Breaking news on Wikipedia: collaborating, collating and competing

Bunty Avieson


When a major global news event occurs, such as the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka or the March shootings in New Zealand, Wikipedia contributors from around the world come together in a virtual newsroom to craft a narrative, followed closely by readers seeking the latest information. In any given month, the site’s most popular articles — both in number of views and number of edits — are those reporting breaking news. Wikipedia’s protocols of ‘no original research’ mean the contributors must draw on the work of journalists, collating and re-purposing what has been published online. Taking as a case study the 2014 Sydney hostage crisis this paper analyzes Wikipedia’s breaking news practices and the ways the Internet is changing perceptions of news.


Wikipedia, news, temporality, newsroom practices, routine practices, journalism

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