Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Coordination

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The Signpost

This page serves as a guideline on this project's internal coordination. Roughly speaking, the content guidelines explain what we write, the style guidelines explain how we write it, and these coordination guidelines explain how we go about doing it in the first place.

  • For guidelines on house style see the style guidelines.
  • For our content organization, see content guidelines.



The Newsroom is the central hub of the Signpost project, to which the rest of the pages within the Signpost matrix are subservient. The core of the newsroom is the article status task-list, which provides editors with an at-a-glance overview of the status of the various Signpost section ahead of issue publication. This matrix is refreshed weekly post-publication using the {{subst:Signpost assignments|{{subst:#time:Y-m-d|Tuesday + 1 day}}}} code; though any editor may reset the newsroom, it is generally done by the editor(s)-in-chief, as doing so represents the final step in the weekly publication process.

General publication ideas are maintained in the newsroom by the editor(s)-in-chief and other senior writers. These ideas represent the current Signpost publication focus, and are transcluded to the various desks as a hint for contributing writers on the current Signpost editorial direction. Weekly notices from the editor(s)-in-chief representing more immediate concerns are also kept here—generally with reference to that particular week's publication deadlines or schedule.

Proposals and submissions from the various contributing desks are collated here as well, allowing editors to review and opine on all potential future articles from one centralized location.

The final element of the newsroom is the regular responsibilities table, which lists editors and their relative spheres of responsibility. For more on that see Administrative positions.


The rest of the core of the Signpost structure is organized via desks, which serve to collate proposals and submissions in irregular or special features in a comprehensive manner, and include an index of past sectional publications as a part of that. Regular features do not have desks—they are over-sighted by their head writers and by the editor(s)-in-chief directly from the Newsroom status matrix. Reflecting our goal of publishing submissions from outside contributors, and not just from our own internal writers, these desks are oriented in such a way so as to provide as easy a process as possible for submitting writing to the Signpost. All proposals and submissions are collated in the Newsroom for review by regular editors—anyone is free to comment, though the editor(s)-in-chief have the ultimate say in matters of publication.

Currently the active desks, as listed in the navigation sidebar, are the opinion desk, the special desk, the interview desk (which, unlike the other desks, is strictly internal), the review desk, and the Featured content dispatch workshop. Of these the former two provide the bulk of our irregular repertoire. Because of the limited number of subjects, and to avoid over-saturation, writers for WikiProject report maintain their own desk, the WikiProject desk.


Our project guidelines are split across three pages. This page serves as a guideline on this project's internal coordination. For guidelines on house style see the style guidelines; for our content organization, see content guidelines. Roughly speaking, the content guidelines explain what we write, the style guidelines explain how we write it, and these coordination guidelines explain how we go about doing it in the first place.

Because this page's guidelines are on internal matters related to project administration they are not strictly necessary reading for inquisitive contributors, as the content and style guidelines are.

Tip line and feedback[edit]

Article tips from interested parties are directed at the Signpost Suggestions page. Regular sectional writers regularly browse through the Suggestions page to obtain news leads ahead of publication.

More general feedback on the Signpost project is posted to our talk page. All discussion is split across these two pages; in the past some discussions were placed on the talk pages of individual desks or pages, but to ease the burden of writers attempting to keep up with them (and to make sure that all discussion is actually visible), these pages have been closed and redirected to the main talk page.

Administrative positions[edit]

Regular and contributing responsibilities are declared in the Newsroom contributor table. Writers of regular sections should list themselves here—contributing writers submitting only individual irregular features need not do so. For more details on what distinguishes a regular writer from a contributing one see the requisite section of our content guidelines. This section describes administrative responsibilities. Holders of these positions and senior writers together comprise the Signpost editorial board, which assists in the editor(s)-in-chief in directing Signpost activities and focus.

  • Editor(s)-in-chief: The editor(s)-in-chief has or have responsibility for executing the overall Signpost mission, as outlined both in our statement of purpose on this page and in their addresses to the readers. Ultimate responsibility for the project rests squarely on the shoulders of the editor(s)-in-chief, but though they coordinate the overall project (and are, usually, the lead editors of at least one of the Signpost's regular columns) they cannot handle all tasks alone, and depend on the assistance of the project's many other contributors. Editor(s)-in-chief are selected by the editor(s)-in-chief that proceed them and confirmed by the Signpost community; on the retirement of one head editor they are responsible for coordinating the search for the Signpost's next leader. For more details on the precise responsibilities of the editor(s)-in-chief see below.

User:Jayen466 User:Go Phightins! User:Gamaliel User:The ed17 User:Skomorokh User:SMasters User:Jarry1250 User:HaeB User:Ragesoss User:Ral315 User:Michael Snow
  • Publication managers: Signpost publication is a complex and multi-step semi-automated procedure, and maintaining the ready state of the publication go button is the primary responsibility of the publication manager. The publication manager is also able to pull the trigger themselves whenever they feel that the Signpost is ready for its weekly publication. The script currently in use for publication was engineered by long-time contributor Jarry1250 who still has responsibility for its maintenance, though he is mostly inactive nowadays.
  • Editor emeritus: Editor(s)-in-chief who have stepped down from overall responsibility (usually due to time pressure) but maintain a presence at the project are given this title.
  • Social media coordinators: Editors delegated to assist the editor(s)-in-chief with managing the Signpost tip lines, handling the occasional Signpost reader surveys, and maintaining the Signpost social media accounts.
  • Designers: These editors are tasked with maintaining the Signpost's distinctive visual appearance and template code, and helping to make sure that editors that wish to write articles don't get bogged down with procedural matters. The Signpost has gone through several redesigns in its history—the current format arose from a massive overhaul in 2009 by Pretzels, with some updates in 2015 (primarily focused on documentation and ease-of-submission) by Resident Mario.

Editorial duties[edit]

These duties are the primary tasks of the editor(s)-in-chief, with the assistance of the editorial board.

  • Publishing
    • Publication is done via a semi-automated script, or, when this fails, via a manual back-up process.
  • 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
    • 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.
  • 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.

FP gallery conversion[edit]

This takes 20 minutes, and only needs the bot's pre-setup content to make work. If you're running low on time for FC, this is a far better option than leaving the descriptions blank.

  • Fix any obvious attribution errors in the credits, e.g. saying a user made 19th-century artworks.
  • Copy list into Notepad (MS Word or the like will turn wikimarkup into smart quotes - not useful. You need a dumb text editor, not a word processor).
  • Search replace "* <b>[[:" for nothing.
  • Search replace "]]</b>" for "<br />"
  • Add "<gallery mode=packed heights=225px>" at the top, and "</gallery>" at the bottom
  • Put back into FP section after "Twenty-one featured pictures were promoted this week." There should be nothing else besides that statement and the new gallery in the FP section.
  • Save.
  • Have a copy of the gallery to look at open as you do the editing in the next step.
  • The captions are the name of the nomination. THEY WILL NEED CLEANED UP, THIS WILL NOT TAKE LONG, BUT IS NOT OPTIONAL. Replace all captions of the form "Obvious filename.jpg" with an appropriate caption. Sometimes just removing ".jpg" and a few other words will get a decent caption, other times you'll have to check by clicking on the image.
  • Add links to all captions, usually just by putting brackets around appropriate phrases. Don't worry - you can fix any redlinks later
  • Add any necessary italics to captions.
  • Save, review gallery once more. Fix any redlinks.

NOTE: There should be no other images after the FP gallery. Delete any closing images. No FPs should appear anywhere else in the article - use FAs, FLs, and the like instead.

The Signpost Barnstar[edit]

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


Automated process[edit]

Click on the button to begin publishing (master password required)

The automated process is easy but fragile: use the big button to the left to get started. Edits must be checked, and errors corrected. Check each step thoroughly before proceeding to the next. If there is a problem (high lag prevents the bot from doing its work, for example), the editor-in-chief should use the manual process described in the next section down.

Guide to steps: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Resources#Editor-in-chief duties

Manual process[edit]


    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 (Samantha Lien; 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, along with creating pages for the next week and archives.
      • 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."


Handle the actual "publishing" tasks in the following order; it should avoid the necessity of having to purge each individual article to update the footer.

  1. Update the issue contents page (at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/YYYY-MM-DD, e.g. this Wednesday: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-21). It should be in the same format as Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2009-02-16, which should be self-explanatory. If there is a note from the editor, make that story #0, which will put it at the top of the page. Rank the special stories in order of perceived importance so that the big stories are at the top, and keep the features at the bottom, in the order used in the newsroom. The order of these may be adjusted to improve the balance of the two columns of stories on Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost. Make sure that each section's subtitle (e.g. "Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News" or a more descriptive title chosen by the section's authors) is reflected on the content page.
  2. Semi-protect the contents page, since it is transcluded on a large number of pages and has occasionally been subject to vandalism.
  3. Move all the pages to subpages of Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/YYYY-MM-DD; it's important here to make sure that the weekly features retain the same name (i.e. "Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/YYYY-MM-DD/Arbitration_report", "Technology_report", etc.) so that the links to the previous issue will work.
  4. Add the footer to all the articles if it's not already present. If a feature (part of a series) was not present in the previous issue, be sure to change the footer to point to the last installment of that feature. Also, adjust the footer in the earlier article to point to the new one.
  5. Change Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Issue to the date of publication, and update Volume # and Issue #. Make sure you use an edit summary that notifies readers, via watchlists, that you are publishing a new issue.
  6. Edit main page, create snippets, insert picture.
  7. Create a new single-page edition by using {{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single|issuedate=2016-xx-xx}} at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single/2016-09-21.
  8. Purge the cache of Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Issue [1], Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost [2], Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single[3], this issue's archive page [4] and this page
  9. Announce the new issue on WikimediaAnnounce-l and Foundation-l, using the pre-generated output below for copy & paste. WikimediaAnnounce-l is currently set up to automatically forward any messages to Foundation-l, so posting separately to Foundation-l will result in a double-posting. However, the forwarding does not always work. Check here and here to ensure that the messages have been posted.
  10. Post the Signpost on the talk pages of subscribers. The subscribe message is loaded into Special:MassMessage for automatic delivery; see this for the proper formatting, updating the dates and volume/issue number where appropriate and replacing "20:44, 5 March 2016 (UTC)" with five tildes:

    <div lang="en" dir="ltr" class="mw-content-ltr"><div style="-moz-column-count:2; -webkit-column-count:2; column-count:2;"> {{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-xx-xx}} </div><!--Volume 11, Issue xx--> <div class="hlist" style="margin-top:10px; font-size:90%; padding-left:5px; font-family:Georgia, Palatino, Palatino Linotype, Times, Times New Roman, serif;"> * '''[[Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost|Read this Signpost in full]]''' * [[Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Single/2016-xx-xx|Single-page]] * [[Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Subscribe|Unsubscribe]] * [[User:MediaWiki message delivery|MediaWiki message delivery]] ([[User talk:MediaWiki message delivery|talk]]) ~~~~~ </div></div>

You will send this to Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Tools/Spamlist. You must be an admin or mass message sender to do this.

  1. Dent/tweet about the new issue, linking to (e.g.) as landing page. The account is bridged to Twitter, and should automatically tweet the message for you.
  2. Blog about the new issue, using the pre-generated output below for copy & paste.
  3. Post the Signpost on talk pages of subscribers on other projects, using m:Global message delivery. The subscribe message is loaded into m:Special:MassMessage for automatic delivery; you can use the pre-generated output below for copy & paste. Only users on the access list can initiate a bot run (Meta admins can add themselves).
  4. Edit Wikipedia:Article alerts/News to announce the publication via Article Alerts.
  5. Create a new book page for the completed issue, e.g Book:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-21, using the pre-generated output below for copy & paste.
  6. Initiate the issue contents page Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-28) for the next issue, with a generic skeleton (using the pre-generated output below), so that editors can begin creating the next issue.
  7. Create the archive page Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/YYYY-MM-DD (e.g. Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2016-09-28) for the next issue, with the template {{Signpost archive}} (using the appropriate dates, e.g.: {{Signpost archive|2016-09-21|{{SUBPAGENAME}}|2016-10-05}})
  8. At least from time to time, check that the archive overview for the current year at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Archives/2016 is up to date.
  9. Clear out discussion and links related to the newly published issue in the Newsroom (using {{subst:Signpost assignments|2016-09-28}}, with the date of the next planned issue). Leave a note under Notes to thank this week's contributors and to announce any important upcoming news and any issues that have arisen with publication.

Mailing list output for this issue[edit]

The Signpost – Volume 12, Issue 25 – 6 September 2016

News and notes: AffCom still grappling with WMF Board's criteria for new chapters

Special report: Olympics readership depended on language

In the media: Librarians, Wikipedians, and a library of Wikipedia coverage

WikiProject report: Watching Wikipedia

Featured content: Entertainment, sport, and something else in-between

Traffic report: From Phelps to Bolt to Reddit

Technology report: Wikimedia mobile sites now don't load images if the user doesn't see them

Recent research: One study encounters critique of its ethics from Wikipedians; another critiques the ethics employed by Wikipedia

Blog: Upload of free photos from Swiss library underway

Single page view

Global message delivery output for this issue[edit]

# Page or category containing list of pages to leave a message on:

Global message delivery/Targets/Signpost


''The Signpost'': 6 September 2016


<div lang="en" dir="ltr" class="mw-content-ltr"><div style="margin-top:10px; font-size:90%; padding-left:5px; font-family:Georgia, Palatino, Palatino Linotype, Times, Times New Roman, serif;">[[File:WikipediaSignpostIcon.svg|40px|right]] ''News, reports and features from the English Wikipedia's weekly journal about Wikipedia and Wikimedia''</div>
<div style="-moz-column-count:2; -webkit-column-count:2; column-count:2;">
* News and notes: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/News and notes|AffCom still grappling with WMF Board's criteria for new chapters]]

* Special report: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Special report|Olympics readership depended on language]]

* In the media: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/In the media|Librarians, Wikipedians, and a library of Wikipedia coverage]]

* WikiProject report: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/WikiProject report|Watching Wikipedia]]

* Featured content: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Featured content|Entertainment, sport, and something else in-between]]

* Traffic report: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Traffic report|From Phelps to Bolt to Reddit]]

* Technology report: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Technology report|Wikimedia mobile sites now don't load images if the user doesn't see them]]

* Recent research: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Recent research|One study encounters critique of its ethics from Wikipedians; another critiques the ethics employed by Wikipedia]]

* Blog: [[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2016-09-06/Blog|Upload of free photos from Swiss library underway]]

</div> <div style="margin-top:10px; font-size:90%; padding-left:5px; font-family:Georgia, Palatino, Palatino Linotype, Times, Times New Roman, serif;">'''[[w:en:Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost|Read this Signpost in full]]''' · [[w:en:Wikipedia:Signpost/Single|Single-page]] · [[m:Global message delivery/Targets/Signpost|Unsubscribe]] · [[m:Global message delivery|Global message delivery]] ~~~~~ </div></div>

Generic skeleton for the issue contents page of the upcoming issue[edit]

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|1||News and notes|Add to "News and notes"}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|2||In the news|Add to "In the news"}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|3||Discussion report|Discussion Reports and Miscellaneous Articulations}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|4||WikiProject report|Talking with WikiProject}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|5||Featured content|The best of the week}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|6||Arbitration report|The Report on Lengthy Litigation}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|7||Recent research|Recent research}}

{{Wikipedia:Signpost/Template:Cover-item|{{{1}}}|8||Technology report|Bugs, Repairs, and Internal Operational News}}

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