Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions

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The first thing to be aware of is that any changes you make to this template will be immediately visible on the Main Page, which means that any errors will be visible to a large number of visitors. With that in mind, it is recommended to use a spellchecker and/or the preview button. After that, follow the three steps described below. If you have time, there are some additional things you may be able to do. On behalf of Wikipedia, thank you for helping at ITN!


For the most important aspects, read the bold text. What comes after is intended as clarification.


Make sure the item has consensus for posting at WP:ITN/C. This is the only place where prospective ITN items are discussed. Consensus there is not as hard and fast as it is at AfD or RfA, so admins are advised to use their best judgment. Editors at ITN/C declare their support or opposition and, after a few hours, it's usually fairly clear if enough people express reasonable arguments in favour of posting. If the consensus is not entirely clear, consider letting the nomination run for more time, especially if the nomination is less than 24 hours old. Once a consensus for posting is reached, please do not archive the discussion. Instead, note that you have posted the item by annotating the section header with "[Posted]" and commenting "Posted." with your signature at the bottom of the discussion.

If there is not consensus to post the item and the nomination has had suitable time to run (generally 24 hours), nominations can be closed. Nominations with "fixable" opposition (e.g. the nominated article needs more references) should be allowed to remain open. Posted nominations generally are not closed so that the nomination can be used as a workspace for an item (beyond the scope of WP:ERRORS) or if there is a possibility of additional voters later requesting that the item be pulled. Posted items with lengthy nonproductive debate after posting may be closed with administrator discretion.


The new blurb should contain a bold link to an updated article. There are criteria for the update, but all you really need to know is that if the article is new, it should be capable of imparting all the most important facts to the reader. A rule of thumb is generally three complete, referenced and well-formed paragraphs/sections for a new article. If an update has been made to an existing article, check it is well referenced and, again, that it tells the reader what they want to know. For this, a five-sentence update is generally considered to be more than enough. In a longer article, it may be desirable to pipe the link directly to the relevant section.

For items added to either the "Ongoing" or "Recent Deaths" (RD) sections of ITN, the articles must also be updated, but the links for these items are not bolded in Template:In the news.


ITN items must have a suitable, descriptive blurb. Check Portal:Current events and the ITN/C discussion for suitable suggestions. Do not start the blurb with a numeral in accordance with Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dates and numbers). The aim of the blurb is to convey the most pertinent facts in as little space as possible. If casualties are involved, try to use an estimate as precise figures can date quickly, especially with current events. The blurb should be in the simple present.

Now, the tricky bit. ITN items are in a bulleted list, ordered chronologically by date of occurrence (but not necessarily chronologically within that date) not by date they were added, thus items may have to be posted in the middle of the template. In addition, because ITN items are arranged chronologically, the date should be added in a comment (example below). A typical example would look as follows, assuming that "Shiny Space Shuttle Mk IV" is the updated article:

* <!--Aug 24-->[[NASA]] successfully launches '''[[Shiny Space Shuttle Mk IV]]'''.


An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s). Major developments should be nominated for a new blurb. Articles listed in Ongoing that are not being regularly updated should be removed.

For RD items, the posting system is slightly different. RD items are listed by date of death, with the most recent death on the left side and the oldest death on the right. New RD items are added in the order of their occurrence; if two deaths are on the same date, the new article is added to the left. There is a limit of four RD items at a time in the section. In general, RDs should remain up for no more than 7 days after the death, except where there was a substantial delay in posting the item.

Other things to consider

If you want to show how clever you are (or you simply have time on your hands), there are a few other things that can be done after updating the template. However, don't fret about these too much. If they are not done, someone else will be able to do it. They are not as urgent as posting a news blurb.


If you follow many threads at Talk:Main Page or WP:ERRORS, you will have heard all about balance! This means the combined lengths of ITN and OTD should be about the same length as TFA and DYK combined. This can be adjusted by removing the oldest item from the bottom of the template. Just remove it. Go on. Don't be scared! If ITN and OTD are shorter than TFA and DYK and remains so after adding a new item, you may wish to restore an older item which can be found from the history.

In practice, however, there are lots of different screen resolutions to consider and several other administrators spend significant amounts of time tweaking the balance, so if you're not sure, it's best left to them or to a discussion.


You are not obliged to add an image with the update; you may simply leave the old image on. If you wish to add one, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the image is freely licensed. Fair use images are not allowed on the Main Page.
  2. If the image is from the Wikimedia Commons, you must make sure it's protected before it is added to the Main Page. This can be achieved one of two ways:
    • The "complicated but no wait" way
      • Download it to your desktop and reupload it locally to enwiki. You do not need to protect images hosted on enwiki because Template:In the news is cascade protected. However, cascading protection does not work for images directly transcluded from Commons.
      • If the image has been copied from Commons, you must copy the source information from there (simply copy/paste the wikitext as you upload the image locally).
      • If the image has been copied from Commons, tag it with {{C-uploaded}} so it can be speedy deleted once it has outlived its use on the Main Page.
    • The "easy but approx. 5 minute delay" method
      • Add the file to this page: Wikipedia:Main Page/Commons media protection
      • Wait for a bot on Commons (c:User:KrinkleBot which periodically checks the page for new images) to add it to Commons:Commons:Auto-protected files/wikipedia/en. This can take a few minutes. Don't add the image to ITN until you see it show up on Commons:Commons:Auto-protected files/wikipedia/en.
      • Images on commons:Commons:Auto-protected files/wikipedia/en are cascade protected on Commons.
  3. Add it to the template above the blurbs, using the sub-template {{In the news/image}}. The parameters are:
    • image: Image name: abc.jpg, xpz.png, 123.gif, etc. Don't include the "Image:" or "File:" portion.
    • width: The image size. Most squarish or landscape-oriented images should keep the default of 120; portrait-oriented images should be set to 100.
    • caption: The caption text that will appear under the image, usually as short as possible, and without wikilinks.
    • title: The mouseover text (displayed for people who don't have Popups installed)
    • alt: The alternative text for the benefit of those unable to see the image.
    • link (optional): If the image has been cropped, add the file name of the original image. This will add a link to the original image instead of the cropped version.
    • border (optional): If set to "yes", a small border is added around the image. Useful for images with white or transparent borders (see also Wikipedia:Picture tutorial#Border).
    Example code:
    {{In the news/image | image = Fernando Lugo - ITN.jpg | width = 100 | caption = Fernando Lugo | title = Fernando Lugo | alt = Fernando Lugo | link = Fernando Lugo.jpg | border = no}}
  4. Change the text reference to the image (usually (pictured) or something very similar): it needs to be removed from the blurb that related to the old image and inserted (if necessary modified, but keep it short) into the blurb relating to the new image.

It's OK to change an image in response to a message on WP:ERRORS, especially if the old image has been up for more than 24–36 hours: images are not "approved" by WP:ITN/C in the same way that stories are, because it is often difficult to find a suitable free image for ITN stories. Fair use images are not permitted anywhere on the Main Page, so be sure to check the copyright status! Also, ITN does not usually use maps as images, as they do not usually reproduce well at 100x100 resolution.


There is a list of credit templates at Wikipedia:In the news#Recognition which you can copy and paste (and fill out if you want to) to the user talk pages of the nominators and updaters. If not, somebody else will do it for you; these tasks don't require admin tools!

One last thing

Although this may seem daunting, it's relatively easily done. The process is different, but it is no more complicated than closing an AfD. Above all, use common sense and be aware of how many people will read what you put on the template. If this guide is unclear or you have further questions, many of the ITN/C regulars will be able to help you, so don't panic! A partial list of administrators who are frequently involved at ITN can be found here if you need assistance. Thank you for your help with ITN!

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