Wikipedia talk:In the news/Recurring items

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Proposal: Heads of state/former heads of state being sentenced[edit]

Given that the sentencing of Mohamed Nasheed was posted last month, and the sentencing of Mohamed Morsi is clearly going to be posted soon, I propose that we add "Heads of state or former heads of state being sentenced to prison or jail time" to ITNR. Everymorning talk 00:20, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

It is pretty normal that the leaders of a Coup d'état either murder or imprison the democratically elected politicians they overthrew. Should that be news in a neutral way effectively taking the side od the putschists as was done in the Morsi case, or should it also highlight that the democratically elected politician was a victim of an unjust trial? LoveToLondon (talk) 21:42, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see a need for it. The purpose of ITN/R is to avoid duplicate discussions taking place each year (or other period) for something that the level of notability varies little each time. In the case of further heads of state being convicted of a crime, notability could vary widely. Someone removed for office (democratically or otherwise) for their crimes is pretty different than say a former president being convicted for possession of illegal drugs. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:04, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • It seems unnecessary to me, as Thaddeus states. --331dot (talk) 00:11, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Farcical elections[edit]

Okay, a quick straw poll. We have the good old "heads of state" elections as being ITNR, yet right now we have Sudanese general election, 2015 and Kazakhstani presidential election, 2015, both of which have a substantial shadow of doubt cast over their legitimacy. We're not here to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS but at the same time, several editors have expressed concern over simply reporting the results with caveating them with the overwhelming RS-based statements that they are questionable. Do we caveat our blurbs for these or do we simply report the results? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:11, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

If it can be done accurately and neutrally, caveat the blurbs. Mellowed Fillmore (talk) 19:14, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Would this only apply to elections of leaders not supported by the US government, or will actions of US-supported leaders who came to power after a Coup d'état against the democratically elected leaders they deposed of in the future also get the caveat that this was an unjust action of an illegitimate government? LoveToLondon (talk) 21:44, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
If adopted, it would naturally reflect whatever the majority of RS say - that is the nature of neutrality, as defined by Wikipedia. --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:59, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
majority RS opinion gives undue weight to US media. Do you want to be neutral or present the US point of view? LoveToLondon (talk) 22:19, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Tough question. Neutrality means reporting the majority RS opinion (weighed by relevance and quality of the source, of course, not just by number). If nearly all sources from a variety of backgrounds report a given election as a farce, it was be decidedly non-neutral for the article not to report that too. However, nuances are hard in a 10 word blurb. Maybe "in a highly criticized election" is somewhat OK, but "in an election widely criticized as unfair and illegitimate" is probably going to far. Maybe "in an election described as undemocratic" would work. Election does imply democratic, so it does make some sense to point out when one is viewed as not so. Failing to do so is potentially non-neutral since the blrb could imply something (democratic) not supported by the RS consensus.
Really, my opinion is that elections where the outcome was never in the slightest bit of doubt (at any point in the process, not just on election eve) are simply not newsworthy. For that reason I would prefer ITN/R didn't give an automatic notability pass. --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:59, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Trial implies fair, so why didn't you complain about the Morsi blurb? LoveToLondon (talk) 22:19, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, first of all, I didn't complain about any of the three. The discussion has now been opened, and I am interested in helping reach a consensus on the subject, so I commented now... The purpose of this discussion is restricted to elections - I have no reason to mention trials. But, to answer your off topic example, if a trial is roundly criticized as unfair that should probably also be mentioned in on any blurb on said trial. Just because we haven't done so in the past (which is also the case for farce elections), doesn't mean we shouldn't do so going forward. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:31, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I suggest we stick to impartiality and let the ITNR remain as it is. We may have a precedent here. The lede dection of the target article article should state any controversies [if present] and that would suffice for the readers. ITNR ought to stick to a NPOV. Ali Fazal (talk) 22:27, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
NPOV means sticking to what RS say. If most RS mention something negative about subject X and Wikipedia does not, then Wikipedia is not NPOV. That is precisely what makes things tricky here - leaving out a crucial detail might be non-neutral. --ThaddeusB (talk) 22:31, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
What sources would be considered RS when judging elections in countries like Russia? I would't consider sources from countries that have sanctions against Russia as RS, since they tend to follow the bias of their governments. LoveToLondon (talk) 06:36, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I thought my answer was clear - all sources normally considered reliable for general purposes. Incidentally, newspapers (at least in the US) are much more likely to reflect the biases of their readers than government position (although the two will be the same often). Being Wikipedia neutral means following the majority of sources, not trying to divine some bias-free truth. --ThaddeusB (talk) 21:21, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
You are saying ITN should follow the bias of readers in a country that has only 5% of the worlds population. What would happen if the majority of sources in China would claim that an election in Russia was fair, disagreeing with US media? Would you just claim that Chinese sources are not reliable to push the bias of US readers to ITN? LoveToLondon (talk) 09:29, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
No, I am saying Wikipedia (including ITN) always follows the majority of sources. I never said anything about any particular country. "All sources normally considered reliable for general purposes" means all. It is you who wishes to make judgements based on the country of origin, not me. --ThaddeusB (talk) 14:50, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
ITN only gets a single sentence to describe an event. We aren't obliged to include everything that is mentioned in reliable sources and, in practical terms, we can't. Formerip (talk) 23:27, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Hence why my comment begins with "tough question". Obviously, if we had the space of an article it would be easy. Also obviously, we shouldn't be purposely deceptive just to save space. The open question is, does the word "election" imply democratic such that when one is not democratic it requires clarification to maintain neutrality. --ThaddeusB (talk) 14:50, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Alifazal. When we post election results on WP:ITN, we never claim that every or each election is fair. Let's just report the results and leave the fairness to the article. starship.paint ~ ¡Olé! 04:07, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • We should (1) remove all currently listed items from ITNR entirely, and (2) if the community still wants it, add a field to the ITN nom template asking people also to vote if they supprt whether the item should be on ITN. Then we won't have the current EU system foisted on the UK without the long-promised national referendum which has never been held. μηδείς (talk) 04:13, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
You are free to propose ending or altering ITNR at any time; that's not what this discussion is about. 331dot (talk) 09:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't think it's necessary for election blurbs to comment on the legitimacy or fairness of the election; that's what the article is for, so people can decide for themselves by reviewing the reaction to the election. 331dot (talk) 09:39, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Well referenced criticism is itself notable and interesting. If it can be included in a pithy manner, go for it. --Dweller (talk) 11:57, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
  • A thing to keep in mind is that just because an event is one that meets ITNR does not mean that it is automatically posted, even if the article is in good shape; mind you, this thus means the ITNC should be focused on why the one instance is not appropriate for posting, rather than the ITNR part in general. This seems like the place where an IAR approach is best instead of trying to crave out specific exemptions that would be difficult to codify. So say if an election in a country is known to be a farce by and large, and someone makes the ITNC about it, we can determine that "No, everyone in the world knew this was a result because of XYZ, so we don't have to post". No need to change ITNR for the limited cases that might come from this. --MASEM (t) 14:59, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The entire ITNR on elections of sovereign states does not make any sense and does not have widespread consensus. ITN is "in the news" - we should be posting elections which are "in the news." Elections of large countries like France and Indonesia is usually "in the news", but an election in the Maldives or Solomon Islands or Kazakhstan is really not "in the news." At least, I can understand why someone might be irritated that NCAA 'March Madness' has to go through reams of discussion every year and is often rejected but an election of a pacific island somehow gets an automatic pass. We give undue weight to elections in ITN. Colipon+(Talk) 17:06, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
    Then suggest a change to the ITNR listing. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:20, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
    I have attempted three times already. The result each time is no consensus = no change, but the majority seem to be opposed to status quo. However people cannot agree on how to fix it. Colipon+(Talk) 20:10, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
    Try harder. Or realise you're in the wrong, consensus-speaking, and move on. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • If reliable sources cast doubt on the fairness of an election, NPOV requires us to reflect that. Of course, often the reliable sources don't make a judgment on whether or not it was fair - they merely report the different claims. That complicates matters, but still if the fairness of the election is seriously contested NPOV requires us to note that. Obviously the exact wording of blurbs must be decided on a case-by-case basis. It will also be important to take account of a wide range of reliable sources from different nations, in order to minimise the risk of bias. Neljack (talk) 00:57, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: Remove World's Fairs[edit]

There's been a pretty robust discussion going on at Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates#Expo 2015. I feel like when you're at the point that most of the supports are because the opening of a World's Fair is listed as an ITN/R item, rather than because there's any actual evidence that this particular Expo is independently notable, it's time to reconsider ITN/R standing. World's Fairs used to be great spectacles, but they have declined dramatically in importance. Expo 2015 has received relatively little attention outside regional media (Italy, Malta, etc.) and business news. Nothing has actually happened at the Expo (aside from a few protests) and nothing is really expected to happen; if something really notable does happen, we could post it to ITN. But this seems like a good time to revisit having the World's Fair on ITN/R, because the evidence suggests this event just isn't big news. -Kudzu1 (talk) 22:13, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Support removal. I was considering starting such a discussion myself. These events just do not have great importance anymore, given that the Internet and other modern technologies allow people to learn about upcoming technologies and new things in ways which could not be done before. I also suspect few people outside of its location could name the location of this year's event or even that it was going on, nor could they name the locations of past fairs. It gets little attention. Removing it from ITNR does not mean it cannot be nominated at ITNC, and if there are good reasons to, it will be. 331dot (talk) 22:19, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose removal - The last Universal Exposition, Expo 2010, attracted a record 73 million visitors, more than any Olympic games, and more than the entire population of the UK or Italy. The next one, Expo 2020, will be held in Dubai and sure to be spectacular. By visitor numbers, Universal Expositions are the largest events in the world and are held only once every five years. ITN/R is heavily biased toward sporting events, many barely noticed outside of their host country or a small number of enthusiasts (World Snooker Championship, anyone? Netball World Championships? Japan Series?). World's Fairs are more influential than probably 90% of the sporting events listed on ITN/R. -Zanhe (talk) 17:36, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure what my opinion is about removing or retaining, but the visitor figures may be a bit of a red herring, since what we are talking about (per the article) is the number of visitors to a 5.2 km sq area of a major city over a seven month period. I don't think it's easy to work our how many millions would be a really impressive number, and it's obviously not something that can easily be compared to a sporting event, say. Formerip (talk) 19:20, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
@Zanhe: What exactly do these events influence? 331dot (talk) 19:43, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
See my comment below. As for the visitor numbers, of course they're not comparable to sporting events. Most visitors are out of town, which means a significant commitment in money and time, unlike watching a sporting event on TV, which involves no more than a flick of finger. The fact that the expos could attract huge crowds over such an extended period of time attests to their influence. -Zanhe (talk) 06:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
While I agree that ITN/R has a tremendous bias toward sports that I think should be addressed, I don't think that's a good enough reason to keep posting World's Fairs that nobody cares about or pays attention to. And FormerIP is quite right about the visitor numbers; of course they're going to be very large if that's the metric used to measure them. -Kudzu1 (talk) 20:24, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
This is a typical WP:IDONTLIKEIT type of argument. If nobody cared about these events, why would 73 million people incur significant expenses to visit the Expo last time it was held (the ticket alone cost dozens of dollars, not to mention hotel and transport)? And why are hundreds of governments willing to spend millions of dollars to participate in them? -Zanhe (talk) 06:35, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
You're talking about a months-long event in a city of 15 million on the most densely populated coast in the world in a country with a population exceeding a billion. Neat how you totally leave those vital facts out. Plus there's no independent auditing of that number. μηδείς (talk) 16:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
So people from countries with large populations count less than people from smaller ones? That's a nonsensical argument. By your logic, we should remove Super Bowl because it's mostly watched by people in a country with a large TV-addicted population? -Zanhe (talk) 04:27, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove this sort of thing is a hangover from the nineteenth century, I agree with 331dot entirely, so I won't repeat his arguments. μηδείς (talk) 18:34, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove, World's Fairs were relevant when most of the world didn't know the rest of the world existed. No longer true. I honestly couldn't even tell you, in my lifetime, that I've seen any real coverage of "Expo" or its brethren. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:01, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment - I don't want to spend too much time on this discussion as it's so inconsequential: Expo 2015 is unlikely to be posted as the article is such a mess, and the next Expo is five years away, during which a lot of things may change. What's striking is lots of opponents (here and on ITN thread) base their opinions on their ignorance about the events, as if the only events that matter were those that they can watch on TV, which is why we have so many sporting events on ITN/R in the first place. Look at these pictures:

They are just a few of the more visible legacies from recent World's Fairs. Entire cities can be transformed or even created by a World's Fair, such as Portugal's Parque das Nações with tens of thousands of residents, which was created from the relatively small Expo 98 (which would not be covered by the ITN/R as it was not a Universal Exposition like Expo 2015 or 20). And Vancouver was transformed by its Skytrain metro system, a legacy of Expo 86, again a minor expo not covered by ITN/R. I'll leave it to the reader to decide whether they're a "hangover from the nineteenth century" or whether they're more worthy of ITN/R than a boat race between two universities. -Zanhe (talk) 06:11, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Usually these 'legacy' projects are figured out to justify the expense in hosting the event or to reuse the facilities afterwards, or are simply accelerated in construction to host the event. The reasons you have listed in support are all good arguments to make at ITNC, which can still be done if this is removed from ITNR. The fact that the 2015 expo article is not in shape for posting suggests little interest in the subject, along with the fact that outside of the event area this is not top news unlike, say the Olympics. 331dot (talk) 10:33, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support removal. These events don't get the media attention of Olympic games or previous Worlds Fairs. Removal from ITNR doesn't prevent this from being posted in future years. Calidum T|C 06:16, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep I don't understand how people want to remove such items when elections in Cook Islands, or whatever final in Gaelic or Canadian football have an ITNR spot. Nergaal (talk) 06:21, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Do you have any comments about the merits of this event being ITNR, instead of commenting on other events? There are systemic bias issues with the forms of football being removed, and there have been attempts to narrow the entities eligible to have their elections posted, without consensus. 331dot (talk) 10:24, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Keep - World's Fairs remain a big deal. Just because they don't rise to the level of the Olympics anymore, doesn't mean they aren't worth covering. Zanhe is quite right in saying these are events that transform cities. Arguments about the 2015 article being in poor shape are irrelevant - the correlation between article quality and subject importance/interest is very weak across Wikipedia. It only takes one good editor to make an article featured quality, but there are few editors with that ability/desire. Thus our featured articles are a random sampling of the interests of 0.1% of our editors and 0.001% of our readers and many very important articles remain poor quality. --ThaddeusB (talk) 14:43, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Weak Keep I agree that these events still have significant cultural impact. I still hear Shanghai's 2010 expo occasionally talked about, which cannot be said of most other events on ITNR. Admittedly though, interest in these has been steadily waning since the mid-1900s. Mamyles (talk) 15:05, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Waning interest suggests this shouldn't get an automatic pass on notability and it should at least be discussed through the usual ITNC process. News coverage is also limited; I can find it, but it isn't top level news and is mostly fluff pieces promoting the theme of the fair, not describing something significant about it, such as world leaders attending(though Pope Francis has criticized the event) or something else notable happening there. 331dot (talk) 15:19, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
While there is less interest from its peak, where this would be front-page news in pretty much every country around the world, this still has a notable level of world interest. Changed to a "Weak keep" though. Mamyles (talk) 15:25, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Remove. Should be considered on individual merits in ITN/C nomination; not everything that's notable needs to be ITN/R. SpencerT♦C 19:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Remove: My perception of the World's Fair as such is that it is a quaint event that traces its history back to the 19th century. I associate it with the introduction of new ideas and technologies and innovations and the like. As 331dot indicated - they seem to serve little purpose at the present, aside from garnering funds for what appear to be pet architectural projects that later see little use, and more frequently than not, wind up simply going to ruin and disuse. I am of the opinion that it is an event that is very much past its time. Challenger l (talk) 12:26, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment. I won't do so myself as someone who is involved here but there seems to be consensus to remove this in my opinion. 331dot (talk) 08:40, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
    I don't really think there is consensus to remove, but if you want to ask for an admin to assess the discussion see WP:AN/RFC. --ThaddeusB (talk) 18:03, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: Jnanpith Award[edit]

I propose that Jnanpith Award should be listed in ITNR. Jnanpith Award is the most prestigious award in the field of literature in India. It is awarded to recognise the best literary work out of the 22 languages in the country whose population is over 1.2 billion. Right now the literature section of ITNR is dominated by English language. Jnanpith Award represents 22 languages. Also India is underrepresented in the ITN section as a whole. (talk) 04:09, 9 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Has this been successfully nominated at WP:ITN/C more than once? That's evidence that this has enough consensus to surpass lengthy discussion each time this is nominated. –HTD 09:37, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Those sound like some excellent reasons to nominate it at WP:ITN/C, which doesn't appear to have ever been done before. Once it passes at least once (which I think it would), then an ITN/R could be considered. --ThaddeusB (talk) 01:58, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose national awards should not be at ITNR, especially not the widely known ones. Nergaal (talk) 04:06, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't see what is wrong with an English bias here. ITN is not article space but a service to the readership: different rules apply. First and foremost this is a service to the user to enable them to find content they may be interested in. It stands to reason that users of the English Wikipedia are on balance going to be more interested in English language arts than those in other languages. 3142 (talk) 20:29, 21 May 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: Adjust failed launches listing[edit]

Given the current discussion about the failed Proton-M launch, I will propose changing the "Launch failures where sufficient details are available to update the article" to state "Failures of nonroutine rocket launches". People seem to be considering this recent failure not notable for its circumstances, so as satellite launches are the most common type of rocket launch, we shouldn't include that as a criteria. As stated in that discussion, ITNR is for those items that have clear consensus for posting every time; if we have to debate which rocket launches are notable and which ones aren't, then it's time to adjust something. I don't propose keeping "sufficient details to update" as that is a given for any nomination. 331dot (talk) 08:18, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

As long as it is accepted that ITNR provides establishes general classes of stories that are nearly always an ITN story with the occasional exception (which is how we treat nearly all policies and guidelines on WP), then there's no need to change a thing; most launch failures are still ITN, just that one of unmanned telecom satellite launch which resulted in no injuries was a minimal impact news story and more focused on the failing Russian program than the actual event. This is not to say that not all failures of nonroutine rocket launches are not ITN: if there were causalities from a failed launch, or like with that ISS delivery probe, if it didn't burn up on re-entry and seriously threaten to crash into a populated area of Earth, that would be ITN. This specific case, meh. I would rather we don't touch ITNR and recognize that there are occasional exceptions, than try to narrow down ITNR too specifically. ITNR was never a guarantee of automatic posting, even if the article quality was in good shape, as has been discussed many times before. --MASEM (t) 12:43, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Masem, most rocket launches are unmanned and most launch failures don't result in any injuries or drama. So what you are calling "occasional exceptions" seems to be most cases in reality. I don't see what the point of having something as ITNR is if we are, in most cases, not going to post it. Better to just leave it to ITNC. Formerip (talk) 13:13, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Then lets change the language to "failures of manned rocket launches", and be aware that failures of unmanned launches can be nominated as ITNC as necessary (for example, if a NASA or ESA interplanetary probe launching fails). Either way, I do agree with removing "where sufficient details are available to update the article" as that's implicit for ITN in the first place. --MASEM (t) 14:08, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with Masem's suggestion. If it were a launch failure that means the astronauts on the ISS are going to run out of supplies or something, that would be notable, but there is something off with the idea that it is our duty to put every unmanned rocket failure on ITN regardless of its independent notability. -Kudzu1 (talk) 16:19, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I certainly don't see any reason to adopt "failure of manned rocket launches". That is so incredibly rare that an ITN/R is not needed. The item should either be removed entirely or something along the lines of what 331dot proposes be used: either his specific language or (probably better to define 'routine'): "Failures of rocket launches, excluding routine satellite delivery". --ThaddeusB (talk) 18:00, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I would have no problem with your suggested wording. 331dot (talk) 19:29, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
My preference would be to remove it entirely, as I don't think a non-critical supply run to the ISS or another space facility is pro forma notable. Striking this item from ITN/R certainly doesn't mean we cannot and should not assess these incidents on a case-by-case basis. -Kudzu1 (talk) 04:33, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I would prefer "excluding routine delivery" over removing failures entirely. That would cover both unmanned cargo and satellite vehicles. Mamyles (talk) 14:45, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm satisfied with this proposal as a compromise solution. -Kudzu1 (talk) 16:03, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I will be bold and make that adjustment, for now at least. 331dot (talk) 21:38, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
This strikes me as being a retrograde step: I can see what the intent is but is isn't what the rule says - it is utterly meaningless and can be twisted to mean anything. What counts as a "routine delivery"? In isolation that could cover virtually any space mission, satellite launches, space probes or even manned launches. It doesn't say what it is intended to cover and in that sense fails immediately. I will revert it because clearly more discussion is required: rules are rarely completely unambiguous but must at least give some sense of what they are trying to address.
More broadly I don't believe substantive action is needed at any rate. Yes, we've had a cluster of these recently, that happens: it is par for the course on ITNR. If anything the repeated nature of it makes each failure more notable, not less so. Consider the next resupply mission to the ISS fails and we don't cover it because, well, it's not notable any more. However, a week later it is announced that the ISS is being abandoned because it is no longer able to support its crew. This isn't far fetched - we have already had murmurings from individuals at various space agencies about the problems the resupply failures are already causing. It would also be a grave failure on our part, amounting to bolting the stable door just as the horse is about to come home. 3142 (talk) 20:19, 21 May 2015 (UTC)
Personally I don't disagree, and I attempted to make such an argument at the last discussion, but consensus didn't seem to agree with it; I proposed changing the listing as a compromise per my explanation above. 331dot (talk) 23:26, 21 May 2015 (UTC)