Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not a newspaper

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Wikipedia is not a newspaper or online news site. Most newspapers are journals of current news, reporting current events in the world. Some newspaper articles are features that contain longer coverage and analysis. Newspapers can also disseminate the opinion of those who write them or expose secrets or lies. Newspapers write information that may be subjective in nature.

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

Note: Wikinews is a Wikimedia project dedicated to writing news. Its mission statement describes key concepts the project is governed by.

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[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.

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, 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. 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.

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.

See also[edit]