Internet | November 1, 2017 1:28 pm

Wikipedia Founder is Launching a ‘Neutral News Source’ Called WikiTribune

The site is officially live.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has a new venture: “a global, multilingual, high quality, neutral news service,” called WikiTribune, that will be supported through pay-what-you-want-subscriptions and has absolutely no other agenda than telling the truth, reports The Outline

According to The Outline, the “pilot” version has officially launched, and the homepage features a mix of news aggregation, sourced from mainstream news organizations like CNN or Reuters, or lesser known ones like “Spanish media” or Politifact. 

The Outline says that they admire what Wales is trying to do because Wikipedia is an “incredible use of the internet” and has a lot of good qualities. But WikiTribune is not a new idea — curated or aggregated news happens all over the web. Comparable or better summarizing and linking can be found elsewhere, and the original reporting can be found through the primary sources.

Besides all that, WikiTribune claims to be a neutral site, but The Outline contends that it is not. The site has an “Editor’s Choice” module, which already highlights some stories over others. There is also a “Good Reads” section, which does the same thing. Plus, in a story about Paul Manafort’s indictment, there is a section, “Highlights from the indictment” which means that someone had to go through and decided what to highlight.

Wikipedia itself is also not unbiased. A Wikimedia Foundation survey found that “six percent of editors who made more than 500 edits were female, with the average male editor having twice as many edits,” according to The Outline. The Guardian pointed out in 2014 that an article for women porn stars is “better maintained” than the article about women writers. Meanwhile, “people with little free time, and people outside of English speakers from Anglophone countries are underrepresented on the site,” writes The Outline.

The Outline writes that by saying WikiTribune will be “neutral” or “objective,” Wales forgets a major detail: “there is no such thing as objective.” WikiTribune has a staff of 10, led by Peter Bale, a veteran of CNN. That alone will be a turnoff for readers.