Wikipedia co-founder launches Wikitribune to fight fake news

The founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia has announced plans for a crowd-funded news website offering stories by journalists and volunteers working together, an initiative he hopes will counter the spread of fake news.

Jimmy Wales said the new platform, Wikitribune, would be free to read and carry no advertising, instead relying on supporters to fund it, while the accuracy of its articles would be easily verifiable as source material would be published.

In an interview with Wired, Jimmy Wales explained that they want to “bring the fact-based, fact-checking mentality we know from Wikipedia to news.”

“The news is broken, but we’ve figured out how to fix it,” he said in a promotional video posted on the website’s homepage, which does not yet carry any news stories. The page indicates the platform will go live in 29 days.

According to Jimmy Wales, with this launch of news site they want to move away with the ‘click business’ and instead want to focus on giving real news since he believes that readers these days have become very sophisticated and wants to have verified and fact-checked information.

He also mentioned some very optimistic and unique features about his new venture.He informed that, he is going to make this site an advertisement free and read to free site for its readers.

When asked about how he will he manage the funds necessary to run the website, he explained his idea of sponsors and donations. Mr. Wales and his team are planning to get people sign-up as monthly supporters. Hence the larger the number of supporters, more funds would be available to make Wikitribune a success or perhaps as famous as its sister site Wikipedia.

The start up plans by Mr. Wales is to hire 10 to 20 paid journalists, where citizen journalists and volunteers are also welcomed to join their team.

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About the Author: Akhtar Jamal

Tribune International