Russian Wikinews have become a bit English

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10 января 2020 года

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On Wednesday, January 8, 2020, the Russian Wikinews website published its first news story in English language: "2019 leading Russian language Wikimedia project editors short lists". There is a website's "Multilinguality" inner project that made this possible.

The author of the story, as well as the creator of website's corresponding infrastructure, is the Wikimedian of the Year 2018, member of Wikimedia Russia organization, simultaneous interpreter Farhad Fatkullin. During infrastructure creation, he had also translated into English and Tatar language a news story titled «2019 Languages of Russia Wikipedia Leaders» (Лидеры Википедий на языках России за 2019 год; Россия телләрендәге Википедияләрнең 2019 елы лидерлары).

The initiator of the "Multilinguality" project was the leader of Sakha Wikipedia Nikolai Pavlov. He proposed to use the well-developed infrastructure of Russian Wikinews for creation and support of versions of Wikinews in the languages of peoples of Russia which are yet unable to leave the Wikimedia Incubator because of lack of resources and efforts. The website's community supported Nikolai's idea. Since then, at the website is is possible to create news stories with parallel versions in other languages which have established inner interface (translated templates, categories, etc.).

In a while, the website began to host several language sections: Bashkir Wikinews (main page, published), Sakha Wikinews (main page, published), Tatar Wikinews (main page, published), Udmurt Wikinews (main page, published), Erzya Wikinews (main page, published) and other. Most of them also have independent versions in Wikimedia Incubator.

Not every language version at Russian Wikinews are developing equally. The apparent leader is version in Erzya language with 44 stories which are regularly published by several authors with coordination of the projects's leader Andrey Petrov. Other languages have significantly less frequency. Anyway, they are functional and any participant knowing a language is able to create a news story at any time. Wikinews editors will check and publish it, and language version won't be closed because of lack of activity.

It is usually considered that language editions of Wikimedia projects have differences only by language. For example, the title "Russian Wikipedia" is usually interpreted as "a version of Wikipedia in Russian language". But in fact language versions are developed separately by their separate communities. As a result, their rules and traditions begin to be strongly different. Following that, an "essay" in English Wikipedia may bear status of a fundamental "rule" in Russian Wikipedia, and significant number of articles created in English Wikipedia will essentially contradict the rules of Russian Wikipedia and will not be allowed to create.

Language versions of Wikinews were developing in a similar way, and they seem to have grown even stronger separation. Participants make almost no translations from other language versions, even more so they don't synchronize their organizational practices. This leads to significant incompatibility of rules and traditions of different language versions.

Unlike in Wikipedia, Wikinews have reversed situation. The English version is more strict and conservative than Russian. It is almost impossible to publish there a story usual for Russian Wikinews. E. g., English Wikinews almost always do not accept news stories related to Wikimedia Projects. More over, fact checking process is very difficult there, and reviewing process is extremely complicated and may linger for weeks. Editors residing there almost never help newbie journalists with additions and formatting. Among that, their terms of publication are more strict. As result, majority of proposed stories/articles are not processed by English Wikinews community on time, or they are rejected for contradiction with rules and principles. And get deleted.

All of this affects statistics. Currently English Wikinews publish 1–2 articles per week, while Russian Wikinews publish many more articles per day. At the same time, participants of English Wikinews have remarkably greater numbers.

Generally, Russian Wikinews community have friendly approach to English one and try to adopt best practices from there and learn. More over, some users regularly propose their translated Russian stories for English version. But many of the original reports and exclusive interviews, that were gladly accepted by Russian readers, were never published in English. Following that, it was decided to accept English language publications at Russian Wikinews website.

From now on, any published Russian language news story can have parallel translated English version within Russian Wikinews.



Original report

This article is published in Wikinews and contains exclusive reporting and research, created by one of our Wikinews Special project participants.

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