Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2021-04-25/From the editor

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A change is gonna come: But not soon enough.
External video
video icon A change is gonna come, Sam Cooke, 3:10
video icon Centerfield, John Fogerty, 3:51
video icon Blue Funk, Cannonball Adderley, 5:30

Thirteen months ago, 18 days after the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic The Signpost reported that 683,000 people had been infected and 32,100 people had died from the disease worldwide. Today the totals are 146,479,113 infected and 3,099,838 dead.

It is difficult to see that we have made much progress. We are still in the middle of a pandemic. It is difficult to see how the pandemic will end, with new COVID variants and a catastrophic second wave in India.

And yet it is springtime in the northern hemisphere and hope springs eternal. Baseball season has started. Vaccination campaigns are taking hold, at least in the US, UK, and several other developed countries. But we can’t be sure the pandemic will end until all countries have effective vaccination campaigns and we know if the vaccines can help stop new variants of the virus. Perhaps we can hope to know by September.

Thirteen months ago in this column I wrote about The Signpost staff "we're in this for the duration". I am sorry that I can not keep that promise. This month I learned how the pandemic affects brain fog and recognized myself as an example. Don't worry, my blue funk will eventually go away. Thank goodness that my family and I are still healthy, but the lockdown has reduced the time I can spend on The Signpost. My family needs more time now. I am looking forward to spending almost all my weekends with them this summer. And I am just bone-tired; I need a break from the editor-in-chief position. There are three possible solutions:

  • The Signpost can miss a couple of issues this summer.
  • We have some guest editors-in-chief
  • A new editor-in-chief takes over.

The job of the editor-in-chief is primarily organizing — something I'm not very good at. He or she needs to

  • Solicit articles for the next issue
  • Anticipate topics that are likely to come up — I always forget Mother's Day
  • Evaluating and editing submissions
  • Have backup plans if an article falls through
  • Organizing and helping with the copy editing
  • Making sure that everything that needs to be done before publication is actually done, and
  • Certifying that no Wikipedia rules are broken in any article.

None of these tasks are difficult in themselves, but organizing them can be,

If you'd like to be a guest EIC or just replace me please email me and we'll see what we can arrange.

In truth, I’d prefer to step down permanently by July, and spend the time I have for The Signpost as a reporter. I love reporting for The Signpost, so don't worry, I'm not going away anytime soon.

I’d like to help renew The Signpost by recruiting a few more writers and editors.

Why write for The Signpost?

The Signpost is the best place on Wikipedia to write about Wikipedia for Wikipedians. Our readers include thousands of Wikipedia editors every month. Although we have to follow the basic rules that any talk page or project page must follow, we are independent of the Wikimedia Foundation and of any other Wiki-institution that we report on. Our loyalty goes solely to the Wikipedia community. We have three purposes:

  • To fairly and accurately report the news about Wikipedia and the broader Wikipedia movement.
  • To entertain our readers. A little fun and humor can go a long way toward helping us all understand each other better.
  • To publish the opinions, research, projects, and other ideas of Wikipedians and to help them best present these ideas to our readers.

We could use more reporters for pure news reporting. These beats include:

  • Arbitration report
  • Discussion report
  • News and notes
  • Technology report
  • WikiProject report

A few features are close to my heart and always need help.

  • In the media
  • Humour
  • Gallery or other photo projects

We could use editors to help write or curate articles on any topic that a large group of Wikipedians are passionate about. While we may not need an article each month on the topic, The Signpost should cover them on an ongoing basis.

  • GLAM and similar projects
  • Women's issues
  • Non-English language wikis
  • Wikimedia Commons and other non-Wikipedia projects
  • The LGBTQ+ community
  • Wikidata

Writing and research should be fun and fulfilling, whether your target audience is the whole world - as on Wikipedia, or just the community of Wikipedia editors. Drop us a note at the newsroom talk page if you're interested.