Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia has come up with a solution to the issue of ‘fake news’ in the form of ‘Wikitribune’.
Wikitribune will require the same levels of fact-checking as Wikipedia – sources cited and linked. It will combine professional journalism with volunteers to offer ‘factual and neutral’ articles. It will be offered ad-free and free-to-use, relying on donations similar to Wikipedia.
But unlike Wikipedia, edits will be monitored and approved by a paid core team of journalists or an accredited community volunteer. In certain cases, a volunteer may submit a story which will be edited by a professional. The difference with Wikitribune is to aim to be completely unbiased reporting and also removing the commercial aspect.
Jimmy Wales will be overseeing the project personally and will also be the CEO for a couple formative years. Wales has a cream team of advisers on board to assist in setting up the site including Apple and Google alumni Guy Kawasaki, journalism academics Professor Jeff Jarvis and Larry Lessig and for reasons not defined model/actress Lily Cole.
The topics covered by the site will be influenced by the funders but the funding will not influence the content of the article. Although in a little corner of the internet, people would really appreciate our approach to separate editorial from advertising. An abundance of sites are accused of ‘click bait’ and even worse that their content for journalism is based on the advertisers.
Wales said that we all live in a world where people are concerned about being certain of a high-quality fact-based information is published. But all of this depends on enough people willing to cough up enough money to support and acknowledge this new type of journalism. If the fund raising goes as expected then they can go live before 8 June.