Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Opinion desk

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Opinion desk

The Signpost is calling for position pieces, calls to arms, perspectives from other projects, debates and essays addressing important issues facing the English Wikipedia and the broader Wikimedia community. Have a project that you'd like to highlight? An issue that you'd like to bring to light? An essay you'd like to publish? Bring it to us and let us help you make it known. The Signpost actively solicits op-eds from the community, subject the approval of the editor(s)-in-chief, currently Go Phightins! and Gamaliel.

How it works[edit]

The opinion desk acts as a holding pen for submissions to give feedback and try to find ways to improve and polish them, and to collect sets of related pieces. The publication of opinion pieces is at the ultimate discretion of the Signpost '​s editors-in-chief, Go Phightins! and Gamaliel. Before continuing please make sure that your particular publication is not more appropriate as a special report instead.

Do you have a proposal for an essay you'd like to write and publish? If so please read and understand the submission guidelines below, then create a new submission in the submissions column below explaining the content of your essay and the reason you think it is topical or should be pursued. Because of the sensitive nature of op-eds, it's good habit to wait on editorial feedback from the editor(s)-in-chief before starting writing.

Would you like to publish an essay you've already written? Do the same as you would with a new proposal, but be sure to include a link to the essay in your submission.

Would you like to comment on essays and ideas currently under consideration? Feel free to do so; this process is open to the community at large. While submissions that take strong positions on important issues are welcome, we ask that comments be kept constructive. If you are unclear on any of the process or have questions related thereto, feel free to use the talkpage.

If you are ready to submit a proposal simply list your submission below; items here are automatically transclused to the Signpost hub, the Newsroom, and so no further action on your part is required until you get a response from the editors.

If you are ready to submit a proposal you can use the proposal button below to do so.

Create new op-ed proposal

If you are ready to start writing you can use the draft button below to do so.


If you are unsure of what to write about, these items, transclused from the Newsroom, are our current editorial focus:

  • Gender ratio: This month is WikiWoman's month and a lot of scrutiny is being placed across the project on the gender gap. We will summarize the state of play in our end-of-March issue, with a special report on the gender ratio currently in draft.
  • Copyright: How overly strict copyright limits are hurting Wikimedia contributors? Alternatively, how Wikimedia contributors' copyrights are violated on a daily basis?
  • Public release I've seen a couple of stories about major releases of materials into the Creative Commons of large numbers of literary and scholarly works in the languages of India, specifically Kannada and Tamil, thanks to the efforts of Wikipedians. Perhaps a talk with some of the participants or an overview of these kinds of efforts?
  • Wikimedia Ukraine: Possible follow-up with Wikimedia Ukraine on editing WP in the midst of war? (see previous coverage)
  • Guerrilla Skepticism: Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia is still a hot topic amongst proponents of alternative medicine and science. This seems ripe for a news feature or perhaps an interview with Susan Gerbic.

Submission guidelines[edit]

The criteria for publishing opinion pieces are quality of argument, originality, and relevance to the community, as judged by the Signpost. Similar to newspaper op-eds, opinion pieces should be accompanied by an extended byline (suggestion: one to three sentences), that briefly introduces the author and indicates why his or her opinion about the topic might interest the reader. The purpose of publishing opinion pieces is to provoke thought and discussion in a productive rather than antagonistic fashion, and so submissions should be well-researched and not factually misleading or unnecessarily inflammatory. A related set of submissions that address the same issue but from editors' different perspectives are especially encouraged.

Unlike the weekly news reporting focus of the standard Signpost articles, and the investigative and evaluative focus of its special reports and opinion pieces are primarily editorial in tone. As the Signpost does not have a house point-of-view or political agenda, it does not endorse the perspectives of opinion pieces, which express only the views of their authors.


Please link your letters to the editor, position pieces, and short opinion essays here, using the formatting given upon editing the page.

Are we quietly drowning in spam?[edit]

Needs drafting
  • Submission: Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Opinion desk/Proposals/Spam
  • Author: Piotrus
  • Rationale:For a while, I've been increasingly concerned about a certain type of spam, that has low visibility, but also - nobody seems to be doing much about it. At the very least, I would like to bring to others attention through Signpost. I have a draft ready, through I am sure it may benefit from various comments and suggestions.
  • Discussion:
I moved the proposal to here. This is definitely publishable once formalized but we're going to want to sit on this for a little bit, as the April 1 issue already has a lot of content. Are you OK with a provisional April 8 publication date? ResMar 18:30, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
@Piotrus: ResMar 19:48, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
Certainly, no hurry. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 03:00, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

WiR for WikiAfrica[edit]

Needs update

I served as WiR with the WikiAfrica Project for all of last year. I wanna write about the experience and the achievements. Fits in here? Under what category will it be under? Can I write in google docs and later transfer here or ask for review on there? Thanks --Nkansahrexford (talk) 11:45, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

Given that you were involved in it, it would have to be an op-ed. Otherwise, go for it! Create it as a personal sandbox page and leave a link to it here. :-) Ed [talk] [majestic titan] 16:51, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Hey Nkansahrexford. Any update on this? We would still be interested in running it. Go Phightins! 23:06, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
Hi Go Phightins!, I started the article after receiving the notification today. The draft can be found here: . Still working on.--Nkansahrexford (talk) 19:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, let me know when it's ready for review. Thanks, Nkansahrexford. Go Phightins! 02:37, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
@Nkansahrexford: bump =). ResMar 03:06, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
@Nkansahrexford:, you're already half-way there but you've not updated in a while, what are your prospects of finishing the draft? ResMar 02:40, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Do modern Wikipedians understand foundation values?[edit]

Needs drafting

Mostly in reference to the five pillars.

I think that it is imperative that we have an op-ed (at least) that covers whether the Wikipedians of today agree with the same principles of the early Wikipedians, or if there has been a shift in outlook since 2001 within the minds of Wikipedians.

Thoughts? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 20:56, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Conceptually, I think this is an okay topic, however are you planning to write one via research, conjecture, personal opinion, or what? The angle should be fleshed out. Thanks for your submission. Go Phightins! 20:59, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Research is imperative to getting any sort of potential and/or possible accuracy in it whatsoever. So yes, absolutely. Conjecture is... iffy. I mean, I would wonder if statements such as "The study's results show A to be the majority view on the subject, as well as showing B and also C to be seemingly common concerns and beliefs of Wikipedians as well. It may be that A's high presence as the most common outlook here is due to influence from X. A study done by Q concludes that A ______, often due to _____, _____, and _____. However, counter studies done by _____ and _____ seem to say that A is in fact _____, often due to _____. The overall conclusion seems to be that _____ is _____. Personally, from my experience _______. etc. etc." would be all right. Thoughts? Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 21:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
@Tharthan: Can you swing it? (write it, I mean). ResMar 03:07, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I would need to obtain working studies first. Plus, this needs further discussion before it can go anywhere. (talk) 16:32, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
@Resident Mario: I can write it, yes. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 11:00, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
You can go on ahead, then. Tough topic, something I'm really interested in myself but haven't (yet) had the time to dig through research for, so I'm certainly enthusiastic to hear your take. Our archives are the best place to start looking for research, particularly the monthly research report, and if you ask HaeB he can probably point you in the direction of some studies to look at. I think that in writing it, though, you should make a focused effort to make this technically simple reading. That framework will work well but only if you give it enough descriptive space that you don't lose readers in the statistics. Some references in terms of writing style could be here and here. ResMar 01:48, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Oh and @Tharthan:. ResMar 04:03, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
I've just been a bit busy as of late. I'll get to draughting this soon, though. Tharthandorf Aquanashi (talk) 06:20, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Take your time, I don't think that this is one you'd quite be able to dash off in one go anyway. ResMar 19:14, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Previous publications[edit]

Note: The following list is automatically generated using {{Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Templates/Article list}}. It is complete.