Wikipedia talk:In the news

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[Closed] Keep Paris on top?[edit]

No consensus to keep Paris on top. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

We appear likely to post the UFC story soon. Is there any interest in keeping the Paris attacks as the top story, for at least a few days? This is just a massive story for now, and probably will be for some time. I think if we add other stories on top right now, it looks like we're downplaying the magnitude of the event. Just wanted to get some thoughts on how we should proceed - I'm not sure if there is any precedent for "stickying" a blurb in that way. --Bongwarrior (talk) 20:29, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

As mentioned earlier, I support making it a "sticky blurb" for at least a few days, but no longer than maybe three (starting today). We can cross the "ongoing" bridge" when the blurb gets close to being knocked off down the road as well. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 20:34, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Wikipedia is not a memorial site. We shouldn't do what other websites are doing: commemorating the victims of the attacks in Paris. Also, the whole thing is pointless. A reader can see a story even when it's not on top. --George Ho (talk) 20:42, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

    Moreover, one exciting story and one sports story make ITN a nice mixture of moods. I prefer the newest blurb on top as always. George Ho (talk) 20:45, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose per George Ho. The attack has gotten plenty of attention, but that doesn't mean we should pin it to the front page indefinitely. It could be made an "ongoing" sticky when it's the last item if there's still developments. – Muboshgu (talk) 20:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as a complete requirement creep on ITN. Once it drops off the bottom, if it's still in the news, it'll head to Ongoing. That, after all, is part of the point of Ongoing. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Comment Rambling Man, it seems that you are the editor who posted both the "Liberation of Sinjar" article and the "Russia athletic suspension" article. Would you be able to respond to the section I created below?Gfcvoice (talk) 01:14, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, unless and until we establish consensus to routinely order the ITN blurbs based on assessments of the events themselves (which, for the record, I would oppose for multiple reasons not covered below).
    A one-off or occasional exception is the worst possible approach. When someone unfamiliar with ITN's format mistakenly assumes that we've deemed the "top" item more important than something else, we explain that ITN doesn't work that way. To make it work that way – but not on a regular basis – would invite valid complaints that we're "downplaying the magnitude" of the next "massive story" to arise. —David Levy 21:18, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose and also move the article below both the "Liberation of Sinjar" article and the "Russia athletic suspension" article, for reasons given in the section below. Gfcvoice (talk) 01:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Why is the Paris story still on top?[edit]

The three most recent In The News stories (shown in the order they appear on the home page) are:

  • At least 132 people are killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre (pictured).
  • Kurdish forces retake the Yazidi city of Sinjar from ISIS militants.
  • Following a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation, the IAAF suspends Russia from all international competition in the sport of athletics.

However of the three, the Paris story is the oldest, as shown by the nomination history:

4.4 November 13

   4.4.1 [Posted] Liberation of Sinjar
   4.4.2 [Posted] Russia athletic suspension
   4.4.3 [Posted] Paris shooting/bombing

Is there a reason why the Paris story is on top, especially since consensus in the discussion in the section above seems to be that it should not be retained on top? Gfcvoice (talk) 01:07, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It's not so much about nomination history than it is about the chronological order in which the events happened. The Paris shooting / bombing occurred the most recently of the three events, even though it was the first nomination to be posted. Banedon (talk) 01:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
And Paris has the picture which pushes it to the top of its day. Stephen 01:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes, Gfcvoice, administrators would like to order them in weird ways. I brought this up at #Listing events sorted by dates but not time, but there weren't Paris attacks and Russian suspension. Actually, there were Guatemalan elections, Polish elections and auto race in Texas on the same day. Technically, Guatemalan one was most recent, but it got pushed out when it went to the bottom. More than 40 hours later, two more got pushed out. George Ho (talk) 02:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Nomination history has no bearing at all on the ordering of events within the ITN section of the main page. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:20, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

The Rambling Man, what factor(s) have bearing on the ordering of events within the ITN section of the main page? Gfcvoice (talk) 10:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Two I can think of. One: the actual time the event took place. Two: if a picture is associated with a blurb, the blurb is often prioritised at the top. Is there a specific problem with this ongoing global news event being top? The Rambling Man (talk) 10:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The instruction block at the top of WP:ITN states "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." This has been in the instruction block more-or-less in this wording for many years. All of the three top events occurred on November 13, and there's no preference given between items which occur on the same day. Posting admins will often keep the topmost item with the picture until such time as a newer item pushes it down. So, when an event which occurs on November 14 or later (or when an item on November 13 with another picture is promoted) the Paris item will be pushed lower. If it is important to anyone to force the Paris item out of the topmost position, improve an article about a more recent event and then nominate it at WP:ITNC. --Jayron32 13:37, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Restore another oldest blurb?[edit]

The Main Page is off-balanced. Another oldest but recent blurb would help more. Probably a discovery in space or something else? --George Ho (talk) 16:01, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

It looks to be aligned currently. --Jayron32 16:18, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
That depends on computer monitors and resolutions. --This is George Ho actually (Talk) 18:51, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes it does, so for you it's not great and for other people it might be great. Hence the pointlessness of this. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Nascent story - potential big one, or just a temporary sensation[edit]

I feel as though this could become a big deal. Certainly the theoreticals they give are fear striking, but I see where it could be similar to the daily sea level rise news Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of 'post-antibiotic era'. On the radio it said china and other SE Asian countries had been overusing a last ditch antibiotic regularly, which the west was unaware of, and now there may be an immunity developing to that. B137 (talk) 06:41, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

This page is to discuss the ITN process itself; if you want to suggest an event for posting to ITN, please do so at the candidates page, if there is an article that has been or will be updated on the subject. That said, I'm not sure this general issue is suitable for posting without a specific event to hang our hat on. 331dot (talk) 12:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Business deals: post them when they're announced or when they're signed?[edit]

Ok, so we get a few of these every year, this time we have Pfizer's merger with Allergan creating a company worth over $160 billion. It's big news. Massive news, and all over the web, but it looks like Wikipedia won't be featuring it. The primary reason seems to be that we don't post things that haven't actually happened, i.e. these business announcements are usually broadcast when an agreement has been reached, not when the deal has been concluded. I have no dog in the fight, so I thought it might be useful to gauge the community's opinion on this particular aspect of ITN business stories so we don't continually re-visit the argument. Comments appreciated. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:47, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Business deals should be ITN (assuming significance, article update and quality are met) when they are announced/confirmed to be happening (clearly not on rumors it might be happening). We know these might still fall through due to, say, FTC oversight, a vote by shareholders, etc. but unless that actually happens, rarely do these deals ever come up again in the news and quietly happen without any major coverage. If the deal is stopped, and it was a rather significant deal, that would likely be all over the news and might be an ITN again. I would consider this the same as election results: winners of elections aren't 100% affirmed always and they don't take power the very next day, and we rarely cover the inauguration of that leader when they do take office. The one aspect that we do wait on, wisely, is when the story involves legal aspects and potentially negative statements towards a person or group. And there, waiting for the most official word that closes that case makes the most sense to avoid WP speculating negatively in the ITN box. --MASEM (t) 20:54, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but your opening sentence has already created confusion for me: "when they are announced/confirmed to be happening" – these are not the same thing at all. Hence the reason I started this discussion. Please try to be succinct. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:01, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Take the Pfizer merge. There have been talks [1] that they were looking to merge a month ago straight out of the companies' mouths (not rumor), which arguably could be taken as announcement. Today's announcement is confirmation that they are committed towards doing the merge, and is clearly the point that it is ITN, not when they said they were looking to merge. --MASEM (t) 23:45, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Business sales/merger announcements should be posted when they are announced(assuming they get adequate coverage) as the announcement always gets more coverage than the actual transaction. I've never understood fears that such a transaction could be blocked by authorities or otherwise not happen as a reason for not posting an annoucement; often such instances are newsworthy on their own- but even if not, we don't treat any other such event in a similar way(the winner of the Tour de France could be stripped of their titles, the winner of an election could die before taking office, etc.). 331dot (talk) 22:18, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I just posted my suggestion for a rule of thumb on this on the nomination - "post X when it's in the news" - as I understand it, ITN is for featuring current news stories that have a WP article reflecting the news. It's all about being current. There's no way to predict what might/might not happen with any event i.e. an agreement announced today could be cancelled next week, however that is fine if that's the way things pan out ... yes it's unpredictable and messy but that's the world we live in. The ins and outs of a cancelled agreement would also be in the news and updated in the WP article, and would also be an ITN contender. MurielMary (talk) 09:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the above. Banedon (talk) 09:37, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's worth pointing out that before two large "ITN worthy" corporations announce a merger, they've already met privately to discuss finance, consider regulatory opposition (probably put out feelers with regulators), have agreed internally to the process, and in many cases there is a financial penalty for failure. Consider the failed AT&T + T-Mobile merger, AT&T had to pay a $4bn penalty over that [2]. You don't bake a 4 billion dollar penalty into a transaction unless you expect it to succeed. The announcement (even if it later fails) has immediate effects in markets, both for the affected companies and in the sector, and if it's a retail business, there can be strong consumer backlash. "The corporation has become the dominant institution of our time" and when these entities merge, or fail, there is real impact to real people globally and it gets worldwide media attention. As the legacy company(ies) wind down, there is no big announcement when the old symbol is delisted, or when the non-core business units are spun off, or when the corporate charter no longer lists "doing business as" in their annual filing. Following a merger, some companies may go years still carrying the the brand of the legacy company (I had "Bell South DSL" 5 years after they merged with AT&T). If the deal is big enough to be "big news" then the time to post is the announcement, and honestly, if the deal falls apart, that might be worthy of a posting too. -- (talk) 14:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The announcement, not the completion, is the most newsworthy element. By the time completion takes place, it's old news. BencherliteTalk 17:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Items should be posted when they are actually in the news. The reason is that the purpose of ITN it to highlight Wikipedia content about topics people are reading about elsewhere. If the item is in the news now, if it is to be posted, it should be posted during the time frame when people are seeing information about it outside of Wikipedia as well. --Jayron32 17:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I have always been concerned about the "what if the deal doesn't go through" component of this matter and thought that I might bring up that point here. However, I find myself being swayed by the arguments that the moment for posting is ripe when the announcement is made because that's when the deal is ITN and it might very well not be when the merger actually happens. If something happens after to prevent the merger, that can be handled on its own if the news is important enough and the article is updated enough. However, I still think we need to be very selective in which deals we post. Personally I don't think Huge Money should be the lone criteria for a deal's importance or its posting; we should take into account the potential effects of the merger on specific area of influence, the overall business market, and the general population first and then the $ component. Rhodesisland (talk) 23:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
    Would you be content if the blurb simply stated the fact, i.e. "Company X announces that it will aggressively subsume Company Y in a $114 trillion deal.", i.e. that we're making it clear that we're posting the announcement, not the actually event? The Rambling Man (talk) 23:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

[Closed] Administrators to decide on Ongoing ticker[edit]

Per the instructions, yes, we'll trust the admins. The Rambling Man (talk) 23:05, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Shall we trust administrators to decide on what to add in the Ongoing ticker? I don't feel good about this. I tried to have the Paris attacks discussed as "Ongoing", but the nomination was days, attracting people insufficiently, before the Paris attack was added as Ongoing. Not to say that the decision was bad or anything, but the cycle of posting and removing Metrojet Flight crash as "Ongoing" might prove that the issue needs attention. Wikipedia is neither a democracy nor bureaucracy, but I am not convinced that adding events without discussion would help improve Wikipedia, even when rules may be ignored. --George Ho (talk) 00:20, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

If you wish to upbraid me for adding the Paris attacks item to Ongoing, feel free to ping me. I paid attention to the discussion you mention, and concluded consensus was in favour of adding it to Ongoing. If I acted in error, any admin could easily remove it, or a topic could be opened at ITN-C -- and discussion is currently ongoing there as to whether it wants switching for something else, but there isn't IMO consensus yet as to a target. How is this process broken? Espresso Addict (talk) 01:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
If you feel that an item has been added inappropriately, start a discussion to remove it, and if there is a consensus it will be removed. If you feel the need to add an item to ongoing, start a discussion if there is consensus it will be added. I'm at a loss to explain it to you any other way. --Jayron32 01:57, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I see absolutely no issue whatsoever with what's happened. As Jayron says, if you think something should be pulled or has been added erroneously, make an error report or request it be pulled at ITNC. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:19, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
"Shall we trust administrators to decide on what to add in the Ongoing ticker?" Yes, because the existing instructions at Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions are clear and sufficient for these purposes: An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s). That's enough. We don't need to add and only if there's a pre-formed consensus at WP:ITNC, because that's not how Wikipedia ought to work. If someone disagrees with a decision then bring it to ITNC for discussion If this means that there's a delay before a decision to (not) add something to ongoing is overturned, that's not the end of the world. But the alternative is pointless threads like this one on Metrojet Flight 9268. The discussion was premature, pointless and doomed to fail. Premature, because no administrator had yet made a decision that needed challenging; pointless, because the nominator did not advocate a view, just wanted to start a discussion for the sake of having a discussion; and doomed to fail, because the article was not being updated and the news cycle had moved on. This is my longer way of saying "per Jayron." BencherliteTalk 17:47, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Closed: Arranging events of the same day[edit]

Clear consensus against this proposal. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:59, 29 November 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions says that events are arranged on date of occurrence. Events that occurred on the same day have been arranged in any order rather than time of occurrence. Rules on arranging events occurred on the same day may not exist. If an exact time of occurrence may not exist, at least we have time zones that can help us figure out when an event occurred. Shall we arrange events of the same day based on time? Also, shall we use time zones to arrange events of the same day? --George Ho (talk) 18:00, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose adding instructions to have a granularity more specific than "by date". Some flexibility is necessary for any number of reasons, including reasons we haven't yet thought of, and it is not generally necessary to get it down to the exact time more specifically than date. I've been doing this for many years, and not yet seen any widespread problems caused by the current practice. --Jayron32 18:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • What Jayron said. "Granularity" is the word I was trying to think of at WP:ERRORS. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:19, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) And this is a big problem because...? Sometimes it's just best to accept that there is no precise timeline to find, or at least not one that can be found without unreasonable bureaucracy developing. Example: In country A, elections are held, closing at Xpm. Results are counted, but exit polls immediately point to Mrs Foo beating Mr Bar. Five hours later, Mrs Foo claims victory based on preliminary results from the first declared districts, but Mr Bar says that it's too early to say and that the exit polls last time were proved wrong because he won. Ten hours later, Mr Bar concedes defeat, but results are not fully counted until a further 12 hours have elapsed. Meanwhile, a natural disaster in a remote region of Country B (timezone -5 hours from Country A) takes place, killing hundreds of people. First reports reach the outside world between the close of polls in Country A and Mrs Foo claiming victory, but the precise time of the disaster is uncertain. Elsewhere, Country X wins Tournament Y in Country C after results of other games (concluding between Mrs Foo claiming and Mr Bar conceding) mean that they cannot be overtaken in the final round of matches the next day, but the tournament itself is not over until after the Country A results are officially concluded. And then, to make a big news weekend even bigger, Dr Terribly Important-Person, the multiple Nobel prize-winner and international movie star, dies, but the announcement is delayed for at least 24 hours for family reasons. Let us assume that we have consensus at ITNC for four blurbs. Tournament Y is ready first and is posted. A work-in-progress article about the disaster is posted next. Then the election results article is sufficiently updated to post. Finally, Dr Important-Person's article is ready and posted. What order do you put them in, without requiring terribly complicated instructions about (e.g.) when an election is deemed to have occurred? And why does it matter, when people are likely to disagree about the correct order anyway and when the order is not important? (post edit-conflict - yet again today, I find myself saying "per Jayron" in response to a George Ho thread.) BencherliteTalk 18:27, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agree that the granularity aspect is key here; distinguishing by day should be attempting, but by the hour or minute is ripe for nitpicking and misuse. This is why it is good to remember that ITN is a not a news ticker, and we don't have to report things in order, nor should we be driven to do so. --MASEM (t) 20:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm becoming a little bit sickened by the forensic analysis applied to the ordering of ITN, especially by the proposer. All of my esteemed colleagues put it better than I would, because right now I'm tired of the tirade of complaints. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • A hoard of opposers are stronger than concerns about oldest blurb at the bottommost. Discussing the bottommost won't be necessary with quick opposes here. Lesser involved people can come around, so I can't withdraw yet... --George Ho (talk) 23:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose ITN is supposed to be a selection of recent events which are covered in Wikipedia to demonstrate the breadth of our coverage, not a news ticker. Personally, I don't even consider it important that they be in date order, although I can see it makes sense to avoid arguments regarding which items should be rotated off next. There's absolutely no need to micromanage the list to the extent of putting the entries in strict time order, nor should we be trying to do so. ‑ iridescent 23:15, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. A solution in search of a problem. SpencerT♦C 23:16, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose it seems overly complicated and also appears that there isn't a precedent for problems in this area. MurielMary (talk) 13:19, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per above and in particular Spencer's witty response! Rhodesisland (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per date-granularity and avoiding forensic analysis. This appears to be solving a non-problem. Alsee (talk) 06:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

What number is big enough for ITN for underrepresented topics?[edit]

The 2015 editions of Grey Cup and Melbourne Cup have viewerships with ~12 mil and <3 mil viewerships respectively have been posted at ITN, largely in part because they are at ITNR. These events are of seemingly strictly national interest only, happen regularly and the viewership numbers are predictable.

I don't care to start a discussion on their merits being there, but I am wondering how should/does this translate to the numbers of people needing to be involved in events not featured at ITNR to make such entries are worthy enough for ITN. I am thinking of Adele's album which got 3+ mil sales in US alone (probably close to 4 mil worldwide), a number not heard in more than a decade, but ITN voters seem to be happy to it shoot down even though music and even non-TV media are some obviously underrepresented topics at ITN. I think there have been other similar entries that suffered a similar fate as a result of not being at ITNR, so I am wondering if there could/should be a guideline for when discussing non-ITNR items. Nergaal (talk) 22:00, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

There are only three criteria for ITN: 1) did it recently happen 2) Is the targeted article of sufficient quality and appropriately updated and 3) does it have consensus to post. I can find no other written rules previously negotiated or recorded anywhere on the ITN instruction pages. If you would like to add additional requirements on what can shed cannot be posted, in contravention of the three above principles, please start an RFC and see where consensus lies. --Jayron32 22:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Questions regarding consensus should not be brought up on the ITN talk page; as Jayron32 points out, it should be an RFC.--WaltCip (talk) 22:30, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry your nomination of Adele's latest oeuvre failed to chart with ITNC. But that's probably because it's not going to be remembered ever again until the record gets broken. It's trivia. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
How is it in any ways different form the current winner of the Grey Cup or Melbourne Cup? Aren't these essentially trivia also? Who is going to remember these winners in 10 years? At least the sales record (of a dying industry) was achieved after 15 years, while the winners of these cups gets refreshed each year. In athletics we post long-standing records, so why aren't we doing the same with media-related industries? Nergaal (talk) 08:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
We have ITNR for a reason. Why would record sales (in the US alone) be of any relevance to the main page of a global English-speaking encyclopedia? We have DYK for trivia like that. Seminal sports events like the Grey Cup or the Melbourne Cup are relevant to significant portions of the English-speaking world and will be forever. Adele's latest album is, well, meh. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:52, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Posting fastest music records would essentially do what you hate and trivialize Wikipedia. I guess you are for LeBron James being fastest to X points? Why are you so determined to put Adele on ITN?Correctron (talk) 22:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I am not, I am simply surprised of the bashing it received and feels to me like there are inconsistencies between that is worthwhile when it comes to ITNR vs non-ITNR items. If something is ITNR you aren't even allowed to mention a disagreement without getting nasty replies, while if you mention non-ITNR items (or at least items outside politics/sports/disasters) it feels like you have to write a whole essay at ITNC to have voters agree with it. Nergaal (talk) 08:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I think there're a lot of questions that an RfC could be useful for. There are far fewer people commenting on this page compared to ITN/C, suggesting the possibility of a wider consensus. Questions could include:
  1. Whether an article needs to be regularly updated to be kept as "ongoing" or not;
  2. Whether the rather regular complaints of systematic bias on ITN is a problem or not, and if it is, what could be done about it;
  3. Whether the rather regular complaints of too much of a particular kind of news is a problem or not, and if it is, what could be done about it;
  4. Whether ITN's environment is hostile, and if so, what could be done about it;
  5. What qualifies as consensus and what does not (viz. should anything with >66% support be posted?) and how long to let a nomination run for;
  6. Whether there should be defined standards on what can or cannot be supported / opposed (similar to section D of the ongoing RfC on 2015 administrator election reform), and if so, what they should be.
Speaking of the RfC on 2015 administrator election reform, I personally think ITN could use something similar, given the wide-ranging criticism I've seen of the process. Admittedly though, that is not something easily organized. Banedon (talk) 07:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
1 is covered at Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions, "An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s)." Consensus generally determines the amount of editing required for "regular constructive editing".
2 is a noted problem, though the solution, which is for people to improve and nominate articles from underrepresented areas, usually is harder and requires more work than simply complaining that there is a bias.
3 is also a noted problem, for the solution see #2
4 is a problem, the solution is for people to focus on building up the work of others, and not attacking others because their interests lie in areas they themselves don't have experience or interest in themselves
5 is the same as consensus across all of Wikipedia: Admins assess the quality and number of votes, possibly discounting votes which do not have substantive and valid rationales, and assess overall consensus. ITN works exactly like every other part of Wikipedia in this regard. If you wish to change the consensus model at Wikipedia, start a discussion somewhere like WP:CONSENSUS talk page. Good luck with that.
6 is partially covered by WP:CONSENSUS and partially covered by the ITN rules, as noted several places at ITN, such as the main ITNC header, which states several kinds of votes that are often discounted.
I hope that clarifies some of your questions. There are some outstanding issues, but many of them are already dealt with in existing documentation. --Jayron32 12:56, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Those aren't questions — they are things I think require a definite statement of consensus on. Right now we only have the informal opinions of a few people on this talk page, who collectively aren't even the majority of people contributing on ITN/C. It's evident (to me at least) that there's a fair amount of disapproval of current ITN practice. Right below this section for example is another person thinking that ITN needs reform. You say #3 is a problem, but four months ago on this page, three different editors proclaimed that it is not a problem. If the administrator instructions for #1 are to be taken literally, then George Ho's nominating "remove X / insert Y for ongoing?" on ITN/C is pointless, because the guidelines call for administrators to make the decisions on what goes into "ongoing", not get community consensus. In spite of #4 ITN has seen fights over UFC193, the Umpqua Community College shooting, etc, over the past few months. And in spite of #5, this nomination didn't get posted even though it had all supports with no oppose votes. If this were an article talk page, I'd conclude that there are enough indications of a lack of consensus that I'd attempt to get a clearer picture of what the community thinks.
Put another way: how can you be certain community consensus is that #3 is a noted problem with the solution being to improve and nominate articles from underrepresented areas? How do you know the community rejects, e.g., the idea that #3 is not a problem and therefore nothing should be done about it, or that ITN should be partitioned so that not more than (e.g.) two sports blurbs are listed at any particular time? If you think the consensus is that the status quo is flawed but still the best option for ITN, what is the justification for that? Banedon (talk) 01:46, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
There are two solutions to problems of bias/relative overrepresentation of certain topics 1) improve more articles on underrepresented topics or 2) deliberately tear down, worsen, or denigrate topics which are overrepresented. No other course of action will change the relative number of articles from various topics. I hope you recognize that only one of these actions is NOT obviously reprehensible. The rest of your post greatly mistakes how consensus building discussions happen. If we could set a set of rules which would guarantee there would never be disagreements, we would never need discussions, because the rules would have already predestined that conflict would never happen, and so a person following the rules as written would never have to ask anyone's opinion. If we presume that people are going to need to discuss to come to a consensus decision, we're going to come to the conclusion that sometimes, people aren't going to reach nice, unanimous agreements. Sometimes, they're going to disagree with each other. Also, if we presume that the only way we get to the right outcome is consensus building discussions; that means that my preferred outcome is not the default correct outcome. That has to be an assumption: sometimes I don't get my way. That doesn't mean everyone else screwed up. It just means I didn't end up on the side of consensus. Too many times, people presume that their opinion is the default correct opinion, and that all other opinions are wrong. That's not how opinion works. The third issue is your misunderstanding of randomness and coincidence. Sometimes, two important sporting events occur on the same day. Sometimes, we go a few weeks without a major sporting event. Sometimes we get two major elections in quick succession. Sometimes we go a few weeks without one. Sometimes we get two major disasters in the same week. Sometimes we go a long time without them. ITN is not screwed up because occasionally two sporting events happen near each other. It is neither possible, nor desirable, to engineer an ITN feed which assures that there is never a coincidence of similar events. Because life doesn't work that way. --Jayron32 02:43, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
We may be talking past one another. I'll split your post into two parts and address them one at a time. The first about bias / relative overrepresentation: it's certainly possible to think of more ways to solve that problem (if it is indeed a problem, which a substantial number of contributors probably do not think it is). For example, elections are listed as ITN/R. If three countries host elections on the same day however, a person who feels there is too much political news might oppose featuring the elections of the country with the smallest population (or the one that is least interesting, smallest geopolitical impact, etc — his or her subjective criteria). This is not an opinion that will sit well with everybody, for certain. Some people will accuse Wikipedia of bias against small countries, some might say elections should always be featured because they have far more lasting impact for the country than whoever won the Davis Cup, yada yada blah blah. But acknowledging that it is acceptable to oppose a nomination because of overrepresentation makes it possible to oppose the nomination. Right now that is not possible and will just lead to people saying "this is ITN/R, if you don't like it propose it for deletion on that page". But the person isn't opposing elections as ITN/R, just opposing featuring three elections at the same time. I'll pose the question again for this specific example: suppose five countries host elections at the same time, and all five articles are updated satisfactorily. Under current ITN procedures, all five will (must) be featured, leaving no room for other news. How can you be certain that the community feels this is preferable to (say) featuring only two election results so there is space for other blurbs?
The other part about your post is about consensus. I agree with what you wrote about consensus, in general. I've wound up on the wrong end of consensus many times already, and generally speaking I accept that as inevitable. The problem is that in this case I'm seeing no evidence of consensus. I suspect that the honest answer to the question posed in the above paragraph is, "I don't know. I think the community prefers XYZ, but I have no hard evidence". If I'm correct about that answer, then I think there are grounds to seek that hard evidence. ITN regularly sees people popping up, criticize some part of process, and then leaving in a huff. It's easy to say "good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out", but I think this is evidence that a substantial fraction of the community does not like the status quo. If you do actually have evidence that the status quo is the community's preferred option, please share it. Banedon (talk) 04:07, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't aware we were talking past one another. I thought we were talking with one another. I'm not sure there's a "substantial fraction of the community" that does not like the status quo. I think there's a substantial fraction of people who say something that don't like the status quo, but "people who take the time to say something" is not equal to "the community", especially where there is a well documented and natural tendency among humanity to only say something if you yourself want change; people who agree with the status quo don't just pop in from time to time to announce their approval. They just, you know, let it happen assuming that the status quo doesn't need their commentary to keep on happening. It's only those people who don't like the status quo who speak up. The only people who say something are people who have a problem, but that doesn't mean that just because you hear more of those voices that necessarily means those voices are significant in number, just significant in volume. They could be statistically insignificant, but they're the only voices anyone ever hears. --Jayron32 04:24, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
They certainly could be statistically insignificant, but again, how can you be sure? Banedon (talk) 04:29, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not. The difference is, I always start with the null hypothesis, because I don't assume that any proposition is true without evidence one way or another. You seem to be proposing that there's a problem. I'm not saying there is, I'm not saying there isn't. I'm just saying we shouldn't say anything based on the voices of those with axes to grind. Those people are certainly, demonstratedly, and measurably insignificant compared to the people who said nothing. --Jayron32 04:34, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
That's why I said we're talking past one another — we're not actually talking about the same thing. I do not outright propose that there is a problem: I propose instead that there are sufficient reasons to think there may be a problem. Hence I want to test if there is a problem. It's entirely possible that such a test will show that there is no problem, in which case we do nothing. But I think that without the test we do not have sufficient reason to say that there is no problem. Science analogy: perihelion precession of Mercury. When the first measurements were performed there appeared to be an anomalous shift. It could be measurement error, or it could indicate something deeper. I propose to run further checks. The alternative is to assume Newtonian mechanics is correct, dismiss the measurements as flawed in some way, and do nothing. In the context of this discussion that translates to "assume the majority is in favour of the status quo, they just do not say so". Banedon (talk) 05:06, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
The question is badly posed: there is no specific number. Proposals are decided by consensus and judged on their own merits, not bean counting of the number of people involved/watching/interested. Modest Genius talk 12:23, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Jayron's answers are spot on. Most of the original questions are handled by Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. Is there actually anything here that is worth an RFC given that? Having said that, I'd love to see how much of the community's time would be destroyed by an RFC about ITN, which I predict, right now, would change absolutely nothing because all ITN does is reflect community consensus, admin assessments of consensus and the usual subjective arguments you see at any part of Wikipedia. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:52, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

Excess reporting on Sports (ITN)[edit]

This has been discussed before, as I have seen through the archive, but no decisions or actions have been taken. To set some context for this, the current ITN section reads as follows:

  • The International Monetary Fund approves adding China's renminbi to its basket of reserve currencies.
  • In tennis, the Davis Cup concludes with Great Britain (captain Leon Smith pictured) defeating Belgium in the final.
  • In Canadian football, the Edmonton Eskimos defeat the Ottawa Redblacks to win the Grey Cup.
  • A bomb attack on a bus kills 14 presidential security guards in Tunis, Tunisia.
  • A Russian Su-24 warplane is shot down by a Turkish Air Force F-16 near the border between Turkey and Syria.
  • American Pfizer and Irish Allergan agree to a merger that will create the world's largest pharmaceutical company.

The two sports-related stories seem very unremarkable compared to the other ones. The reason for this is that the sports-related stories can be predicted to be news next year and the following as well. There is nothing especially noteworthy about these stories. If, however, this was the 10th or 100th (or some important number) time that the Edmonton Eskimos win the Grey Cup, then THAT would be noteworthy compared to the stories it is around. A Russian plane taken down by the Turkish Air Force is such an incredibly once-in-a-lifetime kind of event that it will be discussed and investigated for many decades. Although I love my soccer team, and would love to see them up there every time they win a Champion's League, we should hold these selected stories to a similar standard of notability.

I want to propose the following rules of thumb to help us lessen this excess in sports reporting. Let's discuss them, throw some out, add some new ones, but finally end with a reasonable working consensus:

  • As a blanket rule, let's not report on winning any tournament/league, in any sport, that occurs every year.
  • Let's focus on special notable things like: "Michael Phelps wins a record breaking 8 gold medals in the 2008 summer olympics", "Sachin Tendulkar, record-holding cricket player (can be more specific), announces his retirement from the sport", or "Real Madrid wins the 2014 UEFA Champions League for a total of 10 total wins, the most in the league's history". By only reporting these kind of stories, we will also not have as much of a bias towards sports popular in certain countries. It's clear that important news stories get attention here regardless of the sport, but not-so-noteworthy ones are only represented when it's a sport popular in english speaking countries. This could potentially solve that.
  • It's ok if the ITN section does not have a sports story. We don't need to use it as filler.
  • Anything else??

Please take the time to think about this and reply with your views.

Thanks! Hamsterlopithecus (talk) 21:15, 1 December 2015 (UTC)

The content on ITN changes day by day. Now there are two out of six blurbs that are sport related. I don't see a problem with that. One is ITN/R, meaning it has been deemed worthy of posting every year, and the other was posted based on editor consensus. They're not "filler", they're sporting news stories. As for your "blanket rule" of not posting sporting championships, that's silly. The Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, Premier League etc. championships will be posted year after year. If you want to see fewer sports items posted, nominate non-sports items in the news. If you have an issue with a specific ITN/R posting, suggest it be removed at the appropriate talk page. – Muboshgu (talk) 21:34, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
We have a list of items that will be posted as long as they are adequately updated, it's called WP:ITNR (which stands for "in the news, recurring items"). Often, these sports items conclude and are posted at roughly the same time, hence the multiple appearances on the main page. In any case, this, like the rest of Wikipedia, works by consensus. If you'd like to contribute to the ITN section, please feel free to nominate articles at WP:ITNC. Cheers. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:46, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
The idea of recurring sports events being unimportant does not represent a majority view. You and I may think that sports don't matter much in the grand scheme of things, but billions of others would disagree. A significant number of people believe sporting events are very important, thus why there is so much coverage of it. This interest often translates into high article quality of even seemingly esoteric events, like The Boat Race. ITN is designed to showcase quality articles that are in the news, and this should apply to any topic notable enough for an article & consensus at ITNR/C. Mamyles (talk) 22:19, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
@Hamsterlopithecus: Kinda what Mamyles said. Everyone has some sort of content on Wikipedia that they find unimportant or even offensive. If we start getting into judgement calls on what is 'important' other people will inevitably be disappointed and angry. If you don't like what is posted to ITN, I invite you to participate in discussions at WP:ITNC or make your own nominations there. That's the way to change what is posted, not arbitrary judgement calls. 331dot (talk) 22:29, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
As to "sports popular in certain countries", that is irrelevant, as the vast majority of events posted to ITN only involve a single country. We specifically discourage that type of argument in ITNC discussions(see the "Please do not.." section on that page). Now, if your argument is that certain events do not get lots of news coverage in general, that's a valid point. 331dot (talk) 22:31, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
If we restrict ITN to once-in-a-lifetime events, the section will frequently become stale, and miss out on a decent number of well-updated articles. It's also a slippery slope: just because sporting related items occur with known regularity, should we similarly restrict election items as well? I generally lean more toward inclusivity on ITN, toward posting more items, assuming they have the requisite updates. SpencerT♦C 23:15, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Please note that the definition of "unremarkable" is not "personally not interesting to me". If we can come to an agreement on that, the rest of the complaint seems irrelevant. --Jayron32 02:45, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
  • TRM correctly points out the underlying problem, WP:ITNR with whole swathes of events added at once, rather than every item on that list having been approved in its own RfC. Every item there which was not added by its own exclusive RfC should be removed until an individual RfC is held to restore it. This does not, of course, mean that items wouldn't get posted. It would simply mean items with significant opposition wouldn't get posted in a mere 4 hours. μηδείς (talk) 03:00, 2 December 2015 (UTC)