Wikinews Offers Content From Citizen Journalists

Posted on December 28, 2004

Wikinews is a new free online content resource with news stories and articles submitted by citizen journalists. Wikinews describes a citizen journalist, a volunteer journalist who contributes to a news effort. The news website is created by the Wikimedia Foundation, the same organization responsible for the popular Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Wikinews will adopt the principles which have made Wikipedia and the other Wikimedia websites maintain neutrality, free content, and an open decision making process.

The Wikinews project seeks to create a free source of news, where people are invited to contribute reports about events large and small, either from direct experience, or summarized from elsewhere. While Wikinews aims to be a useful resource of its own, it will also provide an alternative to proprietary news agencies like the Associated Press or Reuters; that is, it will allow independent media outfits to get a high quality feed of news free of charge to complement their own reporting.

The Wikinews and Wikimeida projects are based on open source wiki technology. They use the underlying open source wiki engine, MediaWiki, which is developed here on SourceForge via CVS, and is available under the GNU General Public License. The contents of the Wikimedia wikis themselves are licensed under the GNU FDL.

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit foundation registered in the state of Florida which operates Wikipedia (a free encyclopedia in over 50 languages), Wiktionary (a free dictionary), Wikisource (a collection of public domain or FDL-licensed texts), Wikibooks (free textbooks for schools and universities), and Wikiquote (a collection of notable quotations).

In September, 2004 the Wikimedia Foundation announced the creation of the one millionth article in Wikipedia, its project to create a free, open-content, online encyclopedia. Started in January 2001, Wikipedia is currently the world's largest and fastest growing encyclopedia, with articles under active development in over 100 languages. Nearly 2,500 new articles are added to Wikipedia each day, along with ten times that number of updates to existing articles.