Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, is set to launch a community-driven online news service in response to the widespread distribution of deliberately misleading information masquerading as news. The project, Wikitribune, will be a hybrid model in which paid journalists will work with a broad network of contributors.
“We want to bring some of that fact-based, fact-checking mentality that we know from Wikipedia to news,” Wales says. Wikitribune will be financed through a crowdfunding campaign, launching April 24, that will determine the size of the initial team. Wales describes the core editorial mission of the platform as “facts matter” and intends that the site will be able to support “original reporting and investigative journalism”. “What’s fundamentally interesting is to get money to journalists to go out and research news stories,” Wales says. “One of the things that community guidance can do is to help figure out what do we not know? What are the things we need to know? Then you’ve got a lot of minds thinking about and discussing that this is the piece of the puzzle that needs more research.”