The New York Times calls Wikinews “The Unassociated Press” in an article in the Circuits section today.
The system’s primary check is its transparency. Inspired, in part, by the success of open source software development, the writing process is completely public. Anyone at any time can compose a new Wikinews article, edit an existing one and see an inventory of all prior changes.
I’m really starting to get smitten with the concept of “open-text” which is obviously what Wikinews and Wikipedia are all about. It’s just such a perfect description of where we are heading…stories, essays, blog posts created and edited collaboratively, always with the potential for improvement, never finished. I know that’s more concept than reality right now, the idea that products aren’t final. It would require a whole new way of looking at assessment, wouldn’t it? More emphasis on the products relevance, its usability, its worth to the community rather than whether or not it’s “correct”.