Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales plans to fix fake news with new site Wikitribune

Rebecca Smith
Wales said the news is broken but can be fixed
Wales said the news is broken but can be fixed (Source: Getty)

Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales is taking action to combat "fake news".

He is planning a "new kind of news platform" that combines the work of both journalists and volunteers, to provide "factual and neutral" articles that help stem the tide of "fake news".

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He is in the process of raising money for the site, called Wikitribune, so it will be funded by donations by supporters who will be asked to chip in with £10 or £15 a month to pay for a team of full-time journalists to write stories, with the aid of online community contributors.

Wales said the combination will mean readers get fact-based articles that can be easily verified and improved.

The plan is for the site to launch in English with other languages following, as funds permit. Wales also wants to avoid using advertisers, saying the content will be free and the business model based on monthly subscriptions by communities which commission the journalists.

"WikiTribune is 100 per cent ad-free, no one's relying on clicks to appease advertisers," the site states. "Anyone can flag or fix an article and submit ir for review."

Like Wikipedia, Wales' online encyclopaedia, the new site will include the need for writers to note the source of each fact and will rely on the public to edit articles to keep them fresh and accurate. But while anyone can suggest changes to a page, they only go live if a staff member or trusted community volunteer approves them.

In a statement, Wales said:

Wikitribune is news by the people and for the people. This will be the first time that professional journalists and citizen journalists work side-by-side as equals writing stories as they happen, editing them as they develop and at all times backed by a community checking and re-checking all facts.

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