WikiTribune: How Reuters Connect helps start-up publishers

Launch editor, Peter Bale tells us all.

By Ella Wilks-Harper | Jan 16, 2018

WikiTribune is a new evidence-based media platform from WikiPedia founder Jimmy Wales. Its aim is to turn passive readers into active contributors. Launched on October 30 2017, WikiTribune is an initiative where journalists and volunteers curate and edit articles.

Reuters Connect was advertized to me about the same week that we were launching. It looked really good so we decided almost immediately we would get a trial. It’s extremely easy to use, to search for content and download it,” says Peter Bale, launch editor at WikiTribune.

The use of breaking news content

For WikiTribune, Reuters Connect offers breaking news content and illustrative pictures not available on Creative Commons.

“It is almost never the case that you get “news” pictures on Creative Commons,” explains Bale.

However with Reuters Connect, WikiTribune were able to use several pictures around the recognition of Jerusalem.

“We had a major investigative piece recently on people dying in the South Pacific and with Reuters Connect we were able to get two really beautiful illustrative pictures that were not directly related to the news aspect of the piece, but we were able to use them to illustrate the story,” says Bale.

WikiTribune is very small, it’s starting out so the ability to have a usage based financial arrangement is extremely helpful rather than taking out a multi-year agency contract”.

The flexibility of a points-based spending model

Regardless of the size of your budget, Reuters Connect uses a points-based system that is cost-effective. The point-based system allows for the freedom to experiment with different formats and respond quickly as news breaks.

This aspect of Reuters Connect appealed to Bale as he explained, “WikiTribune is very small, it’s starting out so the ability to have a usage based financial arrangement is extremely helpful, rather than taking out a multi-year agency contract”.

Multimedia content in a single destination

Archive content can be a crucial addition to storytelling. Connect allows publishers to access archive content dating back to 1896.

Recently, WikiTribune interviewed Sir Tim Berners-Lee the inventor of the World Wide Web. For the piece, Bale was able to include an archive picture taken during the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony showing Berners-Lee’s tweet “This Is For Everyone”, which was flashed around the entire stadium.

In addition to pictures and archive content, Reuters Connect provides graphics, data, video, live video and content from other leading media organizations.

Looking to the future Bale says, “We are very keen to make graphical and data storytelling as part of what we do, so I’ll be looking at Reuters graphics and video”.

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