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I think that — to be of (future) use — the headlines should be accompanied by a short note on the source (Newspaper, date, page, if available: original news agency) — could be a html comment. Peter Schmitt 09:36, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

Well yes. This is by no means a finished product. What I have now is simply a list of stories I might write about. The week has just begun. By Saturday night, the only thing on this page will be fully fleshed out news articles, complete with sources for everything. Sunday the headlines (of my choosing, rather than the ones CNN/Yahoo/whatever used. Some of the CNN ones are so cryptic, I can't stand them...) will be transcluded to the mainpage. The old articles will remain here for maybe two or three weeks. After that they will be archived, and the headlines will be added to an "Old News" page.Drew R. Smith 10:52, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Sure, I understand that this is just a notebook. But I suspect that some (many?) of the headlines will never be touched again, but still survive in the archive. Moreover, if - as you suggested - others might join you they might want to look what really is behind a title like "Japan braces for giant jellyfish" or if "Mathematicians Take Aim At 'Phantom' Traffic Jams: New Model Could Help Design Better Roads" really new, and what the mathematics is. Peter Schmitt 11:17, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Peter that having the source is essential to get the project off the ground by allowing feedback before the news digest is posted on Saturday. Why not just copy things in with title and URL, e.g. as CT scans reveal mummies' long-lost secrets? For this news item, I would point out that the title is a bit misleading in that CT scans have long been used to study mummies (cf. this 1986 overview), and even MRI scans of mummies have been performed — example. This is explained in the article but might get lost if we focus on the headlines. --Daniel Mietchen 12:27, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, yeah that makes sense. Now where did I leave those sources...Drew R. Smith 03:03, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

When did CZ become a blog?

I thought we were trying to build an encyclopedia. What the heck is this? –Tom Morris 09:50, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

well if you would read it you would find out that it is a very new attempt at adding a small, unobtrusive news service to CZ. Drew R. Smith 10:49, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
I can see that. What I don't see is any justification for why this is needed. Citizendium is not Reuters nor is it a current events blog. If we are going to do news, then we need to have a proper discussion about it. If you wish to bookmark news articles of personal interest, may I suggest a bookmarking service like Delicious. If you want to write news collaboratively, Wikinews is there for that. If you wish to see details of current affairs, try BBC, CNN, New York Times or Google News. I'm just trying to understand why this is considered within the scope of "an open wiki project aimed at creating an enormous, free, and reliable encyclopedia" (CZ:About). –Tom Morris 11:21, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
There is no justification as to why this is needed, particularly in times of strained resources. However, I see Drew's experiment as a way to find out what aspects of news communication may be useful for the encyclopedia. As for CZ's relation to other social media, there certainly is overlap, as pointed out already two days after Larry's announcement of the project. I have elaborated a bit on that in a section (search for "subpages") of a blog post on wikis in scholarly communication, and greater awareness of this overlap probably wouldn't hurt. To take your example of bookmarking, I think there are many occasions when it would be appropriate to put the link into the External Links subpage of relevant CZ articles (which would then, in turn, serve as tags) instead of (or in addition to) storing it on delicious. --Daniel Mietchen 12:06, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok Tom, correct me if I'm wrong, but you seem to think that this is a) a blog, and b) a finished product. I assure you, it is neither. Yes, it looks very much like a blog right now, but what you're seeing right now is really just notes. By sometime saturday (in Hawaii, mind you) this will be completed. Sunday will be the first time the headlines (which can be sampled in the "top stories" overflow box) will appear on the main page. After sunday we can decide if this is something we would like to continue doing. And, if you'll notice, this does not detract from article writing. In fact, after writing the piece on Nomura's jellyfish, I still had time to do an article on Nimitz Highway. Today, I am planning to do a news piece on the Thirty Meter Telescope, and at least one article about either the new telescope, or the current Mauna Kea Telescope. My article on The Dead Weather was inspired by a news story on yahoo. At the very least, this project can serve to populate, and revive the wanted articles page. Hopefully though, it will find more use than that.Drew R. Smith 03:19, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
I didn't suggest that it takes away from article writing. I just would like some justification for how CZ:News serves any useful role in furthering the goal of the Citizendium, namely the creation of "an enormous, free, and reliable encyclopedia". If one wants to start encyclopedia articles based on current affairs, why not just do that? Why do we need a news page to prompt that? –Tom Morris 17:47, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Why not?Drew R. Smith 23:40, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, if the Encyclopedia Britannica can have one, why not?-Derek Hodges 00:02, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Image Permission

I have documented permission for use of the TMT images at CZ Talk:News/permission.Drew R. Smith 00:55, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Topic selection

It really needs to be a given that items here either link to articles or potential articles. "Fighter jet crashes in Afghanistan", for example, obviously ties to F-15E Strike Eagle, but also to Ghazni Province, and to-be-written (or named) articles about the security and counterinsurgency situation in Afghanistan or Afghanistan War (2001-) or Afghanistan War (2001-), nation-building phase.

I'm at a loss to see what would develop from "Dad loses job; boy sells his toys". Howard C. Berkowitz 02:31, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

Me too. I'm probably not going to do alot of these, buy the ones I do write will link to as many relevant articles as possible. I'm not linking the topic ideas because they're just ideas. I may or may not do anything with them. They are also suggestions for anyone else who wants to have a go at this. The ones I don't use are going to be removed. I think in the future, topic ideas will be stored elsewhere, or at least in a separate section on the page. Drew R. Smith 03:46, 23 July 2009 (UTC)

News report detail and our level of accuracy

I'm sure the news report does say "Air Force Central Command" reported something about the crash. The only problem is that there is no such organization. There is a United States Central Command, which has an Air Component Commander, who happens to be the commander of Ninth Air Force. In this case, without further information, we don't know if the announcement came from CENTCOM HQ, CFACC, or 9AF. It's that sort of thing where our accuracy comes into question.

No simple answers. The question, in general, is how much expert fact checking, such as the above, needs to be applied to items? Note that I could, as an expert, immediately see the conflict without any research, but it would take time to track down exactly who said what.

Would we have informed speculation on causes of crashes, linked to articles on aircraft crash investigation, air defense, man-portable air defense systems, the F-15E Strike Eagle, etc. ?

I think your comment (and Tom's earlier one) raises a bigger question of whether CZ should commit its expert resources -- which are already spread pretty thin in most workgroups -- to monitoring an initiative that seems pretty far removed from its core mission. Shamira Gelbman 15:28, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually the organisation is U.S. Air Force Central Command (USAFCENT). According to several sources, this is the air component of US Central Command (CENTCOM). Don't worry, I'm not just re-writing what other news sources say. I fact check almost everything.Drew R. Smith 23:01, 23 July 2009 (UTC)
AFCENT, not USAFCENT, is the usual abbreviation, unless CENTCOM is operating in coalition mode, when it would be CFACC. Since Afghanistan is a coalition component, CFACC is the command; the same U.S. three-star commands AFCENT, CFACC, and 9th Air Force. There could, however, be a British or German or Italian aircraft under CFACC, but not AFCENT. Howard C. Berkowitz 01:09, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, but it seems to me that the point remains the same. The abbreviation isn't even used in the article, just the name of the organisation, which, in fact, does exist.Drew R. Smith 01:46, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm clarifying the nuances, but saying "Air Force Central Command" is simply wrong. This is no problem for a news report, but when we are attempting to differentiate on accuracy, I worry that the desire for currency will lead to just such minor error, which our critics love. Howard C. Berkowitz 02:54, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, I'm going to change it to USAFCENT, which is the official abbreviation identified by the U.S. Air Forces Central home [1] page to be the correct abbreviation for the organization. I am also going to add that USAFCENT is the air component of CENTCOM.Drew R. Smith 04:53, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
That web page may say it, presumably put together by media people. Note that the URL contains CENTAF, not USAFCENT. In this case, I'm speaking as a Military Editor; the air component of CENTCOM, which is operating as a coalition headquarters, is Coalition Forces Air Component Command, of which the Ninth Air Force is the U.S. component. Operations in Afghanistan are under a dual US-NATO chain of command. The German Tornados are not part of AFCENT. The Dutch F-16's are not part of AFCENT.
Frankly, I'm more and more puzzled why this is significant news. A fighter-bomber crashed for unknown reasons. Why is this, for example, more important, in the context of the Afghanistan war, of the recent counterdrug operations, or the major troop movement into the unstable South, where U.S. Marines are trying a new approach of holding ground and clearing insurgents? Howard C. Berkowitz 05:23, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
The webpage was put together by 9th Air Force (ACC)/U.S. Central Command Air Forces public affairs. When you go to the contact us section of the site [2] you can see that. From that page, it appears that USCENTAF is the abbreviation they use. According to WP [3] USAFCENT is correct, with USCENTAF and CENTAF being the old name. Also, now that I see USAFCENT on the patch shown at WP, I recall the time I spent at Shaw AFB, and I distinctly remember seeing USAFCENT all over the place. According to my father (a captain in the USAF) AFCENT is the "official" abbreviation and USAFCENT is also widely accepted. I don't see what CFACC has to do with this since they were all US aircraft, and it was an organisation within the USAF that released the statement.
As for why this is significant news, according to several news sources, these two jets where the first fighter jets to crash in Afghanistan in years. If you can get some source information for the counterdrug ops I'd be glad to do a piece on it. A google search for counterdrug operation in Afghanistan reveals nothing particularly newsworthy.Drew R. Smith 05:59, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

Visual clash

Mine surely cannot be the only browser which shows the Topic Ideas box superimposed inside the In The News one. Ro Thorpe 23:36, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

There's no problem on mine. Though I did see something like that when I was putting it together, but when I looked again it was gone. Might be a bug or something?Drew R. Smith 08:18, 30 July 2009 (UTC)
No change, though no problem editing. Ro Thorpe 12:26, 30 July 2009 (UTC)


With due respect, I think the Gates article is a good argument against, at least, the current content choices. As has been noted, there was no article about it. Now, there are almost daily updates, including at the Presidential level, and they are neither going into News nor an article.

I can't think of a better maintainability argument; I just don't think this is a wise diversion of resources. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)