nomination page. Generally, these are stories which may lack a blurb-worthy event, but which nonetheless are still getting regular updates to the relevant article.
  • In general, articles are NOT posted to ongoing merely because they are related to events that are still happening. In order to be posted to ongoing, the article needs to be regularly updated with new, pertinent information. Articles whose most recent update is older than the oldest blurb currently on ITN are usually not being updated frequently enough for ongoing status.

Recent deaths section[edit]

An individual human, animal or other biological organism that has recently died may have an entry in the recent deaths section if it has a Wikipedia article that is:

  1. Not currently nominated for deletion or speedy deletion.
  2. Updated, including reliably sourced confirmation of their death.
  3. Of sufficient quality to be posted on the main page, as determined by a consensus of commenters.

This does not apply to species (or higher taxonomic groupings) or non-living entities.

It is sometimes contentious whether or not the death of a person itself merits a blurb or a mere listing in the "recent deaths" section. In general, the following criteria are used to decide whether a death should be posted to RD or as a full blurb:

  • For deaths where the person's life is the main story, where the news reporting of the death consists solely of obituaries, or where the update to the article in question is merely a statement of the time and cause of death, the "recent deaths" section is usually used.
  • For deaths where the cause of death itself is a major story (such as the unexpected death of prominent figures by murder, suicide, or major accident) or where the events surrounding the death merit additional explanation (such as ongoing investigations, major stories about memorial services or international reactions, etc.) a blurb may be merited to explain the death's relevance. In general, if a person's death is only notable for what they did while alive, it belongs as an RD link. If the person's death itself is newsworthy for either the manner of death or the newsworthy reaction to it, it may merit a blurb.
  • In rare cases, the death of major transformative world leaders in their field may merit a blurb. These cases are rare, and are usually posted on a sui generis basis through a discussion at WP:ITNC that determines there is community consensus that the death merits a blurb. Comparisons to deaths of prior persons (we posted John Doe, so we should also post Jane Smith, or conversely we didn't post Bill Jones, so we cannot post Susie Johnson) are rarely considered sufficient to post in absence of consensus.

The section, however, does not detail people and deaths (e.g. occupation, age, and cause of death) due to size and length of the Main Page. Regardless of a blurb or a "recent death" listing, the article on the person in question must still comply with article requirements listed above, particularly WP:BLP which still applies to those who have recently deceased.

For previous discussion about this criterion, see Wikipedia:In the news/Death criteria.

Sports and other recurring events[edit]

Certain regularly recurring events are considered of sufficient interest to be placed on ITN every time they occur; they are listed at Wikipedia:In the news/Recurring items. Items listed there are considered exempt from having to prove their notability through discussion on the candidates page and may be posted as soon as a cited update is added to the article. Discussions on proposed inclusions and removals should take place on the talk page there.


The templates {{ITN notice}} and {{ITN talk}} are used to notify interested parties that an article was bold-linked from ITN. Instructions can be found within each template's documentation.

  • Article creator's talk page: {{subst:ITN notice|article=Article name|action=created}}
  • Article updater's talk page: {{subst:ITN notice|article=Article name|action=substantially updated}}
  • Nominators talk page: {{subst:ITN notice|article=Article name|action=recently nominated}}
  • Self-nominator's talk page: {{subst:ITN notice|article=Article name|action=recently nominated and substantially updated}}
  • Article talk page: {{ITN talk|date=23 October 2016}}

Note: No one possesses special authority to provide recognition. If an editor's contributions have not been recognized, please feel free to do so.


Significant long-term contributions by a user to the In The News section may be recognised with this Barnstar:

Image What to type Description
ITN barnstar {{subst:InTheNews Barnstar|message ~~~~}} The In The News Barnstar may be awarded to recognise significant long-term contributions by an editor to the In The News section.

This barnstar was designed by User:Melesse and User:Neutralhomer, and introduced in August 2010.

Notes for administrators[edit]