Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has a new ambitious project and objective. He is launching a new online publication which will target to fight fake news by partnering professional journalists with an army of volunteer community contributors. Wales will be calling his latest venture as Wikitribune.
Wales said that Wikitribune will be paying reporters from money raised from a crowdsourcing campaign.The new site aims to cover general issues, including U.S. and UK politics, even specialist science and technology. Wales said that those who will donate money to the site will be considered as supporters, who will earn the right to have a say which subjects and story threads the site will focus on. Wales is also planning for the community of readers to fact-check and subedit published articles.
Wales described Wikitribune as "news by the people and for the people". He said that his new project will be the first of its kind- first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as " equals" who will write stories as they break, editing them live as they develop, and Wales also stressed that the stories " at all times" will be backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts."
The Wikileaks co-founder said that the U.S. served as the inspiration for the project even as the site will be launching at the start of the UK general election campaign. He said he decided to push for this project on the day he heard Kellyanne Conway discuss her " alternative facts" line. Wales is also hoping the site will raise enough money so that they could hire the site's first journalists "as soon as possible". The aim is to do so before June 8, the general election called by prime minister Theresa May.
Wikitribune will offer free access to the public. It is launching April 25. It will also start with a crowdfunding campaign pre-selling monthly "support packages" to fund the first batch of journalists. Wales is also promising "transparency" in the site's reporting, with journalists sharing full transcripts, video and audio of interviews.
Wales hopes that a combination of Wikipedia's distributed intelligence and measured professional journalism driven by a business model that is not just about "chasing clicks" will result into a news organization built from the ground up " to combat fake news and rabble-rousing."