Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 11

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Benedict meeting Bartholomew in Turkey

Pope Benedict XVI meeting Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in Istanbul (Constantinople). Has anybody dealt with this? Do you realize the importance of a reconciliation visit some 1000 years after the Schism? If this is not notable encyclopedic news, then what is? NikoSilver 11:21, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Taking into account all the statements and negotiations that took place before the trip, his recent speech in Bavaria (that had as a side effect the muslims' anger), and also the facts that this is the Pope's second trip (the first one being his native Germany) and the first in a muslim country, i think it should be mentioned 'In the news'. Without also forgeting that this trip, for which the Pope was invited last year by the Ecumenical Patriarch, is meant to heal the wounds of the Great Schism, and this is its aim. Even today the Pope called the divisions among the Christians as a scandal for humanity, not to mention that they called each other succesors of brothers (Apostles Peter and Andrew) and their churches (Catholic and Orthodox respectively) as sister churches. Since the Pope is about to visit later today the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, i suppose it is quite important his visit in Turkey to be in the news. A quick look in BBC, CNN, the Greek, Italian, Turkish and German media (to list just some, cause it is mentioned on every station and newspaper in the world), will persuade everyone about that. Hectorian 13:40, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
It's notable, but is there an updated article that corresponds to the actual event? Nishkid64 18:13, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
It's covered at Pope Benedict XVI#Turkey (November 28 to December 1, 2006). —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
Afterthought — it would have been appropriate to add this when it was current, but the trip is past and it would be somewhat belated to add it now. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

It was (notice past tense referring to 'belated' above) also covered in Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople (the article I had initially posted here when it was current). Unfortunately I didn't know the process then (and still don't). I always thought WP had a separate mechanism for finding notable news (especially of that importance). Obviously I was wrong, and the whole thing depends on us mere users to suggest... NikoSilver 23:11, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, you did the right thing. It's the rest of us — particularly the admins who are supposed to keep tabs on this page — who fell down on the job. I was busy with other matters, and didn't check this often enough. The only other thing you might have done is add the item to Portal:Current events, which is supposed to be a prerequisite for addition to "In the news". —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:30, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
:-( NikoSilver 00:47, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

UCLA Taser incident

Seems like an example that fits the purpose of this template purfectly. 21:08, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Is it of international interest? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:27, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
What the hell is that? Grandmasterka 22:31, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
UCLA Taser incident, apparently. I don't think it's quite important enough for the template, myself, but I thought I'd give others a chance to reply. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a great article, but unfortunately, it has no real international significance. Nishkid64 22:35, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Iraq Study Group

Would it be appropriate to add the publication of the Iraq Study Group Report to "In the News", or is that too U.S.-centric? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:24, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it would count as "international interest", although I'm sure others might disagree. Grandmasterka 22:32, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I think it's something of major international interest, but I also don't know what others would think. I think it should be up there. How shall we word it? Nishkid64 22:34, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

How about this:

The Iraq Study Group releases its final report, describing the situation in Iraq as "grave and deteriorating" and making 79 policy recommendations.

Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:48, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

I've been bold and put this on the template; if anyone wants to improve the wording, post here and I or another admin will change it. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:06, 7 December 2006 (UTC)
I noticed it wasn't linked to the Iraq War, and I was going to fix it, but I had to go to dinner. Looks like someone else got to it first. Nishkid64 00:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)
I suggest that Chavez should move out in favour of Image:ISG report cover.jpg. Shagmaestro 08:46, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a nice thought, but that image is copyrighted, and I don't think we're supposed to put fair use images on the front page. (I'm not entirely sure why that is, come to think of it, but I'm sure I've seen it objected to in the past.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 08:57, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Augusto Pinochet

His health had been deteriorating for the past few months. I don't think his death is that unexpected, given his age. I'm removing it from ITN, unless I see some opposition to this. Nishkid64 17:52, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

It has been discussed on WP:ITN/C, and if I have interpreted the discussion correctly, Pinochet met criterion C, the effect on current events. He's still a Chilean senator, the trial against him was ongoing, etc. I endorse his death being posted on ITN. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 17:58, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
He has died, but it's current wording if awful. It doesn't even say who he is and you can see an unclosed ]. --TheTallOne 18:04, 10 December 2006 (UTC) - In addition, the article does not cover this subject well - only a paragraph can be seen about the events occuring over the past few weeks and if this is going to be put up, I would change the wording to something more like: Former Chileian president Augusto Pinochet dies aged 91, following a heart attack just seven days before.
(edit conflict) He made a statement a few weeks ago saying that he accepts all the blame for the tyranny after the Chilean coup in 1973. I had added it to ITN myself, but it was subsequently removed because it wasn't discussed much in the article itself. He knew he was going to die soon, and he made that statement, which is why I don't think his death should have been on ITN. However, I can see your reasoning, so I put it back up for now. Nishkid64 18:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, I added the Chilean president bit. Nishkid64 18:18, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

What is the criterion to labelling him as Chilean "president" and not as "dictator"? His government was a dictatorship; he's in the List of dictators; as has been pointed out, he admitted of being "politically responsible" for the atrocities committed during his régime; as far as I know, legitimate Presidents, the ones who deserve to be called so, don't have to explicitly admit "political responsibility" because that's implicit. He has done it, so was a dictator and should be labelled as such. Amorim Parga 21:19, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, I was originally going to put that, but I wasn't totally sure so I just didn't. Anyway, from your evidence, I've changed it to "Former Chilean dictatorial president" Nishkid64 21:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Please keep in mind that WP:ITN, perhaps more than other parts of wikipedia, has to respect the neutral point of view. There's also no space on ITN to deal with all the nuances, sources, references etc. as to what constitutes a dictatorship, which definitions are used for a dictatorship, why Pinochet meets those criteria, etc. What we can say for sure is that Pinochet held the office of the presidency of Chile. Whether his policies constituted a dictatorship is not for ITN. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 22:27, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I didn't put it in the first place because of NPOV, but I thought it would be accepted, since all of this was true. Anyway, I removed it now. Nishkid64 22:38, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
His regime is often associated with dictatorship (a.o. by me), so it's not an uncommon association. But this is already described in the article. I don't think it is needed on ITN as well. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 22:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, at least now I know for the future. :-P Nishkid64 22:56, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I don't believe the current wording – Augusto Pinochet, 91-year-old former Chilean president, dies one week after suffering a heart attack – sounds very good. The interjection of 91-year-old former Chilean president sounds especially awkward. -- tariqabjotu 23:13, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

What about "Former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet (91) dies one week after suffering a heart attack"? Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 23:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I like it. I've added the word "age" and performed the edit. —David Levy 23:39, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Looks good now. Nishkid64 23:41, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Please change president for dictator. Pinochet was not elected democratically and he dissolved Chilean Congress upon rising to power through a military coup d'etat. He is a dictator by definition. At best, he is a de-facto head of state, but not president.--Thor Waldsen 16:29, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

He was a dictator, and we all agree on that. However, we don't want to bring in POV into ITN, so we're keeping it as president. If people want to know if he was a dictator or not, they can go to the article. Nishkid64 21:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
"President" is NOT neutral. "Head of state" is acceptable. Please change. ☆ CieloEstrellado 06:27, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
As I said on your talk page, he was the 30th president of Chile. I mean, I can go either way on this, but I think it's fine as it is. Nishkid64 23:37, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Kofi Annan

I've added an item about Kofi Annan's final speech in office. In diplomatic terms, the speech is actually quite a strong rebuke of US foreign policy (and is noted as such by the BBC), but in the interests of NPOV I tried to reflect Annan's actual diplomatic language. (Kofi Annan has, of course, been updated.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 20:01, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it's a great addition to ITN. It's both internationally appealing, and it follows ITN candidate guidelines. Nishkid64 21:26, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I think the wording could be changed a bit to reflect NPOV. It seems to grant Annan's assumption that the U.S. has now abandoned its "historic commitments." Tfine80 22:39, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
Any suggestions for an improvement? (I had considered something like "...chides the United States for moving away from its historic commitments...", but decided that didn't accurately reflect his diplomatic language — even though that's how it's being universally interpreted.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:50, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
As noted above, this text is blatantly POV and suggests that the U.S. has abandoned its commitments to human rights. /Slarre 00:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Would it be better to say "...suggests that the United States has abandoned its commitments to human rights and multilateralism"? Annan's actual words are "When it [America] appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives, its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused." My question above was a legitimate one: any suggested improvements would be welcome, and I'm sure that I or another admin can incorporate them. This is a wiki, after all. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 04:38, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Why not just simply state that he criticised the U.S. in his speech? We don't need to go into details here. /Slarre 13:25, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

The bit on Kofi Anan and his speech is loaded in my opinion. There is no article regarding his speech, yet someone took the liberty of noting how critical he was of the United States. He didn't talk about anything else? Again, his stance on the US might actually be noteworthy if there was an article to properly back it up - it's editorializing otherwise. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 09:20, 12 December 2006 (UTC) [copied from Talk:Main Page#Loaded: In the news. 16:27, 12 December 2006 (UTC)]

Well, his criticism of the US is the aspect of the speech that major media sources have focused on, so I think it's not a "liberty" to do the same. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
The use of the ad populum justification is inherently POV. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 06:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
While I don't think Kofi's speech deserves its own article, I do agree that there may be a bit of "editorializing" on ITN. -- 16:31, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
As I've said twice now, all suggestions for a more neutral wording are welcome. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
ITN items don't have to stem from novel articles, just updated ones- although this often comes down to a matter of opinion, unfortunately. Annan's biography is updated to reflect his speech and therefore the piece is legitimate. I would certainly say it's noteworthy (to paraphrase the ITN guidelines, "of internation interest..."). It could be shortened, but he has obviously deliberately used diplomatic language and I think we should reflect that intent here as well when reporting- criticism is too strong a word in my opinion. Badgerpatrol 16:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Would it be better to say "encourages the United States to follow its historic commitments" instead of "return to"? He does say that the U.S. appears to have abandoned its own ideals and objectives. However, I think that if we say baldly "Kofi Annan ... suggests that the United States has abandoned its historic commitments to multilateralism and human rights" it might misrepresent his constructive tone. Once again, suggestions for a better, more neutral wording are welcome. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 18:54, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion: why not quote Annan? That is, use his own words in the final line instead of "encourages...". That makes it clear ITN isn't endorsing his views, simply repeating them. (Something not clear in the present version). Mikker (...) 19:35, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

How about "Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (pictured), in his final speech in office, encourages the United States to provide global leadership in the multilateral tradition of Harry S. Truman"? (Having read the speech; the current version most certainly can't stay... it's clearly POV and OR). Mikker (...) 21:09, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Alternatively, "Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (pictured), in his final speech in office, encourages the United States to provide global leadership whilst respecting the principles of "collective responsibility, global solidarity, the rule of law, mutual accountability, and multilateralism"". (the last part is a quote from the speech, see this). Mikker (...) 21:13, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Good idea, Mikkerpikker. I can support either of these — but since it seems my judgement was a bit off in this case, I don't know that I should be the one to choose between these two alternatives. Does anyone have a preference? (They both seem accurate to me.) —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 22:43, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
Ummm... although the second version is somewhat better, it may be a bit too wordy. That said, the first version places undue weight on Truman - Annan praises him, but this story isn't noteworthy because of that. The second version more accurately reflects Annan's goal it seems to me. Mikker (...) 22:56, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
I've made that adjustment, and linked most of the concepts Annan spoke about in his quote. I was a bit unsure about linking to collective responsibility (doctrine), because that article doesn't have much about the application of the term in international relations, but I reckon people who know more about that than I do can take the opportunity to improve that article. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:28, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

This item is way too long. —Centrxtalk • 23:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)

It's long because it's tough to be succinct and accurately reflect diplomatic language. Any suggestions for a shorter version that's NPOV and accurate? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 23:57, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
How about "Outgoing United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan gives his final speech in office, widely interpreted as a criticism of the unilateralist policies of the George W. Bush administration."? Is that better? —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:01, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
WP:WEASEL. I'd go with the Truman version then... and, yeah, after seeing it on the main page, I think Centrx is right. Mikker (...) 00:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Pharos has cut it down, and I suppose it's OK now. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 00:23, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Hate to carry on about it... but the current version doesn't make very much sense to be honest. What does it mean to "respect multilateralism"? It should either be "respect the principle of multilateralism" or "encourages the United States to provide multilateral global leadership." Mikker (...) 00:42, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
And I hate to be overdefensive of my own language, but isn't "multilateralism" by definition a principle? Discussion about the need to "respect multilateralism" is pretty common anyway, isn't it?--Pharos 00:51, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Not really, multilateralism is both a description of a state of affairs and a moral princinple. Annan urged the US to follow the moral principle. Mikker (...) 01:03, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I see what you mean, but isn't his intention clear from the context? I don't disagree with you in principle, I'm just trying to reduce unnecessary verbiage.--Pharos 01:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
(I think I'll make this my last post on this). I probably went too far when I said 'it doesn't make sense' but I do think my version is somewhat clearer. It's not that n.b. tho; I'll leave it up to you to decide, oh One With Tools. :) Mikker (...) 01:54, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Maybe this entry should be taken down altogether. It doesn't seem as though a short, comprehensive wording of what Annan said is possible. In that case, the question is whether this topic is ITN material. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 00:54, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I tend to question whether this is really that important of an update (it's doubtful that in 5 years this speech will still have a separate section in the Kofi Annan article), but I don't think the particular characterization of his speech is that difficult of an issue. Currently the discussion between Mikkerpikker and myself is whether "multilateralism" or "the principle of multilateralism" is preferable.--Pharos 01:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I believe this discussion is over for the most part, but I would just like to express one point: When creating a news headline, it is not acceptable to use an ad populum justification to editorialize it. If 'the news' decides to focus on an aspect of a story, that is their agenda, not Wikipedia's. Do not parrot. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 07:07, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

I read the speech myself, and found the sections criticizing US policy (in diplomatic language) to be the most noteworthy aspects of it. Perhaps it was an error to justify that judgment by pointing out that it was shared by major media sources reporting on the speech, perhaps not. But I still maintain that if the UN Secretary-General chooses to use his final speech in office to criticize the United States, that is appropriate material for "in the news", and it is precisely because of that criticism that it is noteworthy. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:22, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't disagree with you - many stories are notable in themselves and the media can't help but report them heavily, and I'm sincerely glad you read the speech - I believe you're part of the minority who actually have. I only wanted to stress the importance of resisting the temptation to follow major media focus simply for the sake of. I realize that such an ideal is difficult to adhere to in all the chaos of world events, but it's an ideal nevertheless. --Haizum μολὼν λαβέ 08:59, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I understand and respect your concern, but since the name of the section is "in the news" there's going to be an unavoidable bias towards covering the stories — and the aspects of stories — that are, y'know, in the news. Of course, Wikipedia aspires to an ideal of neutrality not shared by most media outlets, but a story is a story. The speech wasn't notable because of Annan's reminiscences about arriving in Minnesota, or his expressed concerns about SARS and avian flu. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 07:07, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Ipswich murders

There's currently a discussion about putting up the Ipswich area murders. Please join the discussion at Wikipedia:In the news section on the Main Page/Candidates#12 December. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 00:36, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


It is disturbing for me to see Wikipedia calling Pinochet a "president" on its main page. Only the pinochetistas call him that. If you read the international media, all call him a "dictator" or "general" or "head of state" but never "president." Can anybody please, at least, change it to "de facto president" or "de facto head of state"? It reads now like Wikipedia is taking sides. Thanks! ☆ CieloEstrellado 02:27, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

That's pretty much the same as calling Robert Mugabe or Hugo Chavez a president. It's their official title. If you notice on the main page, Saddam Hussein is also called a president. 02:35, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

Chávez was democratically elected. Pinochet was not. There's a world of difference. ☆ CieloEstrellado 02:37, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
We do (and should) call people by their official titles. The title "president" doesn't only apply to democratically elected leaders. (Witness Mugabe). Besides, alternative titles ("dictator" etc.) reflect a bias and therefore violates Wikipedia policy. Mikker (...) 02:43, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm changing it to "head of state", as that doesn't carry any POV (I think) with it, and it describes Pinochet better. Nishkid64 (talkcontribs) 03:16, 13 December 2006 (UTC).
That's fair enough... hadn't thought of that. Mikker (...) 04:22, 13 December 2006 (UTC)


Should we change the picture to Image:Lipotes vexillifer.jpg? ~ trialsanderrors 22:32, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

It looks like someone already got to that. Nishkid64 22:58, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Solar array redeploy?

The wording of this headline is not entirely accurate, and the event of redeploying was not newsworthy in and of itself. The event involved attempting to stow the port-side P6 array, which due to kinks, led controllers to try extending and retracting the array in an attempt to cause the sections to fold properly. While this ultimately failed, the array is still just over 50% extended, which really doesn't qualify as "redeployed" (since it wasn't fully retracted to being with). Besides this, perhaps the headline should be changed to reflect EVA #2, in which the spacewalkers performed a (apparently flawless) task of rewiring the station's electrical systems? Perhaps, "Astronauts on mission STS-116 performed the first of two spacewalks to rewire the ISS electrical system for future expansion." -- Huntster T@C 10:11, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Ipswich murders - procedural issues

There is already a discussion here about notability, global interest and so on and I don't want to duplicate that, but I'm wondering about some procedural issues. As we all know, WP:NOT a democracy (nor should it be one) so I'm not going to count support vs. object; but it seems to me attempts at consensus formation with substantive arguments are deadlocked. People have provided pretty solid arguments both for and against inclusion on ITN (I happen to think the against arguments are more convincing, but maybe that's my pov) and it seems the debate won't be resolved one way or another.

My question is: what happens in cases like this? Is the story kept or discarded? Should we perhaps look at adding something to the guideline? (Note, I am not concerned here about settling the Ipswich issue one way or another, I'm more concerned with how to settle disputes like these in the future). Mikker (...) 19:17, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

This is the right place to debate about things like this, Mikker. Hopefully, you'll convince an admin or two to remove the bad item. Or, you can find better ITN candidates to help displace this bad item from ITN sooner. --PFHLai 18:46, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Suffolk police launches

Shouldn't that be "Suffolk police launch..." or "The Suffolk Constabulary launches..."? ptkfgs 02:18, 16 December 2006 (UTC)

I changed it, as Suffolk police launch I believe is at least correct in British English. Next time, try WP:ERRORS (although it appears someone else has transcribed it there). -- tariqabjotu 02:35, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks, Tariq, for fixing my careless typo. --PFHLai 18:43, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

Ipswich investigation

At the moment we have the first set of text for this story, which doesn't work very well in British English:

Suffolk police launch an investigation on five dead bodies discovered near Ipswich in Suffolk, England.

Compared to the original submission which sounds much better:

Police in Ipswich, UK are hunting a possible serial killer after five prostitutes are found dead within the last ten days.

Although I would advocate the following as removing some of the potential assumptions in the second headline:

Suffolk police launch an investigation after 5 prostitutes are found dead within 10 days near Ipswich, United Kingdom

I think this would improve the item, but at least can we get away from "launching an investigation on five dead bodies" and can we have United Kingdom rather than England. We wouldn't just put Houston, Texas after all would we... Ian3055 23:17, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

How about now: ''Suffolk police have arrested a man under suspicion of murdering 5 prostitutes within 10 days near Ipswich, United Kingdom --TheTallOne 14:21, 18 December 2006 (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestions. I've posted a similar line. I avoided the p-word out of respect for the dead. And I left out 'within 10 days' as I ain't sure when they died, though their bodies were discovered within 10 days. -- PFHLai 23:15, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

This needs updating, a second man has been arrested in connection with the murders [1] QmunkE 20:59, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Shane Warne

I know Shane Warne is a notable cricketer. I know he's made a massive impact on the sport. I know many people will fondly remember him. But is his retirement really that notable that it needs to be added to ITN? (And please don't say that it's more notable than five murdered woman in England...) Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 01:57, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

He's the leading wicket-taker in international history. We put Schumacher up there when he retired. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 02:00, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Good point, and the blurb is better now than it was. It doesn't just mention his retirement, but it also makes it clear to outsiders why he is notable. Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 02:39, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the retirement of an athlete is notable enough if the regular death of a famous person isn't. I just don't understand how retirement of famous athlete > death of famous person. Both are bound to happen eventually, but the second one is death! I am referring back to Template talk:In the news/Archive 10#Please add Friedman, when Friedman's death lost out to Ian Thorpe's retirement, because apparently a famous swimmer deciding he doesn't want to swim anymore is greater news than a famous person dying. Shane Warne issues one press release and he's In the news material. The guy is 37, obviously he's not going to professionally play cricket forever. I know a lot of famous people die daily, and am willing to agree that ITN shouldn't include "normal" deaths. But if this is to be the case, no more athletic retirements either! -newkai t-c 06:51, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I didn't add the Warney entry, Harro5 did. Friedman is very famous, and I didn't express an opinion on him as I am not an economics expert, but Thorpe won the most world championships ever (11), and Warne took the most wickets ever (699) - so with those stats ready, it was quite straightforward. If some mathematician, who had the most cites or the most papers ever, were to die, I guess that would present a strong case also. Blnguyen (bananabucket) 06:55, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but this guy is retiring, not even dying! For all we know he could pull off a Michael Jordan and be on the field again two years from now. Seriously, it's just retirement. All it means is that he won't be getting a 12th world championship. Oh, and I wasn't not accusing you of adding the entry, I was objecting to the entry being added! -newkai t-c 07:03, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm very surprised that this actually made it to the main page. Major sporting events (The Ashes, the Olympics, various Tennis Grand Slams, Golf majors etc) might be noteworthy news items, but the retirement of a particular player, however exceptional, is pushing the envelope a little. After all, as newkai stated above, retirement is bound to happen at some stage in the life of a sporting champion. By all means, put it in the article Shane Warne, but this announcement is not unique, unusual, spectacular, unexpected or global enough to warrant a listing on the main page.--Phil500 (Talk / Contribs) 07:20, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Just commenting on this: news covers individuals all the time, and the template has seen many individuals recognised for awards and achievements that are exceptional. Champions and athletes retire all the time, but a world leader in sports is something different. --Scottie theNerd 08:59, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with the process and guidelines of this template, but I would think this template should contain items gaining significant coverage in many news outlets. If his retirement is really that significant I don't see why not to include it. - Tutmosis 16:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
In countries which play cricket, there is hardly any bigger news. Front page stuff. It even beats the bushfires in Eastern Australia to the front page. Should've stayed on. That's the problem of cricket not being enough of a global sport... Nobleeagle [TALK] [C] 00:24, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
The American baseball leagues aren't global either, yet the winner of the World Series has been publicised here. We could compromise though: When The Ashes officially end, we could bundle the Australians reclaiming the Ashes as well as Warne's retirement, as he did announce retirement after the series. --Scottie theNerd 00:48, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
The World Series isn't a global event, but I'd safely assume that people around the world know what the World Series is and probably have some amount of familiarity with the teams involved. If nothing else, they know it's baseball. I have never heard of this cricketer, and in fact, I have never heard of the Ashes. This does not make them (or him) any less notable, but there is a fine line between how Americans view non-American sports and how non-Americans view American sports. -- Kicking222 02:54, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but the World Series is an event. I wouldn't object to the mention of who won The Ashes being placed in ITN, but we're talking about an individual player choosing to retire. No one chooses to win an event (hopefully). -newkai t-c 17:02, 23 December 2006 (UTC)
Centrx removed it because Warn'e article wasn't revamped, as is required. Of course, we can do that now. IND + PAK + BANG = 1.5 billion people roughly.Blnguyen (bananabucket) 01:01, 22 December 2006 (UTC)
I have suggested Warne again today following his 700th test wicket. WP:ITN/C--HamedogTalk|@ 05:53, 26 December 2006 (UTC)


Somebody should add a line about the death of Saparmurat Niyazov. Rain74 10:13, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Abu Bakar Bashir

The blurb about Abu Bakar Bashir has been changed from "The spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Bakar Bashir, has his 2002 Bali bombing conviction overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court" to "Abu Bakar Bashir's conviction related to the 2002 Bali bombing is overturned by the Indonesian Supreme Court." I don't think it reads well in the passive form. Wouldn't it be better to swap the sentence around and make the sentence active: "The Supreme Court of Indonesia overturns the conviction of Abu Bakar Bashir for his alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombing." Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 00:12, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

    • Yup. Changing. The Tom 00:31, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Protecting ITN images

I would like to remind everyone that all images on ITN must be protected and just protecting the version at Wikimedia Commons in not adequate -- the 'local file' in English Wikipedia must be protected as well. Otherwise, vandals can upload anything they want with the same filename and spoil our MainPage. Thank you for your attention. -- PFHLai 16:01, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Somalia entry

The current entry on the fighting in Somalia is overlinked, in my opinion. It now reads,

In Somalia, heavy fighting between forces of the Islamic Courts Union and government troops allegedly reinforced by the Ethiopian military breaks out near Baidoa.

Not all of those links are needed, especially not [[Military of Somalia|troops]], [[Ethiopian involvement in the Somali Civil War|allegedly reinforced]], and [[Military of Ethiopia|military]]. Could someone either delink those three or explain why the template needs nine links in one twenty-four word blurb? Thanks. Picaroon 20:14, 22 December 2006 (UTC)

Resolution 1737

Regarding Resolution 1737 against Iran: isn't the news the passing of the resolution, instead of Iran's nuclear program? So shouldn't Resolution 1737 be bolded instead of Iran's nuclear enrichment program? Aecis Dancing to electro-pop like a robot from 1984. 23:42, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

I had the same concern. Perhaps both should be bolded. Aran|heru|nar 04:55, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Earlier, the Resolution 1737 page was a mini-stub. Bolding that link would be inappropriate. It's okay now that it's a decent article. -- PFHLai 17:12, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

James Brown death

I removed James Brown from ITN because the article did not have much information about his death and such. Also, I'm not sure if this qualifies as an "unexpected" death. He was 73, and had been suffering health problems for a while now. Nishkid64 18:29, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

Not unexpected? He was scheduled to play a concert on New Year's Eve! Not to mention that he's been touring all year, around the world. User:Conor M
You were correct to remove this entry. The article's update is small (because there's little to report), and this death does not meet the pertinent inclusion criteria. James Brown was a very famous person who will be missed by many, but ITN is not an obituary section. —David Levy 18:40, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
...he said, and replaced one death-report with another (Niyazov). When famous people die and it's all over the global news, it merits listing here. And when it's a good article, even more so. Many people will want to read and learn more about James Brown today, and we are the one site that really should be giving them that info. And the Main page is the obvious place to have a link to his bio. Shanes 18:53, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
We're not a news ticker or something. There are some notability guidelines, and at first I had some doubts, but I still think it's not something that noteworthy on an international scale. Nishkid64 19:00, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
1. Niyazov "was in a high ranking office of power at the time of death." Please see our inclusion criteria.
2. As noted above, ITN is not a news ticker (and Wikipedia is not a news site). James Brown's death will be reported by all of the websites whose purpose it is to relay mainstream news (including sister project Wikinews, which links to our James Brown article).
3. Anyone who wishes to read about James Brown (today or at any point in the future) can simply come to this site and search for "James Brown." —David Levy 19:19, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
The ITN is not a news ticker can be used against any entry. But in as much as trying to make subjective opinions apply to rules is a healthy aproach, I'd say that James Brown was a key figure in music and therefore passes criteria 5 b. His death was sudden. I also note that the American James Brown's death is noted on (among others) the main page of the German, Japanese, French, Polish, Swedish and the Spanish Wikipedia. I think that speaks alot for his global fame, and also makes it a bit strange for the English Wikipedia to shy away from mentioning it out of concern that his death is not notable on an international scale. Shanes 20:26, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
1. "ITN is not a news ticker" could not be used against all entries. No one is arguing that anything should be excluded because it's news. The point is that something shouldn't be included merely because it's news.
2. A borderline argument for inclusion under criterion 5b could be made, but not until a substantial article update (id est more than two sentences) has occurred.
3. I'm not familiar with those Wikipedias' inclusion criteria. Are you? I agree that James Brown was internationally famous (and that his death is of international interest), but that doesn't negate the other criteria. —David Levy 21:14, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

We've had this debate many times before (above I actually went back and copied exactly what I wrote over a year ago when we debated whether Rosa Parks death should be mentioned or not). In my opinion we should be better in promoting well written articles about people or subjects when they are much talked and written about in the news media. Indeed, Wikipedia is not a news site. What we are is an encyclopedia with background information people can turn to after they've read, seen or heard news about someone or something. Having links to articles about day-to-day evolving stories like the Battle of Baidoa, now topping the ITN section, is much more of the kind that belongs on a news site than in an encyclopedia. If someone wants to get the latest news on an ongoing military battle, an encyclopedia isn't and shouldn't be that place. If someone wants to learn about the life of James Brown (and right now, many people do), Wikipedia shouldn't be afraid to tell the readers, "here, here it is! This is the article for you. Learn more about James Brown here!". There will always be borderline cases regarding both notability and global interest. But as I was trying to indicate when stating that every other major Wikipedia right now have his bio featured on their main page, James Brown is of global interest and he is notable. Shanes 21:49, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

As it stands, ITN's designated purpose is to highlight articles that have been created or substantially updated to reflect news. You're arguing that the section should be revamped to serve a different purpose (and you might consider authoring a formal proposal). While entirely reasonable, this has no bearing on the criteria as they currently exist. —David Levy 22:08, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I believe that an update of an article stating that the subject is not alive anymore, that he just died, is an update of rather major importance. And I do believe all this has considerate bearing on whether reasonable people could agree in that, yes, having his bio linked to from the main page will serve our readers and Wikipedia well. If we think so (that something is a good thing to do), then we can point to the rule, his sudden death and section 5b and tell all the poor people who always need backing by rules to make a sensible decision that, yes, we're fine. We have this rule, the case complies with it, so we're fine, and Merry Christmas. Shanes 22:31, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
1. Yes, the fact that James Brown died is important, but the article does not contain detailed information about his death and the repercussions thereof.
2. I believe that it's reasonable to propose changing the rules. I do not believe that ignoring these rules is a reasonable application of WP:IAR. Creating a situation in which people complain because the rules weren't ignored when someone important to them died doesn't help to improve or maintain Wikipedia, nor does setting a precedent that leads to further bickering. —David Levy 23:14, 25 December 2006 (UTC)
I was trying to hint at that we can post the very short note about his death and still comply with the rules. I wasn't talking about Ignoring All Rules, though the essence of that policy is in fact to not be afraid of using ones common sense now and then. Especially when interpreting rules. Oh well, I guess that 5 day old note about Niyazov's death is important enough to stay a little longer. He was a rather interesting character, and we have a decent enough article on him, too, that new readers will still enjoy looking up. Shanes 00:45, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I understood your argument, but I disagree with your interpretation of the rules. Therefore, I explained why I also believe that this would be an inappropriate application of WP:IAR. —David Levy 00:59, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Hey, look, you two both agree that including a note guiding people to the James Brown page would help our readers (many of whom would be interested in reading that article at this point in time), and I agree with that as well, so why not work together to get the purpose of ITN changed to include more of a 'DYK we have an article about this news item' ethos. Carcharoth 01:55, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually, I have mixed feeling on this matter. I recognize the potential usefulness of linking to articles that contain only small news-related updates (but provide background information), but I wouldn't want to see such entries combined with links to articles that actually include in-depth coverage of recent/current events.
Perhaps a new section (something along the lines of Behind the news) could be created and placed below In the news. This, of course, would require the creation of another new section for the left-hand column (or the relocation of Today's featured picture to that position). —David Levy 02:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

I would personally suggest, considering that we have the link for "Recent Deaths", to include a quick list of notable recent deaths right below the link. Nothing big- just something taking up one or two lines that would consist of something like (with wikilinks, of course) "Person 1 - Person 2 - Person 3". If someone incredibly important dies unexpectedly, or if a sitting president or someone along those lines dies, then still include it in ITN. But if there was a small section such as this one, there would be considerably less debate about including deaths of notable individuals in the ITN section. -- Kicking222 02:36, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

He is one of the most influential figures in American music, and his unexpected death does not even make the "in the news"? That's a slap in the face. Instead, it is replaced by news of Ethiopia invading Somalia. Which story might have more relevance to English-speaking nations? The "In the news" section is one of the worst parts about Wikipedia. Half of the things on there pertain to the middle east or some third world countries; many major stories in nations that actually speak English and will see this version of Wikipedia get completely overlooked. It's a shame. NIRVANA2764 03:48, 26 December 2006 (UTC)

It's not a slap in the face. This is an English language encyclopedia, not an encyclopedia for people in English-speaking countries. We're writing it as much for a Cambodian English speaker as we are for a Canadian one. For the record, I'm an English-speaking American, and the news about Somalia is more relevant to me than James Brown's death. Picaroon 03:58, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Instead of posting a self-described "rant" here, you could have been expanding the James Brown article to include additional facts pertaining to his death (citing reliable sources, of course). If no such information exists, I'm afraid that this particular article cannot qualify for inclusion in ITN at this time. You could, however, assist in bringing the article up to "featured" status (which most likely would lead to its eventual appearance on the main page as Today's featured article). —David Levy 05:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
It seems that there is an argument being presented here that unless the news event itself is the subject of significant Wikipedia text, the event cannot be mentioned on ITN. I would disagree with this assessment. If you look at the current ITN list, you see, for example, the landing of the space shuttle. The landing itself was not that big of a deal and is mentioned only briefly in the article. But the event is mentioned on ITN because the link to STS-116 (the mission) is timely. The overturning of the conviction of Abu Bakar Bashir, which is also mentioned on ITN, merits only one sentence in the article on the guy. The fact that there is not a big long description of James Brown's death on the James Brown article should not be a reason to exclude the death from ITN. The question is whether Brown was notable enough to be mentioned on ITN. I think the answer is yes, considering the enormity of his contributions to American music. Among living musicians, perhaps only Chuck Berry is of more note. -- Mwalcoff 12:03, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
1. The subject of the Space Shuttle entry is the mission (which the entire article covers in great detail), not merely the landing.
2. Thank you for bringing the Abu Bakar Bashir issue to my attention. I've removed the entry. —David Levy 13:12, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
But see, just as we used the space shuttle landing to link to the article on the mission, we should use James Brown's death as a reason to link to the article on his life. IMO, the point of ITN is to provide an easy-to-find link to background information on an event in the news. It's not to link to the news itself, which is what Wikinews is for. -- Mwalcoff 19:13, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Your opinion does not jibe with the current criteria. It's true that the point isn't merely to link to the news itself, but a reasonable amount of pertinent information is supposed to be included. The "background information" idea has been suggested by several users at various points, so a formal proposal might be a good idea. In the meantime, we need to enforce the rules that we have. I'll note once again, however, that Wikinews already links to our James Brown article for background information. —David Levy 23:10, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I would disagree with you on the criteria. Criterion 4 simply says the article should be "updated to reflect the new information." It doesn't say "the new information" needs to be a significant part of the article if it's not warranted. JB might not meet criterion 5, which, IMO, means we should change that criterion. -- Mwalcoff 23:57, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
The prevailing interpretation (as established in many previous discussions) is that the update must be reasonably large. Otherwise, a one-word change would qualify. Under the current format, readers expect to find substantially more information on the pertinent event than they obtain via the ITN entry itself. —David Levy 01:45, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
So we're down to that we no longer need to change the rules. We just need to agree in that posting of very notable people's sudden death is worthy of a note even if the only new thing in the article is that they died. That we can agree on that and still obey the rules. That's great. We're fine as far as the rules go, and it's up to us interpreting them by using common sense and good judgement. That's how it should be. Now, the question I'm asking myself is: Would the ITN-section as it currently reads be improved if we instead of the bottom 8 day old entry about a trial in Libya, put in the (now) 1 day old entry on James Brown's death? Would us making that edit improve Wikipedia? In my opinion it would. So I say let's make that edit. Shanes 02:27, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm afraid that I don't agree. As I said, under the current format, readers expect to find a substantial amount of information on the pertinent event. If the section's format were to be changed (thereby eliminating said expectation), that would be a different story.
I also believe that most people visiting Wikipedia who care about James Brown will learn of his death via another source and type in his name if they wish to read our article. —David Levy 02:51, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Sorry for being slow. With what do you not agree? That we can post the note about his death and still follow the rules? Is that wrong, or are we fine with the rules? If we are not fine with the rules, which of the 7 criteria are we not complying with if we post it? Or did you agree in this (I thought you did) and you simply don't believe that exchanging the 8 day old note about the trial in Libya with the more current entry on James Brown would be an improvement of the ITN as it currently reads?
Regarding readers expectation, I quite honestly believe readers would expect the English Wikipedia to spend one line about James Brown's death it in its ITN-section. At least it wouldn't surprise or shock many of them. I'm more surprised by seing every other major Wikipedia having done so. But they have. He's on the main page of all of them. And James Brown was an American. He sang in English. Shanes 03:22, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I meant that it would be bad to disappoint readers by linking to an article that contained less than the usual amount of updating. The entry itself would not have been unexpected, but the lack of information about Brown's death (and related matters) in the actual article would have been. —David Levy 09:34, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Just to say I too find it odd that there isn't a "James Brown, the "Godfather of Soul", dies aged 73." entry. My impression is that he was known throughout most of the world, to many people from many backgrounds. The omission may inadvertently suggest something less than a NPOV ("I wonder why James Brown hasn't been mentioned...") which I'm not sure recourse to criteria/rules/guidelines would satisfy... Regards, David Kernow (talk) 22:43, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
I can't imagine what bias would be perceived (racism?), and I don't see how modifying the inclusion criteria (should consensus be established) would fail to address the above concerns. —David Levy 23:10, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
As I see it, James Brown wasn't included for two reasons, neither of them being that Nishkid doesn't like him. The first is that his death wasn't exactly out of the blue - he was 73, and had health problems. Therefore, it wasn't an unexpected death like, say, Princess Diana's or JFK's was. The second is that the article, as David Levy said above, doesn't have much about his death, (four sentences at last count,) because there isn't much to to say.
In my opinion, the current inclusion criteria is fine. It isn't biased, especially not against America; in fact, two out of six entries are currently American, and two more are indirectly related, for those who complain that it doesn't look the front of New York tabloids. Seeing as this discussion keeps coming up, I've added a note to the text at the top of this page. Picaroon 02:08, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Just thought I'd register a puzzled reaction from another source and suggest one unfavorable interpretation (not my own!). If I find myself thinking similar thoughts in future, I'll take a closer look at the criteria and see if any suggestion/s spring to mind. I guess my view is that regardless of how unsurprising the death or how little an article might say about it, the death of someone such as James Brown, a person known outside their own field (and as an icon of it), is probably worth a one-line mention – not least to draw people toward his/her article and possibly – hopefully – thereby improve it. Assuming they pass away peacefully, I wonder if the deaths of (say) Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan would be considered newsworthy... (Incidentally, in case you were wondering, I'm no major James Brown fan!)  Thanks for your thoughts, David (talk) 02:37, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
You, like several others, are suggesting that the ITN section's purpose be changed. That's an entirely reasonable opinion, but this has not yet occurred. —David Levy 02:51, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Just want to say that I think with Gerald Ford's death now being listed we should keep James Brown out of it. One dead guy is enough. Shanes 05:20, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Can someone please explain to me which criteria Gerald Ford meets, but James Brown doesn't? Iorek85 06:15, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Umm, Gerald Ford was the President of the United States? That's the criterion he meets that James Brown doesn't. A former U.S. president dying is a big deal. There's going to be thirty days of national mourning with flags at half mast and everything. James Brown doesn't get that. --Cyde Weys 06:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but he wasn't the President of the United States when he died. (the deceased was in a high ranking office of power at the time of death). He wasn't the greatest or most well known President (the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically) and it won't have much impact outside the U.S. Don't get me wrong, I think he should be in there, but I can't for the life of me see why he should and Brown shouldn't.Iorek85 06:23, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Setting aside notability concerns, please compare the short paragraph about James Brown's death to the information about Gerald Ford's death that has been written in a fraction of the time. A former world leader's death simply has far more public ramifications (and therefore far more to write about) than a musician's death has.
Two quotes? If I add two quotes to the James Brown article (and I'm sure I could find plenty) will it get to ITN? Iorek85 06:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
It's a bit late now (and there are other issues), but something along those lines wouldn't have hurt (though I don't know that James Brown's death was commented on by any world leaders).
I also see nothing regarding Brown's funeral arrangements. —David Levy 06:50, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd add this but I don't want to make a point. Actually, would improving the article count? Iorek85 06:56, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Provided that the relevant policies/guidelines are followed, it's always okay to improve an article. —David Levy 07:01, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Change to criteria?

Here's a summary of what's happened since yesterday:

  • Several language versions of Wikipedia have featured the death of James Brown on their equivalent to ITN.
  • Several people have expressed puzzlement at the exclusion of this piece of news from the English version of ITN.
  • A case has been made to exclude the news based on an interpretation of the ITN criteria.

I admit to not being a veteran of ITN discussions. But to me, the above indicates we should change the criteria to make sure that the death of an extremely notable person, such as Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali or Steven Spielberg, can be mentioned on ITN, even if the deaths themselves are relatively ordinary (e.g., heart failure).

To me, criterion 4 reads as if it should not be a barrier to this. But we've been told that there are precedents to the contrary, perhaps it should be spelled out in the criterion that the "new information" mentioned need not be exhaustive.

Criterion 5 perhaps should be modified to allow for the inclusion of "normal" deaths of extremely notable non-politicians. -- Mwalcoff 03:23, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I think your summary is accurate. And I don't see criterion 4 to be a barrier either. Iv'e only followed discussions about ITN very much on and off for the last two years, so I'm no regular either. It's actually strange to argue this particular case about an artist I don't like at all and never listen to. But that's beside the point. When someone really world famous die, we can and should put a link to the bio on him in our In The News section. I don't think readers expect to see lot's of breaking news about him in the bio either. I don't think that because I believe the readers know they are reading an encyclopedia and not a news site. Shanes 03:48, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
And as we were discussing this Gerald Ford died and we'll have to discuss if he is notable enough or not. Sigh. Maybe this isn't such a good idea after all. Though if it's up to me he'll be up there In The News as well. Lot's of people will want to read about him the next days. Shanes 04:55, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
We had this discussion when Milton Friedman died last month (whether Ford would be recognized given the criteria, being a former POTUS, and having changed the world...Friedman wasn't included). If Ford isn't mentioned on the ITN, but there's something stupid about Paris Hilton or some celebritute, or some Pokemon, or some stupid swimmer in Australia no one's heard of saying he'll swim no more, I will hang the ITN editors by their balls and demand their removal. —ExplorerCDT 04:58, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I've commented in the past that I support expanding the criteria to explicitly reference former heads of state. Nonetheless, I doubt that many would dispute Ford's international notability, and I hope that the Gerald Ford article is substantially updated to reflect his death's ramifications. —David Levy 05:03, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I see that Infrogmation has added the entry. I'm not going to fight this one, but I'll reiterate my hope that the article receives the update that it's due. —David Levy 05:06, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
And you'd be the first person I hang...with dental floss. —ExplorerCDT 05:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't appreciate your threats of physical violence. I'll kindly ask you to refrain from making such remarks (and I'll seek administrative intervention if you do not). I don't know if you're trying to be funny, but I know that I'm not laughing. —David Levy 05:13, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
What would be the criteria for "extremely notable" then? The examples you've listed are all American and well known in the West. Sure Muhammad Ali was a great sportsman, but once we start running obituaries in this template, I think we'll find that many people feel that others should be included also. What about someone like Sergei Bubka? He is one of the most legendary athletes of all time, but probably not as famous as Ali in the US. There are thousands of examples like this and I think we should be wary of transforming ITN into an obituary section. If the death is not an exceptional event then I don't think it should be added since the article will not have any major revisions. Wikipedia comes out on top for searches in Google for the people you mention, so I don't think anyone will have trouble finding the articles if they are looking for them. I think if we expand the criteria and we maintain the effort of countering systemic bias, this could get out of control. jacoplane 05:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I share exactly the above concerns. By relaxing the criteria in question, we risk opening the proverbial floodgates to entries about the deaths of all sorts of arguably "extremely notable" people (undoubtedly leading to never-ending disputes regarding which deaths qualify). As you noted, it's likely that we'd be left with little room for non-obituaries. —David Levy 05:26, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Well, maybe we could state that we never list more than one death at the time? Let's say that James Brown had been listed since yesterday, he would then now have been taken off and replaced with Ford. Maybe we can even make these entries stay much shorter. Just for, say, two days tops? Because, frankly, when they're dead not much more happen to them (despite all the current event-tags about how things "might change rapidly" people love to smear on top of deceased people's bios), except the funeral. So these kinds of news get old really fast and we can remove them sooner? Shanes 05:36, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense, Shanes, and I think it would be a reasonable compromise, except for one thing: what if two prime ministers die in a helicopter crash (as happened in Central Africa once, IIRC.) What if, on the same day, a queen dies of heart failure, and a junta leader is assassinated? It's because of the possibility of such competition for "the spot" which you propose ("my politician was more important than yours!") that leads me to doubt that it will work. Picaroon 05:47, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Has all that ever happened on one day? Do you think the updates about and the quality of all the articles will be the same? Also, the current obituary requirements have no special way to resolve this either; all of these events would qualify under them, so the point is moot. It would be dealt with in just the same way as would any multiple major events, as it should be. —Centrxtalk • 06:21, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Huh? The current ITN criteria allow more than one death-related entry to appear at a given time. —David Levy 06:31, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. —Centrxtalk • 10:06, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I was going to type a reply very similar to Picaroon9288's, so I'll simply state that I strongly agree with Picaroon9288. —David Levy 06:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

The reason for the obituary requirements was originally simply because there were too many deaths crowding out other news. As long as that is handled, the reasons for originally having this requirements is dealt with and there is no reason for it. We can satisfy this simply by requiring that more notable persons, or superior articles, or articles with more improvements to it, replace lesser articles. This should be done for any kind of article; there is no need for subject-specific criteria on In the news. —Centrxtalk • 05:43, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

It certainly is a tricky issue. One thing we can't have is sometimes using judgement to decide who should be in, and sometimes using the criteria. You can't fairly have both. I don't think we should have a limit on the number of people, but a time limit certainly. The 'one person per day' rule could work, if the only objection is multiple deaths, by combining them into one bullet point - i.e. "The President of Namibia and Prime Minister of Zimbabwe die in a plane crash while touring Namibia" or "The Queen of England dies of heart failure and Stephen Spielberg dies in a car crash". Iorek85 06:37, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
If two people die by the same event, I would agree it wise to have them in the same line however the death of two world leaders is not a small event by any means IMHO. However if two people die in seperate events, e.g. Queen Elizabeth II (who isn't just the Queen of England) dies of a heart failure and Stephen Spielberg of a crash crash, I would suggest they both should be featured in seperate lines. Definitely QEII fulfills our criteria and I would suggest Spielberg does too (a death from a car crash would be unexpected and he's still a fairly noteable and active director). Obviously if Spielberg dies of a heart attack at the age of 102, this would be different Nil Einne 09:30, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

In terms of the overall issue, as with all ITN consderations it's a tricky one. As per below, I disagree with Gerald Ford fulfilling the criteria. If were going to try to use arbitary judgement on noteability of people, then we'll end up with the same dilemmas we face e.g. with sports figures but compounded. Is Gerald Ford more noteable then any other former world leader? To Americans, yes perhaps. But to many others, perhaps not. The one death and multiple lines suggestions have flaws, per above. One option would be to leave our current criteria for multilines but enable other deaths in a single line. But the question so arises, who should qualify? Everyone with a wikipedia article? Everyone who's death is a significant event in at least one country? Nil Einne 09:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I was very disappointed that James Brown's death was missing from ITN. The death of the "Godfather of Soul" was on ITN for several other languages, but not here. The omission seemed glaring. I don't understand how his death is ignored, yet there was some minor item about some cricket player retiring. I don't understand all this talk about criteria, much of it sounds petty to me. I think the section needs some rethinking. Wikipedia is now one of the top sites in the world, and many people, like myself, use it as my home page on my browser. It is my primary source of news. I expect to hear about it first here. I think things stay on the list much too long. The decisions about what should be posted are journalistic decisions that should be based on some consensus about what is "front page" newsworthy. I don't think the condition of the linked articles is relevant. Once it appears on the main page the articles will be updated quickly. --Samuel Wantman 10:06, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

May I suggest using Portal:Current events as your "source of news", instead of ITN ? Only well updated articles would "graduate" from there and get on ITN. --PFHLai 15:32, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Wikinews is another good news source. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, Nil Einne. —David Levy 15:51, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I haven't made my point clearly enough. All this effort by everyone involved in determining which articles should "graduate" is not needed, and may well be counter productive. If any news item, important enough to make it onto Wikinews or the current events portal is not up to date, it will be within moments of posting it on the main page. Even if there is NO article, it should be posted. (Am I the only person who's been around here long enough to remember the discussions about the value of red links?) Whenever we link to something on a wiki, we don't know what is at the other end of the link, and our main concern should simply be that we are linking to the article we intended. Every link adds information and the potential to bring someone to a page that needs to be written, updated or corrected. This is a good thing. Please rethink your criteria. -- Samuel Wantman 07:04, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
What you just described is meant for Portal:Current events. ITN is a place on MainPage to feature well updated articles related to current events, not a news-ticker. If you want to change the raison d'être of ITN, that's a different story. --PFHLai 10:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Gerald Ford?

Whilst unfortunate and all, would it at all be possible for whomever to mention to me why his recent death fulfills any of the critera listed as required, especially: "A death should only be placed on ITN if it meets one of the following criteria: (a) the deceased was in a high ranking office of power at the time of death, (b) the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically, (c) the death has a major international impact that affects current events. The modification or creation of multiple articles to take into account the ramifications of a death is a sign that it meets the third criterion." It doesnt seem to fit at present. Thankyou, 07:02, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree. Unlike some other past presidents, Clinton and Bush being examples, I've never really heard much about Ford which suggests to me he wasn't doing much so his death is IMHO unlikely to have major international impact. From an international perspective, and I mean this in the nicest possible way, I would have to say who gives a damn? Personally I think Keyes and maybe even James Brown was more deserving of being featured in ITN under our current criteria Nil Einne 09:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Your opinion is based on how much you personally have heard of the person? That's quite a ridiculous assumption. — BRIAN0918 • 2006-12-27 14:54Z
What the hell!!! James brown is cut because his death wasnt unexpected enough at 73, Gerald Ford was 93!! And TBH no-one outside the US could probably care less. Philc TECI 12:57, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
James brown was cut because of what ? Philc, you may want to scroll up to #James Brown death to see why Nishkid cut James Brown. (the 1st line there) It wasn't totally what you think. --PFHLai 15:04, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Nishkid cut James Brown for a reason that isn't even in the criteria. Arbitrary and unjustified. —ExplorerCDT 15:17, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Please see criterion 4. If Nishkid thinks the update was not done adequately, the removal would be justified. Perhaps this criterion needs to be clarified and elaborated. This would be a tough one. --PFHLai 15:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I was critical of the Ford entry's inclusion when the article contained one sentence about his death (though I knew that this would quickly change), but omitting it now is silly. Notable dignitaries from various countries will abruptly cancel plans and travel to the U.S. to attend Ford's funeral, and it's reasonable to describe this as "a major international impact that affects current events." —David Levy 15:15, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I cut the entry from ITN for the reasons stated above, but then I restored it minutes later because I had some second doubts. This whole ITN death policy can be taken either way, and needs to be changed. Nishkid64 17:30, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Quit it already

I'd give Ford, Brown and Friedman all the same weight of importance. The question here is now not one of individual's merit to inclusion, the guidelines are at fault. As David Levy has pointed out several times, these arguments will keep occuring until the guidelines are formalised. So let's stop arguing over Mister Ford and address the real problem here. --Monotonehell 13:23, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Well I wouldnt weight them the same at all. Even though I now know who gerald ford is, I still dont care that he just died, whereas anyone who doesnt know who James Brwon is I would consider musically deprived. Philc TECI 13:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Again, your opinion is based solely on your own personal familiarity with Gerald Ford. You can never win an argument with such a response. Whether or not you've heard of him or care that he died cannot have any impact on whether he should be on ITN. — BRIAN0918 • 2006-12-27 14:56Z
Unlike some cricket player retiring, this death is actually news. -newkai t-c 16:07, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps a potential answer is a separate main page subsection for deaths (between ITN and OTD?) which would simply list names and link to the appropriate article and Deaths in 2006? --ⁿɡ͡b Nick Boalch\talk 16:18, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

On the one hand, some Wikipedias do this (so it isn't unprecedented). On the other hand, this would require the creation of a new section for the left-hand column (or a visually overwhelming expansion of Did you know...), and the link to Deaths in 2006 seems sufficient to me. —David Levy 16:36, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Just Wondering

Was Augusto Pinochet included in ITN or not? Because if not isn't that American-bias?--HamedogTalk|@ 16:28, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Pinochet's death was included. See above for the resultant controversy. —David Levy 16:36, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Your comment may or may not be true but it isn't really helpful. Look below, we're trying to get away from the case by case arguments that we've been having of late, and try to discover a better way to construct the guidlines for inclusion to avoid these kinds of problems in the future. --Monotonehell 16:38, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Hamedog, do you know what American-bias is? Anyway, I think I was the one who added Augusto Pinochet to ITN (IIRC; maybe it wasn't me, but I know I did something to it), and it was on there for a few days before it was removed by another admin because he felt the article barely made a mention of his death. Nishkid64 17:31, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
My question about (pro-)American-bias is that Ford is up right now but Pinochet was a bit dodgy being up there. Yes a admin did remove Pinochet Nishkid64 - try you - [2]--HamedogTalk|@ 21:16, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Response left on your talk page. I got confused about the ITN Pinochet candidates we were talking about. Nishkid64 22:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: to alter the criteria for inclusion.

Criteria for adding entries The In the news section should have 3-5 items. The criteria for inclusion, as decided through community consensus, are:

  1. A story should be listed at Portal:Current events, or one of its subpages.
  2. The current event needs to be important enough to warrant updating the corresponding article.
  3. It should be a story of an international importance, or at least interest.
  4. The article must be updated to reflect the new information and have a recent date linked (but remember: Wikipedia is not a news report so relatively small news items should not be put into articles; thus those type of news items should not be displayed on the Main Page).
  5. A death should only be placed on ITN if it meets one of the following criteria: (a) the deceased was in a high ranking office of power at the time of death, (b) the deceased was a key figure in their field of expertise, and died unexpectedly or tragically, (c) the death has a major international impact that affects current events. The modification or creation of multiple articles to take into account the ramifications of a death is a sign that it meets the third criterion.
  6. A short headline should be written for the current event and the link to the article that was updated based on the current event should be emboldened.
  7. One and only one image should be included on Template:In the news at any one time, and it must be protected. It should be no more than 100 pixels wide, be right justified, and have alt text. This can be done by enclosing the image code in <div style="float:right"> </div> and adding |100px| followed by the alt text inside the image code, for example: <div style="float:right">[[Image:example-photo.jpeg|100px|This is an example]]</div>. The use of the "|right" extended image markup should be avoided, since under the current MediaWiki parser it results in unsightly and unsymmetrical white borders around images on the coloured Main Page sections. When adding an image of a person, be sure to add "(pictured right)" to the news entry for clarity.
    Avoid using fair use images. Instead, find a related free image (PD, GFDL, CC etc.) as an alternative.

Above are the current critera for inclusion. First we need to decide where they are "at fault", that is; very often a death is included or excluded and an argument ensues. This shows that there is not concensus with either 1)How the critera are interpreted or 2)the criteria are causing some events to be omitted where consensus would include them. Either way this shows that there is something amiss with the guidelines.

I propose that we first hold a debate over the relative merits, reasons and effects of including certain kinds of deaths into ITN. Note: this is NOT a vote, no "me toos", please state your case. After that we can look at adjusting the guidlines so they are less ambiguious.

So let's start by proposing the kinds of items that we believe should be included and why... --Monotonehell 13:33, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

I've highlighted what seem to be the contentious passages above in red. --Monotonehell 17:50, 27 December 2006 (UTC)



The most contentious and most needed to be changed is the death criterion. None of the others raise such a debate over the merits of whether someone should be included.

  1. "Died unexpectedly or tragically" should be removed from the death criterion's subset (b), because too many deaths fit those adverbs. All deaths are tragic. Most deaths are unexpected (heart attacks, anything except cancer pretty much).
  2. There should be a subset (d) for those who are retired or out of the limelight but had great impact in their day.

We've excluded a lot of really important people who changed their discipline or expertise. Milton Friedman the greatest economist of the last half of the 20th Century, still a force in Economics, was ignored. James Brown, whose impact was over many genres of music, including INVENTING Funk. Now, Gerald Ford is delisted from ITN (he was on it last night) even though his Nixon pardon was essential to putting to bed the intense partisan division over Watergate, whose oversight of the withdrawl from Vietnam did the same, who was the last man alive who sat on the Warren Commission, 26 years in Congress, etc. But just because these three were out of the public limelight for a while, or weren't as active, they don't merit ITN inclusion? That's b.s. People like David Levy, (who I can't stand because of his being a strict constructionist and stickler for these blatantly wrong rules) always cite that a death shouldn't be included unless there's something more than a line written about it, which is not in the criteria. Well, often even great figures only get a line or two about their death, usually a.) He/She died b.) He/She died of X c.) buried/ashes spread/entombed/ at this location. Unless the widow jumps in the funeral pyre, there's just not much more that needs to be said.

What's sad about the death requirement is that we mention the President of Kazakhstan, who did nothing on the international stage, never won a Nobel, and was only the subject of jokes outside his country gets a mention while Ford, Friedman, Brown and countless others more important are not mentioned...yet the news of their death dominates the airwaves around the globe (and yet I've seen nothing more than a ticker sentence about the Prez of Kazakhstan on FoxNews or CNN or even al jazeera.).—ExplorerCDT 14:54, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

"Died unexpectedly or tragically" should be removed from the death criterion's subset (b), because too many deaths fit those adverbs. All deaths are tragic. Most deaths are unexpected (heart attacks, anything except cancer pretty much).
I disagree. While any death can be referred to with those terms, this criterion is widely understood and usually applied correctly. Obviously, the death of a 25-year-old in an accident is more tragic than the death of a 100-year-old of natural causes. Obviously, while a heart attack isn't expected to occur on a particular day, it's hardly unexpected for certain individuals to experience them at some point.
Steve Irwin's demise is a good example of a tragic, unexpected death.
Perhaps, I still think this needs to be tightened significantly. This is as badly interpretted as New Jersey's constitution interprets the "thorough and efficient" clause regarding public education. —ExplorerCDT 18:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
There should be a subset (d) for those who are retired or out of the limelight but had great impact in their day.
I see no harm in this, provided that the death itself has sufficient impact to warrant a substantial article update. (A mere mention that the person died on x day of y cause doesn't cut it.) In particular, I've long advocated inserting an explicit reference to "former heads of state."
I support this being adopted into the ITN guidelines, as well as the suggestion to include the "former heads of state" line. Clearly some significant deaths were overlooked, and with things like murdered prostitutes in England getting on the main page, but not the death of James Brown, a change has got to come. Thethinredline 16:19, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
People like David Levy, (who I can't stand because of his being a strict constructionist and stickler for these blatantly wrong rules)...
While this is a step in the right direction (compared to your threat to hang me "by [my] balls" "with dental floss"), it remains a personal attack. Please stop. —David Levy 15:51, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps I may when you stop being a dick. Until then, I do not retract my comments and reserve the right to criticise you when I feel justified (as I have thus far). —ExplorerCDT 18:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd also include "former heads of government" for people like Maggie Thatcher. --PFHLai 15:58, 27 December 2006 (UTC) (No, I'm not putting a curse on her. :-) --PFHLai 16:05, 27 December 2006 (UTC))
Agreed. (The distinction slipped my mind.) —David Levy 16:03, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd also include, in addition to former heads of state, notable individuals in science, literature, business, etc. who might not have done anything in recent years (disease and old age do take a lot of time away from scholarly pursuits) but who were awarded or prominent in their day. Nobel Laureates (important ones who caused paradigm shifts in their Milton Friedman, or Watson and Crick), really international literary and artistic figures especially those who do good work in the world on a huge scale, (like when Bono dies), etc. I think of names like Bill Gates, and when Milton Friedman died Gerald Ford, and others who I think everyone has heard of, they've really had a lot of accomplishments and impact, and they might not meet the requirements.—ExplorerCDT 18:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
This is a hard part. Heads of state/govt are obvious candidates. Notable individuals in various fields are hard to clearly define, and whether someone is notable enough is often a POV issue. --PFHLai 18:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Rather than try to define these vague areas ahead of time, we should just handle them as they come up (ie, as they die). — BRIAN0918 • 2006-12-27 20:30Z
That's most of the problem. When we've argued these points, usually some user who strictly adheres to the rules and his/her warped interpretation of them, opposes the arguments made for certain additions. We need to fix this, because putting it off to when it comes up doesn't solve it and is the precise core of this problem. —ExplorerCDT 02:23, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Explorer, I just want to remind you that we try to be civil on Wikipedia, so such personal attacks on other users will not be tolerated. David Levy is just upholding the rules previously set forth by others. If you feel they are wrong, then suggesting (which you have done) new rules is the correct thing to do. Nishkid64 17:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I point you to WP:IAR as my only response to your remonstrance. Sometimes you people need a swift and mighty kick in the ass. Rules shouldn't be anally interpretted.—ExplorerCDT 18:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Let's focus on ITN, not rudeness. Okay? --PFHLai 18:40, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Okay, Explorer, let's get to your ITN change proposal. I agree with all the changes you are proposing, but I feel that they are too general. Do you know how many people we'd have on ITN then? I'd guess that any given day you're at the Main Page, you'll see a death on ITN. Also, maybe you're under the influence of Borat, but the president who recently died was Saparmurat Niyazov, the president-for-life in Turkmenistan. Nishkid64 22:56, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Too many -istans, i couldn't remember which one...But as to Niyazov...what is known for...he wasn't a player on the international stage and the most anyone really knows about him is that his country still boils people in oil and he named a month after his horse. Tell me how he's more ITN-worthy than Milton Friedman whose ideas ended the Cold War? —ExplorerCDT 23:24, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Why do you continually imply that Friedman's death was excluded because he was deemed non-notable? We could have applied common sense to override the specific death criteria, but the main problem was that his article was barely updated. —David Levy 01:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
No, i'm not saying Friedman was "non-notable" just that the warped interpretation of the rules kept him from being noted on ITN. Butting heads with Rule-Nazis (no personal attack implied) . The fact that the article was barely updated when it should have been massively updated was not and is not among the "criteria." There's little to say about matters of death except that a) he died, b) he died of this c) this is where his remains will repose. Friedman's article was updated to reflect his death, which should have sufficed given the ambiguity of the criteria. You couldn't write extensively about his death. It said, he died, that he died of heart failure, that he was 94. No information has been added regarding the disposition of his remains (I know, but its not appropriate at this time to add it). The updating requirement has been satisfied. Not even obituaries in the newspaper or reports on TV go into detail. All the news media do is update their file to say so-and-so died, this is how, funeral arrangements, etc. Not much more than can be done. Look at Gerald Ford. This is all that is added, at this time. He died, of heart failure after bouts of pneumonia, age 93, state funeral to come, and he'll be pushing up the daisies in the courtyard of his presidential library in Grand Rapids Michigan. Every other part of the "remembrance segment" is dealing with what he did in life, not how he died. It's the accomplishment in life that's important. To hold "barely updated" regarding the particulars of the death as a criteria (even unwritten or as convention) is a specious exercise in excuse-making. —ExplorerCDT 02:23, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
First of, you're clearly implying that David Levy is a "rule nazi" so just saying "no personal attack implied" is rather moot. There is often a lot to be said about someone's death, look at Death and state funeral of Ronald Reagan for example. Here is a clear case where there is an article has been updated significantly and as such merits inclusion in ITN. This template is not an obituary section nor should it become one. Portal:Current events has a specific "Recent deaths" section and there is also Deaths in 2006. These places are where all deaths should be listed, the current criteria are very clear about what should be included. Following these criteria does not mean we are being rule nazis, and you are free to make a suggestion to change the criteria. If there is consensus that your suggestions are better they will be adopted. JACOPLANE • 2006-12-28 03:31
1. Of course you're not saying that Friedman was non-notable. You implied that other people deemed him less notable than Niyazov. This is false.
2. You acknowledge that "the article was barely updated when it should have been massively updated." As you knew Friedman so well, why didn't you update the article instead of spending so much time complaining about its exclusion from ITN? I believe that I asked you this back then.
3. As repeatedly noted, I'm citing the consensus interpretation of the criterion in question. Do you honestly believe that a one-word change (which otherwise would qualify) is sufficient?
4. Regardless, Friedman's passing clearly didn't meet the death criteria. I'm saying that we probably would have made a common-sense exception if the article had simply been reasonably updated. Why wasn't it?
5. What do you mean when you say that it's "not appropriate at this time to add" information to Friedman's article?
6. Why are you comparing Wikipedia with "the news media." Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a news site.
7. The Gerald Ford article has been substantially updated. When you were trying to get Milton Friedman added to ITN, the article contained two new sentences. —David Levy 04:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
(1) Niyazov is less notable, less accomplished, less known, less cared-about and if you went around the U.S. and asked who Niyazov or Friedman was, I bet people would think Friedman more notable. My only wonder why Niyazov, who doesn't seem to meet many of the criteria gets ITN, and Friedman, who meets more than Niyazov doesn't. Never claim something false when you don't really know it to be false. (2) Whether it was massively or barely updated, it met the criterion because it was updated as required...with new information. (3) "Substantially" isn't mentioned, therefore you're applying a "Double Secret Probation" if you continue to enforce an interpretation of "substantially" as a level of updating. If it's not explicitly mentioned, what's someone (like me) who reads the criteria and trying to apply it supposed to think. It makes the ITN look cliquey and clandestine like the Star Chamber. (4) As the criteria is written, he passed. As you interpret it, with your secret, unwritten extra-legal provisions, he didn't. (5) It is not appropriate to add personal information that on purpose wasn't released to the press (funeral arrangements, etc.) (6) I did not say Wikipedia is a news site, but ITN is a news outlet. And I am comparing the rationale for applying the ITN criteria regarding updating information to what's really important about the information being conveyed...that the announcement of a death is not the reason the death is important...the supreme reason is to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the individual who passed. (7) At the time of my writing before in relation to my last view of the article, it was only a few sentences, nothing substantial. Again. "Substantial" isn't part of the criteria as written, but the update of the article to include information of the death seems to meet it as written. —ExplorerCDT 05:37, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Once again, notability is in the eyes of the beholder (that is, it's subjective.) I - and I'm not saying this to be contrary, not at all - barely know who Friedman is, but Niyazov's name is quite familiar to me. Picaroon 05:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
[FYI, the numbers below don't correspond to those above.]
1. Please go back and re-read what I wrote. I did not claim that Friedman was less notable than Niyazov. I disputed your assertion that Friedman's death was excluded from ITN because editors decided that Friedman was less notable than Niyazov and others. No such determination was made.
2. Why are you citing the likely result of a survey conducted among people in the United States? Wikipedia is written for people worldwide.
3. How can you claim that Niyazov "doesn't seem to meet many of the criteria"? He "was in a high ranking office of power at the time of death."
4. Let's set aside the update criterion for a moment. Which of the death criteria did Friedman meet? (Please don't attempt to argue that his death was unexpected.)
5. As I've tried (and evidently failed) to explain to you, ITN is not "a news outlet" in the traditional sense. The fact that something is major news doesn't automatically mean that it qualifies for inclusion.
6. You're mistaken regarding the Gerald Ford article's state at the time of your post. The death-related updates were substantial long before that point. —David Levy 06:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
RE: #1 We've so misinterpreted that point, I'm not going to belabor it. RE: #2 If you went to England, or India, or any other English-speaking part of the world and asked Friedman vs. Niyazov, they'd be "Ni-who?" I'd bet in non-English sections of the world it would be the same situation. RE: #3 Niyazov might have been a head of state, of an insignificant country whose only mentions in the news before his death were reports of capital punishment by boiling people in oil and Niyazov naming a month after his horse when he reorganized the calendar. He was a carnival freakshow, with no other contribution to the world at large. CNN covered his death with a ticker, not even a blurb on a round-up segment. When you weigh someone like Niyazov or Friedman on the basis of international coverage of the death and discussion of their contributions to the world, Friedman wins hands down. When you weigh Friedman's death with a 26 year old swimmer retiring, Friedman wins hands down. I just can't understand why you can't see that. If you had to decide between Niyazov and Gerald Ford, you'd be insane if you said Niyazov was more important. RE: #4. Milton Friedman was a leading figure in his discipline, even at the time of his death Friedman was substantially contributing to the field of economics, and commenting on political issues and yes his death was sudden. He was in perfect health until a few days before he died. Heart failure, as was in Friedman's case, can have a sudden onset. Ford, you could also say "died unexpectedly" of heart failure...after all, the pneumonia didn't kill him...the criteria of "died unexpectedly" is a b.s. rubric since all deaths, except for those long drawn out via cancer or coma, are unexpected. You can't say that just because a guy is in his 90s that his death isn't unexpected. If you're just counting seconds after someone turns 65, expecting a death announcement, Jeanne Calment would have caused you to waste a lot of time. We don't sit around expecting people to die. I, and practically everyone in this world, does not wake up and say to myself..."I expect Tom Cruise to die any minute now." If you do, then you've got issues. As I said above, the modififers in that criteria are flawed and needs to be fixed. By that criteria, the death of Gandhi wouldn't be ITN material. RE: #5. I don't imply that ITN is a news outlet, but if something is major news, with international coverage, it shouldn't be pushed aside for something stupid like a practically unknown 26 year old retiring from a sport. RE: #6. When I saw the Ford article last, before I started raising this argument, it was updated with 2 or 3 sentences just to say..."yeah, he's dead." —ExplorerCDT 18:04, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
We've so misinterpreted that point, I'm not going to belabor it.
"We've" misinterpreted nothing. You repeatedly claimed that Friedman was excluded from ITN because editors deemed other people more notable. I disputed this assertion, and you misinterpreted my comments for a claim that Friedman actually was less notable.
If you went to England, or India, or any other English-speaking part of the world and asked Friedman vs. Niyazov, they'd be "Ni-who?"
Here we go again. This is an encyclopedia written in English, not en encyclopedia for people in "English-speaking part[s] of the world."
I'd bet in non-English sections of the world it would be the same situation.
How do you know?
Of course, this is irrelevant (given the fact that no one has claimed that Friedman was less notable than Niyazov was).
Niyazov might have been a head of state, of an insignificant country whose only mentions in the news before his death were reports of capital punishment by boiling people in oil and Niyazov naming a month after his horse when he reorganized the calendar. He was a carnival freakshow, with no other contribution to the world at large.
You are not the arbiter of which countries are "insignificant," and your comments continue to be quite ethnocentric. Regarding your points about Niyazov himself, please see WP:NPOV.
CNN covered his death with a ticker, not even a blurb on a round-up segment.
Is CNN an encyclopedia?
When you weigh someone like Niyazov or Friedman on the basis of international coverage of the death and discussion of their contributions to the world, Friedman wins hands down. When you weigh Friedman's death with a 26 year old swimmer retiring, Friedman wins hands down. I just can't understand why you can't see that.
1. I've already expressed agreement with you regarding the Thorpe entry.
2. I just can't understand why you can't see that the exclusion of Friedman's death from ITN had nothing to do with his notability in life.
If you had to decide between Niyazov and Gerald Ford, you'd be insane if you said Niyazov was more important.
1. Gerald Ford's death is listed.
2. Again, no one has claimed that "Niyazov was more important" than Friedman was. Please stop beating this straw man.
Milton Friedman was a leading figure in his discipline, even at the time of his death Friedman was substantially contributing to the field of economics, and commenting on political issues and yes his death was sudden. He was in perfect health until a few days before he died. Heart failure, as was in Friedman's case, can have a sudden onset. Ford, you could also say "died unexpectedly" of heart failure...after all, the pneumonia didn't kill him...the criteria of "died unexpectedly" is a b.s. rubric since all deaths, except for those long drawn out via cancer or coma, are unexpected. You can't say that just because a guy is in his 90s that his death isn't unexpected.
Again, while no specific heart attack (et cetera) is expected, it is expected that an otherwise healthy elderly person will die of organ failure. The death of John Ritter was unexpected, and such circumstances typically lead to major article updates.
You can claim that almost all deaths technically are unexpected, but you know darn well what distinction the criterion is intended to draw.
By that criteria, the death of Gandhi wouldn't be ITN material.
Gandhi’s death had major international impact.
I don't imply that ITN is a news outlet,
You explicitly stated it! "I did not say Wikipedia is a news site, but ITN is a news outlet."
but if something is major news, with international coverage, it shouldn't be pushed aside for something stupid like a practically unknown 26 year old retiring from a sport.
Again, I agree that Thorpe's retirement shouldn't have been included, but your belief that he was "practically unknown" once again highlights your ethnocentrism.
When I saw the Ford article last, before I started raising this argument, it was updated with 2 or 3 sentences just to say..."yeah, he's dead."
I don't know how long ago that was, but when you posted the message in question, it contained far more than that. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Capricious section break

I've split the section here because it seems like as good a place as any, and I've labeled it capricious because "arbitrary" is overused. By all means revert if you feel it's breaking up the conversation. Picaroon 05:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I feel that the criteria are too exclusive. I don't think sudden should be a criteria at all. I think heads of state for notable countries (one could consider ASEAN nations, NATO members, or by population) while in office, definitely count, former heads of state who were heads of the aforementioned notable countries and had a significant impact on world events, or exceptional impact on national events. Also pioneers in their fields, including Sports, the Arts, Music, Cinema, the Sciences, etc. Care should be taken to include importance and legacy over temporary popularity (Audrey Hepburn over Britney Spears, for instance). Sporting figures are tricky - they are mostly locally known (Don Bradman, Shane Warne) and only in countries that follow that sport. Not only that, in terms of 'importance' sport is way down the list. Maybe only exceptional sporting figures? (Lance Armstrong, Muhammad Ali). Coupled with my below proposal (or not), I think this would work better than what we have. Iorek85 23:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Who says Britney Spears is just temporary popularity? She's been here for over 10 years, and she's still popular. As for the sport events, that should be limited. I know that lately many cricket headlines were allowed on ITN, and I would hope that the future ITN guidelines would prevent this from happening. Records are constantly being broken in every sport, so there is no point in having a headline on some individual cricket record. The best solution to this is just adding it to the individual sport's portal. Nishkid64 23:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Lol, she's just an example. Paris Hilton, if you must. :) I was only concerned with deaths, but definitely, I agree with you. Records (like Warne's 700th Wicket) should go in the portal to which they belong. Retirements, too. Iorek85 23:46, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Notable countries? Seriously? That would be a never ending debate if it had to be decided. India notable but not Pakistan? Serbia but not Montenegro? NATO but not the Warsaw Pact? Good luck with that. JACOPLANE • 2006-12-27 23:57
Hence the need for a selection critera. I doubt the death of the president of Eritrea would be notable, but the death of the Chancellor of Germany would be. I suppose, if there were room, we could include the leaders of every country, but definitely not all of the past leaders of every country. Iorek85 00:01, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Honestly, the idea of devising criteria to determine "notable countries"? How the heck did the discussion reach this point?!
I'm not saying that we should list Paddy Roy Bates when he dies, but a head or former head of any widely recognized sovereign nation is notable enough. As for "room," keep in mind that the articles must be substantially updated. That would exclude most such deaths from qualification. —David Levy 01:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
We have notability of people, why not countries? You can't say Tahiti is as internationally as important as China. Anyway, as I said, we could include all leaders if people want. I don't like this 'substantially updated' criterion, since anyone's article can be edited to include details of their deaths, funeral arrangements and comments by other countries. I'm sure its standard diplomatic practice to release press releases with condolences on any foreign leaders death. I get that ITN is to highlight changes to articles, but it should also highlight the articles we already have on events and people. Iorek85 01:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
1. There is no need to begin pondering whether country x is more notable than country y. As I opined above, the head or former head of any widely recognized sovereign nation is notable enough. It makes no difference which ones are more notable than others, because even the least notable is sufficiently notable.
2. I'm not sure why you would oppose a basic standard that serves to mitigate a problem that you cited. —David Levy 02:11, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
The basic problem is the sense of absolute astonishment and "what the fuck?!?" or "who the fuck?!?" sentiment when seeing ITN mention that Aussie swimmer Ian Thorpe retires, or that the son of some king of some pacific island no one ever thought existed much less that it had a king dies in a car accident in the u.s. (where he's just about as notable as the other 43,000 car accident victims that die every year in the u.s.). A lot of what is on ITN elicits a response of "who cares?!?" and "who thinks this obscure idiot/story/issue is important?" especially when the death of people like Milton Friedman is passed over for someone like Thorpe whose contribution to the world a gold medal at an olympics no one really watched. You know, there are over 250 statues of or monuments to Friedman in Eastern Europe because of his philosophical and moral role in ending the Cold War and helping those societies rebuild and get past the fall of communism. Tell me how many statues are erected to Ian Thorpe? These unbalances are stark and make people wonder who the heck is editing this. —ExplorerCDT 02:41, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that Thorpe's retirement shouldn't have been listed. I disagree with your apparent beliefs that the United States is the center of the universe and that ITN should serve as an obituary section for accomplished people. —David Levy 04:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Never said the U.S. is the center of the universe...don't put words in my mouth. If ITN is going to run lines about the deaths of people, it should include people who are long as they're internationally recognizeable. By your definitions and interpretations, Mozart, Goethe, or Isaac Newton wouldn't even meet the ITN guidelines. —ExplorerCDT 05:58, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
1. No, you didn't say that the U.S. is the center of the Universe. You merely act this way. In fact, you just cited your belief that more people in the U.S. have heard of Friedman than have heard of Niyazov as evidence that Friedman is more notable.
2. It certainly is possible for news to emerge that would lead to the mention of Mozart, Goethe or Newton in ITN, but these individuals are more likely to be referenced in one of the main page's other sections (particularly On this day...). —David Levy 06:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I was referring to Mozart, Goethe or Newton in the case that if they had died today, by your interpretation, these individuals wouldn't get an ITN mention. —ExplorerCDT 04:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
False (assuming that the criteria were met). —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Substantially is not part of the criteria which states it should be updated to included new information. Usually, in the case of death, the new information is updated within minutes of the death being made public. It is precisely people like you adding words like "substantially" to the interpretation, and exercising discretion based on this skewed interpretation that gave birth to this fight and why people like me get pissed when people like you are denying notable, important people, from being mentioned on ITN because of what always seems to be an obsessively excessive enforcement of rules and criteria as you people see it, irregardless of any argument to the contrary. ITN has, unfortunately, editors who have a feeling of ownership in passing these judgments...and they are far from Solomonic. —ExplorerCDT 02:34, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
"Substantially updated" is a consensus-backed interpretation. I didn't make it up, nor was it forced on the community by a rogue faction. If the criterion was intended to allow articles to qualify on a technicality (because a single word was changed), what was the point of establishing it in the first place? —David Levy 04:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Criterion four doesn't have the word "Substantially" anywhere in it to describe the extent of "updating". In fact, there is no modifier to express the extent of updating just states that it reflect the "new information." Nothing. Ergo, two new sentences in Milton Friedman met the criterion. Keep advocating that double-secret probation since you are a true believer. —ExplorerCDT 05:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Again, I'm referring to a common-sense interpretation backed by consensus (not to a distortion that I unilaterally imposed). As you ignored my question above, I'll once again ask you to explain why the criterion was established in the first place if it was intended to carry virtually no weight. —David Levy 06:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
If a rule doesn't have a word in it, as is the case with substantially, and some schmuck off the street not privy to your "consensus" discussion reads the rule, he won't interpret it as per your "consensus" he wasn't a part of. If you're going to consensus interpret the rule as "substantially" it should be explicitly stated in the rule. Otherwise, you've made your own bed. —ExplorerCDT 04:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
1. I've considered modifying the wording, but I suspect that you (or someone who agrees with you) would quickly revert to the current wording. Therefore, I'd prefer to wait and see if new consensus emerges.
2. Once again, you failed to explain why the criterion was established in the first place if it was intended to carry virtually no weight. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Do you (or anyone else) remember when/where/how the consensus about "Substatially updated" came about? I'd like to read that discussion because I don't understand the rationale behind it. Since (as we like to tell each other) Wikipedia is not a news site, why do we keep insisting that articles linked to from ITN should be updated with "substantial" amount of latest news? I also don't understand your point about avoiding technicalities. Can you give me an example on how the ITN-section could be abused by such a technicality?
In the lead section of the criteria page it says that ITN came about after an interest for "a section on the Main Page which links to articles providing readers the context behind the news". I wish ITN could be just that. Shanes 05:32, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I think you answered your own question with that last bit - "providing readers the context behind the news." Two sentences is not context. A meaty paragraph is context. Picaroon 05:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Context behind the news isn't that "oh we want to know more about how he died...what's his last words, where's he buried" it's what was the man known for that the news is reporting his death. The Friedman article provided enough context to that question and while not the best article, it explained his accomplishments decently...provided context. Levy just doesn't think that the two sentences added to the article to update the issue of his death met the criteria for updating, which--as written--it did. —ExplorerCDT 06:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Which of the death criteria was met? —David Levy 06:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I've stated that repeatedly over the last two months. Keep asking the question repeatedly.—ExplorerCDT 04:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I've seen you explain why you disagree with the death criteria, but I've yet to see you explain how any of them were met. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe I don't understand the word context. To me the biography of a famous person gives me the context behind the news that he has died. It tells me who he was and why his death is big news. Or if someone should manage to, say, build an Energy amplifier, then that article would give me the context behind that piece of news. Shanes 06:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
1. I'm not referring to a specific discussion in which this interpretation was agreed upon. Simply read through this page's archives (and consult the template's history) to see how the criterion has been applied in the past.
2. One of the important attributes that sets Wikipedia apart from paper encyclopedias is its dynamic nature. The function of ITN is not to indiscriminately list the latest headlines (as a news site would), but news does play a major role (hence the name In the news). We link not to straightforward news reports, but to encyclopedia articles that have been written or substantially (there's that word again) updated to reflect the news.
3. If someone dies, changing "is" to "was" in the lead sentence technically means that the article has been "updated to reflect the new information." Throw in the date, and you're all set. Does that seem sufficient to you?
4. The linked articles do provide the context behind the news. In order to appreciate this context, however, the readers must be informed of the news itself. Do you understand that even a single large paragraph can suffice? Is that really so much to ask? —David Levy 06:51, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
(1) Yes, terribly...with double secret probation and consensi determined in a star chamber but not made public. (2) Never said ITN is a headline churning mechanism...but important news shouldn't be ignored in favour of stupid shit no one cares about. Keep repeating "substantially"...until I see it in the rule explicitly, you're being arbitrary and dictatorial. (3) Yes, but it never seemed sufficient to you and other ITN overlords. (4) Yeah, but sometimes (and Milton Friedman was a perfect example), you still turned it down —ExplorerCDT 04:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
[The numbers below don't correspond to those above.]
1. Why do you keep claiming that consensus was determined in private? The discussions are readily available in the archives of this talk page and Talk:Main Page.
2. You are not the arbiter of what is "stupid shit no one cares about." I'm not either, nor is any other Wikipedian. That's why we have criteria to follow.
3. No, I am not "being arbitrary and dictatorial." If I were, my edits to ITN wouldn't stand.
4. Are you suggesting that two sentences constitute a "large paragraph"?! —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that the readers must be informed of the news itself. So maybe we can use that as a criterion instead of counting bytes? Because if someone dies, then that really is the news right there, and we don't even need a large paragraph to communicate it. So, as a criterion, we could simply say that "The article must be updated to reflect the new information." I'd be fine with that. Shanes 13:08, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Again, readers of ITN expect to find a substantial amount of information on the pertinent event. I favor Monotonehell's Read more about... proposal, which would eliminate this expectation and the unceasingly problematic "news" connotation. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

A related suggestion

Perhaps this could be made easier (though it wouldn't solve the problem) if we were to have a small section on recent deaths on the main page. It would sit, as part, but just under, ITN, with a link to "more recent deaths" underneath, linking to the current recent deaths page. It could have three or four people, tops, and they could be replaced much in the same way the news is. They would be bullet points, not full sentences. listing name, why they are famous, and age; James Brown, singer, 75. Gerald Ford, ex President of the United states, 90. Iorek85 23:10, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

  • That is an idea I could easily agree with. Just look at the last week. Big names that died: Gerald Ford, James Brown, John Heath-Stubbs, Saparmurat Niyazov, Pabst brewer Karl Strauss, Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani. We should split deaths out of the ITN template. But that still doesn't solve the issue that lead to a 26-year old Australian swimmer no one ever heard retiring from the sport being worthy, but Milton Friedman's death not being worthy of ITN inclusion. You may think my harping about Milton Friedman is a personal crusade (yes, I did know him well), but I think his omission from the ITN was an egregious example of what's wrong with ITN. —ExplorerCDT 23:34, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Explorer, the Australian swimmer is Ian Thorpe. Most people who pay attention the last few Olympics know who he is.Also, Milton Friedman should have been on ITN, but it was the "sudden" factor that resulted in the headline's removal. As for this idea, I would also approve of something similar to this. It should have a separate heading, like "Today's featured article" or else the Main Page would be severely imbalanaced. Adding a separate heading entitled "Recent deaths" will keep the FA and ITN balanced, and the bottom of the page can be balanced by adding one or two DYK's. Nishkid64 23:37, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
      • I know who Ian Thorpe is. I speak of him diminutively because he isn't a mover or shaker, no one cares who he is compared to many people more important... he shouldn't have been on ITN unless he died at 26 in the pool. Even a car accident or a suicide wouldn't be ITN worthy and neither was his overrated retirement. —ExplorerCDT 00:03, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
      • P.S. Today's featured picture can be cut in half by width and a "Recent deaths" put in between ITN and OTD. —ExplorerCDT 00:05, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
        • I noted this possibility, but such a TFP configuration is problematic, especially under some resolutions/text sizes. (We had TFP in one of the columns until this past March.) —David Levy 01:07, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
          • With a 1028x768 resolution, the display of TFP on 27 December 2006 had so much empty space. The picture only took up 32% of the space alloted to it, and only 12% more consisted of the picture's captions. I don't think resolution is an issue, and seeing how TFP has been over the last few weeks, it should go back to one column. —ExplorerCDT 02:45, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
            • That exact problem was worse before (because all of the space to the left and right of the image was empty). The key difference is that the space that now appears empty to you and me is utilized on the screens of people with lower resolutions (such as 800x600) and larger text sizes. We also no longer have to worry about the images' varied sizes throwing off the columns' balance. —David Levy 04:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Retire criteria #2 and #4

The section is called "In the news", it isn't called "Events in the news that resulted in changes to Wikipedia articles". I am sure that I am not alone in using Wikipedia as my home page on my internet browser. I come to expect to hear about important news items here. I don't want to go elsewhere. All this effort by everyone involved in determining which articles should "graduate" is not needed, and may well be counter productive. If any news item, important enough to make it onto Wikinews or the current events portal is not up to date, it will be within moments of posting it on the main page. Even if there is NO article, it should be posted. (Am I the only person who's been around here long enough to remember the discussions about the value of red links?) Whenever we link to something on a wiki, we don't know what is at the other end of the link, and our main concern should simply be that we are linking to the article we intended. Every link adds information and the potential to bring someone to a page that needs to be written, updated or corrected. This is a good thing. Criteria #2 and #4 should go. Wikipedia might not be a news report but ITN is. Please rethink your criteria. -- Samuel Wantman 07:16, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

ITN is a place on MainPage to feature well updated wikiarticles related to materials in the news. Your suggestion means the abolition of ITN and replacing it with sth that resembles Portal:Current events. BTW, why come to an online encyclopedia when you want news ? --PFHLai 10:35, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I doubt that the vast majority of people think "In the news" means "Recently updated articles related to the news". I come to Wikipedia for the news because this is my home page, and I spend a good chunk of my day working on this site. I find out about the news here because this is site I visit. A day and a half later, I read about in the newspaper. I learned about the Tsunami 2 years ago a few minutes after it happened when it was posted at ITN. A fabulous article was quickly written by everyone who saw the posting. I am not suggesting abolishing ITN, I'm proposing a system that would be much simpler to maintain, and ultimately better for Wikipedia as a whole. -- Samuel Wantman 20:50, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
No offense, but you're using Wikipedia for an unintended purpose (that of Wikinews) and proposing that we fundamentally alter ITN to save you and others the trouble of bookmarking/visiting a news website. I sometimes obtain weather forecasts online, but I don't propose that we put them on the Wikipedia main page because I'm already here anyway.
The tsunami situation is a perfect example of ITN serving its intended purpose well. —David Levy 21:12, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Speaking of the tsunami situation, I stumbled across Library damage resulting from the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, and started an AfD on it, recently. Nothing to do with this page, but I couldn't resist mentioning it. Carcharoth 19:09, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Make 'updated articles' the only criterion and advertise for an ITN editor

Personally, I think that the only criterion used should be whether the article has been updated or not. Like a DYK for existing articles, rather than new articles. The question of whether the update is good enough, extensive enough, whether the item is news-worthy enough, whether a person or event is notable enough, etc., and getting a balance across topics, countries and news interest, are all examples of editorial judgement. This is best done by a single person. Everyone else should concentrate on updating the articles, writing the ITN headlines, and making the updates of the best possible quality. So, we need to find someone who is widely considered by the community to be fair and objective, and who the community would trust to decide what items to include, and to get the balance right between news stories and interesting articles. Also, cycle through the items a lot faster than we do at the moment, and have a link to a list of all items that were listed (ie. make the link to Portal:Current events much more prominent and answer those who say "where is such and such an item?" with "It was there for 3 hours, if you want to see it now, go and look at Portal:Current events". Possibly even make the entries random selections from Portal:Current events and get people to make the items there front page worthy. Often, ITN can look stale, when there are often several interesting events on Portal:Current events. Cycle a lot faster through items and you expose readers to more of the encyclopedia, get more edits to those articles, and so on. Carcharoth 16:04, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

1. Please note that your proposed format change would eliminate the listing of brand new articles written because of current events.
2. I strongly oppose turning over this much discretion and responsibility to single editor. We need one person to determine the TFA lineup (with limited outside input) for logistical reasons. (It's impractical for multiple people to do this.) Mark does an excellent job, but he merely schedules entries from a pool of articles already selected by the community. To appoint someone to the position of unilaterally determining a page's content is inherently un-wiki. Furthermore, as ITN includes multiple entries at any given time (which aren't determined far in advance), there's no need for the type of cut-and-dried decision-making that necessitates the existence of a featured article director. And unless we could find someone who never sleeps and has nothing else to do, such a setup would significantly reduce ITN's timeliness, not improve it. —David Levy 17:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
We could have a small team of designated editors, instead of a single editor, but this would be the same as having a few interested admins patrolling the ITN candidates page, where contributers are supposed to suggest qualifying items chosen from Portal:Current events. --PFHLai 18:13, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
The key difference is that sysops are supposed to act on consensus (as determined via the discussions that occur), not substitute their judgement for that of the community. Entries can be added before consensus is clear, but they mustn't be retained in defiance of consensus that eventually emerges. —David Levy 19:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Ah. I'd forgotten we would need a perpetual editor because of how ITN is regularly updated. Scrub that part of my idea. I do think that changing the culture so that a recognised team works on ITN would be better. At the moment (and at times in the past) there has been far too much edit warring by admins over what to put in the ITN template. The typical case is a drive-by admin who is not an ITN regular goes "WTF? Why is XYZ missing?" and adds it without going to the discussion page, etc. It should be made much clearer that edit warring over what items appear in ITN is BAD. People looking at Wikipedia'a main page over the course of a day will notice, say, an item on the death of Ford popping on and off the page, and that just looks silly. Ditto for previous edit warring at ITN. Carcharoth 18:44, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree that we have a problem with sysops who edit the section without bothering to acquaint themselves with its rules and without reading any of the relevant discussions. I support the idea of creating some sort of admin qualification process, provided that the actual editorial decisions remain in the hands of all users in good standing. Sysops are merely editors who have been trusted to carry out certain deeds as dictated by the community, not superusers whose opinions supersede those of other users. —David Levy 19:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
In addition to the above, there are plenty of areas of Wikipedia where there are people maintaining pages, and people know to keep their hands off. For example, the ArbCom areas, the Checkuser areas. These have clerks. Why not formalise a group of editors (maybe combine DYK and ITN regulars) to handle the "frequently updated" areas. TFA and TFP are "decided-in-advance featured content" and Selected Anniversaries is sort of in-between (partly selected in advance, but also often modified on the day). The main reasoning behind my "single person" comment is that a group of people will always disgree over editorial decisions like this. A set of rules or criteria won't really solve the problem, and the "frequently updated" bit causes more problems than it solves, IMO. Would it really matter if there was a delay of a day until an item appeared on ITN. Surely if people abide by the spirit of "ITN is not a news ticker" it wouldn't really matter. Sure, you would get people calling ITN "Yesterday's News", but then maybe people would add stuff that will be in the news for more than just one day. Carcharoth 18:54, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
1. Arbitrators and editors with CheckUser privileges have been granted special authority within Wikipedia. Sysops merely have some extra buttons.
2. Most ITN entries do pertain to events in the news for more than just one day. That doesn't change the fact that we would look silly by not listing them in a timely manner (assuming that the inclusion criteria are met). —David Levy 19:10, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
For the record, I was referring to ArbCom Clerks and CheckUser Clerks, not the Arbitrators and Checkusers. But this is ireelevant as this proposal is dead as the one below is so much better! :-) Carcharoth 19:05, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Proposal: restructure the section (User:Monotonehell)

I've been quietly reading everyone's comments here and have had a long think about this. If we agree that the section's purpose is intended for readers to locate contextual information on events in the public eye then the criteria need to address this. I propose the following...

Overall, I love your proposal. I'll comment on some of the individual elements below. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

(Commentary is in green)

Rename the section to "Read more about..."

The title "In the news" has been the constant cause of people misinterpreting the section's purpose and aim. Too many readers assume that ITN is a news ticker, and is the largest source of complaint on Talk:MainPage. "Read more about..." focuses the section's purpose to highlight background information and give readers context behind those issues and events in the public eye.

Excellent! I think that you may finally have solved the longstanding title problem. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Change the listing criteria

1. The event must be listed in Portal:Current events. However Read more about is not a news service, refrain from reporting unverified news bullitens.

2. Notability or encyclopedic quality shall play no part in item selection.

If an item is non-notable or non-encyclopedic its article would be put up for Afd anyway. Relative notability is a POV issue and extremely subjective. This is a never ending source of arguments without resolution.

Trivial updates of articles about notable figures should not be featured on ITN. --PFHLai 19:40, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

3. An article on the subject must exist and be more than a basic stub. The article(s) referenced by the item need not be recently updated but must provide the kinds of background information a reader would expect of an encyclopedia - as opposed to the kind of information a reader would expect from a newspaper. It is sugested that the article be reviewed for inacuracies. For example in the event of a death, that the article not refer to its subject as still living.

Requiring a substantial article to exist will cut back on the quantity of items put forward for listing, while also fulfilling the section's proposed aim to point readers to quality background material. A reader looking for background information, when pointed to a stub which contains no more information than a newspaper would offer, would be disapointed.

While I can get behind the lack of a large update, I believe that it's important for the article to at least mention the connection to the recent news. In the case of a directly pertinent event (such as a death), it's especially important that the article be up-to-date (e.g. not written as though the person were still living). —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Hrmz, I see your point. That's an issue with MoS rules though is't it? All the articles should be written in a neutral past tense. If the articles were written correctly it souldn't matter that their subject had passed on, BUT this is not an ideal world and a lot of articles are not formed in the right prose. --Monotonehell 11:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

As to the argument of the section's use to highlight articles for improvement, a subject in the public's eye is the target of updates in any case.

This is moving away from current practise but remember --Wikipedia is not a news site.-- ITN's current direction is treading on Wikinews's toes too much, we may wish to expand the link to Wikinews something like "Read more news at Wikinews" so that readers get the idea that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia and Wikinews is our sister news service.. Wikipedia should be known for our timely quality background information on recent events, not for our breaking news - if you want to write news articles please contribute to Wikinews.

I strongly agree. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

4. Categories of candidate items;

  • Newsworthy event
A newsworthy event can be either natural, man made or otherwise; but not the subject of a famous death, entertainment or sport (see below). Coverage by international mass media can be taken as an indication of newsworthiness.

The previous guideline It should be a story of an international importance, or at least interest. is again too subjective to be useful. This proposal looks to the international mass media for guidance on newsworthiness. After all this section should be following and expanding on the news. This proposal does allow the inclusion of locally based news that has reached international attention.

Another excellent idea. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Obituaries
Should only be listed for heads of state, presidents, prime ministers or similar (former or current), outstanding figures in the fields of science, humanities or the arts. Any non-stub article expanding on unusual or exceptional circumstances regarding the death, funeral arrangements, social effects of the death etc can be linked to if available.
Should only be listed for heads of state, presidents, prime ministers or similar statespersons (former or current), outstanding figures in academic or political life (former or current), or outstanding figures in sports or entertainment.

Again the proposed purpose is to provide background information, not report the news, so the links should point to such information.

"Humanities" covers "the arts," and "athletics" should be included as well. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
You are correct, but it's worth spelling out, because people often think of "humanities" (erroneously) as meaning only the social sciences. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 09:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
"Athletics"? *eyes suspiciously* ;) I think we would have a hard time discerning athletics from "other sports" when some editors want -insert popular sport here- included. Sounds like a slippery slope. Do you have a water tight argument that can justify this, while not leaving the barn door open? --Monotonehell 11:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
By "athletics," I was referring to all athletic competitions. Come to think of it, we'd need to mention "sports" so as not to exclude such activities as chess and car racing.
Keep in mind that we're referring specifically to obituaries, not to the events themselves. If Michael Jordan or David Beckham were to die in a car accident, I imagine that this would be of as much or more interest than if the same were to occur to a famous film star. Your wording would include the death of Michael J. Fox and exclude that of Muhammad Ali (because the latter belonged to the wrong profession).
As for the proverbial barn door, we'd need to rely on the "outstanding figures" phrase (and reasonable interpretations thereof). This would be subjective, but the same applies to members of the other fields. —David Levy 16:11, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
We possibly shouldn't list inclusive fields in that case. Perhaps only exclusive fields. If we so desire. The problem here is every measure I've thought of is subjective. Should the measure be anyone who has died whose article passed Afd? ;) *goes back to thinking* --Monotonehell 16:42, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
How about the revision... or is that basically everyone? --Monotonehell 16:53, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I've found that it's impossible to codify a set of rules that can eliminate the need for common sense and discussion. Subjective judgements are unavoidable, and I'd say that the above framework is about as tight as can realistically be adopted. —David Levy 17:00, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Quiter! ;) --Monotonehell 17:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Entertainment / Sporting event / Sporting achievement
Wikipedia is not a collection of trivia. Trivial items regarding the personal lives of celebrities, the career moves of sports persons, the promotional release of movies, scheduled performances of musicians, sports results etc should not be included.
Nb. There may be from time to time an exceptional event that warrants inclusion, such an event should be discussed on Template's talk page and a consensus reached before inclusion.

Such subjects are as regular in occurrence as the daily weather and stock reports, their volume is overwhelming, they serve only to promote what amount to commercial activities, thus we shouldn't concern ourselves with them.

I like it. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

5. The item should be formed as a concise sentence fragment, beginning with an ellipse, completing "Read more about..." and included on the template. Links to major players or subjects, complex terms and so on should be included, but care should be taken to not overlink the item. The fragment should be worded so as to imply that it is a recent event.

The use of templates within the item is discouraged, however if such use is unavoidable --The template must be protected against vandalism.--

For example: "Read more about..."

This is a nice format. It would clearly stand out from the current ITN format while complementing the DYN format. —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

6. Only one image should be included on Template at any one time. --It must be protected against vandalism-- It should be no more than 100 pixels wide, right justified, and have an informative alt text.

This can be achieved by enclosing the image code in
and adding |100px| followed by the alt text inside the image code, for example: <div style="float:right">[[Image:example-photo.jpeg|100px|This is an example]]</div>. (The use of the "|right" extended image markup should be avoided, since under the current MediaWiki parser it results in unsightly and unsymmetrical white borders around images on the coloured Main Page sections.)
Be sure to add "(pictured right)" to the appropriate item for clarity.
Avoid using fair use images. Instead, find a related free image (PD, GFDL, CC etc.) as an alternative.


--Monotonehell 23:06, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I like your proposals. Though the change in writing style might be a bit too much. Maybe just have "Read more about the news", and then keep the headline style we have at the moment? I tried to rewrite some of the current headlines in the "Read more about..." style, and it doesn't work too well. I agree that a name change would really help. A breath of fresh air. Carcharoth 04:39, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
The most compelling reason to change the title is to eliminate the word "news" (which is the source of unceasing confusion). I personally participated in two lengthy attempts to devise a suitable replacement title, and we never came up with anything remotely as good as Read more about... (which I love). —David Levy 07:35, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes! I want to remove the word "news" completely as it's a constant source of irritation on Talk:Moanpage. Even on here there's a few editors with the believe or at least practice of using ITN as a primary news source. --Monotonehell 11:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm of two minds on the name change idea, but I like most of these proposals. Part of the function of "In the news" is to showcase Wikipedia content that's likely to be of interest to people visiting the front page on that particular day, and for better or worse a good indication of what encyclopedic content might be of interest on a given day is what's in the news on that day. To that end, deaths of extremely notable individuals (and I'd say that Friedman, Brown and Ford all qualify there) should be noted with links to updated pages on those individuals. (I don't think that funeral details and the like are necessary, but the article should at least be updated to include the individual's death and appropriate tenses.)
Like Carcharoth, I'm unsure about the proposed change in wording; if we want to provide enough context for entries, I think we'll probably end up with lots of subordinate clauses, and overuse of the word "recent". Consider these transformations of the current "In the news" entries into the proposed format:
Read more about...
...the Fall of Mogadishu to Ethiopian military units and forces of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government.
...former U.S. President Gerald Ford (pictured), who died recently at age 93.
...a recent series of earthquakes off the southern coast of Taiwan, which have damaged several undersea cables and disrupted telecommunication services in various parts of Asia.
...United Nations Security Council Resolution 1737, imposing sanctions on Iran for its nuclear enrichment program.
...a recent series of floods in southern Peninsular Malaysia, which has forced the evacuation of more than 60,000 people.
...last year's Haditha killings, for which U.S. military prosecutors have charged eight Marines, including four for murder.
...'Abu Bakar Bashir, whose conviction for an alleged role in the 2002 Bali bombing has been overturned by an Indonesian court.
I think that the current style for wording is better than this, which will lend itself to excessive wordiness.
That said, I think these proposed listing criteria are a very good move. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 09:17, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Maybe you need a theasuarus? ;) Okay, the "recent" idea was a last second thing and I didn't think it through. I admit having trouble with only the three examples I posted above. On the other hand there'll never be more than six items in the list at any one time. But I dont see either style lending itself to excessive wordiness. In fact I developed this style to reduce wordiness; 1) It's a sentence fragment with three words already left out 2) I've underlined the word concise, as I expect editors to be very terse. --Monotonehell 11:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Afterthought: I'm seeing something more like the following...

Read more about...

Where the journey starts from this section, only giving a taste of context and linking to the pertenant articles. --Monotonehell 12:05, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

After reading the above discussions and the minor changes, I'm completely convinced. Now, what is the best way to start and nuture the process of approval and change? Will this take longer than the sidebar redesign (which is still waiting, I think) to be implemented? Carcharoth 19:22, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

I think it still needs work. We need to tweak most of the points, and we need to get point 4 under control. Right now it's possibly too open. --Monotonehell 07:57, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Scrapping Point #1

I can't tell whether this one has been touched, but the first point in the ITN criteria is not really a criterion at all. The fact that something has been added to Portal:Current events does not make it any more or less worthy of being on WP:ITN, considering anybody can add anything to the portal (although it may get removed at some point). Perhaps a better criterion would be something to the effect of...

The story should be confirmed by multiple international news organizations including, but not limited to, CNN, BBC News, and al-Jazeera.

That might prevent what we saw with Saddam (note confirmed) and that might also prevent the placement of debatable minor facts (as has happened in the past). -- tariqabjotu 19:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Actually I think some of us might be getting that point backwards. It's meant to mean that anything that's listed in ITN should also be listed in Portal:Current events. So when it gets dropped from ITN it's still listed in the daily summaries on the portal... I think... *unsure*. The requireent of coverage by international mass media is listed in point 4. I'm not saying I've used the best language as yet, we still need to tweak it all. --Monotonehell 22:11, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Suggested addition to warning on template

{{edit protected}}

A set of warnings have been added to the template, which is good. Can I ask someone to add something about also being careful when reverting to old versions of the template? Also, there is a typo: "Faliure" should be "Failure". Thanks. Carcharoth 19:00, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Done; thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 19:16, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Redundancy at Haditha

Post moved from Wikipedia:Village pump (news) - BanyanTree 04:56, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

On the main page, News section: Why is it that every single day for over a week now, the blurb about the eight Marines being charged with murder is still being posted? I think it's about time to update it or remove it, but to keep it up there day after day is annoying.

myjonhankok 02:25, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

We need new news items to displace old news items. Wanna help ? You can post suggested new news headlines at WP:ITN/C. Thanks. --PFHLai 11:15, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
An article about the flood in Indonesia (not Malaysia, this one already on ITN) would be helpful. --PFHLai 12:52, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Saddam Hussein execution

Assuming that Hussein is indeed executed this weekend, as seems likely, is it the sort of death that should be listed on the main page? I've heard some are saying we should list all deaths of former heads of state. Would be good to be sure in advance, especially since a few articles are saying it might happen at dawn Saturday Iraqi time - less than 12 hours from now. -- Pakaran 19:52, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

It would apply not because he's a former head of state, but because his death would have a massive impact on world events. This has no similarity to the Ford situation. --Golbez 20:33, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I'd think that Saddam's execution should go on ITN because of the massive international interest, much more than Ford. I doubt if the death of this former head of Iraq would have any impact on world events, as he has been out of power and in jail for so long, except the "end" of his many trials, and may be some demonstrations somewhere by his supporters. I hope it won't be an excuse for more violence in Baghdad. Anyway, I've already got a headshot of Saddam protected for tomorrow. (See WP:ITN/C.) --PFHLai 22:53, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
I think you're smoking something, Pakaran, if you even doubt for a second that this is ITN material. Iraq is the world's big issue right now beacuse of a superpower in a quagmire, half of the world wants Saddam's head on a platter (including a lot of iraqis), half of them are saying his execution and the rush thereto is a shot against human rights, and many pundits say this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back in the ongoing Iraqi sectarian violence. And if you consider the U.S. invasion of Iraq to be illegal (like some people), Hussein is still the de jure head of state. Considering the criteria, he's undoubtedly ITN material.—ExplorerCDT 23:28, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
Incivility aside, I agree with ExplorerCDT. The "major international impact" already has been felt. This one's a no-brainer. —David Levy 23:36, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
  • But you know David, there's only one sentence updated about his doesn't meet the double-secret "substantially" criterion. ;-) —ExplorerCDT 03:35, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

why are you guys arrguing about this? his possible execution should definetly be in the news because his sentencing was in the news and this is way more important. -- 23:55, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

No one's arguing. Someone just wanted to know if it belongs on ITN, and everyone else here has said that it definitely belongs. Nishkid64 00:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Then why isn't it on? VolatileChemical 02:17, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
He hasn't been hanged yet. We're not going to speculate on ITN lol. Nishkid64 02:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The BBC are reporting a possible scheduled time of 0300 GMT today. Carcharoth 02:53, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

The execution bit

This is an encyclopedia, not a news ticker. News services are even waiting on it; an encyclopedia waits longer. —Centrxtalk • 03:21, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

CNN [3] and the BBC [4] say he's dead, and the article has been updated. —Josiah Rowe (talkcontribs) 03:23, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Look at the headline: "Hussein executed, Iraqi TV stations report". If they were confident it were true, it would simply say "Saddam Hussein is executed"; they are reporting that the Iraqi TV stations have reported, they are not themselves reporting it. —Centrxtalk • 03:26, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The BBC too has "'executed in Iraq'" with quotes around it, and end the first paragraph with "reports say." Their source is the same Iraqi TV stations. They also are not confident in reporting it on their own authority, and as an encyclopedia Wikipedia should be even less confident. —Centrxtalk • 03:27, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
According to CNN, one of Saddam's attorneys has officially confirmed it. Now it is verified. Picaroon 03:33, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I can double-confirm that. Senior U.S. military official has confirmed it, state-run news organization has confirmed. He's dead. Period. -- tariqabjotu 03:35, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Just two thoughts from a guy who did one revert: 1) it's really, really bad when we edit war on the front page 2) we really need to hammer out exactly what constitutes a reliable source. Does Iraqi state television not count? theProject 03:37, 30 December 2006 (UTC) At least say that several news sources have reported that Saddam was executed. — D. Wo. 03:40, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Iraqi state television counts. Saddam's lawyer counts. US military counts. CNN citing non-governmental Arabic news stations, (in quotation marks at that), does not count. How's that? Picaroon 03:42, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, that's fine with me -- I'm just a little bemused that Sky News was citing Iraqi state television, and we still reverted. But I'm not particularly concerned, as we're not a breaking news service, and we got it right eventually. :-) theProject 03:46, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
On the one hand, we have the natural urge to transmit things quickly and provide updates ASAP. On the other hand, we have the fact that we're an encyclopedia, not a news site. Our articles will be here for years, their stories will be archived in days. For the time between the first reports and the time where we've finally got a source that everybody can agree is authoratative saying it, we should use things like "Radio-XYZ reports" or "Fooian language news stations report" to head off updates. (On an unrelated note, I'm so tempted to put a pretty colored box around this section saying "this is an archived frenzy. Please do not modify it.") Picaroon 03:58, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that was embarrassing. Additionally, please do not mention a time such as tonight on ITN, as time zones differ. Also, I found the use of Arabic language news outlets report incredibly insulting. If you don't trust a source, that's fine (a governmental source is preferred), but that sounded (unintentionally, I'm sure) like Arabic-language news stations are not to be trusted. Let's avoid that type of bias. And what's this?; we should probably avoid editorializing in templates transcluded on to the Main Page. -- tariqabjotu 03:51, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I originally thought of it that way, but after reconsideration, I decided it was reasonable - we're going to have trouble confirming what they say. Unless we have someone here who speaks Arabic and has access to Arabic news stations, we're hearing what they report reported to us by other stations, presumably English ones - that's a long chain. So I don't think it was intended as a slight towards Arabic sources, no, although I certainly understand how it could seem that way. Picaroon 04:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
At the time, only Arabic language news outlets were reporting that Saddam Hussein had been executed. Other news outlets were merely relaying the Arabic news outlets' claims (via precisely the sort of wording to which you object). This reflected no bias or distrust. It merely reflected the fact that (for obvious reasons) news organizations operating in the language most widely spoken in Iraq were the first to possess this information (even before official word was released). This probably would hold true anywhere in the world. —David Levy 05:02, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I have linked to the Execution of Saddam Hussein article—was this a bad idea? There appears to be some discussion on whether to merge it or not with the main article... Khoikhoi 04:19, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone mind if I de-bold the link to Saddam Hussein? Almost all of the info regarding the execution can now be found in the Execution of Saddam Hussein article. Khoikhoi 07:10, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Timeliness of updates to ITN

The execution of Saddam Hussein item is a perfect example of whether we want the updates to ITN to be: (a) timely, but rushed and the wording thrashed out on the Main Page and edit-warred over while our readers watch, or whether we should (b) use the candidates page to carefully come up with an appropriate wording, check sourcing and all the other criteria, and then put the item on the Main Page.

In this case, admins who were following the news edited warred over whether the news had been confirmed yet. In fact it had, and the reverting admins were using sources that hadn't caught up with the news yet. But that doesn't excuse the re-adding admins who should have provided links to their sources, or at the least explained it in full outside of an edit summary.

Can these new guidelines being proposed above please address this concern, or address it in this section if you don't want to combine the discussions. Personally, I would much prefer we move to a culture where things are discussed amicably behind the scenes, either here or at the candidates page, and then the item put on the Main Page when agreement has been reached. The world won't collapse if Wikipedia is a few hours behind WikiNews and the world's other news sources. I would much prefer to see ITN updates done in a dignified, encyclopedic manner, rather than have people rushing to release 'breaking news' (we are not a news service) or striving to have us be among the first places to 'report' the news (again, we are not a news service). Carcharoth 15:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

I forgot, part of my reasoning for wanting all items to have to be discussed at the candidates page first, is that non-admins have to use that page, whereas admins who are not ITN-regulars can, while passing by, decide on a whim to add something to ITN and bypass the whole discussion and bureaucracy. Sometimes this is OK. Sometimes it is bad, when they trip up and get something wrong. I think admins should have to go through the same process to submit candidates for ITN that everyone else does. Being an admin is not a free pass to update ITN whenever you feel like it. Carcharoth 15:28, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think everything needs to be approved through WP:ITN/C. If an item is put up by one admin and sits there without objection, that ought to fine. If an item is put up by one admin, and then removed (or reworded) by another, it should head to a talk page – either here or WP:ITN/C. The multiple reversions by some admins (and the use of the rollback tool) was utterly ridiculous. As the folks on the Saddam Hussein article were saying, only when an official word came out from Iraqi (or US or UK) governmental officials should the execution have been considered "official". -- tariqabjotu 16:40, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
What is wrong with having a non-controversial candidate sit on the candidate page for a few hours first? The world won't fall apart if a candidate has to wait for a few hours. Have you seen how they do things for the DYK template? See Template:Did_you_know/Next_update. Carcharoth 22:25, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Carcharoth, I agree 100%, this was in the back of my mind when I drafted guidelines 1 & 3. I've since added a more overt sentence to guideline 1 regarding this. It's interesting to note that the Sadam ITN entry occured 16 minutes before the item was placed onPortal:Current Events. People are jumping the gun here. It's my hope that the proposed guidelines will move the focus away from trying to be a breaking news service to a more civilised service providing encylopedic background information for subjects in the public eye. --Monotonehell 18:09, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
Nothing is going to stop people from adding the item to Portal:Current events and then immediately adding to WP:ITN. And again, the Saddam fiasco was ridiculous, but for the most part WP:ITN has been working fine. I agree with Carcharoth's sentiment as it relates to the Saddam incident, but there's no problem here. Nothing needs to be fixed because nothing is broken. Everyone should realize that if something is controversial it should come to the talk page and that it is best to wait for an official report rather than a mere some reports say.... -- tariqabjotu 18:47, 30 December 2006 (UTC)
The important thing, I think, is that controversial things don't go up without discussion. Having it appear once and then get yanked off and over to the talk page for further discussion is OK for, say, something like a controversial Reference Desk question, but for something appearing on the Main Page, I still think that everything should be discussed first. A self-imposed 2-hour timelag (if no-one objects after a candidate has been up for 2 hours) should be fine. Of course, at first, those who object won't be watching the candidates page, but they can learn to watch and object there, instead of edit warring on a template that appears directly on the Main Page. Carcharoth 22:20, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

2,989 Americans died in iraq as of this post


While a sad thing, I feel the milestone of 3000 should be on the main page (as soon as milestone is reached). This meant to be a reminder. --Cat out 19:02, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

I disagree. What article will be significantly updated? This is a perfect illustration of the difference between a periodical and a reference work. You throw out your old newspaper everyday, so journalists feel a civic responsibility to "remind" readers of major ongoing events– wars, famines and natural disasters, often on the occasion of an artificial but convenient milestone such as X months after the flood or after Y combat deaths. Our articles, by contrast, never go out of publication, so 'milestone' notices are not needed.--Pharos 19:52, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
This is nothing more than an arbitrary numeral system; #3,000 will be no more important than #2,999 or #3,001. Also, it would be entirely inappropriate for us to single out American troops (thereby ignoring the hundreds of other coalition deaths and tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths) —David Levy 20:12, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I agree that 3000 is no more important than any other number. We should also make Wikipedia a more universal encylcopedia by avoiding over Americanization. Who is counting the civillian deaths in Iraq or the deaths of coalition soldiers? --Midnight Rider 02:17, 5 January 2007 (UTC)
While a nice sentiment, this is editorialising and has no place in an encyclopedia. It would cause a great deal of angst on the talk pages with people complaining of.. well everything. --Monotonehell 20:42, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
The article in question will be the highlight event, a milestone. It should be on the main page for that reason. --Cat out 22:49, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
1. I'm not sure that I understand. Are you saying that you intend to create a new article on the subject?
2. Did you read the above replies? You haven't addressed them. —David Levy 22:56, 31 December 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. It is not incredibly important news. Three thousand is just another number. Codu (t)(c) •  02:21, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Remember to update link from Recent Deaths

I've already created Deaths in 2007, but wanted to wait for the year change to alter the template...but I'm about to run off to a party sooooooo someone else please do it. :) Syrthiss 23:02, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Protect ITN images, please!

Come on, fellow admins. I don't care about this "edit war" over obituaries of James Brown & Gerald Ford, etc. Please be reminded that whatever image we put on ITN, it must be properly protected. Otherwise, we are making MainPage vulnerable to vandalism. Be careful when you revert and re-use an old image that may or may not be still protected. Thank you. -- PFHLai 14:32, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Who put an unprotected image on the ITN template? Release the Furies on them! Seriously. Name and shame may be the only way to stop drive-by admins unfamiliar with the need to keep the main page secure, doing this sort of thing. Is there not a way to contact all admins and tell them this sort of thing? Carcharoth 15:39, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
As far as I could tell, it was a first-time offender. I've posted a reminder on the culprit's usertalkpage. --PFHLai 16:02, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Carcharoth, we're not playing the blame game here, so your comments are not necessary. People forget sometimes. When they make a mistake, they learn in the future. That's all. And it wasn't me, if you were wondering. Nishkid64 17:25, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
My comments are "not necessary"? We are on the same side here, in case you had forgotten. See my comments here: "The bot that has been written to check protections should be able to catch such human mistakes and forgetfulness in future. I think that is preferable to putting pressure on the admins responsible to not forget, and to hoping that vandals won't twig about how they can do stuff like this." As you can see, I have no problem with regular admins forgetting this sort of thing through mere forgetfulness. What I do have a problem with is an admin doing something in an area as sensitive as the Main Page and its templates without taking the time to read around and find out how things work. From the template edits of the user in question, you can see that they had made one previous edit to the ITN template before they reverted an edit and as a result left an unprotected image visible on the Main Page. This (in another template) is precisely how undesirable images made it onto the main page. I have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who is reckless, rather than bold. Learning should be done in the sandbox or in non-sensitive areas. Carcharoth 22:41, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
Your assumption is that someone who doesn't edit the page often therefore hasn't 'taken the time to find out how things work'. This is at best unwarranted, and at worst an insult to the intelligence of users who aren't in your clique of 'regular admins'.
In this case I overlooked the fact that my revert was going to change the image. Sorry about this; I'll be more careful if I ever edit this template in future. --ⁿɡ͡b Nick Boalch\talk 09:45, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Don't worry too much about it. No harm was done. --PFHLai
In this case no harm was done, as PFHLai said. Apologies to Nick Boalch if he felt I was singling him out, but the history behind this is that a recent spate of unprotected stuff (images, templates and transcluded pages) have for a variety of reasons ended up on the Main Page. I think all of these can be traced to a single person who forgot to protect, or didn't realise that protection had lapsed/image had changed. All very human mistakes, but the mistakes still need to be pointed out and not played down. Some of these cases resulted in vandalism that left large penis images (or worse) on the Main Page for as long as 7 minutes. Someone calculated that as many as 16,000 people may have seen the Wikipedia front page in a vandalised state. For more on this, see the thread at WP:AN. Carcharoth 15:39, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
The problem there is people so urgently unprotecting/deleting images after they are off the main page. It is not uncommon that these images return after a revert, and there is no pressing reason to delete them. —Centrxtalk • 10:06, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
One should double-check what's on MainPage after editing, esp. when reverting to return an image 8 hours after its removal. --PFHLai 10:27, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Yes, but the fact remains that it is not unlikely that oversights would leave unprotected articles on the Main page—which should be prevented at all costs—and that deleting these images creates a burden on anyone adding them to the Main page. They can be deleted from the category after a week or whenever. —Centrxtalk • 11:36, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
A week or whenever ? That would be very much inconveniencing other (non-admin) users who may want to edit the image description page, or upload an improved version of the same image. Moreover, re-protecting images is quite easy to do. --PFHLai 13:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Quite easy to do, yes, but also quite easy to forget about. Picaroon 21:36, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
The vast majority of these images are on commons, where they still can edit. If they were editing the en.wp page, the changes would be lost anyway. —Centrxtalk • 21:47, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't say vast majority, but yes, the {mprotect} tag, for images in en, is used less frequently these days. --PFHLai 11:11, 29 December 2006 (UTC)
On a different note, any administrators who wish to be alerted via email whenever an unprotected template is found on the Main Page should list themselves at User:Shadowbot2/Mailing list; Shadowbot2, operated by Shadow1, will send an email alert out to the list via the emailuser function whenever it detects something unprotected. Thanks! Flcelloguy (A note?) 17:40, 28 December 2006 (UTC)