Here comes the big news, after Wikipedia, the biggest online encyclopedia, the co-founder Jimmy Wales has said in a statement that very soon they will be entering the world of news and online journalism.
According to Jimmy Wales this news site would be named ‘Wikitribune’, where he himself would be taking part in the project and plans to serve as Editor-in-Chief for almost a year.
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Making its launch by the month of April, Wikitribune will have a core team of journalist and writers that will be paid, supported by the large number of volunteer contributors who will be allowed to make edits in the news published or keep up to date the trending events and news stories but only after the consent and approval of the main team of writers.
This would be perhaps an initial attempt made by the encyclopedia giant, where the main aim of establishing a news site is to provide the readers from around the globe with authentic and real news against the culture of ‘fake news’.
According to Jimmy Wales, with this launch of news site they want to move away with the ‘click business’ and instead want to focus on giving real news since he believes that readers these days have become very sophisticated and wants to have verified and fact-checked information.
He also mentioned some very optimistic and unique features about his new venture.He informed that, he is going to make this site an advertisement free and read to free site for its readers.
When asked about how he will he manage the funds necessary to run the website, he explained his idea of sponsors and donations. Mr. Wales and his team are planning to get people sign-up as monthly supporters. Hence the larger the number of supporters, more funds would be available to make Wikitribune a success or perhaps as famous as its sister site Wikipedia.
The start up plans by Mr. Wales is to hire 10 to 20 paid journalists, where citizen journalists and volunteers are also welcomed to join their team.
Well, apart from being different to its sister site Wikipedia in terms of purely focusing on news; it does share some of its features too. Such as readers will be allowed to edit and make changes to the news published but that news will only made way to the screens of readers after the approval by the board of editors.
Here as opposed to the traditional concept of news agenda in journalism, where the owners of the news organization, publication or websites decides which news to cover and make it public and which to hide, here the monthly signed up sponsors would decide more as to what they want to read and which news should be in the trends. So far Jimmy Wales have revealed the number of journalists he wants to hire, but the amount that will be paid to these journalist is unclear.
If try to understand the model of working, this is a move away from the one end communication that happens regularly on news sites. Mr. Wales has tried to adopt a more democratic approach to some extent, by giving value to their readers.
However many experts are skeptical about the success of this site since with the absence of ads, they take it as a non-profit business venture and do not predict it turning into the most reliable news sources.
News sites of this kind are already working such as Bitcoin community service and Dutch news website De Correspondent. However much of the success of Wikitribune depends upon how quickly Jimmy Wales and his team is able to gather funds through crowdsourcing and what actively people takes part in this venture.