wikitribune

Over the past couple months, the brilliant minds at Facebook and Google have been juggling with different solutions to prevent the spread of false and misleading news on their platforms. But, there’s one individual who has now come up with a working solution of his own — a crowd-sourced news publication.

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia, the largest directory of information on the interwebs, has shouldered the massive task of curbing the spread of fake news. He strives to deliver the most accurate news coverage to readers but also wants them to support this endeavor by working alongside experienced journalists. This crowd-sourced news publication is being called Wikitribune.

Speaking about the state of digital media at this instant, Wales said,

The news is broken but we figured out a way how to fix it.

Similar to Wikipedia’s working model, this news publication will also be supported by individuals who’d like to donate for server and other maintenance costs. Launched today, the website is running a crowdfunding campaign and has already bagged 1,733 supporters. It currently does not host any news content, only an explainer video and content to promote the website. Describing their platform, the website writes,

Wikitribune is a news platform that brings journalists and a community of volunteers together. We want to make sure that you read fact-based articles that have a real impact in both local and global events. And that stories can be easily verified and improved.

Now, the publication will officially go live in the wake of U.K .general election campaign but that’s not the inspiration for launching the platform. Instead, the hubbub caused around the U.S presidential, the election of Donald Trump and the allegations against the cohort of social media giants made him aware of the situation at hand. But, he decided to give the newly elected President 100 days. However, his resolve didn’t last long as the President’s counselor Kellyanne Conway talked about alternative facts — something that wasn’t verified. And here we are.

The primary objective for the launch of Wikitribune is to bring free (no paywalls/subscriptions) and advertisement-free journalism to the screen near you. The news being covered by the platform will span across the traditional topics, such as the state of politics across international locations, science, technology and other specialist subjects. It will mostly include topics chosen by the supporters of the platform, but they’ll be verified, fact-checked and sub-edited by the community after publishing.

 

Currently, the publication is looking to raise sufficient capital to hire ten full-time professional journalists. They will work hand-in-hand with a community of supporters to build a transparent and open platform for readers. Both of these units will work together to create, fact-check and verify the content before making it available online.

The former will have to approve every suggested change while the latter (which includes monthly supporters, readers) will be able to include detailed sources and links to transcripts, video, and audio recordings of interviews alongside the content on the website. Wales mentions that Wikitribune will work as an independent publication that’ll even publish its financials regularly — so you can know that your donations are being utilized to hire professionals rather than building swanky offices.

Further talking about Wikitribune, he continues to add,

This will be the first time that professional and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all of the facts.

This means that Wales is positive that the underlying idea behind Wikipedia will also work while weeding out misleading stories and create a holistic reading environment on the interwebs. Wikitribune might not be perfect at this instant but he is planning to flag off this project with support from influencers such as marketing specialist Guy Kawasaki, journalist/author Jeff Jarvis and British model and entrepreneur Lily Cole.

The new publication is not only looking to propagate verified and fact-checked stories to its readers — who Wales wants to commit to monthly subscriptions, which can be tweaked as per your needs. But, it also plans to harbor the same culture instilled in their massive community of Wikipedia editors. There will always be a lack of advertisements on Wikitribune, thus they wouldn’t have to chase after posting click-bait content — something which is popular nowadays and brings instant views, but reduces reader trust in your website.

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