Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales leads fake news fightback with Wikitribune

By John Glenday | Reporter

April 25, 2017 | 2 min read

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has assumed a lead role in the battle against ‘fake news’ by launching a new crowdfunded online publication which will pair paid journalists with volunteer contributors.

Wikitribune has been established with the express purpose of covering a diverse spread of general issues from politics to science and technology with each piece stringently fact checked by an army of proof readers who will also beef up reports with supplementary information.

Launching the initiative Wales said: “This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists will work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them live as they develop, and at all times backed by a community checking and rechecking all facts.

“Someone I know convinced me to give Trump 100 days before making my mind up but then on day one Kellyanne Conway came out and said her ‘alternative facts’ line. That was when I really decided to move forward.”

Wales aims to entice funders to come forward by granting them a say on which subjects and topics come up for discussion on the fledgling platform. Should this prove successful then the first journalists could be hired in advance of the 8 June UK general election.

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To differentiate it from other media outlets Wikitribune will share full transcripts, video and audio of all interviews it conducts to maximise transparency.

In December Jimmy Wales reaffirmed his belief in crowdfunding as a tool to police the web, but also told The Drum that he left open the possibility of running ads at some point in the future should that become neccessary.

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