I would like to ask that the Council discuss the current state and
future of the GWN at their next meeting.
1. Reliability. The GWN claims to be a weekly publication, yet it
frequently fails to publish without prior warning. There was no edition
this week, and Patrick Lauer says that it is "unknown" whether there
will be an edition next week as Ulrich Plate is AWOL.
2. Permissions. Although it could be considered flattering that the GWN
should choose a developer's blog as inspiration for an article, they
should ensure that they have the developer / author's permission before
quoting them (see previous complaints by brix, ciaranm and others).
I also believe that when posting an article or interview, a copy should
be sent to the relevant people to ensure that they are ok with what is
being posted (my dev of the week interview, for example, was rather
screwed up and misrepresentative). When someone contacts GWN to have
something corrected, it would be appreciated were the GWN staff to at
least deign to acknowledge receipt, even if for some reason they choose
not to honour the corrections or post a retraction (although refusing to
publish corrections is extremely insulting to those wronged).
3. Misinformation, misquotations and outright fabrications. Sure,
there's freedom of the press, but that shouldn't be used as an excuse
for deliberately making up quotes and printing intentional
4. Credit. Care should be taken to ensure that crrect credit is given.
From a PR perspective, Gentoo could benefit greatly by better
utilisation of the GWN. I believe that as it stands, however, the GWN is
discouraging people from contributing and damaging Gentoo's credibility.
Another thing that concerns me is the way the articles are written. It
is blatanly obvious that the GWN writers are not native English speakers
as both the grammar and the flow of the articles is far from attractive.
Having read through the archives, I notice that there was once a time
when the GWN was a great publication, and I would like to think that it
could become great yet again; in its current state, though, it is doing
more harm than good.
Lack of content and poorly written or incorrect articles are often
justified by the GWN team on grounds of overwork and insufficient
manpower. When I asked why they were not recruiting, I was informed that
no-one has any interest in contributing. Upon speaking with others,
however, I find that this is not the case -- people are interested, but
fear (and rightly so) that their work will be edited in such a way that
it is no longer something with which they want to be associated.
Another complaint is that the GWN rejects any writing style which has
any degree of character or levity. Any attempt at dececnt writing (the
kind that would make it into publication in English newspapers or
magazines, for example), is met with the claim that "the GWN is not a
I would like to see discussion about the way the GWN is
(mis)representing Gentoo, how we can better actualise its full potential
and what can be done to address the concerns listed above.
I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant,
Christel -- conventionally stuck in the 1920s.