With four stories completed and only one published, I persevered with the hope that my fifth story would be the one. In my research, I decided to not go for different or conspired stories. I instead, looked back to my first publication and decided to find a fresh story that had the same elements as my first one. I found a few recent stories about a protest in the Czech Republic where hundreds were detained and thought this had the right amount of newsworthiness and prominence for Wikinews.
I compiled my sources and information and wrote my story, making sure I followed all the correct guidelines. I also ensured that I incorporated info boxes, the right categories, hyperlinks and images into my story to add to its presentation and newsworthiness. I was ecstatic when it was published with barely any editing at all. A wave of relief flowed over me and my smile was as wide as the sea. I felt accomplished, happy and one step closer to a journalism career.
Reflecting on the Wikinews journey, it was difficult and strenuous but most definitely worth it. It has taught me a lot about the importance of newsworthiness, collaboration, determination and strength of character. I feel as though I embody these qualities more than I ever did and that they will greatly assist me in the future as I aspire to work in newsrooms. The most valuable quality and skill I learnt from this experience, was developing a strong backbone that accepts rejection and uses it as fuel for greater determination and passion for journalism.
Additionally, the importance of collegiately was made aware to me. Collaboration between not just journalists but also journalists and editors is essential for the best version of news stories to be published. Working together with Bec Martin during the course of the subject was very useful as she not only edited my work but also helped me find accurate sources, effective images and infoboxes that would enhance my story on Wikinews. This reminds me of the recent implementation of Storyful, a social media based news service which uses an open newsroom. Readers and regular citizens help journalists in the news gathering process in an open newsroom. For example, citizens can help verify sources that journalists found on social media websites to ensure the accuracy of a story. This example of collegiately is what I feel I was working towards with Bec Martin, although we didn’t know it at the time. Having a second person help with verification and news gathering not only speeds up the publication process but ensures the story is as accurate as possible. Storyful is only a recent invention, but I believe it could be a way of the future of journalism, the sites managing editor Markham Nolan said Storyful “will be a real-time community of news professionals working together to establish the maximum clarity and context around the big stories of the day. Our objective is to debunk fact-check, clarify, credit and source.” Isn’t this the objective of all journalism?
Wikinews attempts to meet this objective but fails on some accounts, with its unnecessary harshness and unexplained ignorance towards some stories. Adapting some of Storyful’s concepts could be an effective way for Wikinews, and many other publications to stay afloat during this daunting time in journalism.