Angela, Dan and Ross have blogged about Wikinews so I assume the idea is "out" and I can blog about it. Wikinews would be to journalism what Wikipedia is to encyclopedias. Reports and articles would be written by a community wiki-style and would follow the Wikipedia rule of Neutral Point of View (NPOV). There would be controls in place to decide when an article was "finished" and a lot of thought has gone into the workflow of how this would work. The idea of accreditation of contributors has also been proposed.
I've been spending some time hanging out on IRC with the Wikipedia community ever since I met Jimmy Wales and a few Wikipedians in Linz. I've worked on a few articles, but I'm fascinated as much by the community as the product of their efforts.
That's why I'm against Wikimedia doing Wikinews. I think Wikinews is a great idea and a noble experiment. Someone should do it. I'm just worried that it will change the tone of the Wikipedian "bookworms for the common good" community. Competing with encyclopedias is very different from competing against journalists. it reminds me of the Jack Handy quote: "To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other."
On the other hand, who would have thought Wikipedia itself would have worked in the beginning. To their credit, they do have some rather politically charged articles that have managed to stay quite NPOV, but pumping a consistent flow of these out is another matter. I've posted more thorough comments on the Talk:Wikinews page.
In any case, it looks from the votes like the project will happen, so I will support and participate in any way that I can.